16. flow


eco-logics, cosmic worldview, inter-being

16. flow

What we see in this card is the world coming together in all its different realizations. The water, the roots, the plants, they all resonate with delicate harmony. Flow is the card of the ecology of things: not only of all things ‘natural’, but also the ecology of the mind, the individual, the group, and the material economy. And on a larger historical scale the logics of history, gender, politics, emancipation etc… Flow is the card that draws attention to the inherently connected character of our environments. To the fact that we are not so much subjects living in a world of things, but that we are made up through the confluence, through the meeting of different realities of being-in-the-world. Who we are is as much a result of the coincidence that brought our parents together, as from the political and economic climate we were born into, the aesthetic preferences of the city we live in, the materials that make up our homes, the part of the world we identify with, the food we eat, the body image that rules our thinking etc…

Flow is pointing out the fact that who we are and how we relate to the world is not a fixed given, but a constant process of readjustment and transformation. How I look at the world around me is all the time in movement, since I am made up by the relations that pass through me. And the balance between these relations is actively transforming me, depending on the informations I’m exposed to. Both intellectually, conceptually, politically and materially, I am in the process of becoming ‘me’ every moment. Through my friendships, my work relations, the television shows I see, the route I walk to my home, the books I read, the childhood images my grandmother created for me, the economic situation of my part of society, the economic situation of another part of society, etc.. In this card there is a strong invitation to sharpen your attention to all things around. To broaden your idea of self not only to include what ‘belongs’ to your body-self, but also what is making you up as you go: the influence the tree outside your window has on your mood in the morning, the relation you have to the outside world while reading the newspaper, the reconstitution of your idea of ‘self’ you allow to happen in your friendships or love relationships.
Flow points out that things only exist through connection. That every thing is conditioned by the way it is linked up to another one, and that they in that sense are both transformed by and co-operating in their mutual transformation. Things are never what they seem to be, they are but the outcome of the relations that create them, of the movement, the flow that connects All.

This is a card of reconciliation, or creating an environmental awareness, of becoming attentive to the way you move through life and the choices you make doing that. Flow is the card of the generous heart that is capable of being bigger than itself. It is the card of compassion that entails not only other human beings but also the stuff all things are made of. It is the mirror card of Touch: where Touch made it clear that the basis of our humanness is the recognition of our shared vulnerability, Flow opens up this movement of mutual recognition to the world of things, phenomena, to everything that makes up our world and time perception. In the flow of things you are always ‘in’ the situation, there is no way of stepping out of it.

When this card comes up in a reading it can have a positive meaning: it encourages you to look for harmony in your life, to become more open for the unfolding of the way the world shapes you, just as you shape the world. To open up your heart to discuss politics with a tree, or problems of the heart with a banana. It is a card of joyful acceptance of your role in the world, and of coming down your high horse of intellectual prowess and control. You are no longer a subject experimenting on objects. You are as much a thing as the lively things around you, and all are governed by the vivid source of the Flow. In a negative sense it can also mean that you are living in sleeping waters, that you have reached a point of stagnation, watered down by such a degree of negotiation that you are getting bored. Or it can point to an excessive tendency to moderation in your personality, that blocks you from expressing yourself fully.

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