Moods of Doubt

A simple seeker had slipped into one of her periodic
moods of doubt regarding her spirit teacher. Did He
even exist beyond her mind? But, what can exist
beyond one’s mind? And yet, He voiceless thoughts
came to her. But, how?

Perhaps if she had something to eat, or did a load
of laundry. Simple activities seemed to help her
focus, or protect her from seeming to need to know
what seemed beyond her possible potential to know.

And, yet, the challenge to understand how she could
hear seemingly voiceless thoughts, other than her
own, gave her no peace of mind.

There has to be a way that thoughts can …

E.S.P.

I know, but how does it work?

It doesn’t work at all, in the sense of needing
a physical connection. Do you hear your own
unspoken thoughts?

Yes, but they develop within my mind.

And you think your mind is separate from mine?

People don’t hear other people think.

Why?

It isn’t possible, except via body language.

Whenever we claim that something is not possible,
we close the door, not of possibility, but of
our awareness of it.

Is it as intuition?

No.

Then, please explain.

Intention to hear and to be heard.

But, why can you do it and I can’t.

You haven’t practiced.

How can I practice?

By first believing that you could develop
the ability. And then using it.

Then, it is as a skill?

Is hearing as a skill?

Not for me. It seems to be a function of being
human that is declining as I age, as is my
strength.

Perhaps your reduced hearing is a blessing
in disguise.

How can it be a blessing?

Without all the distractions of needless sounds
you are more able to listen to me.

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Initiation Brings Transformation

Our simple seeker was meditating on possible differences
between the concepts of initiation and transformation, and,
if in fact …

If there were differences, then what would they be?

I’ve been asking myself that question.

Sometimes it helps when an outside …

You’re hardly an outside voice.

How do you know?

I can feel your thought.

Singular?

A single energy.

Perhaps we’re each and all part of a single energy.

Perhaps, but …

Perhaps but what?

How does that relate to, if it does, the differences,
if there are any, between initiation and transformation?

Even as you ask, I sense awareness developing within you.

You might have pulled a curtain back.

From within you or from within your mind?

Is there a difference?

No, none at all.

The Middle Way is not Halfway Between Extremes

A simple seeker of enlightenment had studied
and thought deeply about possible meanings of
the images portrayed on Tarot cards. She had
pulled a card from somewhere near the middle
of the pile and was now contemplating the
possible personal message expressed by the
Two of Pentacles (or Coins).

A juggler or clown seemed to have stopped
tossing two large discs, and was staring at one,
as if it represented, after deep reflection,
the chosen option between two lifestyles.

At the same time, a stormy sea behind him
also seemed to have stopped tossing two ships
One was atop a high wave and the other seemed
to be slipping into a deep trough. The boats
seemed as much at the mercy of the sea as
the discs were, in the hands of the juggler.

But, why did he stop and why did the storm
seem to have ended, and was now preparing
to ease its demonstration of power over
those who dared to risk its instability?

Why call the ocean unstable?

It can be.

Then it has potential to become, or
to appear to be more or less unstable.

What about the juggler?

What about him, or her?

The two large disks seem frozen in time;
one high and the other low.

Which is the object of focus?

The lower one, why?

Why what?

Why do you ask?

To focus your attention on the relative
positions of the disks, and how this might
express a personal psychic message for you.

Wow!

Yes. You were looking at details and not
at the general picture and the message
it might offer.

But, there is no steady middle point
in juggling, or in a stormy sea.

Nor is there any middle way to travel
through life.

Then, why do the wise ones speak of
a middle way?

They do not mean neutrality, as might seem
to exist between positive and negative ..

Or between good or bad?

Yes.

Then, what does the term ‘middle way’ mean?

The true middle way is always on the side of …

Transcendence and truth?

Yes, but neither rigidly nor casually.

The middle way as relaxed awareness,

acceptance, and commitment?

Yes.

Then, the middle way resists both neutrality
and self-righteousness?

Yes.

Then, how can a pendulum ever settle near
midway point on the positive side of its swing?

A perennial problem.

Once you begin

Our simple seeker was meditating on the powerful
symbolism of The Tree of Life. It suddenly seemed
to almost overpower her with a feeling of intense
devotion when respect and reverence were her usual
spiritual limits.

Had they been self-imposed limits?

How could that possibly be?

Resistance.

To losing control?

Yes.

That’s possible, but, if it was then it would
have been …

And still is?

But, it surely makes good sense to have
at least a small reservoir, or supply, of …

Defensive mechanisms?

They do have survival value.

How can you explore the complexity of
quality and intensity of thoughts and
emotions, and the ever-developing
interdependence between them, armed with …

Protection from them?

Not protection; distance.

How do they differ?

I explained that to you long ago.
Once you begin to open your mind,
there is no way you can close it.

How to honour the deceased

Georgia was slipping into a mood of overwhelming sorrow.
Memories of her first son’s lost battle with a rare
form of cancer, before he was old enough to understand
what possible purpose his suffering could serve, flooded
er mind. But, neither did our simple seeker understand,
nor does she now.

Of course, medical science gained. The horror was still
with her, as it was then, when she learned that they
knew and had known, before so much was done by them in
their …. Why did they tell her that they had known
that it would come back again and again until it won?
Why not just let him die, in peace, in one piece?

Stop.

What? and How?

Many more parents than you have grieved for loved ones.

Then, perhaps we each are grieving for each other.

The living and the departed?

And for each other’s departed.

No.

You know what I mean.

Yes, but do you?

The departed, or so-called, may be rejoicing while
the so-called living are grieving.

Could you rejoice while those you left behind were not?

There are traditions where rejoicing and celebration
replace sombre funerals.

Yes.

But, surely, that could, in many situations, be no more
than fulfilling societal expectations, while grieving
was accepted as a personal, private affair.

Public grieving can also be a fulfilling of societal
expectations.

Perhaps there is a case for both ways, as in time
and place to honour the life of the deceased,
so-called deceased.

Yes, and more.

And more? What more?

Transforming our grieving into a tool of self-discovery.

How?

We can practice meditating on the effects the lives
of those who are no longer with us in physical form
still have on our lives. In this way we can practice
turning our grieving into a search for understanding
the so-called mystery of Life.

How?

Meditation with a focus; to focus on the value of
our loved one’s life, to us. Their life was a gift.

Then to meditate on the meaning of their gift of life?

Yes. They were and still are in our lives for a reason.

Initiation and transformation

Our simple seeker was meditating on possible differences between
the concepts of initiation and transformation, and if in fact ..

If there were differences then what would they be?

I’ve been asking myself that question.

Sometimes it helps when an outside …

You are hardly an outside voice.

How do you know?

I can feel your thought.

Singular?

A single energy.

Perhaps we are each and all part of a single energy.

Perhaps, but …

Perhaps but what?

How does that relate, if it does, to the differences,
if there are any, between initiation and transformation?

Even as you ask, I sense awareness developing within you.

You might have pulled a curtain back.

From within you, or from within your mind?

Is there a difference?

No, none at all.

Choosing is not the final decision

Grass-Roots Spiritual Philosophy

Our simple seeker was meditating on the Eight of Cups, comparing different interpretations. But the results were all the same; a sense of excitement
and depression, at one and the same time, or rapidly replacing each other
in her mind. Why?

Are you asking me?

No, I was thinking to myself, but according to some, it’s the same thing.

Is it?

No. I would know.

What does it mean to know?

I would have experience, and I would have learned from it.

Perhaps you have.

Re: choosing change rather than it choosing me?

Yes.

But, I never choose lightly.

The choice would have no value if you did.

But, does choosing necessarily create value?

That depends.

On what?

On how much is at stake in the choice.

How can we know for sure?

There is no knowing for sure.

But, the choice must still be made?

The choice has been made, in your mind, whether you dare
to act on it or not.

Yes.

What does that mean?

You know it means that I accept that you are right, again.

Will that knowing determine your choice?

No.

Yes.

Transparency as a cover-up?

Grass Roots Spiritual Philosophy

A warm and misty afternoon beneath gently moving
foliage. The trees shaded Georgia, or would have,
if there had been direct sunlight shining down. But,
at this time of early afternoon, that would have been
impossible. The sun would be visiting her neighbours
on the South facing side of her apartment building.

That thought distracted her from a message the trees
were sending to her. Their branches and leaves were
anticipating rain and were quivering at the expected
pleasure. Now, moist air, or the hint of moist air,
turned her attention to the sky. She saw what the trees
may not have. The wind had picked up and was blowing
the clouds away, unless more were going to replace them.

Meanwhile, The Path of Tarot, seemed to need to be
reconciled with itself. A Jungian approach to Tarot
suggested the Major Arcana represented a personal path
of individuation.

But, our simple seeker still clung to the concept of
psychic integration and transcendence that The Tree of
Life seemed to explain in a way that appealed to her.

She suddenly sensed Spirit observing her state of
confusion.

What card would seem to share your present state of mind?

Wow! I’m not an expert, yet.

Would that change the card?

It might.

How?

For now, card Seven, The Chariot, would seem to express
my intent to discover.

What?

What life is about and why.

And, if and when you become an expert…?

It’s not if, but when.

Then, when …?

Card Seventeen, The Star, although I do wish she had
some clothes on her.

Perhaps she wishes to express transparency.

But, to express it so obviously suggests that her
nakedness is a cover-up in reverse; a pretense at
transparency rather than the real thing.

Yes.

What does that mean?

Could it mean agreement?

Possibly.

What else?

Perhaps a pretense at agreement.

Yes.

I Ching and Tarot in Dynamic Relationship

Our simple seeker was enjoying the privacy of her secluded garden,
surrounded by several perspectives on the study of Tarot.

How did you manage to move your focus from The Hermit as a solitary
seeker of enlightenment to comparing Aces?

The Major Arcana relates to general personality characteristics, while …

Did I ask …?

The Aces introduce each of the four suits of the Minor Arcana, and
offer a sacred gift – a promise, almost.

How could a gift or promise be sacred and still be no more than
an almost?

It’s not a freebie.

Then, what does it cost?

It’s not for sale, at least it cannot be purchased.

Then, how does one receive a gift that isn’t free and yet cannot
be purchased?

It’s a promise of reward if effort is made to follow one’s dream
or path, and is meant to inspire self-confidence.

How does Tarot differ from I Ching?

You’re asking me?

Yes.

From my limited understanding?

Yes.

Okay. They have little or nothing in common.

How so?

I Ching supports and explains social stability within a system
of generally accepted ground rules, or rules of order.

And Tarot?

Tarot attempts to explain inner dimensions of personal experience;
feelings, desires, needs, fears, and interests, and tries to make
sense of them and blend them together. And more; it encourages
individuals to believe in their individual value and inspires them
to reach for success and happiness.

And I Ching does not?

Personal satisfaction and happiness do not seem to be high priorities
from an I Ching perspective.

Then, why study both?

We seem to need both individual and collective general rules of order.
But, we also need personal, emotional satisfaction; needs fulfillment.

Where does awareness fit into this scenario of a two-sided view of
the ideal society?

I didn’t call it ideal.

No. I did.

Then, I will let you explain where and how awareness fits into the
picture.

Awareness is understanding the reality that the individual and
collective are as two parts of an infinite oneness, within which
they share a dynamic relationship to each other.

Ego as Our Life Force

A simple seeker was meditating on the card she had pulled
randomly from her tarot deck – a lone figure with a lantern.

Do you know what lived experience The Hermit expresses?

I seem to relate to it.

In what way?

As a solitary seeker.

How can you consider yourself to be solitary while I’m
part of your life?.

It’s possible to be alone in a crowd.

We’re not a crowd.

What difference does it make?

To what?

Aloneness in thought.

What about aloneness in emotion?

What about it?

If you can feel alone in thought …

You slipped “feel” in.

Yes, to prove a point.

That thoughts aren’t isolated from emotions?

Yes. They each are one of two sides of the same reality.

The reality of …?

Our state of mind.

I sense “ego” coming into the picture.

Yes. Ego is the central mover and pusher of our thoughts,
emotions, and actions. We can’t do or even feel without
our individual life force – ego.

There may be thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands
who don’t seem to be aware of this reality.

“This” suggests that you’re aware.

Yes, but I have no power of persuasion to inspire others
to shake off the illusion of ego as being something they
can function without, and still be able to live in the
physical world as an individual, beyond the control of some
guru, more aware than they are.

Yes. They’d be as slaves.

Perhaps they are, now.

Yes.