Q: Do you, as an earth loving pagan, a believer in the threefold rule.. believe that the bad things that happen to you in life are due to your own past misdemeanours?
A: I wonder if there is a character limit on answers. The short answer to your questions would be yes. However, in truth, it is not that simple.
I consulted all of my "go to" books for this. One of the up and down sides to Paganism or the Pagan religions is that there isn't any ONE book, such as the Bible, for Christians. Just as there isn't any ONE way that you have to believe, practice or study. I guess on some level the same can be said for Christianity though, as there are many different Christian denominations, I imagine that leaves even just the one book, open to some level of interpretation.
Personally, I believe in the threefold rule, to an extent. Imagine if you will, a small child, unaware of the rules, the small child finds a blank white wall and decided that is the perfect place to color. How would you handle that child, versus another who has colored on that same wall numerous times and knows for certain that it is wrong to do so?
Personally, the child that knew better than to write on the wall but still did would receive a more stern punishment than the child who did not know. The one that knew the rule would likely be made to stand in the corner as well as clean up what they had drawn, whereas the one who didn't know would simply get a talking to and help clean the wall up after themselves.
It is my belief that the threefold rule follows this same type of system. Someone who does harm unknowingly or unintentionally would not suffer as much as someone who did so knowingly. On the other hand, the reward side of the system, assuming that you might refer to it as a system, would likely yield similar rewards for the known and unknown, as it is teaching a positive lesson.
I know this is a long answer, and it may be a bit confusing, my Adderall has long since worn off. I am very much still a student in my religion and while I have studied for about a year now, I still have much to learn. I have read and re-read my collection of books several times, picking up new things each time. I know the question was really only about the negative side of the threefold rule, but such as all in life, there are two sides to the coin.
On and a quote or, almost a quote from I believe it is Raymond Buckland's book... one who punches someone in the eye should not expect to get punched back 3 times in the eye, only that something roughly three times as bad will likely happen.
Blah, I hope this answered your question.