Primordial Chaos

The totality of the world, which includes the significance of experienced things, as well as the things themselves, is composed of what has been explored and rendered familiar; what has yet to be encountered, and is therefore unpredictable; and the process that mediates between the two.

The primordial theriomorphic serpent god is endless potential; is whatever being is prior to the emergence of the capacity for experience. This potential has been represented as the self devouring dragon (most commonly) because this image aptly symbolizes the union of incommensurate opposites. Th ouroboros is simultaneously representative of two antithetical primordial elements. As a snake, the ouroboros is a creature of the ground, of matter; as a bird (a winged animal), it is a creature of the air, the sky, spirit. The ouroborus symbolizes the union of the known (associated with spirit) and unknown (associated with matter), explored and unexplored; symbolizes the juxtaposition of the “masculine” principles of security, tyranny and order with the “feminine” principles of darkness, dissolution, creativity and chaos.

Furthermore, as a snake, the ouroboros has the capacity to shed its skin – to be “reborn.” Thus, it also represents the possibility of transformation, and stands for the knower, who can transform chaos into order, and order into chaos. The Ouroboros stands for, or comprises, everything that is as of yet unencountered, prior to its differentiation as a consequence of active exploration and classification. It is a source of all information that makes up the determinant world of experience and is, simultaneously, the birthplace of the experiencing subject.

The ouroboros is one thing, as everything that has not yet been explored is one thing; it exists everywhere, and at all times. It is completely self-contained, completely self-referential: it feeds, fertilizes and engulfs itself. It unites the beginning and the end, being and becoming, in the endless circle of its existence. It serves as a symbol for the ground of reality itself. It is the “set of all things that not yet things,” the primal origin and ultimate point of return for every discriminable object and every independent subject. It serves as progenitor of all we know, all that we don’t know, and of the spirit that constitutes our capacity to know and not know. It is the mystery that constantly emerges when solutions to old problems cause new problems; is the sea of chaos surrounding man’s island of knowledge – and the source of that knowledge, as well. It is all new experience generated by time, which incessantly works to transform the temporarily predictable once again into the unknown. It has served mankind as the most ubiquitous and potent primordial gods.

Jordan Peterson

Archetypal Reality

I feel this is a very accurate description of what’s going on with our world culture currently. More specifically with politics and social justice.

The world can be validly construed as a forum for action, as well as a place of things. We describe the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science. The techniques of narrative, however – myth, literature and drama – portray the world as a forum for action.

The world as forum for action is composed, essentially, of three constituent elements, which tends to manifest themselves in typical patterns of metaphoric representation. First is unexplored territory – the Great Mother, nature, creative and destructive, source and final resting place of all determinant things. Second is explored territory – the Great Father, culture, protective and tyrannical, cumulative ancestral wisdom. Third is the process that mediates between unexplored and explored territory – the Divine Son, the archetypal individual, creative exploratory Word and vengeful adversary. We are adapted to this world of divine characters, much as to the objective world. The fact of this adaptation implies that the environment is in reality a forum for action, as well as a place of things.

Unprotected exposure to unexplored territory produces fear. The individual is protected from such fear as a consequence of ritual imitation of the Great Father- as a consequence of the adoption of group identity, which restricts the meaning of things, and confers predictability on social interactions. When identification with the group is made absolute, however – when everything has to be controlled, when the unknown is no longer allowed to exist – the creative exploratory process that updates the group can no longer manifest itself. The Restriction of adaptive capacity dramatically increases the probability of social aggression.

Jordan Peterson

As Jung has stated, group identity eliminates individuality to the detriment of the individual.

Thought

Thinking is indispensable to us. It is essential for belief formation, planning, explicit learning, moral reasoning, and many other capacities that make us human. Thinking is the basis of every social relationship and cultural institution we have. It is also the foundation of science. But our habitual identification with thought – that is, our failure to recognize thoughts as thoughts, as appearances in consciousness – is a primary source of human suffering. It also gives rise to the illusion that a separate self is living inside one’s head.

We spend our lives lost in thought. The question is, what should we make of this fact? In the West, the the answer has been “Not much.” In the East, especially in contemplative traditions like those of Buddhism, being distracted by thought is understood to be the very wellspring of human suffering.

From the contemplative point of view, being lost in thoughts of any kind, pleasant or unpleasant, is analogous to being asleep and dreaming. It’s a mode of not knowing what is actually happening in the present moment. It is essentially a form of psychosis. Thought itself is not a problem, but being identified with thought is. Taking oneself to be the thinker of one’s thoughts – that is, not recognizing the present thought to be a transitory appearance of consciousness – is a delusion that produces nearly every species of human conflict and unhappiness. It doesn’t matter if your mind is wandering over current problems in set theory or cancer research; if you are thinking without knowing you are thinking, you are confused about who and what you are.

Sam Harris

Mythology

Many Tarot correspondences relate to myths, gods, and legends. I’m reading this to come to a better understanding of the ancient myths for a richer Tarot experience. I’m very excited about this beautiful book.

Greek and Roman mythology is quite generally supposed to show us the way the human race thought and felt untold ages ago. Through it, according to this view, we can retrace the path from civilized man who lives so far from nature, to man who lived in close companionship with nature; and the real interest of the myths is that they lead us back to a time when the world was young and people had a connection with the earth, with the trees and seas and flowers and hills, unlike anything we ourselves can feel.

Edith Hamilton

The Lost Language of Symbolism

I’m trying to absorb as much as I can about the language of Symbolism to aid in my understanding of the Tarot.

Although etymologists are agreed that language is fossil poetry and that the creation of every word was originally a poem embodying a bold metaphor or a bright conception, it is quite unrealised how close and intimate relation exists between symbolism and philology.

Harold Bayley

A Dictionary of Symbols

Man, it has been said, its a symbolizing animal; it is evident that at no stage in the development of civilization has man been able to dispense with symbols. Science and technology have not freed man from his dependence on symbols: indeed, it may be argued that they have increased his need for them. In any case, symbology itself is now a science, and this volume is a necessary instrument in its study.

Herbert Read

Philosophy of Occultism in Pictures & Numbers

No study of Occult Philosophy is possible without an acquaintance with symbolism…. Symbolism cannot be learned as one learns to build bridges or speak a foreign language, and for the interpretation of symbols a special cast of mind is necessary; in addition to knowledge, special faculties, the power of creative thought and developed imagination are required.

In order to become acquainted with the tarot, it is necessary to understand the basic ideas of Kabala and of Alchemy. For it represents, as, indeed, many commentators of the tarot think, a summary of the Hermetic Sciences – the Kabala, Alchemy, Astrology, Magic, with their different divisions. All these sciences really represent one system of a very broad and deep psychological investigation of the nature of man in his relation to the world of noumena (God, the world of spirit) and to the world of phenomena (the visible physical world).

The letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the various allegories of the Kabala, the names of metals, acids and salts in Alchemy; of planets and constellations in Astrology; of good and evil spirits in Magic – all these were only means to veil truth from the uninitiated

P.D. Oupensky

Mystical Tarot

Once we step outside the box of gathered expectations stemming from superstitious gypsy tales, exploitation movies, and carnie psychic fairs, we realize is that Tarot is more than just another fortune-telling device. There’s something alluring, mysterious about this pack of 78 cards. We need to access their wisdom carefully, allow the cards to speak to us and connect to soul. Every single card in Tarot can act as a gate for us to discover a hidden part of our own self. But this is a process that requires time, patience, and humility.

We live in an ever-increasing complex world. Yeah, our ability to understand the world around us depends on how we understand ourselves. Self-awareness leads to self knowledge. Self knowledge helps us understand others better. We are all in this together.

Serious academic study of Tarot is just beginning and it is revealing to us the influence exerted by a hieroglyphic, emblematic and miniature art; the role played by Cabala, the Art of Memory, and the Picaresque novel, Troubadours and Chansons de Geste, to name just a few. Literature begets literature, art begets art; and human consciousness expands and adapts and adopts accordingly. Nothing is ever forgotten, it is all in the reservoir of the collective unconscious.

Yolonda M. Robinson

The Quantum Revelation

Pretty much sums up what I enjoy studying – a synthesis of science and spirituality – and in the case of the quantum the two cannot be separated. Quantum physics verifies what mystics and esoteric teachings have thought about our consiousness and reality for centuries, before even a “real” science existed. Ideas that came to these thinkers in altered states of consciousness. Such things like how consciousness isn’t local to the brain, that we are all connected by consiousness – both humans and object – how our perception and beliefs actually take part in creating the objective world around us, and that we are indeed a microcosm of the macrocosm.