Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beware The Ides Of March

What you fear
Is coming near
-Warning from the "Black Doll" card, from Edward Gorey's Fantod Pack
I came across this odd and somewhat humorous deck recently. Whether or not it's designed for serious reading, I don't know. The deck has pretty interesting illustrations, however. Whether or not you can make use of it, I leave to each reader. Personally, I've often wondered at whether or not all systems of divination are created equal. What I mean is that the Tarot, as well as any other divination system, deals with patterns. These patterns come from the world around us, that we ourselves are a part of. It's inherent in every aspect of the world, so looking at a part of the world contains the same pattern as the whole. There's a fun little mathematical puzzle called a Mandelbrot set, which makes a fractal design. Basically, the pattern gets more and more complex as time goes on, yet at the same time retains its distinctive shape, sometimes called the Mandelbrot man, as it looks like a little roly-poly man. The point is, the pattern remains constant throughout one iteration to the next- it never changes. So the same pattern underlies everything, much like our own lives. Things change, yet change according to a pattern.The individual components are in flux, but overall the system is stable. The world operates according to principles and laws, and gaining understanding of the world is to gain some measure of control over it, working with it instead of either being completely subject to it, or attempting to control every last detail.We are subject to change, but we can act to control the change, and make real the things we fear- or the things we will.
So from this, we can discover that the world is simply what it is. It is neither for us nor against us, though there is a higher purpose in our existence, as opposed to everything simply being random and the result of chance. Our actions have consequences, and it simply becomes a matter of putting the pieces together.
So how does fear fit into all of this? Fear comes ultimately from the same source, regardless of its individual manifestations. Some people say it's a reflection of our shadow selves, the parts of us that we don't want to see, or don't want to acknowledge. I'm not suggesting that you go do something reckless, as we are sometimes afraid for a very good reason. Fear comes from what we don't know. What we know, we can put into perspective. It's the unknowns that scare us. It could be the possibility of hurt, of heartbreak, or financial trouble. But it is always a possibility- not something we know for sure.
However, remember that we are not powerless in the face of fear. We can make something more or less likely to happen in our own lives, and don't need to be paralyzed by fear. Though no one is immune from the occasional ego bruising, there's usually a lesson to be learned. It's not always an easy one, and sometimes the hardest thing to do is letting go of past hurts and injuries and moving on. It is true that we learn from getting hurt; this is how we survive in the world. But when that fear becomes overwhelming, and we can no longer face the day-to-day challenges of life, it's a good indication that we're holding on to the past, letting it govern our present and future. When this happens, we need to address those issues and let them go. Not everything in life gets resolved nice and easily, but the one constant in this world is change. So conquering fear is simply a process of coming through it in one piece, and putting it in perspective. If you get your heart broken, remember that that was then, this is now. Learn from your injuries and mistakes, don't repeat them, and don't be naive. Fear is a part of developing as a person, and of growing and maturing.
Fear comes from the unknown; so to quell that fear, make the unknown known. Look into the things that make you afraid- sometimes there's a good reason to be afraid, and sometimes it's simply wishing to avoid a repeat of past hurts. A great tool to have at this point is objectivity- just because one day you got burned doesn't mean at all that you're destined for failure. When you learn from mistakes, those mistakes cease to become screw-ups and start becoming lessons in this road of life.

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