Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Knave of Hearts: “The trial’s beginning!”
The poor Knave of Hearts is on trial at the court of the King and Queen of Hearts for allegedly stealing tarts. With a hot-tempered Queen who’s thirsty for decapitations, and a King who can’t seem to keep his head on straight (or maybe it was just his crown), things are getting a bit over-the-top if you know what I mean.
Just because the old poem says it in a rhyme (“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summer day. The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, and took them quite away!”), doesn’t make it true, but you know what happens when something gets said enough, especially if it rhymes. And if it’s to do with the Queen of Hearts, it can become law. Before so much as the first witness can be announced, The Knave is about to be judged and sentenced. It hardly seems fair, and it isn’t really. In fact, the whole thing reminds me a bit of that Kafka story. What was it called again?
Now, The Knave of Hearts might have shown up in your reading because there is some sort of injustice having to do with matters of the heart, and there may be some things to work out. But be mindful, and try to keep your head on. The Queen of Hearts is a good example of what happens when we let our emotions get too carried away. Any sort of mischief, real or imagined, can get sorted out as long as everyone’s given the opportunity to drop into the heart and seek understanding. Without that intention, well, just look what happened in the tiny royal court of Hearts.
Anyway, justice is definitely not in balance here, and it seems very much due to passively accepting old stories as truth, and jumping to conclusions before all of the facts are in. There may be extraneous players, as well, who are making the matter much more complex than it needs to be. For this trial there are scatter-brained jurors, a paranoid Hatter, the bloodthirsty Queen, the absent-minded King cum judge, and Alice who continues to get larger by the second, causing quite a distraction. It’s all very chaotic.
Of course, the Knave of Hearts could be guilty (he is a Knave, after all), but does the punishment fit the crime? I mean, the tarts are still in tact and presented for all to see as evidence, so what is the harm? Is it really worth beheading a man for a stolen plate of biscuits?
I guess that may be the motivation of jumping to a conclusion too quickly here. There just seems to be too much to wade through to do anything justice, so justice has taken a vacation. But I’m afraid that it is unimportant, no wait, make that important (that darn King of Hearts has gotten me all turned around). It is very important to carefully weigh all the evidence before coming to a conclusion and sentencing the accused. That means in your heart (as we are in the royal court of Hearts) as much as in your head. Before diving into and indulging in powerful feelings and reactions, let everything go for a moment and take in “just the facts, ma’am/man.” The following meditation may help with this process.
Meditation: First of all, just take a deep breath, and let it go. There is no rush to get to any decision. What’s most important is that you give time to this process of discernment. Take some time, first, to just allow yourself to let go of assumptions and labels. When you feel clear, move on to the different pieces of information in front of you. Include words, feelings, sounds, smells, sensations and images of any kind. Take them all in (write them down if it helps). Take some more breaths just to let go, again releasing any final judgments. Allow for time to just sit with your information and ask for a higher wisdom to emerge and speak to you. Then, start to notice what comes up: physical sensations? (if so, where are they and what do they feel like?), an image (how does this inform you?), a word, a memory . . . give time and space for each piece that emerges, and then let it go without any conclusions. Again, allow time to just sit with this information and clear out as much as possible with each exhale. Do some journaling about this process. Start with free-writing and without censorship; write everything that comes to you for 3 minutes. You can continue to repeat this process until you have come to a clearer and more precise perspective of your query. If it is you that is being judged, this process is very potent as well. A forgiveness practice can be added in to help you to move on from this trial.