The question was posed to me on a group I frequent, “does Life keep a system of balance?”. While I do believe that Life keeps it’s own system of checks and balances I’m not sure that the examples given adequately depict this concept, such as gossip and how if one does so then gossipers will do so on you or judgement as surely others will so judge you. My main bone of contention is that we all use judgement indeed I can be over zealous in cautioning new Seekers to judge like crazy because most of us are a little crazy anyway; we often call it discernment but at the end of the day we made a judgement about a person, place or thing.
I might as well say it since it is the proverbial pink elephant in the room but Karma tends to be over used in neopagan circles lest we break from the mould and unsettled the group mind or how it likes to perceive itself, this is never more evident online and it doesn’t particularly matter if its a pagan forum. Seriously Karma is not going to “get us” because we said something not so nice on a forum. Furthermore, we often forget that Karma is an Eastern concept with a specific connotation in mind that sometimes we Westerners fail to understand. Don’t get me wrong as a turn of phrase perfect and I do use it regularly but as a construct for how the universe and life works we might be better served to remember that the Universe doesn’t necessarily view balance as we do.
Take for example when I was diagnosed as having epilepsy I was let go from a summer job and no excuse given. A few months passed and we learned through others the job had heard of my condition. Sure enough the family who ran the business had some devastating news of their own. It’s an Irish saying but my Mum countered with “and now look didn’t they have their own luck for it [letting me go]”. As if a summer job weighted up or balanced with a family bereavement. Deep down my Mum is a good person and would have the deepest of sympathies for this family but her expression that day made me wonder how I defined Karma. To me Karma was a way by which the universe’s energy flowed for meaningful moments to allow us to grow…but who defines the meaning is the key thing in these types of discussion.
I should state that I do believe in the concept of Karma and even Dharma but I use them as loan words because I’m not Hindu and don’t have the same cultural understandings from these words. Given the light of the example above I tend to amend my view that I am an agent of Karma in that I am a channel for my own as I cannot, nor should I, assume responsiblity for others. Balance/Karma isn’t there for the fishwives’ club (though evidently it can be utilised by them! lol) and so getting back to the subject of gossip… when people gossip they do so at their own risk because it’s not that what they say or do will be heard by others or because if they gossip others will gossip about them but because one opens oneself to the same internal scrutiny that one subjects others to. And surely in the silence of our own minds such words would echo profoundly and I should think it better we can live with those words and thoughts.
It’s telling that most of our methods by which we conceive of a balance in the world/universe/life is by what the neighbours think. People can be “street angels and house devils” and I count myself foremost in such statements. I do like most people put on my “best face” for the outside world.
Keep your words in good order.
Keep your thoughts in good order.
Even the two of the points from, 13 Goals for a Witch, can be read to understand that as long as one either suppressed or represses the “nasty” sides of their personas then all shall be well. I do not believe that this is the intended meaning for these aims and objectives for people to live by but nonetheless they tend to be rendered in online fora and some smaller groups as meaning for the new member/intruder to mind their place in the pecking order of things. This is unfortunate in the sense that in a roundabout way it fosters the need for gossip because members of the group feel they must spare someone’s emotions and simply swallow what is upsetting them. For me I interprete “Keep your thoughts in good order” to mean to not repress or suppress unhealthy ideas or thoughts and relate to the previous one in addressing them. So this means that when I have something that is bothering me I try to address it in a manner that seeks a resolution rather than a conflict. This might mean a conflict but so long as I do not intend one as a Witch I ought to be able to manifest my goal right?
I’m an ascensionist in terms of the Craft, for me this means that the Craft is not only my expression of the Divine but also my tool in order to ascend. I look to Karma or the Universal Laws as my responsibility to take ownership of my actions and reactions. Perhaps on the Path to ascension I will come to understand Karma as a force more roundly.
Edit:During a discussion on FB some interesting aspects arose which I skimmed on in the original edit of this entry:
Well as I said in my blog I do use the pop culture variation, I dare say excessively, but I pride myself on being aware of other interpretations. Linguistically most people will take it to mean the pop cultural understanding which is slightly different than the Wiccan and the Wiccan from the Theosophical Society and the TS from the Hindu or Buddhist. The aim of my blog is primarily to focus myself into organising my own thoughts on the materials I read/encounter beyond that perhaps it can also aid others to contemplate such forces as Karma and the Law of Return when adopting those principles into their practices.