Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Personal Questions.

This morning I found myself talking to myself. (Again.)
This time, the topic was paranormal activity. See, I found some tarot readers and palm readers at the county fair on Friday and I talked to them because I can read Tarot cards as well. The one girl started making all these presumptions about me, including that I experience Deja Vu and that I'm psychic. When I told her I read only for myself, she claimed that none of them "could" read for themselves and that I must be repressing my ability. (I'm gonna go out of my way here and quote a tarot expert now)
"Projection is one reason why tarot cards are valuable. Their intriguing pictures and patterns are effective in tapping the unconscious. As humans, we all have certain common needs and experiences. The images on the tarot cards capture these universal moments and draw them out consistently. Peple tend to react to the cards in similar ways because they represent archetypes."- Joan Bunning
To me, this shows that it doesn't matter who you're reading for: the tarot is a tool for exploring your unconscious. For me, I don't really like thinking about my feelings and I never did. The tarot is a way to externalize my feelings. Kinda like, they sneak up on me. If I'm reading something out of a completely open-ended image, it says something about me. Then I can reflect upon that and chalk it up to experience.
I don't believe palm reading or tarot reading relfects psychic ability. Not really. Especially palm reading. I mean, the lines mean a certain thing based on where they are, how deep they are, where they connect, if they connect, what shape they are, etc. There is only one interpretation, and that's the one that's been in palm reading handbooks for years and years and years. Tarot, there's a bit more wiggle room. But I'd still call it intuition rather than psychic ability. If you see someone uncomfortable when you mention that the 2 of swords represents an unwillingness to look a situation in the eye, a bit of probing will usually unleash whatever is troubling them. Really, it's like how if people are uncomfortable talking about sex a good way to open the door is to talk about what you see on tv? Not like porn, just in like the news or on a movie.
One time, for example, me and my mom were watching the news and we heard about this teacher who apparently held an after school extra credit activity that was to watch two people have sex. And not just normal sex, but whips and clown wig sex. So that got my mom and I talking about whether it was right to do that, and that eventually got us talking about how sex is supposed to be more sacred than that. That's not something my mom and I would get to talking about without some kind of stimuli.
Same thing with the Tarot. Seeing these powerful images-that were invented to provoke human reaction- helps us to understand ourselves.
Here's another quote from the excellent book "Learning the Tarot," which is available for free here.
"You do not really need the tarot to access your inner guide. The cards serve the same function as Dumbo's magic feather." -Joan Bunning
So no, the cards aren't some end-all be-all last say in magic voodoo hoodoo. It's a freaking deck of cards. In fact, for all the people who believe they came from gyspies or from Egypt, here's a quote from Rachel Pollack, author of 78 Degrees of Wisdom:
"For years Tarrochi was seen primarilyas a game for gambling. Then in the eighteenth century, a occultist named Antoine Court de Gebelin declared the Tarot (as the French called the game) to be the remnant of the Book of Thoth, created by the Egyption god of magic to convey all knowledge to his disciples." Rachel Pollack
She goes on to mention that his idea was far more fancifull than factual, but that it was the 18th century and people were stupid. Actually, people are still stupid since they still believe it even though there are literally books on the subject. Books which I own, books which I'm quoting, books that people could read if they wanted to know anything about the tarot at all and not just play "Ooh! You got this card that means someone in your life is hurting you."

But I digress.
After I reminisced on the people I met at the fair, I started thinking about some other questions.
"Do you believe in ghosts?" I asked myself.
And it turns out the answer is maybe, with a side of strong no.
I saw a ghost once. I was like 7 at the time and it was late at night. I definitely saw a ghost, and it was a dog and it was green and kind of see through. But I was like 7 and it was late at night. These are very important factors, because even though I definitely remember it...I was definietly like 7 and it was late at night and it could very well have been a hallucination or even a dream.
Since then I have seen no ghosts. I am 23 now, and for sure if I see one tomorrow I'll let you know and I'll change my beliefs immediately to yes there are ghosts (after ruling out insanity and the museum owner using a toothpick, three colored papers and a mask to pretend to be a ghost in order to make more money) I'm not saying I don't want ghosts to exist. It's not like they hurt people, and for some people it's nice to think their great grandma is watching over them. I believe it's possible that there are ghosts, I'm just saying I've never seen one.
Furthermore, Harry Houdini spent a good chunk of his life debunking the idea of life after death. He made a famous agreement with his wife that when he died, if there was indeed life after death, he would prove it was him with a secret code word. It never happened. She held seances for 10 years after his death and, in fact, people world-wide still hold seances for Harry Houdini. If these people were really contacting Houdini, I think he'd be so sick of it already he'd say the damn codeword and admit once and for all that ghosts exist. But he hasn't, so they probably don't. I mean, I'd say that qualifies as "unfinished business," wouldn't you?

So then I stopped and wondered what other beliefs I had.
I didn't know I didn't believe in ghosts. I mean, I knew that those crappy ghost shows are bullshit, but I've never really thought about just regular ghosts before.
So I wondered about God.
"Do you believe in God?" I asked myself.
Immediate answer "Not as a personified being."
I mean, I like the idea of them. I like the Greek stories, I like the idea of Zeus and Hades, and Ganesh and all those super powerful beings.

If I saw this guy in real life I would have to worship him. I mean look at all those arms! Imagine how many times he could slap me in one second.

But, even though I don't believe in personified gods, other people do. Other people always will. And because of their beliefs, such Gods exist.
You might claim that's faulty reasoning.
By the same token, you say, if someone believes whites are superior to all other races then whites are superior to all other races.
That's right, I say.
God exists inside each of us, however we choose to interperet whatever it is we decide has meaning.
Me? I'm an alcoholic and have to believe in a "Higher Power" because otherwise I can't do all the 12 steps and I'll probably end up in jail. But that doesn't mean I think "God" is up in heaven watching us, or that Hades is down under, or that there's a flying spaghetti monster. No, I'm sure a lot of people believe those things and that is fine with me.
but Me?
I believe in the knitting gods.
I offer knitted swatches.
I take what the knitting gods offer.
When my garment comes out wonderful I thank them.
When something goes wrong I wonder how I can appease them, what lesson they thought I needed learning.
It's an outlook.
And it helps.

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