|The Wildwood Tarot - Minor Arcana card of|
|The goddess Ma'at|
Justice and/or Karma?
Then there is the phenomenon of interconnectedness which is relevant for karma. In order for karma to really work, everything has to be connected; all people, all actions... The notion of interconnectedness explains that all things/beings are linked in one way or another and thus affect one another. Starhawk explains this nicely in her book The Spiral Dance: "The felling of tropical forests disturbs our weather patterns and destroys the songbirds of the North. No less does the torture of a prisoner in El Salvador or the crying of a homeless child in downtown San Francisco disturb our well-being. So interconnection demands from us compassion, the ability to feel with others so strongly that our passion for justice is itself aroused". And we come to justice again. In my opinion, not only does justice play a role in karma but it can be equated with it in a sense. Interconnectedness can also be seen in justice; for instance when a criminal is not put in jail for a crime he has definitely committed (e.g. murder) then this may bring forth certain consequences for people not directly related to his case (e.g. he may murder a random person when he is set free and this, in turn, may cause tens more repercussions).
Another one of Starhawk's thoughts on the subject which I found interesting is the following one:
"Witches do not see justice as administered by some external authority, based on a written code or set of rules imposed from without. Instead, justice is an inner sense that each act brings about consequences that must be faced responsibly. The Craft does not foster guilt, the stern, admonishing, self-hating inner voice that cripples action. Instead, it demands responsibility. "What you send, returns three times over" is the saying-an amplified version of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." For example, a Witch does not steal, not because of an admonition in a sacred book, but because the threefold harm far outweighs any small material gain. Stealing diminishes the thief's self-respect and sense of honor; it is an admission that one is incapable of providing honestly for one's own needs and desires. Stealing creates a climate of suspicion and fear, in which even thieves have to live. And, because we are all linked in the same social fabric, those who steal also pay higher prices for groceries, insurance, taxes. Witchcraft strongly imbues the view that all things are interdependent and interrelated and therefore mutually responsible. An act that harms anyone harms us all."The author seems to be comparing justice to personal ethics (as justice is an "inner sense") and also to karma ("we are all linked in the same social fabric", "all things are interrelated" etc.).
So what is the difference between justice and karma then?
It is my personal belief that karma and justice are practically the same thing but with minor differences that are just socially defined. Morally, they are the same thing. This is why I would like to hear your opinions on the subject. Do you perceive karma and justice as identical ideas but with different names? Or do you differentiate them?
I would love to hear what you have to say, so please leave a comment. :)
Until next time. Yours,