{Empty title} | The Nation

E.L. Doctorow, as a spokesman for the enlightened American literatus (we cannot call him an American intellectual, because that has been proved to be an oxymoron), eloquently states the "weirdness" that has crept over this land during the Bush years. He writes, "It will take more than revelations of an inveterately corrupt Administration to dissolve the miasma of otherworldly weirdness hanging over this land, to recover us from our spiritual disarray, to regain our once-clear national sense of ourselves, however illusory, as the last best hope of mankind."

But I have to wonder whether a counter-Enlightenment posture might be more critical and more revealing. I am thinking, e.g., of imaginal systems like the Tarot, and especially the card of the Tower, which of course is the card that should reveal the true nature of 9/11. Bush and his cronies are a symptom, not a cause, of the confusion caused by the destruction of a tower of lies. Unfortunately, what most thinkers on the problem of Bush seem to lack is a sense of destiny, of the true length of the processes of historical change.

The basic meaning of the Tower is this: "With Mars as its ruling planet, the Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower, as [Robert] Wang points out, stands for 'false concepts and institutions that we take for real.' When the Querent gets this card, they can expect to be shaken up, to be blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built." (http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/basics/tower.shtml)

It has been hard for us who have been brought up with neo-Enlightenment values to grasp the transpersonal force of the Bush Administration, but we must regain our perspective. We must come to see that he was one of the "arrogant men" at the top of the tower, which has been destroyed. The consequent resurgence of fundamentalism is a misguided and unconscious (and thus distorted and temporary) return of the repressed, namely the more qualitative and imaginative systems of knowledge that were rejected by the Enlightenment, but which nevertheless represent a domain of human being that has for too long been ignored in favor of the dehumanizing quest for power and money... an activity that occurs solely within the Tower.