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Tarot: Clarifications: Flow


Tarot: Clarifications

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Some clarifications: I am responding to work in neurobiology and that patterns in our brain can relate to patterns we make sense of in our life and our experience. Obviously the patterns are not quite a one-to-one correspondence but as flow, the dynamic interchange between perceptual, conceptual and creative processes in our self. However I do not want to seem to be reducing human experience to just the ability to cognize.
I am reminded of that book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. In it Csikszentmihalyi recognizes a high energy creative state that he identifies as “flow”.
I think that when we study our tarot spreads, keeping in mind the full dynamic of the spoken an unspoken situation in which were in, you for instance, lighting a candle or other ritual gestures, often helped to set aside and to open up our intuitive process. I like your image of intuition as floating, for me, that floating is very much closer to a waking dream, daydreaming, with the cards acting as a lens to pattern the insight to the reading. 

Considering the “random” mix of cards, I am reminded counterintuitive training methods, such as playing the piano when constantly plays the wrong key in a certain combination. The best way to train oneself to play the right key combination is to deliberately play the wrong key combination over and over again. Good pianists tell me it works! However I do have to be in agreement with my holistic health cousins who remind me when I am stuck on an issue or an idea that the best way to approach it is to forget it, do some physical exercise, walk around the block, or something other. Upon returning to the issue, the idea suddenly has more options than before.

For me one of the creative edges of tarot reading is in the “random” mix of the cards in any one reading. If I’m reading for myself, which card comes up may force me to question what is going on in ways I would not have thought of habitually or intuitively. Perhaps you haven’t noticed how the question as stated suddenly reveals new levels of meaning when the cards are laid out?
 It seems useful to look at our neural logical processing has following a well-trodden paths that have strong habitual associations that we usually call “thoughts”, with less well defined, perhaps less word-directed, and more image-invoked “feelings”. For me the intuitional soup includes both words and feelings, but also something novel or new and unexpected. In fact, for me, intuition often means something astonishing. Perhaps when we have the full mix of feeling thought and Ah-ha that we are approaching Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow.”
 

 

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