Lau Tzu, Ben Franklin and Dirk Gently walk into a bar…
Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here. These short sip posts & episodes are Tarot contemplations in the time it takes to sip from your coffee.
It sounds a little like some sort of bad “walks into a bar” joke, but the Tao Te Ching, Benjamin Franklin and Dirk Gently all factor into the collective energy today.
Before we get to today’s Two of Pentacles card, I want to thank Madam Adam on Tik Tok for reminding me of the word collective. “Collective energy” really is the perfect way to describe how these general audience reading for social media or a blog feel. It is a much better word for it than the “zeitgeist” or “general audience” energy that I was calling it. It simplifies and clarifies the message when we can refer to ‘the collective’ in the way that energy often refers to the client or sitter or seeker or quierant or whatever word you like to use there. So with thanks for the reminder. Collective is the new adjective.
OK. Back to the collective energy and our unlikely trio of loosely related ideas, all of which comes back to the Two of Pentacles, our penultimate balance card second only to Temperance in the major arcana.
I doubt Benjamin Franklin was influenced by the Tao Te Ching quote “Nature does not hurry, yet all is accomplished” when he wrote that “haste makes waste” but I like to think he would have enjoyed the Tao Te Ching, not to mention the Dirk Gently novels or my personal favorite, the 2016 Max Landis TV adaptation with Dirk’s whispery, excited “everything’s connected.”
Everything IS connected.
The haste and hurry that Franklin and Lau Tzu talk about both are inseparable from physical space and the passage of time. It is science and physics – velocity is distance divided by time. The stars we see in our sky are boggle-your-mind old because they are boggle-your-mind far away and it has taken that long for the light to get here. Time, space, human perception, human activity, haste and waste are all, you know, connected.
Now lets walk around to the other side and look at this from a psychological or spiritual point of view instead.
When do you get stressed? How does time or the perceived lack of it factor into those stressful feelings for you? It seems like excess demands and looming deadlines play an outsized role in perceived stress. We have too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it. How much is too much varies from one person to another, but too much for you is too much however much that much may be.
Sooner or later, something has to give. It’s better to change the circumstances than have the circumstances change your mental or physical health.
You know how when you are resizing an image in a photo editor you can grab a corner and it keeps the proportions the same? The length and the width are connected and if you change one, the other changes right along with it. That is the kind of connectivity that we are talking about here. And that connectivity can be used to improve stress and life balance just as much as it may have helped cause it.
Too much stuff to do? Change that and your perception of time slides right along with it to a more comfortable state of being. That idea of triage and prioritizing and cutting out the unnecessary is a Ten of Wands thing, but it applies here because that is the means and method of finding the balance that the Two of Pentacles is referencing. In this scenario, if we were doing a multiple card layout, the Ten of Wands may well appear as a way to support the Two of Pentacle’s message.
There isn’t anything we can do to stop that, but how we measure time is completely arbitrary and under our control. Deadlines? Move them. If there are bad consequences to doing that, then the deadline might be the better option. If you look at it from a consequence perspective, then your schedule may not shift, the amount of activity needed may not shift, but instead our perception shifts. The deadline and work level may be better than the alternatives. It may all still suck, but it sucks less when you deliberately choose it compared to something worse. Perception isn’t a physical shift, but it is a shift toward increasing balance and decreasing stress just the same.
Which is all well and good, but what about the Two of Pentacles here, now, today.
I guess what all of this is saying is that when you are feeling stressed or out of balance, change and adapt what you can, and the rest of it will flex in the direction of less stress because everything is connected, haste makes waste and Nature never hurries and yet all is accomplished.
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