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Book of Thoth Study Group #8: Summary of the Questions

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Book of Thoth Study Group #8: Summary of the Questions


Summary of the questions hitherto discussed

Quote:
SUMMARY OF THE QUESTIONS HITHERTO DISCUSSED

1. The origin of the Tarot is quite irrelevant, even if it were certain, It must stand or fall as a system on its own merits. 2. It is beyond doubt a deliberate attempt to represent, in pictorial form, the doctrines of the Qabalah. 3. The evidence for this is very much like the evidence brought forward by a person doing a crossword puzzle. He knows from the “Across” clues that his word is “SCRUN blank H”; so it is certain, beyond error, that the blank must be a “C” 4. These attributions are in one sense a conventional, symbolic map; such could be invented by some person or persons of great artistic imagination and ingenuity combined with almost unthinkably great scholarship and philosophical clarity. 5. Such persons, however eminent we may suppose them to have been, are not quite capable of making a system so abstruse in its entirety without the assistance of superiors whose mental processes were) or are, pertaining to a higher Dimension.

One might take, by way of an analogy, the game of chess. Chess has developed from very simple beginnings. It was a mimic battle for tired warriors; but the subtleties of the modern game-which have now, thanks to Richard Réti, gone quite beyond calculation into the world of aesthetic creation-were latent in the original design. The originators of the game were “building better than they knew” It is of course possible to argue that these subtleties have arisen in the course of the development of the game; and indeed it is quite clear, historically, that the early players whose games are on record had no conscious conception of anything beyond a variety of rather crude and elementary stratagems. It is quite possible to argue that the game of chess is merely one of a number of games which has developed while other games died out, because of some accident. One can argue that it is merely by chance that modern chess was latent in the original game.

The theory of inspiration is really very much simpler, and it accounts for the facts without violation of the law of parsimony.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Book of Thoth
SUMMARY OF THE QUESTIONS HITHERTO DISCUSSED

1. The origin of the Tarot is quite irrelevant, even if it were certain, It must stand or fall as a system on its own merits.
One can nothing but agree to this. But isn't it funny then that AC goes on:

Quote:
2. It is beyond doubt a deliberate attempt to represent, in pictorial form, the doctrines of the Qabalah. 3. The evidence for this is very much like the evidence brought forward by a person doing a crossword puzzle. He knows from the “Across” clues that his word is “SCRUN blank H”; so it is certain, beyond error, that the blank must be a “C”
Even though many meaningful connections between the Tarot and the Qabalah can be made, I am not convinced that the Tarot is a deliberate attempt to illustrate the Qabalah.

Quote:
4. These attributions are in one sense a conventional, symbolic map; such could be invented by some person or persons of great artistic imagination and ingenuity combined with almost unthinkably great scholarship and philosophical clarity. 5. Such persons, however eminent we may suppose them to have been, are not quite capable of making a system so abstruse in its entirety without the assistance of superiors whose mental processes were) or are, pertaining to a higher Dimension.

One might take, by way of an analogy, the game of chess. Chess has developed from very simple beginnings. It was a mimic battle for tired warriors; but the subtleties of the modern game-which have now, thanks to Richard Réti, gone quite beyond calculation into the world of aesthetic creation-were latent in the original design. The originators of the game were “building better than they knew” It is of course possible to argue that these subtleties have arisen in the course of the development of the game; and indeed it is quite clear, historically, that the early players whose games are on record had no conscious conception of anything beyond a variety of rather crude and elementary stratagems. It is quite possible to argue that the game of chess is merely one of a number of games which has developed while other games died out, because of some accident. One can argue that it is merely by chance that modern chess was latent in the original game.

The theory of inspiration is really very much simpler, and it accounts for the facts without violation of the law of parsimony.
I don't regard the two theories as contradicting each other.

There is indeed historical evidence that a number of well known esoteric systems started out in a much more simple form. But does that imply that it was by chance that what they evolved to was latent in their early versions? Not more than it is by chance that an acorn develops into an oak tree. Likewise, the evolution of Tarot was - and continues to be - aimed at a telos, causa finalis or Great Attractor.

This view actually supports the idea that it was inspired from higher-dimensional realms.
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I agree. Many times in Greek mythology it is said that the gods passed down their wills to people, through Hermes, not through direct speech but through inspiration. Sometimes a glint of sunlight on a shield was enough to send a thought into a mortal's mind.
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