Beware the Hollow Folk
Detail of a Manhattan store front in the Seventies, one of a series taken during a phase of walking around the city at night with camera and tripod. CARD URL:

Card #62 – Beware the Hollow Folk


Be wary of those who approach with hollow intentions. Choose your companions with infinite care. Know the difference between an acquaintance and a friend or spiritual ally. Are you hanging out with people with whom you would trust your life? Life is too short to spend in hollow company when it could be lived with true friends, soulmates, spiritual allies, or creative solitude. Some approach us with hollow intentions; they seek us for pleasure, manipulation, money, power, or just out of impulsive, neurotic chaos. We must discern and set firm boundaries between those who approach with unworthy intentions and ourselves. T.S. Elliot wrote a haunting poem entitled “The Hollow Men.” Here are a couple of excerpts,

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless . . .

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley

You are not the first to notice amazing numbers of hollow people. Lacking a strong individual core, hollow folk are shaped by outside conditioning. Hollow folk in the Fifties lived mechanical lives that were perfect 1950s stereotypes. Hollow folk in the Sixties wore bellbottoms, and in the Seventies, they went to discos, and so on and so forth. Hollow people are hungry ghosts who want to be filled up and may act like parasites, draining energy from others.

It is easy to view such people harshly. And yet, the hollow folk are still people, and we should not indulge in contempt of them or become addicted to disdain. They are at a different level of development and may eventually reach a higher level of consciousness. As Walt Whitman says,

. . . the murderer or mean person is not nothing, The perpetual succession of shallow people are not nothing as they go . . .

Compassion and firmness are necessary to negotiate your way amongst the hollow folk. It is crucial to find companions who are not hollow, but it is even more crucial for you not to be hollow and to be in touch with your own core.

The key to becoming hollow is to give your power over to outside objects, people, or entities. The more power the external agencies have to capture your attention, the more hollow you become. This is what a Ring Wraith is — an obsessed, withering addict forever seeking The Precious. The Precious could be the Hottie, a white powder, cash, power, something that glitters out there in the Babylon Matrix, keeping your entranced eyes focused on that bouncing red ball. From the point of view of the hollow folk, you are a character in the drama of their efforts to get The Precious — social status, sexual transactions, money, substances, neurotic dramas, whatever.

What would not be a hollow companion would be a spiritual ally, a person with a strong commitment to consciousness and a loving enthusiasm for helping others develop. If you seek consciousness, the most crucial thing to look for in a companion is a compatible level of commitment to consciousness and to love. The best way to be attractive to such allies is to strengthen those same qualities in yourself.

Depending on the position of this card, and where you are in your process, the warning here could be about interpersonal and/or intrapsychic hollowness. Consider this an auspicious time to free yourself from hollowness.

Stop the Hottie!
Casting Precious into the Cracks of Doom — Androgyny, Alchemy, Evolution and the One Ring

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