I don’t generally mention religion because I don’t know anything about religion.
I was raised as a member of the Church of England and wondered in History lessons at school how it made any sense to have a church, faith, or religion just for English people. But while that’s weird, it’s not actually my point today.
My point is that I read some of Genesis in the Bible recently to find out more about Abrahamic religions. What are they all about I wondered? So I started at the beginning.
It starts nicely with the formation of everything. And there is also this great place called Eden. God then created Adam and his helper(?) Eve, to look after Eden and all was well.
So far so good.
But then Adam and Eve are both found to have disobeyed one of God’s rules and there are some consequences.
These consequences seem, to me, a bit harsh for Adam and Eve are banished from Eden and a guard is put at the gate, with a flaming sword even, just to keep them both out.
The whole of the Bible from this point on seems to be about what happened for the next 4000 years or so in this outside world.
It seems that God and Adam and Eve’s offspring have never really reconciled, or at least, people have never been allowed back into the Garden of Eden as far as I can tell.
It sounds to me like a religion about coping in exile, which I can personally relate to.
But that is not the end of the story.
For Jesus came and went, and many have spoken about His passing, but I don’t see any signposts for the Garden of Eden even now. So, I repeat, God and sinners are not fully reconciled as it claims in the popular Christmas Carol, “Hark the herald angels sing”.
I believe we are all still looking for Eden, just as Joni Mitchell sings in the chorus of her song Woodstock,
“And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden”
NB: It’s strange to me but I can’t even find a single reference to Eden in the New Testament of the Bible, let alone a way back to it.
Tarot Psychology Again
Getting back to Tarot Psychology. This Bible story about Adam and Eve’s banishment from Eden must have had a profound impact on everyone, especially in the Middle Ages. It’s the major single event in all our history. There must be huge effects on how we all see the world, especially since real unconditional forgiveness has never been given by God, apparently.
It’s not really surprising then that the Tarot Trumps start off with the Magician and the High Priestess cards. They seem like Everyman and Everywoman at their mature stage of life.
And then the rest of these Tarot picture-cards tell a story (albeit rather a condensed version) of the trials and tribulations of a life in this harsh Medieval world of punishment and exile, and how best to cope with some of the associated problems.
Furthermore, I have looked in the Bible for inspiration on who “The Fool” card represents, and the best answer I can come up with is Jesus himself (although I am not suggesting He was a fool in any way at all). But The Fool cannot be pinned down as he is number zero in the Tarot Trumps. Similarly, Jesus cares nothing for riches nor society’s sacred cows. And like the Fool, He is a disrupter, as it says in Matthew’s Gospel,
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:
I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father,
and the daughter against her mother, etc…”
This sounds pretty clear and really sets the tone for my understanding of Jesus’s role in our world history. Also, unlike much of the new testament, which is about the witnessing of actions, this is one of the few clearly stated intentions of Jesus, in His own words.
That’s strong stuff and must form my personal starting point for any serious study of The New Testament. Jesus is certainly a powerful disrupter and certainly not a “sender” of peace.
PS. I don’t know why I have trodden on religious ground. It’s probably very unwise. I just felt compelled to write something about my recent readings. So please tell me if I have made any errors, as I am no expert on religion.