Emerson is writing about the law of Karma or of Cause and Effect. The swindler swindles himself. If his compensation is low then there has no authority to enjoyment to enter in life. After a few months and his arm heals, he comes to the realization that even though the broken arm was painful, it did not cause any permanent damage in that he is no less of a person than before his arm was broken. Always pay; for, first or last, you must pay your entire debt. If riches increase, they are increased that use them. Newer Post Older Post Home.

If riches increase, they are increased that use them. Under all this running sea of circumstance, whose waters ebb and flow with perfect balance, lies the aboriginal abyss of real Being. That which they hear in schools and pulpits without after-thought, if said in conversation, would probably be questioned in silence. Future thinking will destroy all happiness hidden in this life. True experience of joy can only be experienced if there is money in pocket.

Every thing is made of one hidden stuff; as the naturalist sees one type under every metamorphosis, and regards a horse as a running man, a fish as a swimming man, a bird as a flying man, a tree as a rooted man.

emersons essay on compensation summary

Nature hates monopolies and exceptions. They think that to be great is to possess one side of nature,–the sweet, without the other side,–the bitter. Aurora forgot to ask youth for her lover, and though Tithonus is immortal, he is old. This is an example of getting something for nothing, and when you have this consciousness, be prepared for the universe to be your enemy.

The gain is apparent; the tax is certain.

Short Summary of “Compensation” Essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson

How does Emerson reconcile a universe wherein everything is perfectly balanced in nature with the ethical necessity for people to act with virtue? Blame is safer than praise. Whereas resilience teaches us to become better at dealing with pain, misericordia seems to make us to feel more pain, even though it is the pain of others. We must all compennsation moderation in life instead of excess to cause us defects in our lives.


We feel cmopensation of the retribution due to evil acts, because the criminal adheres to his vice and contumacy, and does not come to a crisis or judgment anywhere in visible nature.

Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed. Crime and punishment grow out of one stem.

emersons essay on compensation summary

I learn the wisdom of St. The world globes itself in a drop of dew. Labor is watched over by the same pitiless laws. This is really impressive as Emerson directly speaks to readers.

The poets related that stone walls, and iron swords, and leathern thongs had an occult sympathy with the wrongs of their owners; that the belt which Ajax gave Hector dragged the Trojan hero over the field at the wheels of the car of Achilles, and the sword which Hector gave Ajax was that on whose point Ajax fell.

The Social Aspects of Emerson’s Law of Compensation | Falselfo

There is no tax on the good of virtue; for that is the incoming of God himself, or absolute existence, without any comparative. What did the preacher mean by saying that the good are miserable in the present life? One might easily question what Emerson means when he believes that we are compensated for each act of will that we commit, because compensation does not seem to be completely embodied by a single, overarching guise. Still more striking is the expression of this fact in the proverbs of all nations, which are always the literature of reason, or the statements of an absolute truth, without qualification.


Our property is timid, our laws are timid, our cultivated classes are timid.

This section contains words approx. Men call the circumstance the retribution. It resembles the prank of boys, who run with fire-engines to put out the ob aurora streaming to the stars.

emersons essay on compensation summary

We aim at a petty end quite aside from the public good, but our act arranges itself by irresistible magnetism in a line with the poles of the world. His virtue,–is not that mine? Under all this running sea of circumstance, whose waters ebb and flow with perfect balance, compensatioon the aboriginal abyss of real Being. How good are you at it?

Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson – Compensation Summary & Analysis

As we realize that no negative circumstance can detract from our humanity or from our soul, or make eesay any less of a person, we also slowly come to the realization that we are given many gifts that we did not earn. Is it that they are to have leave to pray and praise? It is really sad to not to have one holiday if you are working for more hours, more days and more weeks that any man can esway do. We meet as water meets water, or as two currents of air mix, with perfect diffusion and interpenetration of nature.

He is confused whether to select joy or to let go sorrow. This confusion is in between selection.