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    Three-Fold Law or Lore ?

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    norseman
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    Three-Fold Law or Lore ?

    Post  norseman on Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:08 pm

    Here’s something I’ve been worrying at for some time. From the start I was OK about the reciprocation angle but could not work why the x3 multiplier. I came up with this. Now, I’m not saying it is THE answer but it could be AN answer. Makes me happy but maybe I’m easily satisfied. See what you think.

    THE REDE – THE THREEFOLD LAW.

    “Mind the threefold law you should,
    Three times bad and three times good.”

    “All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm also returned three fold.”
    This command or advisory seems to occur over and over in most philosophies and religions from the simple “Do as you would be done by” to the folksy “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

    There has been much discussion as to whether this is Law or Lore, particularly in pagan wicca.
    The three-fold multiplier I always took as another example of mankind’s fascination with the number three – Father, Son, Holy Ghost ; Maiden, Women, Crone ; etc. Even the physical nature of matter – solid, liquid, gas [ignore plasma for the moment]

    As well as being a wanderer, I am also a ponderer – both at the same time ! Thinking – dangerous, I know. But I started on a chain of thought that lead me to believe that this three-foldness might be actual.

    THREE-FOLD LAW – THE MULTIPLIER.
    “….. it comes back at you on all three aspects of your life – mind, body, and spirit.”

    This struck a thought chain. Firstly, there something about the trilogy in the human psyche .The tripod is a most stable form. Also think about the construction of the pyramids.
    Another : id, ego, superego.
    I think also that I would like to propose that good and evil are just aspects of human thinking and
    behaviour. Evil is an aspect which is by common consensus and as no-one is pure
    evil, so stands to reason that no-one is pure good.

    We may think in our conscious mind that we have no ulterior motives in performing an act classified as “good”, but there is a major part of mind that is below the level of consciousness and this is the area of basic drives, instincts, and reactions – the flight or fight mechanism is a good example as it is purely biochemical in nature and not mediated. Also in this area are the basic mechanics of life maintenance – you don’t have to think to breathe [ experts say it is very difficult for a healthy person to drown themselves as the unconscious comes in to play when consciousness is fading and
    forces struggle to survive.]

    Should we substitute “lore” for “law” – now that appeals to my two guidelines – Does it make sense ? and “Does it feel right ?”
    Lore is generally based on observation rather than statute and so, in my opinion, is more valuable because it is empirical.
    Starting to write this has awakened some dormant brain cells. Some time ago, when I was still polluting the planet with toxic chemicals, I was seconded to Australia to work. To amuse myself, I took a short course at the Uni. of Queensland. It was Transactional Analysis. The basic model was very similar to the Freudian model of id, ego, superego i.e. Adult, Parent, Child and I was very impressed at the time.

    Transactional Analysis and the 3-Fold Law [Lore]

    Proposed are three ego states Adult, Parent, Child with positive and negative aspects to all three. I wonder if this is the three-foldness of the law. Does any act, good or bad, rebound on all three ego
    states ? Could this be the multiplier ?
    First some flesh on the bones – think of positive and negative behaviour in the three.

    Adult : +ve – impartial judge, concerned purely with weighing the facts and reaching an opinion. Not ruled by emotion or by personal motives but logic. Computer-like.
    -ve – cold, distant, not concerned with the impact on others. Over fussy in application of logic over common sense, arrogant.

    Parent : +ve – caring, protective, nurturing, loving, stalwart in defence of a child.
    -ve - dictatorial bully, uncaring, prejudiced.
    [How many times do we say “because I say so” to a childs question of “But why ?”]

    Child : +ve – impulsive, creative, joyful, loving, trusting, spontaneous, etc
    -ve – manipulative, cruel, selfish etc
    [At what age do children learn to manipulate parents ? Common sight in supermarkets]
    Children have the potential to be savage little animals especially to other children.
    Ever thought where we learn our prejudices ? – from our parents !
    Think about the things your parents did that you hated. Are you doing the same to your children ?

    Ideally, in personal transactions, adult will relate to adult and disagreements will be decide purely on merit if both are +ve. But if both are –ve, then it will be decided on prejudice and belief and when did that ever work ? Israelis/Palestinians, Northern Ireland, Balkans.

    Similarly, a +ve parent can respond to both +ve and –ve child state but a –ve parent will cow a positive child and reinforce the destructive behaviour of a –ve child.
    +ve child to +ve child will result in deep, long-lasting friendships; +ve to –ve will result in a superior-subordinate relationship; -ve to –ve will form long-lasting enmity which will spill over into family feuds.
    These +ve to –ve links are referred to as crossed transactions and a good knowledge of this form of analysis can equip you for many interpersonal tasks. However, it can also give you the skill to manipulate other people to your own benefit.

    So, how could this link into the 3-fold law[lore] ?

    Child state = id. Based on feelings, emotions, unconscious actions.
    Adult = superego. Tends to oppose the destructive instincts of the child because of conflicting objectives. Acts as your conscience and maintains your sense of morality.

    Parent state = ego - personality [ childs potential modified by life experience] Its task is to find a balance between the child, the adult and the outside world i.e. primitive drives of the child, morality of the adult, and reality. Main concern is with personal safety but only so far as this does not conflict with reality and society’s norms. It modifies the responses of the child in reducing excesses of fight or flight.

    In broad terms then, if we do evil, this will be reflected
    in the –ve child behaviour as justification or satisfaction of the –ve personality characteristics. This will be moved up the line to the –ve parent state which will defend the destructive behaviour of the child state whatever the consequence and will act as a further reinforcement of that behaviour. How many times have we seen this kind of defensive behaviour from parents of the most heinous criminal ? This will be picked up by the –ve adult state which will modify its sense of morality and impartiality. So, a three-fold return.
    Similarly, a good act will be returned to a +ve child state by the reaction of society i.e. approval which will reinforce the child behaviour in seeking to maintain this approval. This positive feedback will be picked up by the +ve parent as natural pride in the accomplishments of the child state and “good” could then form part of the personality. Finally, the +ve adult will re-align the individual’s place in society and strengthen the sense of morality. Again, a three-fold return.

    Despite originally thinking that the three-fold return to be purely allegorical, I am now starting to think it might be actual because of the nature of mankind’s biochemistry and psychology.





    However, the fly in the ointment are the Laws of Thermodynamics.
    “To every action, there is a reaction which is equal and opposite”

    So in Cause and Effect terms, a good deed should be met by a three-fold bad response.
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    Time
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    Re: Three-Fold Law or Lore ?

    Post  Time on Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:44 pm

    Norse, I didnt you you were versed in Wicca!
    It makes total sence to me. You basicaly ask the "powers that be" to munipulate evergies, and fates. It only makes sence that you ask no harm, or do anything against someones will, and/or balance out what ou asked for, by putting your own energies back into the earth or the cosmos. Im a strong beliver of this. The only thing im worried about is, weve taken the planet for granted, whats gonna happen with the 3 fold rule happens to humanity for askin/taking much from the planet?
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    Re: Three-Fold Law or Lore ?

    Post  norseman on Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:12 pm

    Hi Time, My original path was wicca before being identified [by an HPS] as of a more primitive, pre-christian path - the Cunning Folk. I regard myself as a servant of Mother Earth and have no problems with that.
    So, following the concept that Mother Earth, Gaia, is a conscious Entity which manipulates conditions to maximise the opportunities for life, ALL life, then our species is only one small part of the equation. WE, as a species, regard ourselves as "top of the chain" but that is, IMHO, supremely arrogant. It is my personal view that we were given intelligence for a reason which was to safeguard this planet and all it's myriad life - we were all supposed to act as servants of Gaia and guardians of the planet. In my opinion, we have failed at this task and there never was a guarantee that our species would survive indefinitely. Hence, the three-fold law could apply to our negligence.
    I realise that this is a rather bleak assessment but the Mother will survive our flaws and just start again.
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    Re: Three-Fold Law or Lore ?

    Post  Time on Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:58 pm

    Druidistic ideals are the basis for lots of beifs. It was the precurser to wicca, many of the same teachings i think. Its a good belif to have.
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