A short thought on Philosophy, Spritituality, Tarot and Christianity

Heilige Maria

The Tarot is so ingeniously put together that you can plot any spiritual, philosophical, occult, psychological or even scientific trend on it.  It just depends on what you focus on.  What you want to see, you can see in the Tarot.  This ensures that you never stop learning and that you can stretch your mind considerably.  You change insights time and time again as you acquire more knowledge. 

At the moment my focus is mainly on humanism and the classical art of living in which the aforementioned has its origins.  But all contemporary spiritual and new age movements also originate from the ancient Greeks (a.o. Plato) and that also applies to Christianity (the latter also has more in common with the Tarot than one might think at first sight, but that is material for a different post).

Although there are differences in viewpoints, all the classical arts of living have in common (and in my opinion also with the Tarot) that the emphasis is on autonomy, autarky, self-control and “caring for yourself as a person were seen as the most important good. Plato  has had a profound impact on almost all forms of Western spirituality (including occultism, Christianity); The existence of a transcendent, supernatural world and the ability to detach yourself from your body and attract many people together (and this  has never actually changed.)

Since the 3rd century AD Christianity has incorporated many elements of classical philosophy melting with the “soul” of course (especially those of Plato and de Stoa), but subsequently took a completely different path.  Christianity’s goal was to get people to behave in such a way that they resemble god (live according to god’s will) and thus unite their soul with god.  In order to realize this, the recommendations of the classical philosophers have been so twisted that they are contrary to what the ancient thinkers were trying to convey. 

Thus, “taking care of yourself turned into an examination of conscience where you had to punish yourself for your mistakes and learn to be humble. Love for yourself thus became a taboo (only God could forgive you). Trying to live soberly – so that  you would not lose yourself – turned into physical abstinence and the extinction of passion.

To top it all off, Christianity introduced a new element, namely the distance of your own will. To become humble you had to learn to pursue nothing and  to relinquish the care of oneself (to a pastor or priest) .In this way autonomy and autarky were also put to an end and Christianity became an art of self-denial.

Besides Christianity, Plato and Aristotle also advocated a “spiritual” life.  How is it possible that all the ideas of the classical philosophers have been pushed into the background for so long while Christianity can convert millions of people to this day?  According to Luc Ferry, this is because Christianity has succeeded in envisioning the vague elusive concept of “logos” as a person (god the father, our dear lord) who pays attention to and loves you as a father loves his child.  This father loves all his children equally, so everyone is equal.  Furthermore, the eternal life (rising from the dead or sitting at the throne of god) promised by the Christians was also attractive. Many people prefer immortality over, for example, merging with the Cosmos (and poof! Gone!) Of the Stoa.

In my opinion the Tarot offers a tool to enable people to take control and responsibility for their own lives and happiness. It can offer a ‘hint’ on how to solve issues and problems yourself, by taking action and – more importantly – to accept yourself and have the courage to determine and speak out your goals and wishes. This does not always need to be overwhelming or pretentious. It can be simple, practical and humble too. But if you want, you are definitely also invited to ‘think big’!

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