Learn at first concentration without effort; transform work into play; make every yoke you accept easy; and every burden you carry light! – Anonymous (Valentin Tomberg) Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism

  • Our goal in these personal meditations is to share the influence these words and others have had on our life and how to best implement them into a truly free and equal existence.
  • We are atheists and anarchists (Libertarian Socialism comes close to our political and social vision). But we have been influenced by many deistic and theistic writings, never wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, nor indulge in black and white fanatical thinking.
  • We are not aware of anywhere the words of the first two lines of the quote above are written. The words of third and fourth lines are echoed in Mark 11:30, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
  • Tomberg spends several pages describing these words and you can get a detailed synopsis here The Magician.
  • The first line is the most elusive to practice. We find a simple Daoist meditation on the present and passing moment the simplest. Become aware of the moment as it comes into being and passes away (Gospel of Thomas, saying 42). This is also the nature of Daoist influence on Zen and other forms of Buddhism and ephemeral spiritual beliefs.
  • But we need not spiritualize such truth, we can simply accept it as it is. Although, the tendency to spiritualize is natural, evolutions way of helping (tricking) us into living, and reproducing. If we weren’t capable of primitively making sense, fantasize, of such existential truth, early sentience would most likely have been impossible as early organism would have been too terrified and crippled into inaction, unable to see past the ever-present existential dangers to gather and hunt, let alone reproduce. It was necessary for evolution to pull the wool over our eyes to get us to do its business of consuming and reproducing.
  • Ok, a bit of sideline there, but it is a deep understanding that is important to process the path to personal thriving.
  • This is because for many, to simply sit and become aware of the ever-evolving moment can be anxiety provoking (to cease movement, to cease work, goes against our programming). So, to concentrate with ease, is way more difficult to do than say, for many.
  • But the second line gives us a clue, “transform work into play.”
  • The overarching goal of the first two lines is to become aware of the ever-slipping moment and experience joy. To do so intentionally is, at least at first, work. Yet, all of us have experienced this eternal moment at some point in our lives, through sex, music, dancing, singing, nature, playing, sports, and many other moments of sublimity.
  • We, humans, are unlike any other creatures in that we first come into the world completely passive, with our only ability being perception. Even the other apes, are born to cling, whereas human children must be carried by their caregivers or some invention to carry them. They are unable to cling effectively to their caregiver as the caregiver goes about its business of surviving and providing. We perceive first whereas other animals are able to “do” at the beginning. Not that they don’t perceive, but at the very least, then can perceive and do.
  • This beginning, whereas all is achieved by perception, everything else is done for us, magically. This has profound implications on our drive to be entertained. We learn by being entertained. This is natural, and neither good nor bad, it just is. But to exceed our programming, if one desires to do so, one must be aware of our natural truth.
  • Likewise, we can experience the infinite now (Tolle, Eckhart; The Power of Now) simply by being entertained. One trick is, while one attempts to work at experiencing this now, is to use music, meditation tapes, exercise, sex, or any other method one finds useful, to help one become aware of the river of time.
  • There is no one size fits all recipe to achieve the deceptively simple task of concentration without effort. Play, experiment, be adventurous. All you want to do now is overcome any hurdles of anxiety or stress about doing nothing but focusing on the moment. And do not make it work like so many fanatics would have you believe.
  • The goal is to experience the joy that can arise in the moment that makes all things become effortless (Csikszentimihalyi, Mihaly; Flow). At some point, like when it happens dancing, or whatever, this will emerge as joy. A song we like (among many) is “Let the Joy Rise,” by Abigail.
  • En-joy