The Two of Swords As Pascal's Wager
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2003

"If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having, neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is ... you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that he is." - Blais Pascal

We are all familiar with the traditional Tarot image of the Two of Swords, a woman blindfolded with arms crossed and holding two upright swords. The blindfold is not so much a blindfold as a binding to hold the psyche together after the mind splitting force of the Ace, the Sword of Discernment. She is waiting in deep contemplation in the place between being and becoming - silence. She is trying to find a win/win situation based on things that she cannot "see" - her faith is blind.

This person is unsupported in her position and maneuvering on her own. She is weary of the arguments, disagreements, disloyalties and semantic dissections which pass for discussion and debate. They create no resolution and only turn us against one another in a most unspiritual way. Her arms are crossed to protect her heart from false conflicts and unworthy involvements.

Swords represent the element of Air and rule our thoughts and communication. The two swords she holds represent our knowledge gleaned from exterior sources and the other is representative of our indwelling spiritual knowledge. These swords also represent science as our way of knowing and religion or spiritual practice as our way of believing. Her contemplation is, in actuality, the application of discernment to her thought, word and deed. She struggles to balance sacred thought and intellectual detachment - on one hand her faith is a noun, and on the other it is a verb. If you put gloves on her hands then she would truly not be able to see.

Pascal's Wager is a phisophical argument for the rationality of believing in God, given that no satisfactory (scientific) evidence of God exists.

Pascal's argument is that the value of a faith system, spiritual practice or belief in a Higher Power is greater than unbelief. The premise is quite simple, if you believe and commit yourself to a life of faith or spiritual practice and it all turns out to be real, then you will have reaped an enormous reward and are prepared for the next part of our spiritual journey. Practice is the key word - you must apply it in the day to dayness of your living. If you believe and it doesn't turn out to be real then you have really lost very little, if anything. No matter what, you come out with a philosphy on how to live your life in a better way for your own greater good and are prepared for the vagaries of people and the uncertainties of the mundane world.

Sounds like a win/win situation to me.

Ace of Swords: Seizing the Power of Discernment
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 1999-2003

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This page was created March 4, 2003 and updated July 25, 2006.