The end of individualism, what now for the Fool?
“The word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.
What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?
But I am done with this creed of corruption.
I am done with the monster of "We," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.
And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.
This god, this one word: "I.”
― Ayn Rand, Anthem
The Covid-19 lockdown.
As I write, we are now several weeks into Covid-19 lockdown and we are beginning to ask pertinent questions, ‘when will this be over?’ and ‘what will the world be like when we emerge?’ It doesn’t seem to matter if we have found the quarantine experience to be therapeutic or not, we are all asking the same questions. I have found this fascinating, the human psyche bubbling away as one. We can actually witness the collective formulating and as a result one wonders if new symbols and new language will come forth representing the new found experiential wisdom of the mass. I have been looking at the curve of change as a model and was intrigued.
This period in humanity’s history is extremely interesting.
There is so much to be explored when searching for the meaning of this extraordinary time. Politically, astrologically, spiritually, evolutionary, medically sociologically, the list is endless...all streams of consciousness dovetailing together in a symbiotic dance.
It is certainly the time of new beginnings. If we thought that we were already in the new age, then as we approach 2021, we are certainly going to be able to say that a new age has really begun. Anything that came before, we now realise, was just a mere rehearsal.
A thought that has occurred to me is that this new beginning could spell out the end of individualism in our society.
Perhaps all the mindfulness, acceptance, compassion and awareness of the thin line between life and death may bring arrogance, entitlement and thoughtlessness to a close.
These past few years have all been about the individual and the achievements of which are geared around what, who and how to influence. It has also been about seeming to do all the right things and making sure there is enough elbow room. The idea of this world being all about self has been taken to an unfathomable and murky paradigm. The age of individualism is anchored in materialism.
No surprise then when I shuffled my cards looking for in depth inspiration for this piece, that I should draw the DEVIL.
His domain is the material world. His stark reminder of our animalistic heritage is apparent now and we can observe the suppressed, distorted humanity as the beast. Although the Devil can signify an encounter with the shadow and negativity, he can also embody liberty and healing the wounds that have haunted us for so long simply by shoving that wound into the bright light of day; in there lies a truth. Truth is a funny thing, its source comes from misunderstanding and foible. We find the truth amidst the debris of the fallen ego, mistaken conclusions and the lack of light in poverty consciousness. In his deeper meaning we see the primordial desire of the psyche for a free life. He insists that what we must understand is that this is not about overpowering others but a power shared and evolved through processes of learning, co-creativity and mutual compassion.
I next drew the SUN.
Here we have the light illuminating the shadow. We have awakening, insight and positive influences. The fallen ego is now risen, consciousness is expanded through the experience of darkness and subsequent emergence into the light. Yet, if we relate the Sun to the topic of individualism we might be reminded by the Sun that inflated feelings of power collapse under the weight of wisdom. The Sun seeks out experience and can devour more than it can digest. Balance is required and the key to that is exploring unrealised potential beyond the known quantity of thought and feeling. We experience our own wisdom. That wisdom is gleaned from an eternity on the wheel of rebirth.
So, it is entirely possible then, that we are indeed heading into a more group orientated society, instead of 'I am' it will become 'we are.'
The group or community becomes the collective identity of the 'I.' My sense is that this is epochal and has happened several times down through the centuries. The group becomes the individual and vice versa. This cycle is vital for our evolution and oils the cogs of the hemispheres in the brain.
Apparently Stonehenge was a meeting place for ritual and feasting for the group but how big that group actually was or its demographic is debatable.
I asked why. Interestingly I got the NINE of SWORDS. This could represent that there was a time of great stress and anxiety, man had come up against his natural predator and was having to think things through. He was having to come to terms with an event which was seemingly beyond his control. The sorrow of this card implies a hidden spirituality, a prayer to the gods for safe delivery but from what? It could be that disease brought Stonehenge to its end of days, maybe famine or the politicisation of a community beyond its homogeneity. However, whatever the cause of the disruption, this edifice was a catalyst for some kind of social darwinism that occurred at that time. Also, around that period the Beaker people became more apparent amongst early society. They were often lone travellers or moved in family structures as opposed to mass movement, TEN of PENTACLES, and so named because they made their own pottery especially beakers which they decorated. The interesting thing about these decorations is that each person or family had their own artistic signature. That artistic signature was the intellect expressing itself and would have been the beginning of an age of individualism and a different kind of leadership, KING of SWORDS.
What can we learn from this? SEVEN of WANDS.
We must recognise the value of alternative ideas, beliefs and artistic codes. Intellectual and artistic challenges lead to new growth and development.
What will the new group/collective orientated society be like? SIX of PENTACLES.
We become co-creators of a different world. Liberation of suppression leading to humility, support and gratitude.
Why? TEN of WANDS.
Burdens from the past. Old patterns of obligation to flawed causes. Too much excess. Failure of resources. An inflated sense of healing the world but merely carrying it.
A time for sacred activism will occur.
Try randomly drawing a card as you explore your thoughts, ideas and stories. This will broaden your perspective and deepen your understanding. Get creative!