Reconsidering the Law of Compensation

What if beyond my limited awareness bubble, the Law of Compensation is not a law? What if it’s an illusion, a perceptual result of defense of separation that I experience as lack?

By applying a mental filter, I can see this law in action in what I observe. That is, when I see someone achieve a goal, I can apply this “law” and assume that person helped enough others achieve their goals. So, applying it to my own life, I get busy helping other people achieve their goals so I can achieve mine.

It’s a simple business transaction: I give value, I get value. Value for value. Fairness. And, as we all know, the universe is nothing if not fair.

It’s always unfair to the one who feels dissatisfied. (anon)

Assuming the law is true, all I have to do is help some people get what they want, then sit back and wait for the universe to “pay up.” Since it’s the law, I should expect payment. When my expectations are not met, I have to wonder why. Maybe I didn’t help enough people or the right people. Or…

Maybe the Law of Compensation is not really a law after all.

What if there is another way to understand this than as a natural law, like gravity, that must be obeyed? What if my expectation of fairness is more a want than a law? What if there was never a hole to fill or loss to compensate for? Might it just be an illusion that confirms my belief in justice?

Compensation For What?

In order for the law of compensation to have any meaning, one must accept the concept of lack as a fundamental truth. That is, one must work to achieve what they lack. One must compensate for a deficit.

What happens when I no longer perceive lack? When I thoroughly and completely accept the concept of wholeness?

According to the Law of Compensation, where there is loss, there must be compensation. From a wholeness perspective, there is no loss. So, in order to preserve the “law” as a law, I must invent a loss or deficit for which I must compensate. To balance loss there must be gain to equal out the exchange. Thankfully, I have a good imagination!

Perhaps I invented the Law of Compensation in order to feel certain things – like a sense of personal:

  • growth – to compensate for diminishing sense of individualism
  • justice – to compensate for a sense of loss of rightness when wronged
  • fairness – to compensate for a sense of disadvantage in a competitive world
  • balance – to compensate for my feelings of imbalance

All these defend my position within First and Second Degrees of Illumination. And defend me against enlightenment beyond that. While I hold out the Law of Compensation as truth, I will remain limited in:

  • awareness of what may lie beyond fairness, justice, and defense.
  • gratitude for what is – as my focus is always on lack that needs compensating for.
  • awakening to the unlimited Self – as I’ve limited Self to perceiving life as a transaction.
  • connection to everything in my external reality.

I wonder how my life might look when my perspective is no longer one of lack needing compensation. Perhaps when I no longer perceive myself as a deficit to the universe, I will no longer have to obey the Law of Compensation.

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The Law of Compensation

In my bubble of limited awareness, compensation means to make up for (a loss or lack) by exerting an opposite force or effect. Every action compensates for some lack. This “law” confirms my belief in separation and justifies my sense of justice. Yeah, it’s probably another one of those self-referential paradoxes.

Sir Isaac Newton codified this law into his third law of motion. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Basically, this law says that you get what you give. The more you contribute in life, the more you receive from the Universe. Of course the opposite is also true.
(Hurley, The Law of Compensation)

Using the Law of Compensation

Some say they have amassed fortunes as a result of mastering this law. My payment to them in the currency of money, attention, behaviors, and perceptions illustrate how I use their belief in the law to compensate for my sense of lack. Thus, enriching their bank accounts at the expense of mine. See, it works for them, so must work for me, too! That’s what makes it a law.

You can get anything you want in life if you help other people get more of what they want. (Granados)

As noble and useful as this appears, it makes one significant assumption. It assumes lack as a condition that must be compensated for with right, justified, and/or proper action. Further, it supposes that one can invest some energy and as a result reap a guaranteed reward of their choosing. An enticing idea. Particularly in the West, where wealth is seen as success in life, those sensing lack for any reason may find application of this law irresistible.

Compensation in Terms of Value

I attach value to everything in order to make comparison judgments based on my personal value. Things have no value until I invest my life-force energy in defense of a judgment – “rightness.” When I judge a loss in rightness value, I work to compensate for it.

Thus, judgment requires perception of value. Investment requires value judgments. I invest in value judgments with value judgments in order to make value judgments.  I guess that settles the self-referential paradox question. It’s a paradox!

Could the “law of compensation” be a conceptual misinterpretation of the natural law of accountability in which the universe accounts to me by presenting my beliefs to me? Perhaps compensation is a law in my universe because I believe in and defend the perception of lack.

Does the earth realize a loss regained when it compensates for evaporation by returning huge rivers of water to the ocean?

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The Something Out of Nothing Paradox

In my bubble of limited awareness, the First Law of Thermodynamics states that you can’t create something out of nothing. Yet, it would seem that that is exactly what is happening at the non-physical level of thought. Perception can do what appears to be impossible at the physical level. How?

Perhaps one way for a conscious agent to coexist between realities – e.g., thought and physicality – is through imagination. Does fear, as an absence of rational thought, exist outside of imagination? No! Imagination is the only place fear can exist as an influence by and to a conscious agent. This influence can disrupt an agent’s attention on the familiar and lock it onto the unfamiliar. When this happens, the agent can feel out of their comfort zone. The time they spend feeling afraid is the time it takes to regain rational self-directed focus.

Imagination can translate perception into fact and vice versa by means of paradoxical thought. Imagination uses this paradox in order to create a sense of balance. Balance is achieved when the paradox feels satisfied, e. g., when perception of physical reality satisfies non-physical thought. In this way, mutual satisfaction between realities appears to resolve the paradox. Thereby making something out of nothing.

Comparing Imaginary Values

Wholeness represents completeness, no needs to fill. In order to achieve wholeness, my goal, I must compensate for my lack of it. Through imagination I can assign internal values to external things. In this way, I believe I can compensate for the value I feel I lack. Thus, something out of nothing.

This is the essence of perspective. An imaginary point of reference from which I measure my beliefs in terms of imaginary values. This is how I relate external values to internal worth. The measure of an objective thing’s value is in my investment in its ability to represent my subjective perspective. Again, something out of nothing.

Because I believe I can achieve my goal of wholeness in this way, I’m committed to defending all my investments in this reality. My level of defense is based on my subjective sense of loss and gain in terms of objective value. Since loss and gain are constructs of imagination, values translate measurements into labels – good, bad, right, wrong, and better, worse. A paradox of nothing into something.

An ability to imagine loss or gain may well have the ability to live in two realities simultaneously. Turning nothing into something and something into nothing may be why thought can seemingly compensate and survive psychologically. In this way, my mind perceives a need filled – nothing perceived as something. Thus, the paradox.

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My Emotional Investment in Defense

What have I noticed that I do?
I express the value I’ve attached to my thoughts in my emotional investment in their defense.

How do I do that?
Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, every investment in thought and action must be accounted for with defense – to accommodate and sustain my sense of rightness.

Why do I do that?
Within the bubble, defense satisfies my need to feel a certain way about my experience – right, justified, proper! When I’m in the bubble groove, I feel convinced that my experience is real, true, and exactly as I perceive it. Because it is not actually as I perceive it, I engage a mechanism to support my perception as the perception in order to sustain ME as the ultimate authority over all – Mr. Right. This, in turn, sustains the presentation of my beliefs in the thoughts I entertain about the presentation. Circular! Self-sustaining! Self-convincing! Right!

Who do I think I am as a result of doing it?
Within the bubble – I feel, therefore, I am. I get to believe I am who I am by witnessing who I am not. I am not any part of my perception – yet it feels like I am. Investment in emotional defense tends to pull me into a belief that, “I am what  I defend” – I am what I think, do, and feel.

Investment Beyond the Bubble

Beyond the bubble, defense is irrelevant. Values once used for emotional investment in defense are released from compulsory military service to explore whatever is beyond.

What if I am much more than my ideal bubble image I defend? How much more? What is beyond measure? What is beyond bubble awareness?

As Jelaluddin Rumi so eloquently put it:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

(Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

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The Relationship Between Ownership, Value, and Service

In First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I perceive ownership as authority backed by power to act upon what can be acted upon according to its value for service in fulfilling the owner’s intended need or want.

A perception of need for wholeness arises when we imagine dividing ONE into separate parts – the Humpty Dumpty metaphor. This effect of imagination presents a picture of who we are not – divided and dependent upon other parts to make us whole. A constant perceptual conflict appears between a reality we deny and an illusion we believe is real.

In my bubble awareness, imagined separate “me” needs to continually validate its value to the whole. It does this by comparison to that imagined in things it can control through ownership. This process serves the cause to return to wholeness by feeling more whole.

The Relationship between Need and a Thing’s Value

The measure of a thing’s value is in its ability to satisfy the requirement of the need it serves.

Within the bubble, ownership is measured in terms of value and investment. One invests, for example, a certain amount of what represents their personal value, such as money, in order to gain ownership of some property in the hope of a return on investment (ROI) in their favor.

Values are integral to service. I value my bed, for example, because it serves my daily requirement for sleep by giving me a comfortable place to serve that need. How much I value my bed depends on how much I value my need for a comfortable place to sleep.

The Relationship between Ownership and Service

In bubble awareness, I perceive everything as separate – acting and acted upon according to its value toward service of my needs. I assign value to things based on my level of need for a specific service. Through my sense of ownership, I perceive a validation of my value in an owned thing’s level of service to my needs.

In interpersonal relationships, I use this perception of power and authority in ownership to an advantage over others. “Because I control you, I’m more valuable than you, which validates my level of value.”

The Relationship between Ownership, Service, and Value

Fundamentally, I must survive. Therefore, I have needs. I own, value, serve, and receive service in order to:

  • Satisfy needs
  • Validate my separateness
  • Address fears
  • Seek oneness
  • Defend my investments
  • Feel whole!
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