Balance and Karma: Universal Law of Compensation

by Michael Corthell

''The Universe always seeks to balance itself, in fact, it demands it.''
 — Michael Corthell

None of us can avoid the consequences of violating the Law of Compensation. First of all, the meaning of 'compensation', in this context, is payback. It is not being used to mean a paycheck or benefit package. Compensation means what constitutes, an equivalent, or what makes good the lack or variation of something else; what pays you back for a loss or something that makes amends.

This is how the 19th century poet Francis Quarles describes compensation: ''As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldly loss without some gain. If thou hast lost thy wealth, thou hast lost some trouble with it. If thou art degraded from thy honor, thou art likewise freed from the stroke of envy. If sickness hast blurre thy beauty, it hath delivered thee from pride. Set the allowance against the loss and thou shalt find no loss great.''

Today we would say things like, 'one man is rich, but bored and another is poor, but happy'. 'One achieves great fame and fortune but then dies young, another is average but lives a long happy life'. A wealthy man can afford steak and lobster, but has a tender stomach, while a poor man eats plain foods with hearty appetite and enjoys good health. Or, a person may receive a huge salary, but has no time to spend with family. These compensations are called 'trade offs'. 
Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century explains compensation in more simple, exacting terms: ''For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.'' And, in this journal entry dated January 8, 1826, he writes, ''The whole of what we know is a system of compensations. Every defect in one manner is made up in another. Every suffering is rewarded; every sacrifice is made up; every debt is paid.''

The Universe always seeks to balance itself and always succeeds.

Yes, always seeking and finding balance, which means that there is no exception, exemption, and no escaping this universal law. We will never have successes without failures, or downturns without gains. For every winner there is a loser. For every gain, there is a loss. We lose the cordwood to gain warmth. We lose the electricity to cook our meal. We lose the food to fuel our body and so on. 

Like the Law of Conservation of Energy (Energy may neither be created nor destroyed and the sum of all energy remains constant), The Law of Compensation is about balance, harmony, and equilibrium in our material world and it applies everywhere in the Universe.

The Law of Compensation also means that we will reap what we sow. If I plant tomato seeds, I will harvest tomatoes. Likewise, if I plant seeds of love, I will receive love, and if I plant acts of kindness, others will be kind to me. And, (this is very important), if all I sow is anger, all I get back will be hostility.

This is the Golden Rule in practice. If we treat our neighbor as we wish to be treated, we live in harmony with the compensation principle and therefore will enjoy its benefits. Emerson put it this way, ''It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.''

Another term to describe compensation is 'karma'. It is a Sanskrit word, that means action or deed. Spiritually it means both our actions and the consequences that flow from them.

People who believe in karma believe that our fate is governed by the choices we make. The happiness we experience or the suffering we undergo is a result of how we use our free will.

The Law of Action and Reaction or cause and effect is also very similar. That is, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The greater we stretch a bow string the further and arrow will fly for example.

The Law of Compensation, or sowing what we reap, is not always about God directly punishing the evil men do and rewarding the faithful(although it often is), it is rather simply a natural law in the Universe—His law of natural consequences in action (see video below).

Once we understand for loss there is a compensating victory, we can be free from bitterness and envy— we can live contentedly. ''Blessed are the contented, for they are never poor. Woe unto the discontented, for they are never rich.'' ''Blessed is he who has little and wants less, for he is richer than he who has much and wants more.''

Blessed, too, is he who realizes that a little is a great deal when it is enough. And, as Socrates taught, ''He is the richest who is content with the least.''

When we fully understand the Law of Compensation (and the related laws), we understand that our success depends not on what we get, but what we give. Then we also will understand that we must willingly sacrifice time and put in effort to reach our goals.

But perhaps, more importantly, when we do experience a temporary setback, we're not going to be discouraged, because we understand that hidden in our problems are blessings waiting to be discovered. In other words; every failure brings with it a seed of success—an opportunity. 

It is also important to note that most of us come to realize that we are given many gifts or talents that we simply did not earn. We find balance by attempting to give these gifts back to the Universe by not hiding them, by using what we were given to give. Therefore, each person gives back to society in his own way. Many people have suffered some negative compensation or karma for not using their God given talent(s).

Lastly, don't make the all too common mistake of comparing your life's problems with others, because even though their gains are clearly visible, their failures and suffering are probably hidden from view.

Compensating Karma Is Real

by Vasi Rus 

Everything comes back to you as a punishment or as a reward. The Law of Compensation states that no evil act goes unpunished, and no good act goes unrewarded. It's the ultimate equation of life, always making sure that things stay balanced. Here is a brief explanation.