Karmic Responsibility

I have finished reading Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. He has to be my favorite pagan author. I love how he is open, honest, and doesn’t put forth his view as being right. I try hard to always understand where an author is coming from. There is something he said about Karma that I cannot grasp.

“Karma is often misunderstood. It is not a system of rewards and punishments, but a phenomenon that guides the soul toward evolving actions. Thusly, if a person performs negative actions, negative actions will be returned. Good brings good. With this in mind, there’s little reason to act negatively” (The Spiral of Rebirth Chapter, page 70, paragraph 3)

I definetly get the idea of negativity being returned with negativity. But would it not be considered a punishment? I would think that during times full of negativity, one could easily look back and see how negative they were being. Then they can see that they were being “punished” and be encouraged to do good. At the same time if someone is doing alot of good, would it not be a reward to be receiving that good in return? This is honestly how I have viewed Karma. Maybe that is due to Christian influence or just something that I need personally in my life. I just can’t see how it would not be reward/punishment.

So any pagans reading this I would love some input! I am not struggling over this or anything, I know exactly how I feel in terms of Karma. I would just like to be able to understand his viewpoint.

I have moved on to Living Wicca. I am working on spring cleaning this next week, getting the plants in our garden and getting our family altar set up. I also will have Molly start reading Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, then Claire. Hopefully if I get enough hours this week I can order the book on Tameran Wicca so that I can get going on that. If not I have plenty of other books to read. Raven Grimassi’s Wiccan Magick would be my next I think.


~ by alegna75 on May 13, 2009.

6 Responses to “Karmic Responsibility”

  1. Ok definately not pagan nor have any leadings towards it… or believe in karma in general… but I can understand what he’s saying, or at least the concept makes sense to me. Basically it’s like putting on your shoes. If you leave them untied, you’re going to trip and fall… not good… but not necessarily a punishment. After you trip a few times you learn that maybe you shouldn’t be leaving them untied. Granted, hopefully it wouldn’t take one several trips to figure that one out lol.. I know I’m over simplifying. But still… On top of that… punishment/reward sounds to me like there’s someone/thing out there judging.. like in absolutes. Yes, some religions that teach/believe in Karma do have someone doing this, but not all do. The concept has to be beyond that…

    Just my non-pagan thoughts on it lol. Has been awhile since I studied all of that though. And honestly, I can see the punishment side of it too… you can learn through punishment as much as through guiding.

    • Ahhhhh I like your analogy. I wouldn’t say you were oversimplifying persay. I mean we don’t always do major negatives in our lives that would constitute a punishment. I think in my head I was thinking of maybe more major negatives then small simple negatives. So your analogy actually helps alot in understanding his point. Thanks! I appreciate it!

      • Np… Thank you… Seriously I think I needed this lol. It gave me something to think about and get my brain going. I had one of those religious dicussions the other day where you want to bang your head against a brick wall… I like ones more like this lol

  2. Just my feelings, but for something to be punishment, someone has to be doing it to you consciously, be it an external ‘someone’ or yourself. Since Karma is a phenomenon, not a ‘someone’, it’s not punishment anymore than what happens after you throw a rubber ball at a wall – hard.

    Guess I think of Karma as more a force than a someone. A lot like gravity. There are rules to how it works, and once we understand how those rules work, we begin to learn how to control our behaviors to get what we want. (:

  3. I’m not pagan either, but one of my favorite saying is “you reap what you sow”, so I’m down with the karma thing. I like the punishment/reward thing, because I’m bitchy and snarky like that, but at the end of the day, I believe he’s right. Here’s my take.

    If I’m thinking/feeling/acting negatively, I will attract negativity. First, because it’s what I put out there, but moreso because if I lack the insight I need on something to be positive about it, that means I need a lesson. So the Universe gives me a lesson to learn. That isn’t a punishment, because the point isn’t to bring me suffering, but wisdom.

    If any of that made any sense…

  4. I have got awesome readers….seriously! I love all the input, makes me rethink how I am viewing things and consider maybe I need to adjust my thinking a wee bit.

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