Monday, December 22, 2008

Carrying the Raft?

A person asked me an interesting question the other day, then left before we got a chance to really discuss it, so here it is, for your consideration.

He was questioning why people need to continue using divination tools. He quoted what he said was an old Buddhist saying. Not sure if it is true, but I'll accept the question at face value.

It went like this, when you get to a river and use a raft to cross, you don't carry the raft with you when you get to the other side. So why keep using these tools. Why not just use them a few times to answer questions and then leave them behind.

As I mull this over, a few different things come to me. One is that tools such as tarot, runes or I Ching, can be useful every day. Some people use little meditation books to get a thought for the day to meditate on. Some people use joke a day tear off calendar pages to give them a laugh for the day (which can also be thought provoking.) Many people use these other tools to provide them a thought for the day. Unlike a calendar, a deck of cards, set of runes or I Ching book can be used for many years. So they represent an excellent value for the money.

The raft analogy may or may not be applicable for a simple reason. How many times do you need to cross the river? How many times in your life do you need to make a decision about love, money, business, family relationships, friendships, health issues and so on, where you could really use another opinion?

We use a dictionary when we want to know the meanings of words, so why not use a guide (tarot, runes, I Ching) that can offer guidance through a symbol that represents a pinciple? Many people consult other books they find value in, and you can consider tarot and runes to be types of picture books.

Maybe these tools are not so much rafts as they are bridges that you can cross over time and time again.

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