Compensation (essay)



"Compensation" is an essay by
Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803April 27, 1882), who went by his middle name Waldo, was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a cham ...
. It appeared in his book ''Essays'', first published 1841. In 1844, ''Essays: Second Series'' was published, and subsequent republishings of ''Essays'' were renamed ''Essays: First Series''.


The essay addresses the topic of
karma Karma (; sa, कर्म}, ; pi, kamma, italic=yes) in Sanskrit means an action, work, or deed, and its effect or consequences. In Indian religions, the term more specifically refers to a principle of cause and effect, often descriptivel ...
or cause and effect. Emerson contends that everywhere in nature there is dualism. Dualism is present within us because it balances life instead of having excess to destroy. Opposites like action/reaction, day/night, up/down, even/odd and spirit/matter are used to balance the universe. We must all use moderation in life, instead of excess which can cause defects in our lives. If there is excess it needs to be moderated for proper balance.


"To empty here, you must condense there." "There is a crack in every thing God has made." "Whilst the world is thus dual, so is every one of its parts. The entire system of things gets represented in every particle. There is somewhat that resembles the ebb and flow of the sea, day and night, man and woman, in a single needle of the pine, in a kernel of corn, in each individual of every animal tribe." "The same dualism underlies the nature and condition of man." "Every sweet hath its sour; every evil its good. Every faculty which is a receiver of pleasure has an equal penalty put on its abuse. It is to answer for its moderation with its life."

See also

* "
Self-Reliance "Self-Reliance" is an 1841 essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false con ...

External links

Text of essay
Philosophy essays Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson 1841 essays {{philo-essay-stub