Minor Arcana: Suit of Clouds
|6: The Burden
Ace of Clouds: Consciousness
Most of the cards in this suit of the mind are either cartoon-like or troubled, because the influence of the mind in our lives is generally either ridiculous or oppressive. But this card of Consciousness shows a vast Buddha figure. He is so expansive he has gone even beyond the stars, and above his head is pure emptiness. He represents the consciousness that is available to all who become a master of the mind and can use it as the servant it is meant to be.
When you choose this card, it means that there is a crystal clarity available right now, detached, rooted in the deep stillness that lies at the core of your being. There is no desire to understand from the perspective of the mind--the understanding you have now is existential, whole, in harmony with the pulse of life itself. Accept this great gift, and share it.
|We come from the unknown and we go on moving into the
unknown. We will come again; we have been here thousands of times, and
we will be here thousands of times.
Our essential being is immortal but our body, our embodiment, is mortal. Our frame in which we are, our houses, the body, the mind, they are made of material things. They will get tired, they will get old, they will die. But your consciousness, for which Bodhidharma uses the word 'no-mind'--Gautam Buddha has also used the word 'no-mind'--is something beyond body and mind, something beyond everything; that no-mind is eternal. It comes into expression, and goes again into the unknown.
This movement from the unknown to the known, and from the known to the unknown, continues for eternity, unless somebody becomes enlightened. Then that is his last life; then this flower will not come back again. This flower that has become aware of itself need not come back to life because life is nothing but a school in which to learn. He has learned the lesson, he is now beyond delusions. He will move from the known for the first time not into the unknown, but into the unknowable.
Osho Bodhidharma, the Greatest Zen Master Chapter 5
2 of Clouds: Schizophrenia
The person on this card brings a new twist to the old idea of "getting stuck between a rock and a hard place"! But we are in precisely this sort of situation when we get stuck in the indecisive and dualistic aspect of the mind. Should I let my arms go and fall head-first, or let my legs go and fall feet-first? Should I go here or there? Should I say yes or no? And whatever decision we make, we will always wonder if we should have decided the other way.
The only way out of this dilemma is, unfortunately, to let go of both at once. You can't work your way out of this one by solving it, making lists of pros and cons, or in any way working it out with your mind. Better to follow your heart, if you can find it. If you can't find it, just jump--your heart will start beating so fast there will be no mistake about where it is!
|Man is split. Schizophrenia is a normal condition of man--at
least now. It may not have been so in the primitive world, but
centuries of conditioning, civilization, culture and religion have made
man a crowd--divided, split, contradictory....
But because this split is against his nature, deep down somewhere hidden the unity still survives. Because the soul of man is one, all the conditionings at the most destroy the periphery of the man. But the center remains untouched--that's how man continues to live. But his life has become a hell.
The whole effort of Zen is how to drop this schizophrenia, how to drop this split personality, how to drop the divided mind of man, how to become undivided, integrated, centered, crystallized.
The way you are, you cannot say that you are. You don't have a being. You are a marketplace--many voices. If you want to say 'yes', immediately the 'no' is there. You cannot even utter a simple word 'yes' with totality....
In this way happiness is not possible; unhappiness is a natural consequence of a split personality.
Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 3
|3 of Clouds:
In our society, men in particular have been taught not to cry, to put a brave face on things when they get hurt and not show that they are in pain. But women can fall into this trap too, and all of us at one time or another might feel that the only way to survive is to close off our feelings and emotions so we can't be hurt again. If our pain is particularly deep, we might even try to hide it from ourselves. This can make us frozen, rigid, because deep down we know that one small break in the ice will free the hurt to start circulating through us again.
The rainbow-colored tears on this person's face hold the key to breaking out of this 'ice-olation'. The tears, and only the tears, have the power to melt the ice. It's okay to cry, and there is no reason to feel ashamed of your tears. Crying helps us to let go of pain, allows us to be gentle with ourselves, and finally helps us to heal.
|We are miserable because we are too much in the self. What
does it mean when I say we are too much in the self? And what exactly
happens when we are too much in the self?
Either you can be in existence or you can be in the self--both are not possible together. To be in the self means to be apart, to be separate. To be in the self means to become an island. To be in the self means to draw a boundary line around you. To be in the self means to make a distinction between 'this I am' and 'that I am not'.
The definition, the boundary, between "I" and "not I" is what the self is--the self isolates. And it makes you frozen--you are no longer flowing.
If you are flowing the self cannot exist. Hence people have become almost like ice-cubes. They don't have any warmth, they don't have any love--love is warmth and they are afraid of love. If warmth comes to them they will start melting and the boundaries will disappear. In love the boundaries disappear; in joy also the boundaries disappear, because joy is not cold.
Osho Zen: The Path of Paradox, Volume 1, Chapter 5
|4 of Clouds:
The woman in this picture is living in a gray landscape, full of unreal, cut-out clouds. Through the window frame she can see colors and light and aliveness, and although she would like to move through the frame--as we can see by the rainbow colors appearing in her garment--she can't quite manage to do it. There is still too much 'what-if?' activity in her mind.
Tomorrow never comes, they say, but no matter how often it is said, it seems that most of us tend to forget the truth of it. In fact, the one and only result of postponing things is a dull and depressing feeling of incompletion and 'stuck-ness' today. The relief and expansiveness you will feel once you put aside all the dithering thoughts that are preventing you from acting now will make you wonder why you ever waited so long.
|Postponement is simply stupid. Tomorrow you will also have
to decide, so why not today? And do you think that tomorrow you will be
wiser than today? Do you think that tomorrow you will be livelier than
today? Do you think that tomorrow you will be younger than today,
fresher than today?
Tomorrow you will be older, your courage will be less; tomorrow you will be more experienced, your cunningness will be more; tomorrow death will come closer--you will start wavering and being more afraid.
Never postpone for the tomorrow. And who knows? Tomorrow may come or may not come. If you have to decide you have to decide right now.
Dr. Vogel, the dentist, finished his examination on a pretty young patient. "Miss Baseman," he said, "I'm afraid I'm going to have to pull out your wisdom teeth!"
"Oh, my!" exclaimed the girl. "I'd rather have a baby!" "Well," said Dr. Vogel, "could you make up your mind so that I can adjust the chair?"
Make up your mind. Don't go on postponing infinitely.
Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 8
|5 of Clouds:
Who ever told you that the bamboo is more beautiful than the oak, or the oak more valuable than the bamboo? Do you think the oak wishes it had a hollow trunk like this bamboo? Does the bamboo feel jealous of the oak because it is bigger and its leaves change color in the fall? The very idea of the two trees comparing themselves to each other seems ridiculous, but we humans seem to find this habit very hard to break.
Let's face it, there is always going to be somebody who is more beautiful, more talented, stronger, more intelligent, or apparently happier than you are. And conversely, there will always be those who are less than you in all these ways. The way to find out who you are is not by comparing yourself with others, but by looking to see whether you are fulfilling your own potential in the best way you know how.
|Comparison brings inferiority, superiority. When you don't
compare, all inferiority, all superiority, disappears. Then you are,
you are simply there. A small bush or a big high tree--it doesn't
matter; you are yourself. You are needed.
A grass leaf is needed as much as the biggest star. Without the grass leaf God will be less than he is. This sound of the cuckoo is needed as much as any Buddha; the world will be less, will be less rich if this cuckoo disappears.
Just look around. All is needed, and everything fits together. It is an organic unity: nobody is higher and nobody is lower, nobody superior, nobody inferior. Everybody is incomparably unique.
Osho The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter 4
|6 of Clouds:
When we carry a load of shoulds and shouldn'ts imposed on us by others we become like this ragged, struggling figure trying to make his way uphill. "Go faster, try harder, reach the top!" shouts the foolish tyrant he carries on his shoulder, while the tyrant himself is crowned with an imperious rooster. If life these days feels like just a struggle from the cradle to the grave, it could be time to shrug your shoulders and see what it feels like to walk without these characters on your back.
You have your own mountains to conquer, your own dreams to fulfill, but you will never have the energy to pursue them until you release yourself from all the expectations you've gathered from others but now think are your own. Chances are they exist only in your own mind, but that doesn't mean they can't weigh you down. It's time to lighten up, and send them on their way.
|A man's true life is the way in which he puts off the lie
imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is.
This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become
the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to
make the nonessential the essential. The nonessential remains
nonessential and the essential remains essential, they are not
convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more
The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped. All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that, as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie's way to hide.
See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth--there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears, and what is left is the truth.
Osho This Very Body The Buddha Chapter 6
|7 of Clouds: Politics
Do you recognize this man? All but the most innocent and sincere of us have a politician lurking somewhere in our minds. In fact, the mind is political. Its very nature is to plan and scheme and try to manipulate situations and people so that it can get what it wants. Here, the mind is represented by the snake, covered with clouds and "speaking with a forked tongue". But the important thing to realize about this card is that both faces are false. The sweet, innocent, "trust me" face is a mask, and the evil, toxic, "I'll have my way with you" face is a mask, too. Politicians don't have real faces. The whole game is a lie.
Take a good look at yourself to see if you have been playing this game. What you see might be painful, but not as painful as continuing to play. It doesn't serve anybody's interest in the end, least of all yours. Whatever you might achieve in this way will just turn to dust in your hands.
|Anybody who can be a good pretender, a hypocrite, will
become your leader politically, will become your priest religiously.
All that he needs is hypocrisy, all that he needs is cunningness, all
that he needs is a facade to hide behind.
Your politicians live double lives, your priests live double lives--one from the front door, the other from the back door. And the back-door life is their real life. Those front-door smiles are just false, those faces looking so innocent are just cultivated.
If you want to see the reality of the politician you will have to see him from his back door. There he is in his nudity, as he is, and so is the priest.
These two kinds of cunning people have dominated humanity. And they found out very early on that if you want to dominate humanity, make it weak, make it feel guilty, make it feel unworthy. Destroy its dignity, take all glory away from it, humiliate it. And they have found such subtle ways of humiliation that they don't come in the picture at all; they leave it to you to humiliate yourself, to destroy yourself. They have taught you a kind of slow suicide.
Osho The White Lotus, Chapter 10
|8 of Clouds: Guilt
Guilt is one of the most destructive emotions in which we can get caught. If we have wronged another, or gone against our own truth, then of course we will feel bad. But to let ourselves be overwhelmed with guilt is to invite a migraine. We end up surrounded by nagging clouds of self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness to the point where we cannot see any of the beauty and joy that life is trying to offer us.
We all long to be better people--more loving, more aware, more true to ourselves. But when we punish ourselves for our failures by feeling guilty, we can get locked into a cycle of despair and hopelessness that robs us of all clarity about ourselves and the situations we encounter. You are absolutely okay as you are, and it is absolutely natural to go astray from time to time. Just learn from it, move on, and use the lesson not to make the same mistake again.
|This moment!...this herenow...is forgotten when you start
thinking in terms of achieving something. When the achieving mind
arises, you lose contact with the paradise you are in. This is one of
the most liberating approaches: it liberates you right now! Forget all
about sin and forget all about saintliness; both are stupid. Both
together have destroyed all the joys of humanity.
The sinner is feeling guilty, hence his joy is lost. How can you enjoy life if you are continuously feeling guilty? if you are continuously going to the church to confess that you have done this wrong and that wrong? And wrong and wrong and wrong...your whole life seems to be made of sins.
How can you live joyously? It becomes impossible to delight in life. You become heavy, loaded. Guilt sits on your chest like a rock, it crushes you; it does not allow you to dance. How can you dance? How can guilt dance? How can guilt sing? How can guilt love? How can guilt live?
So the one who thinks he is doing something wrong is guilty, burdened, dead before death, has already entered into the grave.
Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1, Chapter 3
|9 of Clouds: Sorrow
The image is of Ananda, the cousin and disciple of Gautam Buddha. He was at Buddha's side constantly, attending to his every need for forty-two years. When Buddha died, the story is told that Ananda was still at his side, weeping. The other disciples chastised him for his misunderstanding: Buddha had died absolutely fulfilled; he should be rejoicing. But Ananda said, "You misunderstand. I'm weeping not for him but for myself, because for all these years I have been constantly at his side but I have still not attained." Ananda stayed awake for the whole night, meditating deeply and feeling his pain and sorrow. By the morning, it is said, he was enlightened.
Times of great sorrow have the potential to be times of great transformation. But in order for transformation to happen we must go deep, to the very roots of our pain, and experience it as it is, without blame or self-pity.
|This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That's where
people go on missing.... This pain is just to make you more
alert--because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into
their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don't become alert.
When life is easy, comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone--those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone. Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery disappears.
Osho Take it Easy, Volume, 2 Chapter 12
|10 of Clouds: Rebirth
This card depicts the evolution of consciousness as it is described by Friedrich Nietzsche in his book, Thus Spake Zarathustra. He speaks of the three levels of Camel, Lion and Child. The camel is sleepy, dull, self-satisfied. He lives in delusion, thinking he's a mountain peak, but really he is so concerned with others' opinions that he hardly has any energy of his own. Emerging from the camel is the lion. When we realize we've been missing life, we start saying no to the demands of others. We move out of the crowd, alone and proud, roaring our truth.
But this is not the end. Finally the child emerges, neither acquiescent nor rebellious, but innocent and spontaneous and true to his own being. Whatever the space you're in right now--sleepy and depressed, or roaring and rebellious--be aware that it will evolve into something new if you allow it. It is a time of growth and change.
|In Zen you are coming from nowhere and you are going to
nowhere. You are just now, here, neither coming nor going. Everything
passes by you; your consciousness reflects it but it does not get
When a lion roars in front of a mirror, do you think the mirror roars? Or when the lion is gone and a child comes dancing, the mirror completely forgets about the lion and starts dancing with the child--do you think the mirror dances with the child? The mirror does nothing, it simply reflects.
Your consciousness is only a mirror. Neither do you come, nor do you go. Things come and go. You become young, you become old; you are alive, you are dead. All these states are simply reflections in an eternal pool of consciousness.
Osho Live Zen, Volume, 2 Chapter 16
|Page of Clouds:
This is what happens when we forget that the mind is meant to be a servant, and start to allow it to run our lives. The head is filled with mechanisms, the mouth is ranting and raving, and the whole surrounding atmosphere is being polluted by this factory of arguments and opinions. "But wait," you say. "The mind is what makes us human, it's the source of all progress, all great truths."
If you believe that, try an experiment: go into your room, shut the door, turn on a tape recorder, and give yourself total permission to say whatever is 'on your mind'. If you really allow it to all come out without any censorship or editing, you'll be amazed at the amount of rubbish that comes spewing forth. The Page of Clouds is telling you that somebody, somewhere, is stuck in "a head trip". Take a look and make sure it isn't you.
|This is the situation of your head: I see cycle-handles and
pedals and strange things that you have gathered from everywhere. Such
a small head...and no space to live in! And that rubbish goes on moving
in your head; your head goes on spinning and weaving--it keeps you
Just think what kind of thoughts go on inside your mind. One day just sit, close your doors, and write down for half an hour whatsoever is passing in your mind, and you will understand what I mean and you will be surprised what goes on inside your mind. It remains in the background, it is constantly there, it surrounds you like a cloud.
With this cloud you cannot know reality; you cannot attain to spiritual perception. This cloud has to be dropped. And it is just with your decision to drop it that it will disappear. You are clinging to it--the cloud is not interested in you, remember it.
Osho The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter 9
|Knight of Clouds:
The figure in this card is completely covered in armor. Only his glare of rage is visible, and the whites of the knuckles on his clenched fists. If you look closely at the armor, you can see it's covered with buttons, ready to detonate if anybody so much as brushes up against them. In the background we see the shadowy movie that plays in this man's mind--two figures fighting for a castle. An explosive temper or a smoldering rage often masks a deep feeling of pain.
We think that if we frighten people away, we can avoid being hurt even more. In fact, just the opposite is the case. By covering our wounds with armor we are preventing them from being healed. By lashing out at others we keep ourselves from getting the love and nourishment we need. If this description seems to fit you, it's time to stop fighting. There is so much love available to you if you just let it in. Start by forgiving yourself: you're worth it.
|One moment it was there, another moment it is gone. One
moment we are here, and another moment we have gone. And for this
simple moment, how much fuss we make--how much violence, ambition,
struggle, conflict, anger, hatred. Just for this small moment! Just
waiting for the train in a waiting room on a station, and creating so
much fuss: fighting, hurting each other, trying to possess, trying to
boss, trying to dominate--all that politics. And then the train comes
and you are gone forever.
Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1, Chapter 13
||Queen of Clouds:
Morality has restricted all the juice and energy of life to the narrow confines of her mind. It can't flow there, so she really has become 'a dried up old prune'. Her whole manner is very proper and stiff and severe, and she is always ready to see every situation as black and white, like the jewel she wears around her neck.
The Queen of Clouds lurks in the minds of all of us who have been brought up with rigid ideas of good and bad, sinful and virtuous, acceptable and unacceptable, moral and immoral. It's important to remember that all these judgments of the mind are just products of our conditioning. And whether our judgments are applied to ourselves or to others, they keep us from experiencing the beauty and godliness that lies within. Only when we break through the cage of our conditioning and reach the truth of our own hearts can we begin to see life as it really is.
|Bodhidharma ... far transcends moralists, puritans,
so-called good people, do-gooders. He has touched the very rock bottom
of the problem. Unless awareness arises in you, all your morality is
bogus, all your culture is simply a thin layer which can be destroyed
But once your morality has come out of your awareness, not out of a certain discipline, then it is a totally different matter. Then you will respond in every situation out of your awareness. And whatever you do will be good.
Awareness cannot do anything that is bad. That is the ultimate beauty of awareness, that anything that comes out of it is simply beautiful, is simply right, and without any effort and without any practice. So rather than cutting the leaves and the branches, cut the root. And to cut the root there is no other method than a single method: the method of being alert, of being aware, of being conscious.
Osho Bodhidharma, The Greatest Zen Master, Chapter 15
|King of Clouds:
There is a time and a place for control, but if we put it in charge of our lives we end up totally rigid. The figure is encased in the angles of pyramid shapes that surround him. Light glitters and glints off his shiny surfaces, but does not penetrate. It's as if he is almost mummified inside this structure he's built up around himself. His fists are clenched, and his stare is blank, almost blind. The lower part of his body beneath the table is a knife point, a cutting edge that divides and separates. His world is ordered and perfect, but it is not alive--he cannot allow any spontaneity or vulnerability to enter it.
The image of the King of Clouds reminds us to take a deep breath, loosen our neckties and take it easy. If mistakes happen, it's okay. If things get a little out of hand, it's probably just what the doctor ordered. There is much, much more to life than being "on top of things".
|Controlled persons are always nervous because deep down
turmoil is still hidden. If you are uncontrolled, flowing, alive, then
you are not nervous. There is no question of being nervous--whatsoever
happens, happens. You have no expectations for the future, you are not
performing. Then why should you be nervous?
To control that mind one has to remain so cold and frozen that no life energy is allowed to move into your limbs, into your body. If energy is allowed to move, those repressions will surface. That's why people have learned how to be cold, how to touch others and yet not touch them, how to see people and yet not see them.
People live with clichés--"Hallo. How are you?" Nobody means anything. These are just to avoid the real encounter of two persons. People don't look into each other's eyes, they don't hold hands, they don't try to feel each other's energy, they don't allow each other to pour--very afraid, somehow just managing, cold and dead, in a straitjacket.
Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 5