Meg was successful. She was making something like $400,000 a year, but was itchy, never content with herself. She spent almost a quarter of her income on clothes, make-up and “body work”. She was a little over fifty years old, still pretty glamorous, especially in her expensive clothes, but her confidence was weakening. She found it hard to show up at business meetings, or if she did show up, she felt compelled to leave as soon as she could get away. She had this fear that sooner or later the other people would discover that she was actually not as attractive as they had thought she was. She had this sense that deep down she was worthless and someday she would be exposed. Read the rest of this entry »
[Here is the second Tarot meditation, on The Magician. With card Zero we met the Fool, walking off the cliff to start his journey (our journey) deep within, and now we meet this Magician, who points and offers what we need.]
The first person we come across after our fall from the Fool’s ledge is the Magician, standing there calm and still to greet us. This is a sumptuous picture, full of warm yellows and reds, framed by flowers.
As the Fool’s card moved from the upper right to lower left, so this card moves from upper left to lower right. This opposite movement arrests our fall. We are on the earth again.
The right hand looks like it is raised in greeting, but we discover that it is holding something, pointed to the heavens. The left hand certainly is pointing to something for us. Taken together both hands seem to be offering one complete gesture, which unifies heaven and earth, above and below. Read the rest of this entry »
[This week I would like to read to you a fable by Robert Louis Stevenson: "The Song of the Morrow". Stevenson's collection of fables and fairy tales – which was too scandalous to be published in his lifetime – is called in the manuscript Aesop in the Fog. That's a hint to us not to expect easy morals. Things are more complicated, to suit our foggy world in which so little can be fully understood or communicated. Let the story stir you and move you, come back to it over a number of days and let the resonance play in your imagination and deep in the core of your self, while your intellect takes a holiday and does not try to figure this out. Just let the words and the images work on you. Then you may find some hints and glimpses of meaning, and maybe later you'll understand more. There's no rush. Let us know what you think. RLA]
The King of Duntrine had a daughter when he was old, and she was the fairest King’s daughter between two seas; her hair was like spun gold, and her eyes like pools in a river; and the King gave her a castle upon the sea beach, with a terrace, and a court of the hewn stone, and four towers at the four corners. Here she dwelt and grew up, and had no care for the morrow, and no power upon the hour, after the manner of simple men. Read the rest of this entry »
Our journey begins with the Fool, a trickster, the one who disrupts our complacency and calls us out of ourselves to a world of joy and liberation. Court jesters always had special dispensation to say whatever they wanted, even if it was irreverent and disrespectful. In fact the Fool was expected to be irreverent and disrespectful. That was his role.
The Fool is also a pain to have around, never letting us rest, always trying to stir us up. Yet the Fool always knows when to stop; he is benign and if he harms us, it is only for our own good. He annoys but never destroys us. Read the rest of this entry »
I was reading the other day a series of short meditations by Paul Ford, which appeared in the May issue of Harper’s Magazine. In an attempt to address the question “Is there an afterlife?” Ford contemplates the Grand Canyon. Here’s how he begins:
If you ever need to make your own Grand Canyon, start with a river and lift up the earth. As the ground rises the river will carry some of it away. Wait 7 million years, at which point tourists will come. Some will see eons of erosion at work; others will believe that, a mere 4,500 years back, God dragged His fingernail across the desert. (Paul Ford, Just like Heaven, in “Readings”, Harper’s Magazine, May 2010, p. 28)
That’s a good way to start – pulling us to an unexpected perspective on the “afterlife” by looking first at the Grand Canyon. The language we use to speak about the Grand Canyon might tell us something about how we see the afterlife. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »