Breaking the Law of Return
Article ID: 15662
Age Group: Adult
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Author: The Living House of the Dead [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: May 11th. 2014
Times Viewed: 3,353
There are two concepts in common pagan tongue that refer to similar ideas: Karma and the Three-Fold Law. As is the case anywhere in physical science, the attempt has been made to connect a similar theory to mental and spiritual science: The law of cause and effect. For an action there will be a reaction. In some cases, this is an equal and opposite reaction. For the sake of my argument here, it may or may not be an equal and opposite reaction.
I would like to submit an idea that may rattle a couple branches. I propose that, very simply, human beings probably cannot ascertain whether or not their specific actions are garnering specific reactions, results or returns, when speaking of the collective conscious, the spiritual realm or the collective god-self depending on one's given viewpoint.
Here are some questions many of us have pondered and attempted to offer answers through religious reasoning: Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do bad things happen to good people? Does a tree that falls in the woods, with no one around to perceive it, make a sound or not? What are good laws? What are bad laws? If I do good most of the time, will I end up living a fulfilling and rewarding life?
There is not an iota of scientific evidence to suggest that a person who does "good" all of his or her life will get a rewarding and fulfilled life experience, a place in a heaven of sorts, or some other pleasing result. An undiscovered rapist could win millions of dollars tomorrow. A child abuser could be an extremely successful businessperson. A mass-polluter could feel the joy of a rewarding lifestyle in a number of ways.
So how does karma work? How does the law of return work? Without going into great detail, most theories suggest that good begets good and bad begets bad. They suggest that a certain cause can be tinged to provide or sway a certain effect. However, aren't "good" and "bad" essentially human perspectives? I suggest that "good" and "bad" are, in fact, human perspectives. Take pollution, for example. We all agree that pollution is bad. Why? A drop of radioactive material in the ocean is simply a drop of radioactive material in the ocean. It is not good or bad in and of itself. Our human notion that it will at some point cause us, the Earth or other organisms harm is what causes this to be labeled as good or bad.
So let us take this a step further. If I as a human being take it upon myself to do things that are humanly thought of as beneficial to others, like donating clothes to charity, providing transportation to those who have none, volunteering time to clean parks and streams, how am I providing a setup for a "good" wave of positivity in return? The fact of the matter is, I am not. As a human it is pleasing to think that I am, but I could be run over by a bus tomorrow.
This is why I respect systems of belief that honor the law of return, but do not accept them myself.
Yes, there is a lot of collective benefit to be had by "good" deeds done by people everywhere that benefit others, the masses, our planet, the collective mind, etc. However, none of that is guarantees a "good" return and ALL of it is based on our viewpoints of the actions performed as human beings. If I punch my neighbor in the face is that good or bad? It is neither. It is my neighbor's perspective of my action that makes the action good or bad. Is it likely that such an action would produce an undesirable result? Certainly. However, what about a CEO who authorizes a company move that will cause pollution that could affect mankind for generations? The CEO who authorized that move also saved several hundreds of decent paying jobs that will affect mankind for generations. Where are we drawing lines and how do we pretend which is universally "good" or "bad" as humans?
Also, how do we pretend to know which is going to result in the greater "good" and is that "good" again, not a matter of our own perspective? It is. My theory is that we cannot make those determinations, for the most part, as human beings. Only progress of life / time will tell whether or not specific actions, thoughts and so forth are "good" or "bad."
I do not feel that we are developed enough to see beyond our own perceptive capabilities. I can provide a shirt to a person in need who then gets a job using that shirt in an interview who is then able to provide decent food and shelter to his or her family who then goes on to raise children one of whom grows into teen years and comes and robs my house for drug money. Yes, my action will have an effect, but I cannot possibly determine where, what or how it will play out. And the scenario I mention doesn't begin with my donation of the shirt, nor does it stop with the teenager robbing my house. It is a continuous cycle of action and reaction and the effects are viewed by humans and labeled as good or bad based on how we feel about them.
As a witch, I like to think that I, and others like me, are on the forefront of taking humanity to the next level. Human spiritual perception, first arising through our ancestors, has been progressing all through the ages, through different dominant religions (sometimes taking steps backwards) and through different philosophies. But at the same time, how do we account for progress in other states of existence? Is a murder among a group of chimpanzees good or bad? Are we even able to make that judgment on behalf of other animals? Are we able to judge at all? We surely do, but are we universally correct?
Whatever the Truth is, be sure to be careful of at least one thing: If you are going to submit to a set of religious ideals, pagan or otherwise, do not do so blindly. Please be a thinking, active, and reasonable participant.
Mike of the Hallowed Order of Witches Liberated
The Living House of the Dead
Location: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
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