Once again, life intervened. Many meetings, a wonked out neck that needed immediate attention and a day in bed with a heating pad, crazy schedules, all conspired against me getting this five-day meditation done in five days. No matter. The extra time just gave me more opportunities to contemplate the meanings and how they relate to what’s going on with me at this moment. Let’s do this!
Anyone who knows me at all knows that politics is one of my least favorite subjects. I don’t like the politics of government, I don’t like office politics, I don’t like the politics that always seems to crop up within any kind of group for any reason. I don’t know what it is about human nature that turns people into horrible, nasty, manipulative folks when it comes to politics, but that’s what seems to happen, and that’s why I do my best to steer clear.
Except when this card comes up in a reading. Dammit. In a traditional deck, this would be the seven of Swords, the suit that represents the mind, mental action, etc. In Zen, of course, the mind, while not exactly the enemy, is definitely the voice in the head that meditation and practice is trying to still. To make the mind a servant of the person and not vice versa.
The card shows a person with two faces, one sweet and innocent, the other smarmy and ugly. Neither of these faces is real; both are masks. The message of this card is to tell us that by its very nature, the mind is political. It plans and schemes and tries to manipulate situations and people to try to get what it wants.
The tough part of this card is that when it pops up, it’s a big message that I need to look at myself. I need to really assess how I behave in my life. Do I scheme to make things work out to my advantage? Now, there is nothing wrong with making plans, having goals, trying to achieve desired outcomes. But, when accomplishing that means bringing out the false face, hiding real feelings and showing people only what they want to see, that’s when we fall into the politics game.
It’s impossible to please everyone. How many times do we hear politicians promise everyone everything? All the time. How many of their constituents end up satisfied? Usually none of them. This card makes me look at my actions and my underlying motivations. It makes me analyze why I’m doing some of the things I do. I have to ask the tough questions:
Who am I deceiving? Or am I?
How am I maneuvering the outcome?
What is confusing me?
What can I do to drop my defenses and become more open?
What are the weaknesses in my plan, research or work?
This card exhorts me to be honest, to show my real face. This is not easy for anyone, especially in a situation where I stand to lose a lot. And, let’s be honest, if G and I really end up going our separate ways, I stand to lose more than she does, at least on the nuts and bolts financial end of things. But, on the other hand, I HAVE to go forward honestly, being open, to allow myself to feel comfortable saying that yes, I do want this relationship to survive, but I’m not sure if it can the way things are now. And that means big (or maybe not so big) changes on both sides. It’s not all her fault, it’s not all my fault and a lot of it is no one’s “fault” it’s just time, and age, and change and growth that happens to people, not always in the same direction. I have to keep reminding myself that nothing that has happened is “wrong.” They are just things that have happened. No one planned or plotted any of this. Time passes and people and situations change. Sometimes they change together and sometimes they change apart.
What I have to keep remembering is that as long as I am honest inwardly and outwardly, if I can keep the masks off, however this situation works out, it will be for the best, and wherever I end up, I will have no regrets. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.