To be living from the Life Spread in the cards is to be living in duality. It is a world of contrast and conflict, a world of separation from others. The Life Spread itself is created by taking the Spiritual Spread and ‘quadrating’ it, which implies taking oneness into a world of four directions and four seasons, or in other words, into the world of duality. And this is where we live our lives, that is until we see through the unreality of duality. Movies like the Matrix, Dark City and others have stories where someone discovers there is something unreal about the world they live in and then have an awakening of consciousness which causes them to break out of the masses and see the truth. The reason such movies have such a strong impact on us is that they resonate with a deep truth within ourselves – that the life we are living is not real. It is waking up from this ‘fake’ world of duality that is in all of our futures, and that is the destiny of all humans someday. There have been mass awakenings of consciousness such as in the 60’s when LSD and other consciousness-raising drugs were introduced here in America. Just the introduction of those drugs caused a great wave of consciousness to move through the country. Millions were affected. Millions woke up to the falseness of the world and its ways. There were protests and people moving away from the normal world of madness that predominates. But that wave of consciousness was only temporary. One might say that unconsciousness eventually won the battle there. But many were introduced to the importance of consciousness and it was hard for most of them to just return to the madness of society as it was. A new generation of hippies and alternative living people was created.
But ultimately, having more consciousness cannot be achieved with any drug or herb. They can only give a temporary visit, a glimpse of what having more consciousness affords you. In the end, we each have to find our way to higher consciousness and out of the world of duality.
In the world of duality, everything has an opposite. Also, everything in the world of duality has a beginning and an end. All things have cycles that can be understood. This is the main reason why the Science of the Cards is so effective. It is an exact symbolic expression of the cycles we all go through in the world of duality. The Science of the Cards can help us navigate through the world of duality by showing us how the cycles operate. But they cannot help us escape or rise above the world of duality. That is not their purpose. However, it has been helpful for me, using the cards, to realize that all of us are merely acting out under the pattern of our birthday. It helps me to not take things personally when others do things that might normally upset me. The play of the world of duality always gives us opportunities to see our attachments, our fears, and other things that keep us stuck there. It is up to each of us to recognize these opportunities and to use them to step out of the ‘duality race.’
Knowing that all things in the world of duality have an opposite should help all of us. Just knowing that whatever point of view or belief you have also has an opposite, and equally valid, point of view affords you the opportunity to stop believing that you have the ‘only’ valid belief or point of view about anything. You absolutely don’t! No one does. And yet, millions of people are killed each year over opposing beliefs and points of view. If you catch yourself defending a religion, political party, country, football team, or spiritual teacher, just know that you are now defending something that isn’t real. It is you, making believe that one possible point of view is actually the only one. This is insanity, and yet, it is such a normal occurrence of insanity that we all think it is okay. Everyone’s doing it, so how could it be wrong? How do we really tell if some of our behavior is ‘off?’ We can always tell because it creates negativity or conflict with others. If you find yourself arguing with someone, you are defending a false identity. You have become personally identified with a point of view, and are defending it against all other, equally valid points of view. Sounds kind of stupid, doesn’t it? It is not actually stupid, it is just a common occurrence when under the influence of lower consciousness. It is founded in a belief that we really are the voice in our heads.
Undoing this identity with our head-voice is what all spiritual seekers are doing, whether they realize it or not. All spiritual teachings practices are meant to do just that. That is where they are leading us to! I find that the process of undoing this identity to be the only thing in life worth doing. And it takes constant vigilance. For me, it started with the big things: the events, people and circumstances in my life that upset me the most. These are the ones where I get completely lost in my suffering, in my resistance to life. Naturally I would start there – those are the easiest ones to work with because they show up so dramatically. Little by little, allowing myself to feel my suffering there and watching my mind go through all of its defensive and offensive maneuvers when I got upset has helped me defuse many of these. People that I was very afraid of or very angry with in my past no longer upset me. I have taken back my energy in those relationships by realizing the real source of the problem – me. Your own path may be similar. Whatever spiritual path, teachings or practices you have chosen, it will all come down to what you do when your buttons get pressed by others or by certain events. How you handle those is everything, spiritually speaking.
Another really helpful part of my own path is just recognizing it when I become judgmental of other or situations. I have discovered that I have spent a large part of my life sitting around judging others and situations. This involved political beliefs, spiritual superiorism, personal opinions and judgments of other people, judgments about society, the legal system, music, well actually, just about everything. I have been a walking judgment factory as long as I can remember. Catching myself doing that has been very enlightening. When I see myself saying derogatory things about others or things in the world, I am usually able to catch myself in the act, so to speak. I often ask myself, ‘what’s so special about my point of view?’ and ‘who am I to say what is correct and what is not?’ Another good question to ask is, ‘who cares about my opinion anyway?’ I often find when I am in a group of people who are just talking that I have this need to voice my opinion. I question that. Why do I need to have an opinion anyway? I know better now. Having an opinion or story to tell in a conversation just serves to reinforce my separateness from others. I find it amusing to watch my ego go at it. It just needs to feel superior to others and situations in order to feel good about itself. It is these little awarenesses that loosen duality’s grip on me. And slowly but surely my life is becoming more peaceful. I cannot say I am enlightened, only that I spend less time and energy fighting with life around me. I seem to have more interest in what is happening now rather than what is happening later or yesterday. It seems like a natural way to be and I am enjoying it. The cards have been my friend and companion for over two decades now. They have helped me to see myself and life more clearly. At the same time, I have become stuck in them, using them as a lens to see life through and becoming myopic in the process. So I am watching that too and perhaps seeing that I have become so identified with the cards is one of the reasons that I am losing some interest in working with them. But I honestly think it is more that my focus in my life has been more on my personal growth lately than any outward accomplishment. I still look at the cards and study people I know and meet, and pay attention to the upcoming and current cycles. And I am still making new discoveries, which I really enjoy. But the less I am connected to duality, the less important the cards, and all spiritual tools become for me. They are still there, but I am letting go of my identity to them and my attachment to many spiritual and other points of view that are associated with them. It is all a natural process and one that I welcome.