What Does It Mean to "Harm None?"
Sounds pretty simple, really.
When making requests to the Universe, the Divine, or whatever you call your understanding of the Force that holds the universe together, you should always qualify those requests with the statement that the manifestation of your requests "harms none."
One of the tenets of Wicca and some other spiritual traditions is the statement "do what you will, but harm none."
Obviously this is an almost impossible request. In order to stay alive, you must consume the life force of plants and animals alike. In order to be healed of certain illnesses, something inside of you, be it a virus, a cancer, or something else, must die.
However, we who engage in a spiritual practice should hope that the granting of our requests to the Universe don't come at the expense of something or someone else's highest good. I always qualify my requests to my Source that the granting of my request is for the highest good of all concerned and brings harm to none.
None of us who draw breath can say that we haven't ever said or done anything selfish that ended up hurting someone else. But hopefully as we learn and grow we get better at it as time goes on. Most of us were doing the best we could at any given moment in time given the state of circumstances we were going through at that moment. Owning up to our mistakes and making amends if possible is always the best way to move forward from past mistakes.
However, when it comes to our spiritual practice and our habits of asking for specific things from our understanding of the Divine Force, it is important to look at our request from all sides and try to ascertain the proper way to make a request that is in alignment with the highest good of everyone concerned and harms none to the best of our understanding of that concept.
Our idea of someone's highest good may be different from their own's soul's idea of their highest good. Perhaps some jail time will help a person learn the error of their ways. Perhaps not. Perhaps an illness is necessary to achieve some kind of soul growth. There have been times I asked for the highest good for a person, and the opposite seemed to have occurred, at least in my estimation.
If we are truly connected with a desire to harm none, then we should refrain from gossip, judgement, and a desire for revenge. However, sometimes we who are extremely spiritual will sometimes put ourselves last and allow bad behavior in order to feel that someone else's highest good is being realized. I stayed in an unhealthy marriage far too long because I thought my own happiness didn't matter as long as my daughter didn't grow up in a broken home and my then-husband was given the opportunity to thrive. But as I continued, my own life force began to fade. I realized that if I was not thriving then the situation was not healthy and needed to be addressed. When I first escaped from that relationship, I admit to giving in to that state of freedom almost to the opposite extreme for a short period of time, until I was able to regain a bit more balanced approach. However, the whole time I asked the Universe to resolve the situation for the highest good of everyone concerned.
As I have released some people from my lives, the choice to do so has caused some backlash in their lives that seemed unpleasant. Their reaction to my decision was often agressive, defensive, or even angry. Was this my fault?
Sometimes people need to experience a consequence for unhealthy behavior that seems to be not necessarily pleasant but in the long run is in their highest good because they are forced or given the opportunity to look within and see some character flaws that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the nudge to do that. They often lash out and blame the one who has created the opportunity.
So here's the thing. If someone has decided to release you from their life, rather than lash out in anger or make a plan of revenge, thank the Universe for giving you the opportunity to shift some of your behavior and create a different reality moving forward. If you are the person releasing someone who is toxic to you, don't do it with anger. Bless them as you release them from your life. Wish them well as they depart.
If you have asked the Universe for something, always qualify your request with the statement that the granting of your request harms none and is granted for the highest good for everyone concerned. If you need money, for example, you don't want to receive a settlement for an accident that caused injury to yourself or others. You don't want to get a promotion because the person who had that particular position was fired or died. You don't want to acquire a lover because their current partner left or experienced misfortune. Sometimes we don't realize that energy is energy and our requests don't always allow for the highest and best without that qualification in our requests.
Also remember that when you secretly or not so secretly wish harm on someone else, you are doomed to have karma visit harm upon you. It doesn't really matter whether you are justifed in your wishes. It doesn't matter if, in your estimation, that person deserves it.
There is a common belief in "the law of three." It is thought that everything that gets sent out into the universe comes back with three times as much force or energy behind it than when it was sent out. This means that the energy that you put out will visit back upon you threefold. In some spiritual traditions it is seven-fold.
The closest thing that I have found to an "okay" request for karma to visit someone is "I ask the Universe to bless that person with a reflection of their own energy for their highest good and may it harm none." I use this extremely sparingly! Any request is visited back upon the requestor, so I am subject to an equal portion or my own karma being visited upon me. Hopefully I have worked out all my errors in judgement, but often we are blind to our own shortcomings.
Those of you who engage in spiritual work of any kind must realize that as you are creating the ability to hold energy in your body and be sent out into the world for healing or manifestation or your own spiritual growth, the same energy is used when you gossip about someone, when you criticize someone, or in even think thoughts about someone that are not helpful and uplifting. You are actually sending thoughts and words that are like arrows into their energy field. Be careful of your words and thoughts as you increase your spiritual power. The stronger your ability to hold spiritual energy in your body, the more powerful the effect you can have. Just because you are not intentionally sending harm out to someone, does not mean the person will not feel the effects of hurtful thoughts and words.
In the same way, if you find yourself in the company of people who are gossiping or maligning others, you should attempt to excuse yourself or perhaps even find different friends.
We are all guilty of saying hurtful things about others. Forgive yourself for your past misconduct and determine to do better. Send blessings out to people you don't like or who have made some errors of judgement or character.
We can be an example of a walking blessing when we go about our lives. Yes, sometimes without our conscious intent, hurt may be caused. Do your best to make amends when necessary and determine to do better. Feel free to remove people from your life who are toxic to you but send them blessings as you release them to their highest good.
One important thing to note is that if you or someone else experiences a life challenge, this is not an indicator of karma, necessarily. We can't assume that because someone has a limiting circumstance, there is a spiritual karmic cause for it. Sometimes souls choose limiting circumstances as part of the journey of their soul. Just the business of living life on Earth comes with its own dangers.
Do your best to "harm none" as you go about your journey through life. As you do, you will find your life will get better in many ways and your state of well-being will increasingly improve.
Do as you will, and harm none, to the best of your ability.
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