Nov 24, 2017

The Case for Virtues


In his essay on Compensation, Emerson makes the case for the virtues. He said there can be no excess to Love, knowledge or beauty. He wrote this in the section about retribution; how the scheming, lying one seems to get away with his acts, while the Good go unnoticed. His argument is that Cause and Effect are exact; that evil decreases ones Being; that as long as we carry resentment and the like within us, we are demeaning our soul, but it is enhanced with every act of goodness.

There is an old saying "You cannot out-give God." In other words, we can never deplete our inexhaustible supply of love, knowledge, beauty and all the other "virtues." We shall be forever replenished while the evil-doers will be reduced to ugliness and fear. Interesting way to see things. He is helping us to understand our true nature and to encourage us to express it regardless of what others are doing. That is a serious spiritual practice. ie: we are so easily angered by the news, for instance, that we might be tempted to retaliate in kind. That temptation may be the "Devil" that old-time religion warned us against.

The temptation to "get even" is a deadly one and unnecessary. The Law of Reciprocity takes care of it. Everyone is paid in kind for how we invest our soul. Good is rewarded and Evil takes the consequences. Emerson asks us to be true to ourselves and to leave the retribution to the Law. No one gets away with anything in this life. What goes around actually does come around. While the Law is working out its effects, we do not condemn the perpetrators, but see with compassion. The underlying soul can emerge at any time. We affirm that everyone is Love, Beauty and Knowledge at the core, and we are all now awakening to that truth.


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