Zap Oracle Card #294
Detail of Parallel Journeys collage made in 1996. My father took the two black and white photos of me. CARD URL: https://www.zaporacle.com/card/be-true-to-your-essence/

Card #294 – Be True to Your Essence

  text and photo © Jonathan Zap

Be true to your essence — that which created your DNA and incarnation circumstances – and allow others to be true to theirs. According to the Taoist I Ching, evolution occurs on the path of “reverse alchemy,” the path of “returning to the Tao.” Evolution does not necessarily occur by perpetual attunement to the Tao. Daisies, spiders and viruses live perfectly attuned to the Tao, never deviate from it, but don’t have the potential for individual evolution that human beings possess. We are born in touch with our essence, but relentless programs of conditioning work to separate us from our original essence. However, if we are able to travel the difficult path of reverse alchemy, undo the many layers of conditioning and restore our original essence,then we will be evolved.

We’ve been conditioned to think human beings are a product of two factors: genetics and environment. But there is a third gigantic factor, essence, which cannot be reduced to either genetics or environment. Essence is an innate unconditioned aspect of an individual, a set of qualities that accompanies the individual into incarnation. This set of qualities may often be suppressed or distorted by acquired conditioning, but essence will find moments when it can shine through, and if it is strong enough it can emerge even in unfavorable circumstances like a flower blossoming from a crack in the sidewalk.

Essence finds ways to reveal itself. Parents often unconsciously suppress essence because they superimpose on a child their own expectations and desires of what the child should be. Prospective parents need to realize that they are spinning the wheel of fate and no one can say who will step through the portal they help to open. Loving parents are open to the discovery of a child’s essence, which might be fantastically different than anything they may have hoped for or expected.

Depending on the position and context in which this card is drawn, you may need to be more open and alert to the essence of others and/or to your own essence. One way that essence may reveal itself is through enthusiasm and aptitude toward particular aspects of creativity, physical movement, human relations, self-awareness, etc.

 


 

There are many definitions of essence. From Wikipedia article on essence: “In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the object or substance has contingently, without which the substance can still retain its identity.” This same article surveys many philosophical versions of essence, but unfortunately omits the Taoist/I Ching version that I am using.
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