I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Things Are Not as They Appear

From the Touchstone Tarot, Strength; from the John Waterhouse OracleI am Half-Sick of Shadows, said the Lady of Shalott:
          This lady of Strength looks so deeply with the lion's mouth, she could be his dentist. What is she looking for? The tarot card complements the Lady of Shalott card, an illustration based on a poem by Alfred Tennyson. It describes a cursed woman who must use a mirror to see the world instead of looking directly at it (and then weaves the images onto her loom). These draws imply there is a glimmer in my peripheral field or a reflection that is not quite showing the whole reality of truth. The pair made me think of Buddhism's four 'near enemies' of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. Unlike the far enemies which are the direct opposites (hatred, cruelty, envy and bias), the near enemies are sneaky and may masquerade as the real virtues unless a closer look is taken. The near enemy of loving-kindness is attachment; it is revealed as insecure clinging, the desire to control and conditional love. The near enemy of compassion may be cloaked in pity (keeping us at a distance from someone's suffering) or self-absorbed grief (we drown in the feeling); neither side allows us to take any helpful action. The near enemy of sympathetic joy is comparison; our joy for others is tainted by trying to identify if we have more, less or the same as the other person. Equanimity's near enemy is indifference; instead of accepting reality with calm awareness, we simply withdraw or numb ourselves. Both these cards suggest I look deeply within; things may not be as they appear.

10 comments:

  1. Whenever I think or ponder looking deeply into 'something' it reminds me of the saying "when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back and looks in you."

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    1. That is an interesting saying worth pondering.

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  2. Pseudo enemies. Good thoughts today, often at our kindest we do the most damage.

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    1. Kind by our own definition is not necessarily kind.

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  3. Those near enemies are making trying to do good a real challenge. It is so easy to deceive ourselves. Being present is even more necessary than before

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    1. The near enemies have definitely made me take a deeper look before patting myself on the back. :)

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  4. Looking inside is essential when you are trying to grow and learn more about your self and your purpose. This was wonderful and insightful <3
    cosmicpositivity.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for dropping by and leaving such a kind comment! Look forward to seeing you around the blog-osphere. :)

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  5. Had never heard of the near enemies before. As you say, they are a subtle, tricky bunch! I've been thinking recently about how nearness can help with staying present - actually being in something it's easier to stay with it than if you are thinking about it from a remove. For instance, it's far easier to worry about my elder son's health issues when he's at school than when he's in the room with me and I'm dealing with what is. I guess this is the same as Ellen's comment about being truly present... :)

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    1. It is much harder to deny reality when 'what is' is right next to you. :) But I think that is the key of mindfulness; when we are truly present with what we are doing and where we are, the mind is less likely to go manufacture something for us to worry about!

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