I had a conversation yesterday with my bonus teen about the growth of technology outstripping the ability of humans to adapt. He introduced me to the idea of trans-humanism–what Wikipedia defines as “an international intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.
The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the current condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.”
I am actually not at all sure what I think about this. Posthuman?
Then on the way home from a meeting I listened to the Ted Hour on NPR, where different TED talks are highlighted. The meta-topic was “the big five,” that is, our biggest global challenges right now. From the lack of real global leadership to running out of food in ten years to refugee crises, the excerpted talks were fascinating but disturbing.
I really try to stay positive in life, with my definite dips, yes, but with faith in myself and us and my concept of the Divine.
But man, I have to say, we got ourselves some challenging times.
Obviously this isn’t news to anyone. Since the election in the US in particular, things have seemed especially difficult.
What are we to do?
How do we hang onto our somewhat improbable dreams for our individual lives, and our hopes for a kinder, gentler humanity?
I am struck by the journey that we see in the Tarot’s Major Arcana, and it’s likeness to the journey that we seem to be on, as humans, now.
(If you are hoping I’m going to let you in on the cosmic secret, I’m not, and you might stop reading right here. )
The Journey Within the Major Arcana
We begin with the Fool, and his leap into faith or folly. We all face times when we branch off from what is known, ignoring the dogs of disbelief yapping at our heels. We have to beat our own drum, go our own way. We don’t know the outcome; sometimes we fly and sometimes fall. When Trump was elected, I feel that it marked a major Fool moment for the US as a collective (and I’m not even trying to be funny here). Generally in a reading the Fool is a harbinger of new beginnings, expansion, adventure, and good tidings. But not always … the journey unfolds and we co-create our future every moment.
The High Priestess is next, and here we have to access our wisdom and objectivity to keep to this new path we’ve chosen. This archetype is the remote feminine, the deep inner yin which holds all that we need to know and that can ever be known. In some ways I see her as the Akashic Records, an impartial recorder of events, but also a dimension where Truth lives, and possibility. If we bypass this step in our journey, we are traveling without a map, without signs, without any guideposts at all.
The Empress is the outer feminine, the abundant food we find along the way, the allies, the nurturing hand of nature. She is the voice that calls for inclusivity and warmth; for compassion and caring.
Missing out on this early interaction with the feminine–to guide and nurture, not only ourselves, but those around us (including our dear planet)–creates a Fool without conscience, an empty seeker.
The Emperor is the strong masculine, the organizing principle, the creator and maintainer of the power base and structures. He rules from afar, he may be far-seeing but can also be rigid, dogmatic, selfish, and cruel–especially without the interaction with the feminine that has preceded him.
This is where I feel the Fool has jumped to in our collective society, whether politics, or technology, medicine, or money. But without the benefit of the feminine, intuitive, empathetic qualities that are needed for a balanced, fruitful journey.
The journey will continue, of course, through victory, death, crisis, isolation, self-knowledge, justice, and more, to card XXI, The World, where all things are possible and all support is present and we finish what we started, ready to birth into yet another reality.
I honestly don’t know what will become of us on our collective journey, and of course, what will become of me.
I continue to live as I want to feel–to make choices that lead me toward empowerment, fun, love (my personal theme song, yours may be different). I love this song, I can’t let go of it, and yet … how can I guarantee that I will always be able to dance to my own drum, this precious tune?
Does Growth Matter?
I am invested, of course, in believing that growth, millimeter by millimeter, matters. That each person’s step into self-trust, autonomy, consciousness, and compassion will make a difference, and that we will be in time.
In time for the plants and animals; the unmoored, the forgotten, the struggling, the quelled, the disenfranchised; regular Janes and Joes muddling along without the first clue about how to make a difference or feel more empowered in our lives.
I am invested in the belief that at the end of our Fool’s (heroine’s) journey, there will, in fact, be a World.
And, I have no idea if this is an accurate belief. I don’t know if my efforts on behalf of myself and others will make any kind of difference at all.
And yet I must persevere, because I have made my leap; I have chosen to live to a drumbeat that may not end up being danceable at the end of the day. But you just reach that point where you can’t not do that thing that’s in your heart.
And so I’m so curious–what do you think? Believe? Where do you stand on the idea of growth, and following dreams, and being a realist/idealist middle-wayer? Where do you think we are in the cycle, as a collective? What do you do, or not do, as a result? Where are you on your personal journey–what archetype are you living into or struggling to embody?
I’d really, really like to know.
And if I can help, I want to do that too.