Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sharpening the Edge: A Personal Experience by Miguel Marques

Sharpening the Edge: A Personal Experience

by Miguel Marques 2013

A few weeks ago, a challenge was issued at a Tarot forum. Take two cards and find a mission impossible to meet and the way in which we could accomplish it. I took the 4 of Swords and the 6 of Cups, and without knowing why, started on a ramble that ended with a very simple statement: “to unite heart and mind into a single being and use the orientations of my guides in order to achieve a state of No-Mind that would allow me to strike down the current blocks in my life”.

As I wrote this, I felt this to be a worthy challenge. But then it hit me. People in the whole world dedicate their entire lives in pursuit of something I proposed to achieve in a week. I cursed the life out of me for my recklessness, always a good sign when you’re engaging in self awareness.

Mack once wrote that we’re very good at doing the impossible when we don’t see it as such [1]. With that in mind, I started to plan the week ahead. My first card was Swords, so the goal would be Sword related. Balance, Fluidity, Sharpness. Cups was the path, so Nourishment and Emotions would be my way there. Soho stated that only a clear mind can lead the body into doing what needs to be done [2]. My first approach was then meditation and piano practice. If meditation seems clear enough, piano practice came as a need to compliment the No-Mind state and put it in use in a real situation. How? Try doing different things with each hand at the same time. Different movements. Different rhythms. Applying a different force in each and every moment. Now, try to keep it coherent. Fluid. Balanced. That’s piano playing.

Meditation didn’t seem to help, so I switched to the Twin Hearts Meditation [3] and continued with the piano, from which came my first breakthrough. I was now on the third day when I realized that fluidity is everything and any constrain we stumble upon should be addressed with confidence and dexterity.
This was put to the test at the gym: doing a different exercise plan every day, where I wouldn’t know what came next. The objective would be to focus on each exercise, each movement, and let everything else go. Not thinking about time, exhaustion and what came next led me into a state where only that moment counted. And all my strength had to be applied there. In that moment. In every moment. By not thinking, I was able to do exercises I thought I couldn’t do and in doing them, I was impressing on my body a new code: “Don’t worry. Don’t think. Just do it and do it well”.

My second breakthrough came from the Meditation. In the Twin Hearts Meditation, you open your heart and crown chakras to the Universe/Supreme Being/Whatever you want to put here. And a higher energy does come down, whether you want it or not. If you’re searching for something, this energy will present itself in the form of a key. In my case, it came in the form of a sword. A bright sword capable of slashing every block I had built around me. I had asked for orientation, and I received a weapon. A flood of information entered my mind and reality came tumbling down.

Or so it seemed at the time.

Moore’s words about how swords are used to cut things down [4] with Soho’s words about putting your life behind the sword [2]. Inoue on how praying opens up a channel to the gods [5] alongside Mack’s view of praying as a form of talking to oneself [6]. How every goal we set for ourselves in unobtainable and we just move from one level to the next level, never once reaching the top of the mountain [5]. Morrison’s illustration of identity and non-identity; about is and isn’t [7]. Images kept pouring into my mind from all angles.

And then it stopped.

Ever since I know myself that I love comics.  I’ve been reading them for almost 30 years now and I’ve learned a great deal from them. I’ve learned about philosophy and art; reality and imagination. I’ve found references that put me on the path I am today. And if I’m the tarot reader that I am today, I owe it to them. For fuelling my imagination with every kind of image and training me into putting pictures together and filling in the blank spaces between two images with my intuition and my imagination. It seemed only fitting that my understanding would come from such a venue.

Realization came: there are no blocks. Only restrictions we put upon ourselves. Something I intimately knew for a very long time, before I let the outer world erase it from my mind.

Realization came and everyone of us is a god. Or maybe a shadow of a god that somehow forgot its power. Something we all can learn by connecting with our higher selves.
Fool from the Soulscapes Tarot

Realization came, and suddenly, the book of stories known as the Tarot was seen as the Minor Arcana, with the Major Arcana playing the part of a deux ex machina.

Realization came by a stroke of a sword.

Life has now resumed its pace. My friends say I have a new attitude this last few weeks. I became more focused and less preoccupied. As if nothing had importance except this very instant. People seem closer and more receptive than before. A new story has begun. One that starts with “once upon a time there was a Fool that believed anything was possible…”

© 2013 Enlightening Times All Rights Reserved

[1] David Mack, Kabuki: The Alchemy, Marvel Comics, 2009
[2] Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind, Shamballa Inc, 2012
[3], as accessed on the 7th June 2013
[4] Alan Moore, J. H. Williams III, Promethea: Book 1, Wildstorm, 2001
[5] Takehiko Inoue, Vagabond VIZBIG Edition 11, Viz, 2012
[6] David Mack, Kabuki: Metamorphosis, Image Comics, 2001

[7] Grant Morrison, Phil Jimenez, The Invisibles Vol. 4: Bloody Hell in America, Vertigo/DC Comics, 1998