The Daily Deskhenge:
So you might have noticed that I’m using a Japanese-looking deck lately–it’s the “Osho Zen Tarot,” and the guy up there on the right in “The Master” card is a Zen master. I don’t have the book with me so I don’t know his name, but in true Zen fashion I suspect that Zen Master Dude up there would probably find names irrelevant so I’m not going to worry about it. Let’s just call him Zen Master Dude, shall we? There isn’t an equivalent in the “standard” Tarot (if there is such a thing) for “The Master” card–the Magician, Hierophant, Hermit, and all the other archetypes that might fit are already represented in this deck. So the representation I’m assigning to the card is simply of having achieved mastery over the Zen art of detachment; I’m also adding the quality of a guru or leader of a spiritual community to this card. So, given that, and given that the spread shows us what’s on the surface in the card on the right (The Master) and what’s hidden beneath the surface on the left (the 5 of Swords, in this deck called “Comparison”), we see that there is a disconnect happening between the face we show the world and our true face. Perhaps the disconnect is subtle, but maybe not–I guess it depends on the person, the ability to gloss over imperfections (or the feeling of needing to gloss over anything in the first place, which is the antithesis of a Zen Master Dude), the charisma, the leadership qualities. But here what seems to me to be going on is that on the surface, either a Zen Master Dude in your life or some part of yourself that is The Public Mask is less secure than he/she/you/I/we pretend to be. There is an amount of comparison going on beneath the surface: looking at what others have and wanting it (e.g., being on the aikido mat as a rote beginner and having the expectation of myself that I perform as well as my fellow trainees, some of whom are black belts), and basically performing a self-disservice by insisting that I/you/he/she/we are as good as or at least the same as the Master. There is also a whiff of dishonesty here: there is the pretense of calm and detachment, when in reality there is a process of judgment and disrespect going on. This calls for a rather severe self-examination of motivations and aspirations, because pretending to be something that I/you/he/she/we are not is karmic kryptonite to the sincere seeker.