Another week, another late blog! So here is the story: life threw us a curve ball, and I spent yesterday trying to catch it. I always intend to write my posts ahead of time, and have only managed it a couple of times, and this week was not one of those times. I had picked my topic before writing the last post, kind of a 'flip side of the coin' concept, so as much as this weeks topic fits into what is going on right now, that is sort of coincidental.
Before I talk more about why it applies to my situation, let me talk just a bit about my thoughts on harm. Harm none is one of those mini-phrases that gets tossed around a lot. If you talk about any type of hex, love spell, compulsion, or pretty much using magic on anyone besides yourself, I bet you will have someone quote you 'harm none' as if it were some kind of truism. I have a lot of problems with harm none.
Firstly, not everyone follows it, so trying to use it as a way to tell other people how to act...well isn't that breaking the rule? Lets assume for a minute though that you feel it is something you should follow. If you take it at face value, how can you follow it. Harm is a very broad term, and technically most of what we do in a day causes 'harm'. If I were to follow the letter of this law, I couldn't eat meat. What really bothers me about the vast number of people who quote this is that most really haven't thought about it.
I think harm mainly comes in two forms: intentional and by neglect. Intentional harm is what hexing is. Your goal is to cause harm to someone or something. By neglect, harm is caused when you take an action and you don't think it through and harm befalls someone else. The first is pretty cut and dry. Either you choose to cause harm or you don't act. The second can be a bit trickier. There might have been no way for you to know that your action would harm someone else. Or you could just have been hasty or hadn't bothered to really think about what the consequences of your actions would have been.
I don't follow harm none. I also don't go about hexing people left and right. I think it would be wonderful if we lived in a world where no one tried to hurt other people, however sadly we don't. And yes, it is often possible to be the better person and overlook slights, or find a way to resolve a situation that doesn't involve acting in kind. But sometimes, there is no other path. Sometimes you get backed into a corner and the choices are to act in a way that may cause harm or to let harm be caused upon you (or your loved ones). I can turn the other cheek a lot, I can take a lot of abuse, but there is a line that can be crossed and I won't be a victim.
So what stops me from just doing whatever I want and using whatever means I have at hand to get my way? Pretty much the same thing that stops me from shoplifting, hitting people or doing other harmful actions. The things we do have consequences. Sometimes those consequences are easier to see from physical actions. If I go up to someone on the street and try to take their wallet, I know that they will probably try to stop me. The reaction is both immediate and obvious.
Energy work can be much more subtle. Sometimes the results come in obvious ways, and if we try to do something to someone else, it may literally backfire and we may end up the target of our own working. Most of the time, it tends to come back in other ways. Guilt can be a powerful repercussion that is often underestimated. When I do something that I know was not done for the right reasons (especially if I tried to justify it to myself and convince myself that I was acting in a proper way), even if nothing else happens, I will have to live with my guilt. In my book, if I feel guilty or shameful after doing something, then I shouldn't have done it in the first place.
And I don't think actions stand alone either. If I do a working with the best intentions and then find out later that I had caused harm through my actions and I do not take further actions to help alleviate the harm I caused, then I am still causing harm through my inaction.
I think emotions need to be mentioned as well. There is a pretty solid debate for whether or not workings should be done while emotionally charged. Emotions can lend a lot of power, but they can also cloud our judgment. I think part of knowing whether you should work while emotionally charged comes with knowing yourself. I tend to be pretty hasty if I act without proper consideration. I do dumb things in the heat of the moment. But I also know that emotions give me great strength. My personal method is to ride the emotion and see where it wants to lead me, then step aside from it and take the time to really think about whether or not what I want to do is smart. If I decide it is something worth doing, then I build the emotion back up and use it to fuel my work. If my original action is not something I can live with, then I may work on finding an alternative. At the very least, I always give my emotions an outlet, as I know that if I don't, and they end up bottled up, then I can't always keep as level a head as I might like.
I had a hard week. I found out some news that is going to impact my daily life quite hard for much of the year. And I very much wanted to lash out at the people who I felt were responsible. But in this case not only would it not help, but I'm also not exactly sure who is behind it all. While I definitely could work something up that would be more like a seeker, looking for anyone who acted with malicious intent, at this point all that would do would be to keep the issue in my mind.
I view magical offense just like I view physical offense. Most of the time, it is not an appropriate response. Most of the time, I never need to become violent. Even if someone brings violence to me, often the situation can be diffused without taking it to the next level (which is safer for me as well). But once in a while, violence is necessary. I am not a violent person in my daily life. People around me don't wonder if I might all of a sudden just go crazy and start hitting things. However, a lot of people who know me well also know that if the situation became dire that I would do anything and everything in my power to end it as quickly and finally as possible. I take this same attitude into my practice. If you back me up against a wall, I will respond. But unless someone deliberately targets me and won't let up, I have no need to act against others. My live works so much better when everything is in harmony.
Ultimately I don't believe in the threefold law. I don't think there is some kind of mystical balance out there that measures out and makes sure things are equal. I definitely don't think that our actions always return to us multiplied, that just doesn't make any sense in my mind. What I do think is that if you take an action, you should be prepared to pay whatever price that action requires. If you feel the need to make excuses or justify your actions, then you probably weren't really committed to it or you didn't feel like it was worth the price. My goal in life is to be at peace with myself and that means not doing things that leave me conflicted.