Once again, a discussion on EvocationMagic has led me to think on, and subsequently draft a post. This time, the topic is the much-misunderstood subject of Karma, and the thread that led to this blog post can be found here. Before I begin, however, its worth noting that these words are written with my current understanding of Karma, and I may well be wrong. If that is indeed the case, I may post on this again, at a later date. As with all things in this sorcerer's head, my views are subject to change, as they are always evolving.
Firstly, I will quote my posts in the aforementioned thread, for the sake of giving a point of reference:
"Keep in mind that once the work is done, its not as though the relationship is over. The fact is that you've worked with that spirit, hand-in-hand, in order to achieve a goal that may or may not be life-altering. If the change is particularly potent or life-altering, a debt has been created in the same sense that a void is created when you take a flower out of a vase. As far as the Universe is concerned, there should be a flower in the vase, so it rushes to put one there. We, as humans, often get sucked, on some level, into that void. That is what we call Karma."
"Simply put, we live in a world wherein cause and effect is a rule of nature (and we're witchy folks, so I believe that on some level we exploit rules of nature to get what we want), so, with that being the case, it behooves us to understand how cause and effect actually works. Before we can get down to discussing that, we have to have a set of terms that all of us can understand. That being said, my current understanding of the word Karma is that it refers to cause and effect, which is, in turn, the reason for my posts."
So, what is cause and effect?
Let's say I do a bit of work to help a client get a job as the VP of a well-known IT company, and unbeknownst to me another man is also attempting to get the same job. Well, if my client, who we'll call Bob, gets the job, then Dave, the other dude trying to get the same job, is now unable to get the same position. Instead, Bob is now Dave's boss at this company, and Dave, having anger issues, is now absolutely enraged with Bob. Instead of trying to work things out in a calm, collected, and relatively sane fashion, Dave, in his emotional state, quits his job and storms out. A month later, when Dave hasn't found work, the man's had 30 days, give or take, to stew and focus on his hatred of Bob. Let's then say that, being the hothead that he is, Dave finds out where Bob lives, and he drives out to have a word with him. When Dave arrives and begins to harass Bob, who just tries to find a peaceful end to the solution. Dave, being he angry sort he is, feels as though he's been shortchanged and has nothing to live for, so he then pulls out a pistol, shoots Bob several times, piercing several vital organs which, in short order, lead to Bob's death. Now that Bob's dead, Dave comes to his senses and realizes that he's just murdered a man in cold blood, so he turns his gun on himself and puts an end to it all. Two men are now dead because of the work that I did to get my client a job, as it caused one man to leave his job, not find gainful employment, and he later exploded.
Regardless of the terms you use to describe the above situation, its plain to see that on some level, the above is cause and effect. One action always begets the next, just like a ripple in a pool of water travels outwards. Its an echo, a ripple, or a chain reaction, and we can't always see where it goes, but we have to realize, on some level, that its there. That's Karma in a nutshell."
That having been said, I believe that it is important that we recognize that all of our actions do have consequences. Even if that doesn't mean that we believe in a direct one-to-one gain/loss diagram, the fact is that cause and effect still exist. Now, there's Gods out there that handle this cause and effect stuff, on some level, but that doesn't mean that its this mystical force in and of itself. Its a law of Nature, and the Powers That Be are custodians of those laws, by and large. Being human, that means you're in the blast radius whenever you do something magical or otherwise, as it has the potential to work for or against your benefit.
You might choose to say "it's cause and effect" or "Oh my Lord, that's Karma for you", but really, that's all semantics. Understanding what someone means when they say such a thing is useful, however, as it behooves us to comprehend that are actions, however insignificant they may seem, always cause changes that we may or may not have predicted.
As always, I hope this post has been helpful.