Alex Lee's Reviews > Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism

Meditations on the Tarot by Anonymous
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2014, favorites, collections, philosophy, mystical

As creatures of language, we use meaning to tell us who we are, where we are, what we are and how we are to be. This author dives deeply into the meanings of many deep traditions, as is his chosen methodoloy: Christian Hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the interpretation of text; really trying to get meaning out of words. So very exactly, this author has tasked for himself to find the meaning of traditions (religion, philosophy, linguistics, cultural critics, historical figures, literary figures, writers...), anyone or work of art whose sole function is to tell us who we are, where we are, what we are and how we are to be.

To organize this search, he uses the vehicle of Tarot cards, as a spiritual journey, a transformation of self to be more than self, in order to describe the ascent (or the beginning of such an ascent) to have a deeper holistic grasp of the universe around us. This book is not about fortune-telling.

One of the many spoken and returned to themes (and there are many) is the Jungian subconscious. Because we use our internal filing systems qua archetypes to structure relationships in the world, we have access to the outside only in that way. And in that sense, despite archetypes or despite language, we literally have the world through these forms. These forms, like the Tarot, become the Runic gateway not only to our unconscious but also to the outside.

But also because of using forms, we run the risk of producing relations. Because we live in these form arrangements, we otherwise know these forms as reality. The author warns us, there is a difference between reality and truth. That is to say, don't get caught up in your world and lose the true union with the universal-all.

Rightly so. In a Hegelian like synthesis (without the chaos of Hegel), this author runs the gambit, a real cornucopia of meanings, picks and chooses, guides our way across them in argument leading us on a possible path, an interpretation of a huge sum of human knowledge to the point at which portals break down, words become invisible and you understand more than yourself... also your ultimate place, where you can't get knocked down. Literally lodging you so no one can move you from there, you just understand and you are that understanding. No one can beat you talk, or talk you out of yourself. You just are. Nirvana, heaven, you name it, he's considered it and arranged it here for us to see it. See it all in relation.

A real He-man, fascinating piece of work this art. It took me over a decade to get through this book, with many false starts, interruptions of life, and a need to learn how to read better and be more clear in thought... but also, in a way, an impossible pipe-dream too, don't you think? To think we can break the noumenal skin that separates the i from the not-i... and then sort of melt into the rest of the world and become 1.

Yet despite this stated goal, when one reads, one gets a better sense of the larger world around us. Transitory in nature, full of riddles, temptations and desires for status -- the author shows us how these things are... so we can learn. this author too wants us to be grounded in a humanly, divine way, to be among fellow men. We are to be, in our spiritual quest, better human beings, which is part of being of the world. He shows us this indirectly, discarding and picking up forms, to give us stepping stones to the way.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 8, 2014 – Finished Reading
January 9, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 9, 2014 – Shelved
January 6, 2015 – Shelved as: 2014
September 16, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
September 17, 2015 – Shelved as: collections
September 17, 2015 – Shelved as: philosophy
September 17, 2015 – Shelved as: mystical

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