This belief strongly motivates each Wiccan to avoid attempting to dominate, manipulate, control, or harm another person.
"All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm is also returned three fold."
Would you say other religions and even non-religionist agree to this law?
Or do you wait until Summerland?
I don't know honestly. I believe if they did maybe their would less problems done by individuals. I myself believe in this whole heartly. Another thing I do is ask permission from someone before I do anything. I believe it is a plain enough statement to understand. Kind of like, " Do onto others as you would want done onto you."
Reality dictates that, too, whether you like or not.
What is the significance of threefold? Why not four times, five times . . . . ?
In Christianity, it's 7 fold, isn't it? 3 fold seems sort of gentle next to that. Doesn't karmaic law say it's multiples of 3 depending on what the act is, good or bad? I like that more.
It's important to know that not all Wiccans believe in the Law of Threefold Return. In the early 1970s, author Raymond Buckland publicized this supposed "Law" because it was good publicity for Witches. Instead of getting into a discussion of ethical complexity, Witches could simply say, "Oh, we'd never do harm, because it would return to us threefold."
Prior to the publication of Buckland's Witchcraft from the Inside in 1971, I've been unable to find a citation of this "Law."
I am one of those Wiccans who don't agree with the three-fold law. In nature, we can observe the law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Equal, not times-three. I agree it was part of the overly-goodie-two-shoes propaganda as part of building tolerance for Wicca. Such writing served a purpose then but is not as necessary anymore.
I do, however, agree that the perspective of the individual can make a difference as to how it feels. If you send out energy and have the energy returned and it seems to you to be three- or however many times greater than what you had done, then I can understand this view point. That said, if it feels magnified when it comes back, maybe you should have done some extra thinking about the full effects of sending out in the first place. Just a thought.
All law have their origin in death so therefore they amount to the same..... Therefore Justice is served unto all of the dead.....
All except the Law of Life... which Say do unto to others as you would have do unto you.....Bring brings Life unto Life from glory to Glory....
luvpassion - if you look at the philosophy of Taoism, it speaks about the reality that naturally exists and gives rise to all other things. Life energy and a sense of morality that constitutes the Way can be found by experiencing the oneness of all things. Kess has it right. We must do all things keeping in mind what it would be like to be on the receiving end of our decisions. Even this thinking, though, has its limitations because we are assuming the rationality of humankind.
Who said that?
Why this became a law I am not sure. It is what naturally arises when self-ishness becomes self-lessness.
Current laws of physics have yet to verify the accuracy of this oft-repeated belief.
If a witch (of any kind) could not manipulate people, objects, or situations, then their spells would never work.
Karma is a comforting concept, but it appears to be based on wishful thinking.
I don't know about that, it seems to me that everytime I've done something that wasn't a very good thing, or even when I think negative thoughts about people and have wished them ill, something always happens in my life that is not very good and I pay for it in some way. I've seen it happen with others also.
...and yet there are lots of really nasty, evil people running around unharmed. Pedophiles who repeat and repeat and repeat their crime without ever getting caught. Serial killers, and so on. So karma "in this life" just doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense.
I guess that depends on what it feels like to be in their tormented shoes.
getitrite - you actually got it right. Kharma is based on wishful thinking. Whatever I think about or create or do (wish for very much over a period of time) becomes my past or my Kharma. What goes around very much does eventually come around. Unfortunately, many don't recognize it when it does come around and are doomed to replay the same mistakes over and over again until they 'get it'.
Very nicely said. The ancient idea was eye-for-eye; tooth-for-tooth. Some call it 'what comes round goes round' and of course karmic spin. I do like how you mention "asking permission", something most humans fail to do when attempting something. Never considering the other person, of the effect their actions have on the greater collective. Sadly, the modern, and certainly decaying humanism could care less...
I know that everything that happens has a cause. I also know that what I am thinking and doing now will create events in the future. It makes sense to me therefore, to create the future I desire by behaving correctly today. I take trouble then, to ensure that today is the day for my right action - in this way I cannot harm others and I have no need of worry for the future. This is enough motivation for me to only do good works.
Ian - I'm glad you're in this world. That is assuming you to be a rational human. Ha.
I really like Ian's take on it. Very well said, Ian!
I don't believe in the threefold law; it's never made any sense to me. As someone else has pointed out already, why would the energy sent out be magnified three times? Surely it should be diminished as it has been used up, or at least only produce an 'equal and opposite reaction'.
Is the threefold law supposed to only apply to Wiccans? That again makes no sense to me (one law for us, one for everyone else?) but if it is supposed to apply to everyone, well, why don't we see examples of it in action all around us every day?
Also, 'good' and 'bad' have to be subjective concepts since different people can interpret the same action or experience in completely different ways. So how is it determined that your action produced a negative effect? Negative by whose definition?
More than that though, I reject the idea that I need 'motivation' to behave in an ethical way. The threefold law seems more like an excuse; "I won't do bad things because I'm afraid I'll be punished if I do". I think you're doing yourself a disservice if you imply that the only reason you behave in a moral manner is from fear of punishment or hope of reward.
If you have no official documentation from reliable sources then it really doesn't matter how many fold it is.
And if this is just an adherence to another rule then people will take their chances or choose to disbelieve it.
Without some(thing) to love, rules are ignoble taskmasters and the people become enslaved to them by a sense of duty and not devotion.
Jesus said: Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind
and If you love me you will keep my commandments
Love is what makes obedience worthwhile and satisfying.
I would have to say in Christianity, temptation is something we face everyday. It's not limited to domination, manipulation, control or harm.
Complete submission to God, hunger for His presence, and Worship in Spirit and in Truth is what surrounds our faith. This is however in no relation to submitting to man, even though at times it seems that way. God does what he wants and as He pleases. The closer we get to God, the closer He gets to us and the more He manifests Himself and we can discover His will. There is no other way, and it's real. And God sais in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has great plans for our lives.
I think all religions follow this, though their wording and ideas about it are widely varied, and many wouldn't even admit to it if pointed towards it. But the idea that what you do has an affect that will ultimately help or hurt you can be general enough, can be expressed to the point that it is a cord, or thread, that permeates all religions, even the atheistic and scientific religions. What each religion takes from it may vary and how the express it, such as the Threefold Law, or the Wiccan Rede, or Karma. Same thought-process, different wording. It could also be possible that this concept surpasses religion and is a collective notion for humanity. It is not a religious law, but a law of humanity.
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