Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thoughts on Karma and Dogma, Trad-style

On a Yahoo e-group I belong to, a discussion started about how BTW folk feel about New Age ideas and topics. 

In the main, the matter was raised concerning the more New Age views on reincarnation and karma, and how BTW Witches do not appear to ascribe the same philosophical meanings to these particular terms though they be Eastern in origin, since their practice is supposed to derive from only British sources.

A rather brilliant poster to the group, himself a 25+ year high priest in the Craft, mentioned that those of the Wica do indeed have a differing and very specific understanding of these particular terms within the context of their beliefs --- that unlike those of Eastern faiths, we do not consider them to be matters dealing with transcendence, but of immanence.

We do not utilize our understanding of "karmic laws" to measure or delineate a regimented path leading one to graduated and ever more elevated ranks of status in a grandiose hierarchy of spiritual evolution.

For those of the Wica, karma is a natural law in action, one which quite literally shows us our responsibility in the here and now, and not something in the far off future or to be reconciled in another incarnation or lifetime.

To us, Karma is an apparent application of action-reaction, cause-effect and propagation through change. It allows us to witness and take responsibility for our motives and actions by which we alter the currents around us.

Reincarnation, too, shows us this on a larger scale, concerning our own existence.

Through following the cycle of events --birth, love, death and rebirth-- we are participating in a regenerative and living process. We acknowledge that we have a causal relationship within this process, and that is evidenced by our every thought and action. We have free will and boundless choice at our disposal --- and not merely in a linear, goal-setting sort of way --- but as a connected being amongst the entire web of all things in existence, now and at every point on the time continuum.

We Witches are practical folks.

We do not tend to view life as a trial run for some higher plane of existence to be achieved later, nor as a punishment being meted out for our past transgressions.

To us, life is an activity which we try to fully engage in at every moment. Our individual input affects everything around us, and we are trying to be more cognizant of our influence. This predicates a very hands-on, involved, and mindful approach to all that we do, say and react to.

Witches do not beg for the intercession of some outside entity to do the work for us. We willingly do for ourselves and take the responsibility of whatever consequence of events unfolds thereafter.

We do not kowtow to someone or something high in the sky which we cannot see. Instead we recognize and acknowledge that we are as much a part of everything else as it is of us, and so should offer our respect to our place in this wondrous design. It is a matter of respecting all the other components in the equation who are likewise affecting their own changes.

This is our understanding of immanence. For us, it is a self-renewing and endlessly mutating pattern, growing more complex and more involved with each moment. And yet, the simplicity is in the fact that pattern of creation and destruction is limitless, not linear.

Our magic is our input into how the next generative part of the design will turn out, how it will mutate, grow, alter and effectively change and interact with everything else. Infinite possibility but directed with intent toward a plausible probability.