The Rede is a simple line that may need a lot of thinking.
“An it harm none, do what ye will.”
Some interpret this as “as long as you don’t physically hurt living things, you are living true.”
Others see it as “As long as you don’t physically OR emotionally hurt living things, you are living true.”
The there are those who believe “as long as you heed the words above AND not stand idle when others are being harmed or in need of help, then you are living true.”
This makes things complicated for practitioners because what happens when you NEED to hurt a person to help another? I have been battling this for a long time, so, through my own studies, I learnt that something sits beneath The Rede that is even more important. Intention.
Any act can break the Rede, but as long as your INTENTIONS were pure, and you make sure any misigivings and unfortunates are paid for, then the Rede remains untarnished.
So, no matter how you perceive the Rede, you can always feel assured by your own intentions.
Going by what is said above, what are your thoughts?
Ah right. Again though, the intention of the slapper is surely what will enable the person who was slapped to find more foundation to forgive the slapper?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who don't have that much of a grip on common sense, I can think of a few. Don't get me wrong, they're lovely people, but they really need it spelling out.
But I bet there are some people who'd really want to know IF indulging is bad for their spiritual self or Higher Purpose? A lot of people take it very seriously.
I agree totally that intention is the fundamental arbiter of "harm", here - perhaps not so much in terms of our results (since we can sometimes fail at what we intend), but definitely in regards to the spiritual merit embodied in the actions we choose.
This was driven home to me at a presentation I attended at a local Buddhist school some years ago. After setting forth the Eastern principle of ahimsa, or refraining from harming any sentient being, the instructor asked us, "If you saw a mosquito carrying malaria about to bite a baby sleeping in a crib, would you kill it?", and the universal answer of course was "yes". Then, the instructor said, "What if you knew that child was Hitler, and you could prevent tremendous suffering by allowing the mosquito his meal?" At this, the confidence of those of us in attendance was diminished, and in the time allotted there wasn't a unified answer. Then, the instructor added, "What if you knew the child was Hitler, and while his death might avoid a great suffering among the Jews, it would cascade into a series of events that would cause an equally great suffering to someone else?" And we were left with the realization that the outcome of our actions is always uncertain, and the mileau in which we act is sometimes complex to a degree that is impossible to grasp.
So, all we can truly own, and be fully responsible for, is our intentions and our willingness to act consistently with them.
Here's wishing us all wisdom in selecting our intentions, and in carrying them out.
It is impossible to move through this life and do no harm. We consume plants and harm them in the process, and many of us animals also. We tread on insects. We destroy millions of bacteria on our body? Silly? what part... where do we draw the line? If we step on a cat and break it's tail, even if it was an accident, we harmed them.. didn't we?
We cause harm in the mistakes we make, we cause harm when our actions are misinterpreted, we cause harm whenever we use a product that was made in a factory that hurts the environment. When we pollute are we doing harm?
Then sometimes what we think may be harmful, may actually end up being helpful... For instance, what if we could actually create a world where no 'harm' ever occurred... we would have stasis... nothingness, death. harm is part and parcel with destruction, which is part and parcel with creation, growth, evolution...
So what is real harm, and what is meant by harm exactly... I don't know, I didn't write the rede, and I'm not a wiccan, so I don't live by the rede per se. I try to move through the world doing as little harm as possible.
For me I think most faith's tenets, like the rede, are at their heart ideas of simply having good intentions... Interpretations will always differ, because we are all unique and perceive things subjectively.
For me the statement 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law' is more accurate to the reality we negotiate in the world.
Even then, Crowley's words are still kicking up questions, especially when it deals with such a spiritual side of us.
Surely intention is still important in regards to this?
What is one's true will? Is it not our Spiritual "blueprint"? The aim here is the same as any practical expression of spiritual truth. Uncover one's true spiritual nature and follow it. As the Rede is states "AND it harm none.." not "As Long as it harm none". Once one discovers their true spiritual nature they could not bring themselves to harm any part of creation intentionally. I know it comes from Christian scripture but it doesn't make it any less true if taken in the context of the ego mind speaking to the Divine within...."Not my will but thine be done" "Know you not that YOU are temples of the LIVING GOD?"
Just me thinking out loud.....try not to take it to seriously....
Some good points there!
The rede is found in nearly all scriptures, and the likelihood is, Christianity adopted it from faiths before their time anyway (as they so often seemed to do). It's like so many European holidays that are now associated with Christ were here long before He came along. Lol, funny in a way.
And like you said, they can't harm 'intentionally' once they know their path. It would seem knowing intention would be a large part of finding ourselves spiritually.
Plus, I have know idea how long it's going to take me to fine my blueprint, so intention was a nice place for me to start, lol.