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Appendix: Sample



About The Solution To The Tarot Puzzle


          The Tarot cards are well known today wherever Western civilization has spread. Those who delight in the ways of science have a tendency to despise them as an anachronism, a survival of irrationality fit for the untrained, undisciplined mind. They are a metaphor for chaos, and they elicit the fear chaos engenders deep in the human psyche. Association with them would be tantamount to an act of professional suicide for an academic. In contrast, those who find science and its organization of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the world cold and unfeeling (annoyingly at odds with intuition) have often found satisfaction in the vague yet stirring, undefined images and impressions the Tarot creates. It speaks to their emotions, collecting them into a strangely compelling and comforting, if somewhat personal sense of order. The scientifically oriented dislike the Tarot for its magic, the very thing that draws others to it. In a sense, the Tarot has become one of the many battlefields where men and women assert the view of the world that appeals to them most. Everyone longs for order, but finds it in different ways.

          In fact the Tarot involves both magic and reason, religion and philosophy, intuition and logic. The Tarotís creators were comfortable in both worlds, and that is part of what has made the cards indecipherable for so long. Those who detest magic and vague symbolism have never been able to look beyond them in the cards. Those who love these same things have rarely sought to begin with careful deduction and observation in their search for understanding of the cards. Without a little of both these things, the Tarot cannot be understood. But there is more to the mystery of its long survival in obscurity.

          The solution of the Tarotís puzzle is not simple, or it would have been solved centuries ago. It was made difficult by a subtle understanding of human prejudice and tunnel vision. It must be solved through a balance between the specific and the general, the details and the whole, the forest and the trees. The solution, once found, is incontrovertible, but finding it is no easy matter.

           The specific is the first thing everyone sees when they look at the cards: images of people and things that are as detailed as they are obscure. The Tarot is a riot of images, a tangle of apparently orderly fragments that together make a chaotic whole. In chaos, the mind asserts order of whichever type is most appealing. This projected order obscures the true order of things. If one is Christian, one sees Christianity behind the pictures (either mainstream Christian faith, or Satanism which is anti-Christian, and therefore based upon the assumptions of the Christian world view). If one is a rationalist, one sees a collection of childishly simple pictures, or a reflection of unconscious impulses and assumptions. If one is an occultist, one sees magical intimations and formulas. To each his own. However, to truly understand, the viewer must restrain this ordering impulse and observe very carefully for a time. The Tarot must be observed without prejudice of any kind...


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