The Barrier in the Mind

Ha, good one today!

VIII OF CATS ( 8 of Swords)


If you’ve ever had a cat you will recognize the way they spook at things or do pretend battle with the shadows as depicted in this card, all uptight about nothing.

What I loved about this today is the analogy James Ricklef uses with a story he read about a man who placed his fish in the bathtub while he was cleaning their small tank. Even though the bathtub held more water and they could have swum throughout a much greater area, they were conditioned to swim in a small area so they kept to swimming in a small area within the bathtub. Their conditioning restricted their movement, not reality.

It reminded me so much of all the trouble we went to move across the country and start a new life, yet I am still restricted, afraid to go places or meet people, and have not changed my unhealthy eating habits, so that my world is as narrow as it was in the town we escaped from.

Kind of shocking. Although realizing that my own choices and fear are restricting me, it’s a jolt of awareness to realize that I’m conditioned like a fish, even with my big old supposedly rational brain.


4 thoughts on “The Barrier in the Mind

  1. I recognized what that cat was doing as soon as I saw that card yesterday. The artist captured the spirit well.

    Learned helplessness has been discussed at work lately, in the context of teams with previously limited boundaries who struggle to expand, now that they can.

  2. I had never heard the term “learned helplessness” before but it is apt. I can see how this would apply in a work situation, maybe more from a boss who bullies than other things. Then the boss leaves or you go to a new job and you have no initiative–takes a while to get it back. (Ask me how I know…)

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