SCIENCE AND TAROT
I will never forget my utter shock and disbelief the first time I sat in a Tarot class and the “client” sitting across from me shuffled the cards and handed them to me and the reading unfolded. I laid the cards out in the pattern the teacher gave us. I then began reading the cards from the descriptions in my notes. The reading was quite accurate and amazed us both. She did the same for me. Again we were stunned. I see the same shock and delight reaction from my students. ” How in the name of all that is Holy did I do that?” Is there a scientific explanation?
There are several possible theories. Some people believe that there are beings in other dimensions existing in the same spaces with us who guide the reading. They can be labeled “The Higher Self”, angelic forces, spirit guides, etc. Other people are pretty sure that somehow thoughts are transmitted, like radio waves, from client to reader, or that the reader is responding psychologically to body language and other, perhaps subliminal cues, which does NOT explain why telephone Tarot readings can be so accurate. But if you understand a bit of quantum physics/mechanics, it becomes easier to understand how these readings may be working.
Bells Theorem states that, “No theory of reality compatible with quantum theory can require spatially separated events to be separate.” This means that all distant events are in constant communication; interdependent and interconnected. This implies that each and every single particle must know exactly what every other particle in the universe is doing in order to know what it, itself, needs to be doing at any and all times. This further implies that every particle in the universe is constantly “in touch” with “the All That Is.
Fritjof Capra further summarizes Geoffrey Chew’s “bootstrap” theory which explains the way subatomic particles behave:
“The “bootstrap” philosophy declares that we must abandon the idea of fundamental building blocks of matter. There are no fundamental entities whatsoever – no fundamental constants, laws, or equations. The material universe is seen as a dynamic web of interrelated events. None of the properties of any part of this web are fundamental. They all follow from the properties of other parts, and the overall consistency of their interrelations determines the structure of the entire web.”
In other words, all that exists is interrelated; Inter-connected in a vast web. Since that is true, then it should come as no surprise that in our interconnected ness, my client’s past, present and future shows up in the layout of the cards. Every atom and molecule in the Universe knows what every other atom and molecule in the universe is doing at any given time. Synchronicity just follows naturally from that. Some scientists have actually posited that the Universe is a single, living organism. See Gregg Braden’s “Living in the Mind of God.”
All these atoms and molecules exist in probability states until they are observed. This means that there are many possible outcomes out there, depending upon observation. So if the reader observes a possible outcome, and states it to you, and you then observe this probable outcome, the chances are greater the outcome will manifest. SO CHOOSE YOUR READERS CARE FULLY. Choose ones with a positive attitude, ones with your best interest at heart. Run like hell from those who would try to manipulate you with fear into coming back to see them!
To test some of this yourself, you can do an experiment. Take a light source, like a flashlight, and enclose it in a box (shoebox?) and cut two slits in the box for the light to get out of, then go into a completely darkened room, like a closet. Turn on the flashlight in the box, and you will see on the opposite wall a fringe pattern of light surrounding each slit. Why? Light behaves like a wave sometimes, and a particle sometimes. Your logical mind knows that there should be only two precise slits of light, shaped exactly like the slits in the box, but instead there is a fringe of light around each slit. This is because when the particle behaves like a wave, each electron will land in a place other than directly across from the source. It was just this kind of behavior of tiny particles like those that make up light that has caused the science of quantum physics to come into being. Light particles live in a probability state. They can be a wave or a particle. The reason there is a halo effect is because some of the particles are choosing to be waves, some particles. (This is called the double-slit experiment, by the way, if you wish to research it further.)
According to the double-slit experiment, quantum particles (in the light) exist in probability-space until we look at them. Just as soon as we observe them, we affect the system in such a way that their wave-forms collapse and they “choose” a particular state to be in. From that time forward, they remain in that state. So, as long as we’re not looking, anything is possible because everything is in a fluid state. As soon as we decide to look, a probability is chosen and becomes fixed reality. In other words, reality is not independent of our observation of it. This is an idea that is utterly alien to most of humanity’s understanding of reality at a most basic level, but it is a much more accurate view of reality.
Carl Jung, who coined the term “synchronicity” was a contemporary of Freud as well as a psychologist and professor. He developed this idea because he noticed that both he and many of his patients had experiences in which “coincidences” played a very meaningful role, but were quite unlikely to have happened randomly. For example, one patient dreamed of an insect, a golden scarab. While telling Jung about the dream in session, Jung just happened to look out the window, saw a golden scarab flying by, and reached out and grabbed it. He gave it to the client and said, “Here’s your golden scarab.” This event facilitated a major breakthrough for the client, as you might well imagine.
During Jung’s lifetime Einstein’s theory of relativity and the basics of quantum physics were being developed. Carl Jung knew the scientists Einstein and Pauli. They corresponded and met each other in society. Recognizing that the principles of quantum mechanics perhaps explained the phenomenon he observed, which he began calling “synchronicity,” Jung posited that besides the cause-and-effect relationships we all know about, there is some kind of “connecting principle,” the nature of which is not based in cause/effect. Two things may be somehow connected without there being an obvious cause and effect relationship.
Carl Jung actually read his own Tarot cards daily, according to his autobiography (“Memories, Dreams, Reflectios”) and was fascinated by the I Ching. He suggested synchronicity might be responsible for how divination works. He believed dreams were part and parcel of synchronicity, and were also to be observed carefully for that reason. Interestingly, at the end of his life he said that his only regret was that he had not learned more about astrology! While Freud is recognized as the father of psychology, I believe one day Jung will be recognized as the father of “modern” psychology. He certainly foreshadowed Transpersonal Psychology!!
Synchronistic events, unfortunately, are not easy to study, using the currently accepted “empirical” model of science. This may be why many scientists state that we have reached the end of empiricism. The scientific method cannot measure everything!! Some things, like love for example, definitely exist, but cannot be proven using empiricism.
Empiricism is based on observing cause and effect situations that can be repeated. (I do this and that happens. I do this exactly the same way again and that exact same thing happens again. Joe Blow does it and it happens exactly the same way as when I did it. Now we have proven it.) Synchronistic events do not seem to occur in this way, thus it is not possible to prove their existence using the empirical method. It requires that the experiencer trust his own senses more than the scientific method (remember, we cannot prove love exists). This of course requires that a person be capable of self-validation, and not be seeking validation from outside the self.
Tarot works just as well with telephone readings with clients I have never met. And tarot seems to be better with working with energy fields, situations, trends and likelihoods, rather than tiny precise factual details like,”Exactly when, where and how will I meet this man? And what is his date of birth?” “On what date will this business deal close?” or “Exactly how much will the insurance claim garner?”
What makes Tarot work? The answer probably lies somewhere in science, rather than within the “airy-fairy” or within purely psychological explanations. All I know is that it DOES work, and that if it did not work I would cease to do them.
I leave you with one last thing. In Gary Zukav’s 1979 book on quantum physics and mechanics, “Dancing Wu Li Masters,” one will observe that all reality boils down to is energy in movement. No one has ever yet actually observed a particle. Once you really “get” that little bit of information, you begin not to wonder how a Tarot reading works, but why you cannot walk through walls!