Karma (and the Threefold Law)

Karma (Pagan Blog Project)

Karma refers to “action” or “deed”, which is an intricate system of ’cause and effect’.  Any action is understood as creating “seeds” in the mind that will sprout into the appropriate result when met with the right conditions (Wiki).

I struggled with the idea of karma at some points in my life, like if something bad happened to me, was it because I caused it?  Did I do something bad to make that happen?  Am I a bad person?  But then I realised that karma isn’t simply ‘if you do good, good things will happen, if you do bad, bad things will happen’.  It’s much more complicated then that.

The Wiccan “Threefold Law” goes like this:

Ever Mind The Rule Of Three
Three Times Your Acts Return To Thee
This Lesson Well, Thou Must Learn
Thou Only Gets What Thee Dost Earn.

Pretty much, ‘what you put out, you get back times three’ – Good or bad!  Very similar to the Wiccan Rede An it harm none, do what you will“.

Compared to the Buddhist view of karma, I think the Threefold Law doesn’t tell the whole story.  Bad things happen to good people.  Karma is not just about you and how you act and react, its about how everybody in the universe acts and reacts together.  It’s a collection of several different processes occuring simultaneously.  Karma comes in many forms; physical karma, emotional karma, family karma, communal karma, gender karma, societal karma… (Awakening to the Sacred)

And your intention is more important than if you were sucessful or unsucessful at your ‘good deed’.   It is said in order for the full impact of negative karma to take place, the negative action has to have four completed parts; a) the act is done intentionally, b) the act is completed, c) the act is not regretted, and d) the act is not atoned for with a vowing to not do it again.  When all four of these are present, the full effect of negative karma is felt.  Without all four, bad karmic effect can much more easily be transformed and lessened. (Awakening the Buddha Within)

As I am not Buddhist, I will not try to dissect it further.  But I will say that I am going to continue trying to plant ‘good seeds of karma’.  And hopefully whatever is thrown my way, good or bad, I will be strong enough to face it and learn from it!

© A Year And A Day (2012)

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3 thoughts on “Karma (and the Threefold Law)

  1. I always stubble with karma, too. Especially as a perfectionist (if I am just GOOD enough, things will be PERFECT). But, I have come to believe that life is full of things that are great and things that suck. It is my attitude which makes the difference. I’m working on that. 🙂

  2. I found a passage in Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca” that has some interesting thoughts:
    “Karma is often misunderstood. It is not a system of rewards and punishments, but a phenomenon that guides the soul towards evolving actions… Karma means action, and that’s how it works. It is a tool, not a punishment. There’s no way one can “wipe out” karma, and neither is every seemingly terrible event in our lives a byproduct of karma. We learn from karma only when we’re aware of it. Many look into their past lives to discover their mistakes, to uncover the problems inhibiting progress in this one.”

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