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Until recently, scientists were giving us an increasingly mechanistic view of the Universe. The "billiard ball" model of reality - namely, that certain knowable causes always give rise to certain predictable effects - increasingly dominated all areas of our society. Scientists expected that one day, they would have a complete explanation for ALL phenomena. God increasingly became the "god of the gaps" - the gaps that Science could not explain....yet.
However, the advent of Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory in particular have ended that dream forever. Instead of speaking of certainties and laws, we must now deal with probabilities (i.e. likeliehoods) and a constant interplay between Order and Chaos. Royal Society Biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, now threatens to upset the established scheme even further with his theory that there are in fact no "Laws of Nature", but rather ingrained habits built up through countless repetitions!
So everything in Science is in a dramatic state of flux - one that has yet to feed down to the layman. Most people are still caught in the 19th century hangover of Scientific Rationalism. This loosely states that the only things that exist are those that can be verified experimentally, and that logic is the only valid function of the brain for determining true knowledge about reality. This notion still pervades all areas of society.
However, it is an utterly false one. In truth, the universe is increasingly revealed to be a place of profound mystery. The more scientists discover, the more they gasp at the immensity that remains to be discovered. In truth, the Universe is something incomprehensibly complex; from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the vast dimensions of galactic super-clusters. It defies the finite capacities of our minds.
Moreover, for those who have eyes to see, the universe is also revealing itself to be a place of infinite intelligence. Whether it be Dr. Deepak Chopra telling us about the incredible wisdom stored within the Human Body, or Geo-Physicist James Lovelock postulating that the entire Earth can realistically be considered a single living organism - Gaia - many scientists are embracing a holistic approach to reality at all scales.
Within this new reality of the universe as BEING, the ancient methods of perception emerge once more as potentially valid ways of examining reality. In particular, the ancient method of the Oracle deserves our re-appraisal.
Long maligned by Science as contemptible outdated nonsense, and by mainstream Religion as the work of the devil, Oracles nevertheless enjoyed a long and respected history in the Ancient World and throughout prehistory. Science has rightly put an end to such notions as the flat Earth hypothesis, and the belief that earthquakes and storms are the work of unappeased gods. However, Oracles - such as the I Ching and Tarot - seem as resilient today in our modern technological civilization as they ever were. Ironically, Astrology even uses the latest computer technology to do its work far more efficiently and quickly than has ever been possible before!
Before we discount this tendency as solely limited to the realm of the feeble-minded, we should remember that no less a mind than the great Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, took Oracle systems VERY seriously indeed and worked extensively with the I Ching and the Tarot. It is an indisputable fact that numerous Investment Banks around the world use Financial Astrology to assist in their trading decisions. Moreover, the brilliant 19th century banker, J.P. Morgan - whose bank bears his name and is today one of America's most prestigious financial institutions - is famously quoted as saying, "Millionaires don't believe in Astrology. Billionaires do."
Hence, despite the ravages of Science and Religion, Oracle systems remain popular and robust in mainstream society, and are espoused by genius and simpleton alike. Why is this? Why have they not gone the same way as belief in Santa Claus or Werewolves?
Might the reason for their persistence be that Oracles are a legitimate and valid function of the human brain? Could it be that, like concepts of conscious and subconscious, and the left-handed and right-handed functions of the brain, there is actually a part of your brain that is hard-wired to receive and process information in an oracular manner?
This notion might seem revolutionary. However, it is not at all unreasonable. Recall our earlier discussion about how Science seems to be revealing the universe to be a place of Infinite Intelligence and Being. What if the Cosmos really does function through Synchronicity (meaningful coincidences), as Deepak Chopra's SynchoDestiny work and James Redfield's "The Celestine Prophecy" suggest? Would it then be unreasonable to postulate that Nature might have directly hard-wired into us a means to perceive Reality this way?
It is not unreasonable at all. In fact, it is quite likely.
This would explain how Oracles thrive despite Rationalism's best efforts to eliminate them. You cannot eradicate a legitimate function of the human brain through argument any more than you can insist that everyone's right leg is a useless physical leftover from a primitive past!
So where does this leave us? Quite simply, the Oracle is where our individual soul touches the Soul of the Universe. Whereas logic speaks to the scientific/logical left side of our brain, the oracle communicates information from the heart of the universe, through symbol and image, direct to the artistic/symbolic right-side. Each of us is bombarded daily from society with logical/scientific input. We need to redress the balance by stimulating and using the artistic/symbolic right-side of the brain. This will in turn enhance our overall capacity to function in life. Oracles systems like the I Ching and Tarot can help us do that.
In doing so, we need not approach with an attitude of deep fear, as if we are about to lose our souls. Such fears were propagated by established religion for purely political reasons. After all, if you are truly able to obtain essential knowledge and communion with the Source/God directly, why would you need the expensive trappings of large buildings, the priesthood and regular financial donations?
Rather, we should remember that serious scientists like Jung made studies of the Tarot and I Ching, in line with his studies of Symbolism and the Human Mind. Moreover, the latest scientific revelations of the Universe show it to be a place of meaning and incomprehensible intelligence. Thus, Oracle systems - which seem so in tune with these discoveries - acquire a legitimacy and basis of credibility that they could never have had in previous centuries when these facts were unknown.
Hence, you should choose an oracle and use it regularly. The Tarot and I Ching are particularly recommended. Write your results down in your Journal. Regular use will exercise this vital brain function. Like anything that is exercised regularly, this brain function will strengthen and improve and give you increasingly reliable results. In doing so, you strengthen your intuition and put yourself in direct contact with the Source of the Universe itself.
Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is an active writer/researcher on personal development and esoteric spirituality. Asoka's work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and in discover their soul's purpose.
Asoka welcomes your comments or questions at his Discussion Forum: http://www.aksworld.com/Discus You can subscribe to his free ezine, Aspire To Wisdom, at: http://www.aksworld.com/AspireToWisdom.htm