Thursday, 7 April 2011
The Many Paths to Enlightenment
I am struck very clearly in this card by the cartoonish aspect. It's something I've been pondering all week, and here I've finally put my finger on it. I'm still not sure why, but many of the illustrations in this deck make me think of the artwork in South Park!
Anyhow, moving away from such irreverence, I notice how different this image is, once again, from typical iconography for the Hermit. Here we have a man sitting at a desk, writing. Around him are books including texts of various world religions, spiritual thinkers, and great works of literature and psychology. On his desk is a statue of Demeter, and a large globe. He sits writing in what looks like an accounting ledger, his brow creased, no signs of joy in him. Meanwhile, outside birds fly across a beautiful spring meadow with a stream running through it, bright wild flowers flourish, and mountains beckon in the distance.
It seems strange that, with three wonderful options for spiritual study and growth at his fingertips - through the words of sages, through prayer to a divinity, or through nature itself - instead he sits at what seems a mundane and boring task. Perhaps one message here is that even great wisdom must sometimes take a backseat to everyday life. And at least, when the work is done, he is ready to dive into the study of life's meaning.
I am grateful for the times when I can dedicate myself to study, meditation, and communing with nature.
I am thankful that my work doesn't deaden my spirit.