Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18/11—Walking with the Devil

Today's Draw: The Devil from Roots of Asia. What part of your shadow side just will not stay quiet? What path do you walk—or want to walk—that may raise a few eyebrows? And who determines the line between good and bad?

Some may feel the Devil card is best reserved for weekends and private times. But today it challenges you on a Monday. At your office. Or wherever you spend your Monday mornings. And it's interesting it makes its appearance just now because today I think it comes to challenge our notions of right and wrong, acceptable and not.

Think about it. Society created a long list of rights of wrongs eons ago that we still adhere to today. This list doesn't consider the individual, rather it considers the whole. To keep us in line. To keep chaos from issuing forth. To keep morals in check. But along the way, the collective decided what was good and bad. And then began judging us on it. Teetotaling good. Drunken debauchery bad. Sex with committed partner good. Sex with stranger bad. Adhering to social norms good. Deviating bad. And, of course, the debate that goes on and on in today's society, sex with different gender good. Sex with same gender bad. The attitudes on this last one are changing as the collective consciousness hits a tipping point, but it has been a long and hard fought battle. Why? Because people are so used to thinking as they taught, rather than thinking from their heart.

The Devil walks this line of good and bad, calling out to passersby the joys of the mind and flesh that can be experienced on the bad side. In the tarot, he represents such human states as being chained to addictions and taking scandalous risks. He represents our self-destructive nature and the ills of the ego. And that last piece, the ills of the ego, is what I'm talking about today. Who determines what's ok and what's "polite" or not? And isn't that an individual valuation? So why do we hold people to the mass consciousness when we were created as individuals? Who says good and bad are the only options? And where might you be "not thinking" and just taking your own valuations of good and bad from collective?

This last question is critical, because my guess is that we don't even know the answer for many things in our life. We just do our best to walk on the good side and fight the temptations on the bad. But in doing so, what do we cheat ourselves of? I'm not talking about going on a killing rampage or doing anything illegal. Personally I'm on board with most of society's LAWS. What I'm not on board with is many of its JUDGMENTS.

An easy example of this from my life is my tarot reading and my accompanying spirituality. Here I am, a good, kind person, full of compassion, respect and understanding for others. I have a regular spiritual practice that I largely live in line with. I have gratitude for a higher power that good and gracious. But I am not a Christian. And I'm regularly confronted by Christians who pray for my eternal soul and point out where I'm doing wrong. Despite the fact that I live my life in the light of the higher power, they say I'll be burning in hell with the Devil for the person I am here on earth. And what they mean by that is not "good and compassionate", but "non-Christian". It makes no sense whatsoever. I happen to believe Christ's ego is not so big that he would damn to hell all who don't believe in him. And if you do, that's your privilege. We can both have a drink over it and laugh about our silly human notions when we're returned to the light.

Bottom line: I don't believe we were given free will just so that we'd all believe in the same thing. And I don't believe we can be truly individual until we test our beliefs against those of the collective. And that means walking with—and accepting—the Devil within…that part of us that challenges the notion of what is good and bad. Again, traditionally he concerns himself with addictions and shadow sides. But he's also lord of that side of us that isn't afraid to be an individual. And while he's usually depicted as lording over us in the chains that bind us to our darker aspects, in the context of our individuality, he's the one that frees us from the chains of society's desire to homogenize us.

So what things can you think of in your life that either deserve questioning or have been successfully questioned by you?

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