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Monday, 16 June 2014

Soul Survivor

This card instantly reminds me of Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in the movie 'What's Love Got to Do With It'. If you haven't seen the film, I highly recommend it. It's the story of how Tina Turner (Anna Mae Bullock) rose to fame with her abusive husband Ike, and how she found the courage through her Buddhist practice to leave him and move on in her life. There was a lot of darkness for her to overcome. Her own mother had been abused, and so that set the stage in her mind for thinking this was normal...and then her mother abandoned her to move on, and left her to live with her grandmother. There's no way to know what motivated Anna Mae's mother take one child and leave the other, but, according to the film at least, it caused Anna to be unable to walk out of her domestic situation, however painful it had become. Then Anna is introduced to meditation and chanting by her friend, Jackie, and becomes part of the Nichiren Soshu (Sokka Gakkai), a cult-like offshoot of Buddhism that focuses on the Lotus Sutra and chanting 'nam-myo-renge-kyo'. 

After she leaves Ike, she even cuts a record called 'I Might Have Been Queen': 

I'm a new pair of eyes every time I am born
And original mind because I just died
And I'm scanning the horizon
For someone recognizing that I might have been queen

For every sun that sets there is a new one dawning
For every empire crushed there is a brand new nation
Let the waters rise
I have ridden each tide
From the gates of the city
Where the first born died

And I might have been queen
I remember the girl in the fields with no name
She had a love
Oh, but the rivers won't stop for me
No, the rivers won't stop for me

I'm a new pair of eyes and original mind
With my senses of old and the heart of a giant
And I'm searching through the wreckage
For some recollection that I might have been queen

For every sage that falls there's an ancient child

And I might have been queen
I remember the girl in the fields with no name
She had a love
Oh, but the rivers won't stop for me
No, the rivers won't stop for me

I look up to the stars with my perfect memory
I look through it all and my future's no shock to me
I look down but I see no tragedy
I look up to my past, a spirit running free
I look down, I look down and I'm there in history

Ho, I'm a soul survivor
A soul survivor
On the river
But it won't stop

'I'm a new pair of eyes and original mind' - She is in this current incarnation, yes, but she is also part of the Universal Mind. 


Why do I think this song represents the Queen of the Night card? She's been through a lot -- but she has survived it. She has learned to 'rule' it. All of it is inside her now, running deep, like a river of knowledge that she is more than her circumstances, more than her past, more than her future. She is Queen of her own Night. She is a Soul Survivor. 

Whatever you are going through, you are the Queen of that Night, too. My favourite part of this song is where she sings 'I look up to the stars with my perfect memory' - perfect because she is part of the greater whole that has complete knowledge of all things (she may not be able to recall it while in this present incarnation, but she knows it somewhere deep within in the 'original mind') - 'I look through it all and my future's no shock to me' - because, like Krishanmurti famously said, 'This is my secret - I don't mind what happens' - 'I look down but I see no tragedy' - she's soaring over her own life here, surveying it, but has learned acceptance and no longer sees it as tragedy - 'I look up to my past, a spirit running free' - she survived her past, she always had the capacity to find freedom, even when she felt trapped - 'I look down, I look down and I'm there in history - ho I'm a soul survivor!' She can see that she has endured and will endure and is limitless. And she carries on, through this life and beyond. 

Beautiful. Queen of the Night.

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful! It's so rarely we can touch that sense of 'universal mind'. A good reminder, too, of Krishnamurti's quote... :)

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