On a number of occasions I’ve talked about the consequences of not being on the same page with the ones surrounding us. Especially in love situations it’s bad not to be on the same page. But at work it can be even more harrowing, knowing that you might waste your time and use your skills in vain. This can be due to two factors: either because your skills are not aligned with the needs of others, or simply because the needs of others are not aligned with your own values. Should you bow and serve, or should you impose your own convictions on others? Should you listen or should you teach? These need not be mutually exclusive, but unless you have a very good sense of balance, chances are that you are prone to fucking up. Either way, when we’re not on the same page with the people that we need to be on the same page with, it’s a bugger.
This is where a tarot reading can be extremely helpful. Especially insofar as the ones who actually dare to consult it don’t always know what bugs them. Either in love or in work, it is often the case that not many feel aligned with the needs of the rest of the world. And believe me, the hardest is the realization that the needs of others – sometimes manifested as a dying ‘desire’ for the newest Gucci bag, or for that one and only hunk and none other, or even worse, for satisfying your boss’s need for you to lie on the job and ventriloquize an even higher and often stupider discourse about what’s relevant – yes, these ‘needs’ of others are not something that we are even remotely interested in acknowledging. So who will suffer? You or the world? Chances are that you will suffer more. The world is always more than ready to move on to the next one who can provide the goods. As history has shown, we are not indispensable. We can try our best to become the best there is on the market, but not even this noble effort can ensure that we succeed. And even if we did, what guarantee do we have that we will also be completely satisfied with ourselves? What if we achieved the best recognition for the wrong reasons?
Here’s a question coming from a schoolteacher in her 40s – a smart woman and all, and well, if I should say it myself, too smart for her own good. I say this while complying with the dominant discourse, namely, the one that dictates that women should look at themselves first, and then be ashamed of being too smart. I mean, really, who needs smart women? Ever?
DO I RENDER ANY SERVICE TO MY STUDENTS AT ALL?
‘Am I actually helping my students?’ – she goes.
And I go – ‘actually, you’re not. You’re not on the same page with them.’
‘And why not?’ – she goes.
And I say – ‘because you’re not interested in their potential.’
‘And why is that?’ – she goes.
‘Because they try to impress you with what’s not IT’ – I go!
‘Ah, that makes sense’ – she goes.
And I go – ‘It sure does, though it helps you jack shit.’
‘And why is that?’ – she goes.
‘Because you’re both caught in the wheel of the wisdom that teaches the following: what goes up comes down, what comes down goes up .’
‘Bloody hell’ – she goes.
‘Yeah’ – I go – ‘It looks like you’re both more interested in working for za system, than actually figuring out how to align your actual and mutual needs; the needs that are not culturally constructed as mere ‘desires.’
‘Fuck, me’ – she goes.
‘Fuck you, indeed’ – I go.
We all get the picture.
It goes to show that one can have immense satisfaction from having told the truth, from having abided by the truth, and from saying that the truth rules, even if it must come from some random cards. I think it’s a good idea to ponder sometimes on how we distinguish between needs and desires, and to what extent we can only be happy if we render some service to the world. But what if the world needs that which clashes with our own values? Are we going to end up as miserable narcissists, yet satisfied with ourselves for not ‘giving in’, or are we going to acknowledge that whatever the world needs is not for us to judge? Always a tough call. How to stay motivated in the face of realizing that your ideals are worth nothing much. Consequently, and taking my cue from the cards here, the wisdom that I encourage us all to acquire is the wisdom about knowing our place in the world. If we know that, then we will also know when we are called to be critical, for whatever reason, and when we are called to lay it off, for whatever reason.
May you all be blessed with the power to discern.
If in doubt, consult a FORTUNETELLER.
Note on the deck:
Marseille Tarot, Jean Noblet, 1650, as reconstructed by Jean-Claude Flornoy, 2001. A hand-stenciled set.