The sixty-fourth card of the game represents the joker: emptiness, nothingness, the desolate cosmic void, the dreadful night the soul, the sunyata of the Buddhists, the vanitas vanitatum of the Christian desert fathers, the ultimate illusion, the maya of the Vedantist. Truly the feeling of emptiness is the first step to wisdom; is it also the last? No, because there are eighteen emptinesses, say the Tibetans, which you have to measure one after the other, which you have to attain, realize and be. They become more empty as you advance, and always you think: “This must be the last nothingness. Emptier it cannot become.” Finally you discover, hidden away in all these emptinesses, the joker, yourself, the observer, the feeling of I, and me. And only when you have thrown out this last content, the last obstacle to total, ultimate and absolute emptiness, there comes the great discovery, the very basis of being, the glorious nothingness of which the great Zen master Rykin says: “It is wonderful, wonderful, and yet more wonderful.”
Now turn your card around, and here it is, the supreme discovery, the innermost
the absolute abundance, the
of being and consciousness. The secret of the emptiness is the fullness, the plenitude, the pleroma of the gnostics, something filled to the brim with absolute bliss, and in the utterance of the Upanishads ‘full-full-full’.
Naturally emptiness is empty only in respect to emptiness, and the fullness is full to fullness. Finally all truth reveals itself thus as a
or as Laotse puts it, “True words are like upside-down”. Thus as emptiness abides in the house of divine fullness, that fullness lives in a divine emptiness.
Like the world process of the infinite and the time process of the eternal they belong to the logic of being rather than to the logical sequences of thought. They are the plaything of the gods and those who want to play the cosmic play should accept them as dice.
- “In the Void he saw throned the Omniscience supreme.”
- Savitri, p.76, “The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Spirit's Freedom and Greatness”