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King of Swords — Spiritual Message of the Day

April 1, 2012

King of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersAs noted in a previous post about the Page of Swords, Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” For the Page, this suggests advice, but for this King, it is a warning. Another danger of acquiring expertise is described as follows by A. Parthasarathy in his book Vedanta Treatise: The Eternities.

“[When we] do not assimilate, absorb the knowledge taken in, … accumulated knowledge becomes a burden rather than a blessing.”

One interpretation of this is that a danger of acquiring knowledge without assimilating it (i.e., “becoming it” as Ram Dass says) is that as a “learned expert” all that knowledge merely feeds our vanity and ego. In addition, when we think we know it all, we tend not to listen to others and learn from them. We close our eyes to new possibilities and our minds to new ideas. In short, we lose our humility, which is an important aspect of a truly spiritual person.

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