That is pretty much how I feel when reading books like MOTT or Schuon – like I am being pulled into a life where I grow to become more like myself, or the real me. But while fascinating, it is not necessarily fun, and it does not always feel entirely safe.
My previous entry was about the computer game The Sims 3. So it makes perfect sense that this is about the book Meditations on the Tarot, a Journey into Christian Hermeticism. I have written about it before, but then I haven’t opened it in a long time, at least not often. This time I have begun on chapter 3. I have also downloaded a .pdf file to my home server and copied to my tablet and phablet so I can read it anywhere.
(The book itself is once again out of print, which may boost the interest in the .pdf file. I don’t usually condone stealing; but I think reading this book, no matter in what form, will increase the chance that you will pay for it and other books as well at a later time.)
As I have said before, “lower worlds are the worlds we create, higher worlds are the worlds that create us”. Among these may be considered the worlds of mathematics, for instance, since the unyielding rules of mathematics must exist for the universe to exist in its present form, whereas the opposite is not necessarily true. Of special interest is the worlds of religion, as they deal with the emergence and growth of the human as such, which is the soul. With all due respect for the human body, it is mainly a vessel for the soul. I here mean soul in its widest sense, the psyche in psychology, rather than just the immortal spirit-soul which cannot be proven to those who don’t already know it. It is obvious that all humans have a psyche, and religion is the original psychology, the Teachings of the Mind.
So this book about Christian Hermeticism is thoroughly psychological, but itself it is on a higher level than the everyday psyche. It deals with the archetypes above all, and their relationship to each other and to our actual life. It is not religious in the sense that it pretends to be a message from God. It is well aware that it is merely a link in a long chain, and it goes to great length to show this chain, this tradition, evoking a number of the great souls that make up this timeless community scattered throughout time.
For those who want to stay firmly within the first four dimensions, this book is unwelcome for sure. For it sees our life in space and time as merely a vessel for a much greater being which is not so constrained. Ordinary life is just a starting point. (I originally typed “starting pint”. I guess that works too…) Things escalate from there, or descalate from Heaven perhaps. Anyway, Heaven and the soul meet somewhere, and sweet music arises.
This book is not for everyone, I know. Religious folks will likely find it at least heterodox, if not heretical in places. Irreligious folks will find it babbling about imaginary things which make no sense to them. But for some of us, it speaks about things we know from experience but not as well as Unknown Friend, the author of the posthumous book. A student of non-Christian esoteric traditions, he came to find his home in the Catholic Church later in life, and brought with him what he considered to be in accord with the Truth of that religion, even if it came from elsewhere. But he also eagerly embraced the mystic traditions of the Church, and in this found his anchor. Meditations on the Tarot was his final work, a “lifetome” as a better man than me has said, and it was his wish that it be published anonymously and posthumously.
It is not at all necessary to understand the internal combustion engine to drive a car, nor to understand semiconductors to operate a computer. But to some people it can be very satisfying to have this kind of knowledge, and once in a blue moon it can come in useful. MOTT is a book for religious geeks who want to understand how and why the archetypes of religion work, not just that they work. I don’t think this necessarily makes us better people than others, but it probably makes us better people than we otherwise would have been. For to us, the attraction of metaphysical knowledge combats the attractions of the superficial life and the roaming ego. The two of them are opposed one to another, so we cannot do what we want.
(What I want, incidentally, is to play The Sims 3 all day and still become wise. While the game is conductive to wisdom, it is so only when used in conjunction with a much higher view, from which our life on Earth looks suspiciously similar to that of the Sims: Short, flat and comical. MOTT is quite conductive to that perspective.)