Words aren’t evil, though fixation can be a source of pain.
History repeats itself. It has been repeating itself for a very long time. In truth, the concept of history as a linear flow of continuity is itself mistaken. The systems of events that occur around us have existed really forever. Time and events are not a homogeneous flow. Each aspect of time and any event that occurs is composed of discrete elements sort of like the archetypes in Jungian psychology and often depicted as gods in the various mythos across the world.
The original meaning of the word mythos didn’t refer to fiction. It was a complimentary word to say ethos and just referred to what the people talked about. The communal story they all understood. These days, we replace the deep legends and ethical stories of mythology with television broadcasts and news reports which still form a mythos. Caricatures of today’s commonly held beliefs and values or lack thereof.
There is also a “mythos” to every profession — like medicine. Indeed, there is, and sometimes the modern mythos of medicine is just as blind as any religion ever was, sometimes even more so.
You could devise a divination system from any stream of media. A commonly familiar divination system is the tarot or some other form of cartomancy. The original tarot was created simply as a game and depicted key figures from society as they understood it at the time sort of like comic books of the middle ages depicting all their boogy men as well as hopes and dreams. The necessary factor in having anything be a working divination system is coherence. The story told by the imagery or characters or language has to be complete.
I tried playing poker with tarot cards once. Four people died. If anything, it could be said that the characters of our social story play poker with us as the cards.
Neuroscience is finding that the majority of our behaviour and decision making, the big bulk of our cognitive processes occur subconsciously. You think that what you think and decide is what shapes your life and behaviour, but all the evidence says this is mostly untrue. Your thinking and conscious decisions have only a very small impact on your general conduct and state of mind or general being. You don’t live the dream, you dream the life.
First off, the story of divination is not linear. Just as characters are commonly used between stories, like comic books, the elements of life as we know it are used and reused but not always in the same configuration, not always showing the same relationship to each other. So to use tarot cards, the death card doesn’t have a single role in the story of the tarot. In fact, it rarely portrays actual death. Instead, the death card shows up as a foil for the flow of any other course of events. Death serving as the big blind spot that we can almost never see past. The emperor on the other hand, though he can stand in for someone in your real life situation, just as often refers to a specific mindset.
Tarot has 78 cards, usually, and the I Ching has only 64. Is there a difference in accuracy or resolution, as it were? Each divination system is like a style of mathematics. It displays a different geometric relationship between the various elements of the system, and based on it’s individual geometry it will be more powerfully attuned to some dynamics in life than others. The I Ching tends to be more organic and elemental. It speaks more clearly to states of being and change where the tarot is more social and perceptual. It presents clearer maps of the consensus reality we all share, or at least it can. Does this answer your question?
Yes, thanks. I’m just pondering why Jung aligned himself with the I Ching more than the Tarot… but please continue.
It’s sort of like the difference between machine language and any two programming languages. The tarot is social and heavily aligned to conscious human thought. Society as we know it in our conscious thinking. The I Ching is more attuned to our innate subconscious rhythms even better matching the natural neural cycle than the geometry or math of the tarot. It’s dream like as you may already know from using it where as say the Futhark runes are more action oriented, causally aligned.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.