Tag Archives: redemption

Karma

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Gertrude Abercrombie’s “The Stroll” (1943). Credit Credit Oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Gertrude Abercrombie Trust

“Karma is not properly understood.
All of us have karma to work out. Karma is what we earn during our living. It is often thought of as some sort of equalizing force between good and evil. For example, it is wrongly believed that if one does a good thing a good thing will happen to them. Likewise, if one were to do an evil thing. It is often confused as an overbearing mother that spanks a badly-behaved child, and the things which lead to “bad karma” are often confused by the concept of sins.
About sins, I just have one thing to say about them in the Christian sense of the word. You are not punished for your sins: You are punished BY them. If you engage in activities which are alien to your own True Will and purpose, expect some blow-back. It is no more difficult to understand than that.
A person’s karma is equal to a person’s work in the world. In fact, Karma Yoga is the yoga of action. Nothing more. But Karma Yoga will only provide partial fulfillment. It is a means to an end, but not the end itself. In the Order of Thelemic Knights, we perform three yogas simultaneously. We have had to Westernize these in order to make them possible to reap benefits from them in our every day lives. They are, what we consider to be, the Grand Trifecta: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga.
The first, Karma Yoga has already been explained. This is the yoga that we perform in order to make ripples in the universe in accordance to our individual Wills.
Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge, or if you prefer, self-realization. Not to be confused with Raja Yoga which IS an end unto itself, and the purpose of all the other yogas.
Bhakti Yoga is the path of service and devotion, usually to a God or deity. In the Thelemic sense this translates into devotion toward ones Holy Guardian Angel.
The goal of these yogas is to achieve a method by which to practice Raja Yoga, which is considered “The Royal Yoga,” since it leads to the Ultimate Union. In modern days it has been defined rather profanely. For more on Raja Yoga and how it can be achieved, we recommend the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
So, what does this have to do with mountains? They are our karma. These are mountains we must climb. Things that must be achieved to restore balance. In Christianity, the term in “we all have our cross to bear” is used to convey their paradigm. For Thelemic Knights we refer to these obstacles as campaigns, but it is really all the same thing. I am using the term mountains today because it has no religious connotation.
Here is what I have learned about climbing mountains. Sometimes, when climbing a mountain that seems insurmountable it may be easier to climb in the dark. This is a way to trick oneself into making the journey less difficult, since we cannot see the plateau in the dark, we are unable to see how far we must go. It is frightening and uncomfortable, but I promise you that if you are indeed doing the Work, you will not be alone in that darkness.
Also, there will be others climbing those mountains at the same time as you, for varying reasons specific to their own karma. Help one another. No one says you must climb these mountains alone, and perhaps helping some one might help you both reach that mountain top, especially if it is part of your karma to do so.

If things get unbearably difficult remember this: every journey has an end. You will eventually reach your goal, but there will always be another mountain.”

By Gerald del Campo
May 6, 2019