The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
August 23, 2019, 02:09:07 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 23, 2019, 02:09:07 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: The philosophical meaning of "harm none"....and is it right?  (Read 14807 times)
Hufflee
Master Member
****
Last Login:September 17, 2011, 03:46:48 pm
United States United States

Religion: Spiritual Witch with an Hermetic bent
Posts: 371

Blog entries (0)

hufflee Jennifer Lee Huffman who has time?


Ignore
« Topic Start: October 12, 2008, 02:49:51 pm »

There is obviously some debate over whether the harm none is a necessary or correct principle of magic, and the different interpretations of the definition. What does everyone think about what it really means? Does it mean that no matter what you do, none of the repercussions can harm anyone? What about spells that return negativity (I hesitate to use the word evil due to the often contradictory opinions on the word) to its source. Wouldn't that harm said source? I know Wiccans adhere to "an it harm none" (as do I, as best I know how), but to what individual degrees or interpretations?  And what about everyone else?

What about whether its even a principle that makes sense? Many people think that this is a stupid (or incorrect) principle... that magic contains both positve and negative aspects, and should be performed utilizing both. I can see the logic in this as well, as everything else (as I understand things) contains both good and evil. Yin and Yang type thing. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the matter.

My personal thoughts: I try to make sure that nothing I do harms anything else. Even with banishing type spells, I don't want harm to come to whatever I may be banishing, I just want it/them to go away. I DO know that my personal feelings on this matter have to do with me being somewhat empathic, and I can't stand for anything to be in pain. The exception is in protecting my family. AN EXAMPLE: Walking down a street I might have to beat off an attacking dog with a large tree branch, hurting it in the process in order to protect my children, but I would do it, even as my heart hurt at the sounds of pain coming from the dog.
Logged

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change-Unknown

"This [the Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
Sigmund Freud (My Irish blood is laughing)

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:April 07, 2019, 10:49:07 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #1: October 12, 2008, 03:54:32 pm »

There is obviously some debate over whether the harm none is a necessary or correct principle of magic, and the different interpretations of the definition.

"Harm None" is totally alien to most magical systems and to magic throughout history. Until the 20th Century development of Wicca, the idea that magic should be not be used to harm others was almost unheard of. The primary uses of magic in Ancient Greece and Roman, for example, were to curse enemies and to get others in bed.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:April 07, 2019, 10:49:07 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #2: October 12, 2008, 04:01:21 pm »

What does everyone think about what it really means?

In traditional Wicca there is no "Harm None" law, there is just the Wiccan rede. The Rede id not a law, it is just moral advice ("rede" means "advice"). The Wiccan Rede in Traditional Wicca meanly says that if an action causes harm to none, it is definitely morally okay to do. It says nothing one way or the other about whether an action that causes harm is moral or not.

One of the main differences between Neo-Wicca and more Traditional Wicca is the Rede. In Neo-Wicca the Rede is generally interpreted as a "Harm None" commandment instead of the moral advice it is in more Traditional Wicca.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
Tana
Staff
High Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:July 26, 2013, 08:37:48 am
Germany Germany

Religion: I'm my Lady's own
Posts: 3407


fence-riding, free-flowing, shamagic = crazy

Blog entries (4)

WWW
« Reply #3: October 12, 2008, 04:19:34 pm »


What Randall said.
And: I don't believe that 'Harm none' is possible.

For the sake of discussion we'll have to define at first. Does it mean 'Harm no human' or 'Harm no warm-blooded animal' or 'Harm no living thing at all'. Then: What is harm? Like it says: One man's pain another man's joy. (Hope I got that idiom right?)

How could anybody possibly think that he/she is capable to controll all of the daily mundane actions - let alone the magical ones! - that no harm in no way can occur?

My personal opinion?
I think if a person persuades him/herself that they harm nobody, they are lying to themselves for the sake of their piece of mind.
It is ok and possible to try to live up to an ideal. But reality is not like ideals are, otherwise - ya know, they wouldn't be ideals.

I've seen a nice example of self-contended hypocrisy concerning the matter of Harm-None and a revenge spell.
It was called, a revenge spell, that doesn't come back to you or causes bad karma. And now the trick about it:
You kinda curse a person - but oooh, just with a positive trait. Voila - a safe revenge. Because if you wish somebody let's say empathy, that ain't a bad thing, is it?

Pardon me.
But in my book a person who falls for such a thing, deserves a karmic smack more than a person who is honestly pissed off by somebody and flings a hex or jinx at them in the heat of the moment.

(Yup, Tana's not a love and light witch and therefore often more harmless than those kind Wink )


Logged

'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. Thatís what people never really understood.Ö.Things had to balance. You couldnít set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

Only shallow people know themselves. (Oscar Wilde)
LadyRaine
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:March 25, 2009, 06:55:01 pm
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan
Posts: 44


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #4: October 12, 2008, 04:44:04 pm »

There is obviously some debate over whether the harm none is a necessary or correct principle of magic, and the different interpretations of the definition. What does everyone think about what it really means? Does it mean that no matter what you do, none of the repercussions can harm anyone? What about spells that return negativity (I hesitate to use the word evil due to the often contradictory opinions on the word) to its source. Wouldn't that harm said source? I know Wiccans adhere to "an it harm none" (as do I, as best I know how), but to what individual degrees or interpretations?  And what about everyone else?

What about whether its even a principle that makes sense? Many people think that this is a stupid (or incorrect) principle... that magic contains both positve and negative aspects, and should be performed utilizing both. I can see the logic in this as well, as everything else (as I understand things) contains both good and evil. Yin and Yang type thing. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the matter.

My personal thoughts: I try to make sure that nothing I do harms anything else. Even with banishing type spells, I don't want harm to come to whatever I may be banishing, I just want it/them to go away. I DO know that my personal feelings on this matter have to do with me being somewhat empathic, and I can't stand for anything to be in pain. The exception is in protecting my family. AN EXAMPLE: Walking down a street I might have to beat off an attacking dog with a large tree branch, hurting it in the process in order to protect my children, but I would do it, even as my heart hurt at the sounds of pain coming from the dog.


specifically to the "return negative energy" it is considered best to return negative energy by sending it out into the earth to be reabsorbed (so to speak) to where it came from.  that is considered the TRULY "harming none" way to handle a person sending you negative energy.  however sometimes we want that person to "see" what they're doing and send back only what they sent out (ie: justice??) in which case there is some personal gain on the part of the witch, of course.... but you are also asking that the offender be taught an important karmic lesson.... so that sort of answers a question with a question.  in my personal opinion when i do spells i ASK the GODS/GODDESSES to determine the appropriate "punishment or lesson" to the offender instead of playing judge and jury myself.  i feel that it keeps a natural "checks and balances" system in place for the myself and keeps me from giving into the human desire we all have to "control" the person/situation in the way WE see fit.  however you handle it, you'll know without question whether you overstepped the bounds of the Rede in "harming none" when it comes back to you threefold like whiplash.  it's typically very hard to "miss" a karmic ass kicking if you do something that is taking away one's free will (ie: harming none).  people thinking "harming none" is literal but it actually is not.  it follows the idea that there is no good and evil....only evil INTENT.   the INTENT is the key word here being that if you sit down and decide to "send back" negative energy to a person in a spell are you envisioning harm on them??? a rough day??? embarrassment?  and more importantly how do YOU feel while doing it?? are you angry??? frustrated?? sad??? all of THOSE things are what makes a spell truly harmful or not.  "harming none" does not mean if a person hexes you and your family is it okay to return the favor and hex back??? it means are you taking away their free will and the "natural order" of things in the lesson you are teaching them and the energy you are sending them..... it's all subjective, but that is my opinion.... if their is evil in your heart when you are practicing magick you are "harming".  no questions asked. 
Logged
Steve - ComW
Staff
Adept Member
***
Last Login:September 03, 2011, 12:22:07 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Flamekeeper
TCN ID: ComW
Posts: 1531


A work on progress

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #5: October 12, 2008, 04:54:55 pm »



LadyRaine

Please could you break up your paragraphs more and use standard punctuation? (Press return twice every few sentances and use a single full stop at the end of each line.) It makes you posts much easier to read.

Thanks
Logged

LadyRaine
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:March 25, 2009, 06:55:01 pm
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan
Posts: 44


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #6: October 12, 2008, 05:04:04 pm »

LadyRaine

Please could you break up your paragraphs more and use standard punctuation? (Press return twice every few sentances and use a single full stop at the end of each line.) It makes you posts much easier to read.

Thanks

lol sorry i tend to type the way i think..... in one long sentence!  i didn't mean to make you blind!
Logged
Mehnea
Apprentice
**
Last Login:October 17, 2008, 03:55:15 pm
United States United States

Religion: Spiritual
Posts: 19

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #7: October 12, 2008, 07:20:42 pm »

And: I don't believe that 'Harm none' is possible.


Agreed.

Think of it in terms of 'Chain of events'. The ripple effect or butterfly effect. No matter what you do, somehow your actions will effect someone in your life, and further on down the line. Some negatively and others positively. There is also Karma. My significant other and I often have a debate on this because I'm drawn...and he's extreme (on the karma bit).
Logged

You can not expect wisdom or to be wise if you've not allowed yourself to live.
Wintermoon
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:August 15, 2011, 09:43:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: spiritual atheist
Posts: 75


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #8: October 12, 2008, 08:05:27 pm »

Agreed.

Think of it in terms of 'Chain of events'. The ripple effect or butterfly effect. No matter what you do, somehow your actions will effect someone in your life, and further on down the line. Some negatively and others positively.

I agree that it is impossible to go through your life without harming anything, but I still believe 'An it harm none, do what ye will' is good advice for me to apply to my life. Although I know I can't do this perfectly, I am happy with myself if I apply it to the best of my ability. I'm not a very vengeful person anyway. I figure people are fairly likely to get their "comeupance" although I don't believe in karma, persay. I've just witnessed that people who send out negative energy generally recieve it back. (I think that might sound like karma. I don't believe it always returns directly and equally back to people. Does someone have a concrete definition?) If they don't, oh well. Punishing them myself will not help me.

Also, I think the second part of the Rede is often unfairly left out. Whenever I'm trying to decide whether something is morally right, I'll often refer to the Rede. If it does not harm anything, it reminds me that I don't really have the authority to punish or look down on it.
Logged

~Vivian

You can't take the sky from me.

"I get really distracted by works of fiction. Probably because you don't have to make any decisions." ~my sister

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~Mark Twain
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 19, 2015, 10:34:23 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9: October 12, 2008, 10:46:58 pm »

There is obviously some debate over whether the harm none is a necessary or correct principle of magic, and the different interpretations of the definition. What does everyone think about what it really means?

My take: the Rede tells us to do that which does not cause harm. It doesn't tell us anything about what to do if something does cause harm (or more harm than the alternatives, anyway.) What happens if we do is covered by the 3fold law, in my eyes.

We do harm all the time. We're harming tons of microscopic-level beasties by walking down the street, breathing, digesting food. We harm the food we eat - vegetables as well as animals. We harm stuff when we drive to work. We sometimes say the wrong thing to someone, and harm our relationship to them - even if that wasn't our intent.  And on, and on and on.

What the Rede suggests, however,is that that which is not harmful (or at least more harmful than the alternatives) is permissible. For example, relationships: it does not harm people more if you have a relationship with one person, or gender, or whatever than another - as long as you're handling the relationship (and consequences like pregnancy, disease risk, etc.) responsibly and maturely.

Likewise, it is not a direct harm to others for me to seek and find a job I'm a really good fit for - as long as I'm thoughtful about how I do that and seek to find the best fit with what the company is looking for. (It might be harmful if I were to lie about my qualifications or to put myself forward for a job I knew I couldn't handle or where I clearly was not the right fit and someone else who was applying was a much better one.)

Now, the threefold law suggests it very much to my interest to *reduce* the harm I do - because I like living in a world where less harm comes my way. If I am nasty to people, I will be less likely to have support when I want it. If I am demanding and pushy, I will have fewer meaningful friendships. And so on. But I believe the threefold law isn't really about "This will come my way three times" but rather about how what I do affects me three times - and thus ripples out into the world around me, especially as I repeat patterns over time.

Thus, each thing I do affects me both physically, emotionally, and spiritually - and likewise, I first become the kind of person who'll consider an action, who will do an action, and who has done that action in the past - I can respond to all three of these either by saying "Oh, I will do that again" or by saying "Ugh! Don't want to do that! That was icky."

So, back to the examples:

Banishing something: Is it a space I'm responsible for? (My home, a circle I am responsible for, a group I am a leader for?) It is my *job* to set boundaries. It is also my job to learn to do that fairly and cleanly, with as little unneeded messiness as possible - but I still get to have the boundaries and enforce them. That means saying "This stuff here, out." or "Sorry, but you are not welcome here at this time" or whatever else is relevant.

Getting negativity sent my way? Again, it is my job to know how to disperse that in a way that isn't going to just bounce off and make things icky for other people. Grounding it out into a source that can absorb it and diffuse it is a really good option. Bouncing it back (so that other people may respond and send *more* back) is pretty clearly not a great option, because it can get much messier.
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
Dragondaughter
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:November 18, 2011, 01:40:56 am
United States United States

Religion: Work in progress, seasoned with insanity..
Posts: 1016


How do I get there from here?

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #10: October 12, 2008, 11:34:13 pm »

  in my personal opinion when i do spells i ASK the GODS/GODDESSES to determine the appropriate "punishment or lesson" to the offender instead of playing judge and jury myself.  i feel that it keeps a natural "checks and balances" system in place for the myself and keeps me from giving into the human desire we all have to "control" the person/situation in the way WE see fit.

So I fished this out of your post to reply to. This would be a bad thing for me to do, since Loki or maybe Eris would be the ones who would react to this kind of supplication from me, and that is a scary thought. I'm not Wiccan, so the threefold return means nothing to me. Therefore, if someone does send something against me, I do send it back to them to deal with.

They created the situation, so they deal with it. *Shrug*
Logged

Practicing...? No, experiencing Spiritual ADD for 20+ years...yeah that's it... sigh. Wink

"To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those things that lie beyond." Hypatia of Alexandria
Mehnea
Apprentice
**
Last Login:October 17, 2008, 03:55:15 pm
United States United States

Religion: Spiritual
Posts: 19

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #11: October 12, 2008, 11:49:00 pm »

I've just witnessed that people who send out negative energy generally recieve it back. (I think that might sound like karma. I don't believe it always returns directly and equally back to people. Does someone have a concrete definition?) If they don't, oh well. Punishing them myself will not help me.


The energy you put out with defiantly influence either the surrounding company you keep or the outcome of the events. I also believe that Karma returns to you-- one way or the other. It may not be this lifetime but I feel that Karma is much like fate; it comes exactly when it means to or is necessary. Sometimes I feel that people create their own karmatic justices.

I also agree that a good guideline to follow is the whole "Harm none" but don't be overly surprised when something with the best intent can cause ill effect for someone else.   
Logged

You can not expect wisdom or to be wise if you've not allowed yourself to live.
Hufflee
Master Member
****
Last Login:September 17, 2011, 03:46:48 pm
United States United States

Religion: Spiritual Witch with an Hermetic bent
Posts: 371

Blog entries (0)

hufflee Jennifer Lee Huffman who has time?


Ignore
« Reply #12: October 12, 2008, 11:55:37 pm »

Pardon me.
But in my book a person who falls for such a thing, deserves a karmic smack more than a person who is honestly pissed off by somebody and flings a hex or jinx at them in the heat of the moment.

I would have to agree with you there! Smiley
Logged

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change-Unknown

"This [the Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
Sigmund Freud (My Irish blood is laughing)

FierFlye
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:December 14, 2013, 06:14:57 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: FierFlye
Posts: 2392


Photo Credit: http://roothieb.blogspot.com/

Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13: October 13, 2008, 10:09:49 am »

people thinking "harming none" is literal but it actually is not.  it follows the idea that there is no good and evil....only evil INTENT.   the INTENT is the key word here being that if you sit down and decide to "send back" negative energy to a person in a spell are you envisioning harm on them???

So, are you saying it's okay to hurt someone so long as your intent was "for the best"? 
Logged

Spiritual Blog: Fier's Flame
Odjn
Master Member
****
Last Login:March 09, 2011, 09:12:20 am
United States United States

Religion: Supreme Skeptic
Posts: 323


A dragon has come...

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #14: October 13, 2008, 11:08:07 am »

So, are you saying it's okay to hurt someone so long as your intent was "for the best"? 

I think the message is to think before you act..it is not possible to skip through life and not cause "harm" at some point.

Everyday one is causing "harm" in so many forms..one harms the little dust mites in the carpet by walking on them, causing "harm" to the bacteria we invariably injest as we eat and get "dissolved"..oh and let us not forget all the plants and animals we consume in our diets...

No matter what we do..any repercussion could be called "harm"..it sems to be a subjective term in many cases. I would think that it does no one any good to go out and do something with the sole purpose of creating injury or hardship in order to pacify the primitive desire for revenge or because one gloats at the misery of the other.

Sorry if I sound disjointed right now..rain and all.
Logged

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.125 seconds with 51 queries.