Christianity, Platonism, and the Tarot of Marseille

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Christianity, Platonism, and the Tarot of Marseille: A Very Brief Introduction [PDF] by TeenyTinyTarot.

Here is another free TeenyTinyTarot pamplet that consists mostly of long block quotes from the Meditations on the Tarot. Despite the title, there is no particularly Christian doctrine presented, nor any reference to the history of Christianity. Nor does it engage Platonism, beyond the most generic of dualist metaphysical notions and the name-dropping of Plotinus and of Plato’s Phaedrus. Another curious instance of name-dropping is that of the Traditionalist Sufi Martin Lings, where some specific writing by Lings is apparently at issue, but it is not specified. The text in the current pamphlet has been taken from conversation pendant to a class presented by the anonymous author, a context which helps account for the missing connections and details.

The back cover of the pamphlet has its most interesting content: a little “game” called “Playing the Fool,” where the Trumps are shuffled and then put back in sequence. Although “It is considered by some very auspicious when The Fool doesn’t turn up until the last play of the game,” that’s just a matter of a one-in-twenty-two chance (or perhaps physical clairvoyance), so it’s really not much of a game. It is a slight improvement on a similar exercise called “Joy to the World” published on the TeenyTinyTarot website. [via]

Notable Replies

  1. Thanks for the review – I approved your ping-back on the other end! Feel free to leave a ping-back for your review of “A Metaphysical Reading of the Tarot Suits”, too:

    To speak to a couple of the questions posed by your review of “Christianity, Platonism, and the Tarot of Marseille”:

    1. You are right–I do not provide a specific citation of the Martin Lings material. But I do specify the title of his book, “What is Sufism”, on page 2 of the pamphlet and in the “Acknowledgements” (just inside the front cover). I also specify the title of a recording of his talk on YouTube: “Metaphysics and the Perennial Philosophy”.

    2. You are also correct that the class readings and discussion help to fill in the missing pieces. The pamphlet is designed to alert hungry souls with open hearts to the possibility of becoming attuned to what the anonymous author of “Meditations on the Tarot” refers to as “the vertical dimension”. I’m assuming the citation of “Enneads V.9.10” and the mention of “the myth of the soul in Plato’s Phaedrus” will provide such souls sufficient reference. If not, they are always free to contact me! :slight_smile:

    Other than that, it’s just a matter of fitting as much material as I can as gracefully as I can into an 8 page pamphlet with a view to alerting people to some spiritual currents that they might not otherwise be aware of. Thanks for the feedback!


  2. P.S. It occurs to me that I should also address the “dualistic metaphysical notions” that you attribute to Platonism. While that may accurate, in an abstract way, it doesn’t take into consideration that both the “Enneads” of Plotinus and our anonymous author’s “Meditations on the Tarot” offer a way of initiation that ultimately resolves the problems posed by their own dualistic rhetoric. Plotinus does this so effectively that Brian Hines has to take Ken Wilber to task for characterizing Plotinus’ philosophy as nondual (though if you read the comments, not everyone is persuaded by his critique). In any event, I think both Plotinus and MOTT can be understood in a way that is generally consistent with what I would call a panENtheism. But I also think the proof of the pudding is in the eating (not in the thinking about it). :slight_smile:

    Thanks again for your feedback!


  3. Hey there TeenyTinyTarot! I’ve let T Polyphilus know about your responses to his reviews so he can check them out. But, either way, thanks for stopping by the BBS!

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