Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Playing with sharp objects

I like the symbolism of blades. Some people I know are disturbed by this, but hear me out. We live in this one whole universe. And as warm and fuzzy as it might make us to contemplate the oneness of the universe, think what it would be like to try to live with that perspective all the time. It would just be the universe - what do you do with that? How do you decide? That's where the blade comes in.

Blades are the opposite of warm and fuzzy. They are cold and sharp. But to successfully navigate this universe, distinctions must be made. They may ultimately be artificial distinctions, but those artificial distinctions can make the difference between life and death. Life and death is one such distinction. They may be two parts of the same thing, but that distinction has significance for us. Understanding requires that you separate the thing to be understood from that which it is not. The line that separates them is thin - razor-thin, to be exact.

This truth has even crept into our language. The Latin word for knowledge, "scientia," is related to the word "scindere," meaning "to cut or divide." This is also where we got the word "science." (Source: Online Etymolgy Dictionary)

Not that dealing with blades is easy. It involves judgment - cutting out the bullshit. And much as people might claim to be anti-bullshit, it can be pretty comforting sometimes. The suit of swords in the Tarot deck is an excellent example of blade symbolism. The suit of swords has no tolerance for bullshit, and the answers it offers are not comforting. It can tell you to be still when it would be more comfortable to move. It can tell you to walk away when it would be more satisfying to fight. It can urge you to face truths you would rather ignore.

So go forth! Enjoy life - but don't get too comfortable.

Next post: Tuesday, October 9th