My apologies for being so long away! It looks like I really need more Will Power to keep at blogging. So, on the subject of Will Power, I’ve been thinking about how it relates to different tarot cards, including the Emperor, Strength, the Chariot, and various of the 5s and 7s in the Minor suits.
Consider, for example, the 7 of Wands, and how its energy and determination apply to the Acts of Will needed to bring about change. To bring about change, you need to disrupt some conditions of “homeostasis,” which refers to the tendency of things—including the Body-Mind as well as other types of systems—to seek a state of balance where everything stays in place. Unfortunately, sometimes systems will settle into a state of balance that can be unhealthy or unsatisfactory, and all of the elements within that system seem to conspire to maintain it at that low-functioning level.
Due to the Body-Mind’s tenacity at preserving its homeostasis—even when the conditions are bad—people who try to make changes for the better, in any area of life, often find that a thousand little things will arise to try to frustrate their efforts. We can see a hint of this in the Rider-Waite-Smith illustration of the 7 of Wands, which shows a man trying to beat down a number of other wands that are being thrust toward him. Because of the Body-Mind’s powers of resistance, you have to bear down on yourself in order to stick with any sort of self-improvement program.
The Buddha addressed this problem in the Vitakkasanthana Sutta: after explaining different techniques to get rid of distractions, he said that if they’re still not working for you, you just have to clench your teeth and “crush mind with mind.” In the graphic illustration included my last blogpost, (November 24, 2012), on “Tarot Card Images for Meditation,” we can see the challenge of distracting thoughts in the background of the Zen Osho deck’s 4 of Cups.
The good news is that sometimes making even a very small change somewhere in your life or in some other sort of system can disrupt the homeostasis enough to reset the elements in that system to function together in a way that is more beneficial.