Friday, May 31, 2013

PBP Week 23: K is for Karma

I suppose a more proper name for this blog would be, "When Karma Isn't Really Karma."  What I mean by that is this:  Sometimes our concept of what karma is and is not may be skewed.  Does doing something for your own benefit instantly mean that it is a bad thing?  Does the Rede apply only when we aren't operating from an altruistic world view or does it apply only when we knowingly go out of our way to hurt someone or some thing?  What about the Three Fold Law?  What if we, as inherently good people, are operating from a mindset of guilt and duty?  Is karma skewed by our thoughts?

I ask these questions for a reason.  According to the Law of Cause and Effect, all of our actions (and reactions) have an initial cause.  The action/reaction we have is then the effect and, like ripples in a pond, becomes another cause.  However, in thinking about karma and it being an effect of some action, then why is it that bad things happen to good people?  Could it be their mindset?  Could it be that they expect something bad to happen, therefore it does?

I know a woman.  She's a good woman with a good heart, yet she lives in a place of guilt.  She has a very low vibration and that is the place where she lives her life.  It is evident, by her actions, that she feels like she doesn't control anything in her personal life, so she is a complete control freak at work.  She gives of herself to certain people and she is unappreciated or feels unappreciated.  This place where she lives is a very dark one, but since it is all she knows, she chooses to martyr herself to everyone around her.

A couple of weeks ago, life threw her a big curve ball.  She wrecked her truck after spending most of the weekend helping some friends with a fund-raiser for their son with a brain tumor.  Of course, after totaling out her truck, she came to work all gimped up and obviously needing to be at home resting.  She was devastated that she'd wrecked her truck.  I mean near tears over it because she bought this truck and planned on never buying another one, ever.  Period.  She looked at me and said, "You know, whenever I help someone out, something bad always happens to me."  My response was, "Well, maybe you need to be a little more selfish, then."  She was dumbfounded and wandered away confused.

Now, I know that my comment sounded rather callous.  However, if insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then maybe she should try being selfish.  That's where my thoughts went.  But from where I stand, she didn't have bad karma, indeed, doesn't.  When she does nice things for people, it raises her vibration.  Subconsciously, she doesn't want to be better, happier, etc.  So, when she does something nice, subconsciously something bad has to happen to counter it.  Interestingly enough from listening to her talk about things, the 'bad' is a near perfect counterbalance to the 'good'.  She donates $200 to a charity that means something to her and the next day gets a bill for $200 out of the blue.  That's not karma, that's manifestation.

So, do our thoughts dictate our karma?  I think about my own life and how, since changing my view, I don't have 'bad karma'.  Yes, unexpected things happen and I don't live a life of unicorns with rainbows shooting out of their asses, but truly bad things just don't happen to me.  I have friends who just don't have to deal with truly bad things happening, either.  This has led me to believe that what we term karma is a direct reflection of our own thoughts.  If we live in a place of goodness and plenty, we will have goodness and plenty, but if we live in a place of guilt and poverty, then surely it will be ours.

Until next time, brightest of blessings my friends!

Friday, May 10, 2013

PBP: J is for Jesus

Yes, you read that right, J is for Jesus, and I mean that dude who walked around the Holy Lands two millennium ago healing people and collecting misfits only to be martyred on a cross by the Romans.  That guy!  Yes, I'm sure you are flabbergasted at the fact that Jesus has come up and are certain that he has no place in a pagan context (aside from, maybe Christio-eclectic Wicca).  Those things said, Jesus and even *gasp* the Bible can be looked at and learned from in a pagan world view.

To begin, we must strip away our own prejudices (if we have them) in regards to Christianity and the Bible.  If we look at this book in the same way we look at classical mythology, then we can put our prejudices aside.  So, if the Bible is myth, then the stories in it, we will focus specifically upon the new testament here, are allegory.  With that logic in mind, lets look at some of the things Jesus did.

First, he gathered 12 disciples.  Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I have always been taught that the traditional number for a coven is 13.  Twelve named disciples plus Jesus equals 13.  Second, many of the disciples were given new names.  Peter was Simon and Matthew was also known as Levi.  It is also believed that Nathaniel was renamed Bartholomew.  The scriptures do not specify that all of the disciples were renamed, however, it is generally accepted in the Christian community that Jesus gave his disciples new names to reflect the changes within them.  To me, that sounds like the receiving (or maybe taking) of a magical name.

Also, Jesus performed 'miracles.'  Whether healing the sick, feeding the multitudes, or raising the dead, those things sound pretty damned impossible.  However, do we, as pagans, not perform magic and do some of these things?  Do we not heal ourselves and go on to help heal others through our own commanding of The Power and dispensing of the sacraments in ritual?  Do we not feed those who need it, both physically and spiritually?  Even more importantly, do we not live by many of the same principles Jesus taught? "Be ye kind, one to another. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?"  What about, "The meek shall inherit the Earth."  How many of us walk our path with a humble heart, helping those who need it most?  Is there not a meekness to that?  How many of us stand up in the face of injustice? Oh! Jesus did that, too!  Mary Magdalene and something about being without sin and casting the first stone?

So, outside of a Christian context, Jesus did many of the same things we, as witches, do.  He was, at the very least, a Priest of the Power who walked about his homeland dispensing the sacraments to those who needed it most.  He understood the need for spiritual fulfillment that went far beyond what most of the clergy in his time did.  Yes, his enlightenment earned his own death, but he knew that was coming.  He was 'tapped in' to the same Power we 'tap in' to.

Jesus, the man, the myth, is worth learning about.  We learn from him whether or not we realize it, and we are better people for it.

Brightest blessings, Friends!