Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Eight of Blades — Tarot of the Absurd

sticks rock and a hard placeUpright: isolation, restriction, limited awareness

 

Reversed: change of mind, new point-of-view, freedom

 

The man in the Eight of Blades feels trapped in isolation. This is understandable. He is up against a brick wall with swords pointed at him from every direction. His movement is restricted, his hands restrained. He is powerless. In such a situation, it is easy to feel victimized. The only solution— the only way to escape the situation— is to find one small light in the dungeon. This is the meaning of self-empowerment.

 

Perhaps the ropes are not tied so tightly as he thinks. Perhaps he can work his hands free and, with the freedom of his hands, remove the blades from his body one by one.

 

When we perceive our situation, we gain perceptive on it only from our past experiences. This is what makes us self-aware. Babies, born without self-awareness, become aware bit-by-bit. They experience all sensations for the first time: hunger, heat, cold, tummy-ache. They become aware of body parts: hands, mouth, feet, genitalia. After the initial excitement of awareness, we expect things to remain as they are. Our hands remain our hands. Our face remains our face. This frees us, in that it allows us to move on and become aware of other things: it is very difficult to notice anything else (It’s raining out. OR Something is burning on the stove!) if we are constantly excited by the existence of our own body. However, the expectation that things will remain as they are also becomes the ties that bind us tightest: we expect and even desire that things remain the same.

 

(The devil we know is safer than the devil we don’t know.)

 

When we feel that we are bound inescapably, we need to re-learn our self in order to gain freedom. What are my hands? What can they do? What can I do for myself? We need to be as eager to do things for ourselves as a child learning to walk, to feed itself and to get dressed. We have to be just as willing to look silly. We have to be just as proud of every achievement. We need to re-train our eyes to see any possibility that exists. We need to re-train our minds. Only then do choices become apparent. Only then does the possibility of freedom reveal itself.

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