Lesson 9 — Law/Compensation
Text Reference: Chapters 11 and 12
- KNOW THYSELF (Lynch), p. 123
- SERMON on THE MOUNT (Emmet Fox), p. 117
- DYNAMICS FOR LIVING (Fillmore), p. 245
- SELECTED STUDIES (Shanklin), p. 114
- GOD A PRESENT HELP (Cady), p. 79
Significant Concepts To Be Covered
- One of the foundation stones of Jesus’ teaching is the GREAT LAW. You cannot get something for nothing. There is a reaction for every action, punishment for every sin, and reward for every virtue. Stress the likenesses and the differences between the Law of Compensation and the idea of Karma.
- In our concerns for the evils of the world, it is good to remember that the sin is in the eye of the beholder. Since everyone is a spectrum of many levels of consciousness from the very good to the very bad, what we find in another is more a judgment of the beholder. Thus, if we would save the world, we must first of all “save” ourselves.
- Everyone has the urge to share his knowledge of Truth with others, but Jesus warns against wasting time trying to convince the cynic. Ask yourself, rather, “Why am I so obsessed with the need to give him the light of Truth?” It could well be an escape from the need to deal realistically with your own problems.
- P. 142-144 deals with the idea of “God’s will”. In the concept of the Divinity of Man it is important to be clear on this.
- Jesus closes the sermon (p. 145) with the stern reminder that Truth principles avail little if they are not applied. In a sense He is challenging you to ask yourself, “Am I dealing with attitudes or platitudes”?
- The central factor of religion has always been forgiveness of sin — and the problem of evil. Get the idea across that sin is simply the frustration of potentiality, and evil is the concealment of good. Sin is its own punishment and righteousness its own reward.
- God does not know sin, so actually God does not forgive sin. This is a startling concept. P. 150, 151
- God can do no more for you than he can do through you. This is the basis for Jesus’ idea of “forgive and you will be forgiven.” The whole process of forgiveness, even what we have called “God’s forgiveness”, centers around the change in us, God’s changeless love, which seems to forgive as light streaming in an open window seems to erase the darkness, is ours when we raise our consciousness to accept it. P. 153
- An important factor in Jesus’ teaching is that the Prodigal who sins and “comes to himself” is really better off than the older brother who had never faced his inner conflicts. “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” This can be helpful in working with the rehabilitated criminal, alcoholic, wayward youth, etc.
- One of the problems of total rehabilitation for the ex-convict is the attitudes of the community to which he returns. Discuss ways of promoting the right attitudes.
Additional material that may be helpful:
To understand the law of compensation, we must be willing to admit that no experience in our life is ever completely unrelated to our consciousness. Thus, the first step in trying to correct conditions should always be to “be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” Yet how very human it is to look for the causes in the motivations of other people.
An excellent test of the level of one’s consciousness in the face of any problem of life is this: ask yourself the question, “Why has this experience come to me?” Make a list of all the answers you can think of. Press yourself to make a long list of all the possible causes. You will find something extremely interesting. Most, if not all, of your reasons will be in the form of alibis. “Why was I summarily fired from my Job?” Answers: “My boss had it in for me from the start.” “Office politics.” “My co-workers resented my aoility.” “At ay age they dismissed me so they would not have to give me a pension later.” “I do not have the right education because my parents couldn’t afford it.” On and on we go, and all are alibis. Jesus is saying, “Don’t try to justify your problem in life by trying to pin the blame on other people. Rather, work to remove the beam of limiting thoughts from your own mind.”
The minister who preaches on the evils of dancing, describing in great detail all the lurid things that go on in the minds of the people engaged in this rhythmic exercise, is revealing the evil nature of his own mind. Paul obviously had this in mind when he says, “For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.”
F. D. Maurice once referred to “Looking in other people for the faults which I had a secret consciousness were in myself ... has more hindered my progress in love and gentleness ... than all things else.”
Another facet of the law of compensation: Seeing, itself, is a creative act which often becomes the sequence that leads to the consequence. Seeing is actually a form of giving, and as you give so do you receive. That which you see becomes a force in your life. If you see evil everywhere, evil becomes an everywhere present force. If you see people from the suspicion that “you can’t trust people anymore”, you will experience a constant stream of thefts, disappointments, and injustices.
Jesus advises us to begin from the standpoint of our innate divinity, He says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Establish yourself in the consciousness of the good and you will see good everywhere. You will “see God”, which means you will see from God consciousness. You will salute the divinity in people, you will actually project a healing blessing that will lift people to the best in them.
The realization of the Divinity of Man gives rise to the assurance that the Presence of God in us is actually a higher dimension of us. The resources of the Kingdom of God in us are really the depth potential of us. Self-realization leads to self-control. And self-control leads to the control of all the forces of our greater self. If we want more power, we couldn’t want it if it were not already a possibility within us. Thus Isaiah confirms what the Presence of God in you, which is God expressing as you, is saying to you, “Concerning the work of my hands, command ye me.” Claim your good and press ycur claim. You are a child of God, now start acting like one.
A Sunday school teacher once asked her class, “What must we do before we can expect God’s forgiveness of sin?” One little tyke was up to the question. He replied, tartly, “We must sin.” It might also be asked, “What must we do before we can speak authoritatively on the subject of sin?” Though preachers might resent it, I would say again, “we must have sinned.” Maybe this is why Paul was the greatest of all preachers in the Christian “way”, because he had so much to overcome, to live down.
In a small rural church one Sunday morning, a young minister, fresh from the seminary, was delivering his first sermon. His subject was “Sin.” He ranged far and wide in a fiery sermon that emphasized the wicknedness of mankind in general and the variety of sins of men in particular. Following the service the young pastor was accosted by an elderly woman at the door. “You man,” she declared, “you haven’t lived long enough to have sinned often enough to have repented deeply enough to be able to preach that kind of a sermon on sin.”
Forgiveness does not come from God, for God does not receive offense. Jesus taught that judgment does not come from God, but from man. God cannot know offense, therefore, He cannot judge. Man knows offense, and man judges. Receiving offense and forming judgments, together constitutes transgression. They carry the soul across the direct radiations of God into the world of finite and changeable states. Because man knows offense, he must forgive; and his forgiveness can never have effect anywhere save in his own consciousness.
Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” This is the level of consciousness that is represented by the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son. When we judge others or criticize their actions, we forsake the peace and poise and power that are ours by right of our divinity. We may feel that someone has transgressed against us, but ours is the transgression, for we have forsaken that place in consciousness. Imelda Shanklin says: “Father forgive me for expecting in the human that which is found only in the divine.” In other words, I have transgressed when I stopped relating to the divinity in the other person. Forgiveness is needed, but I need it for the mistake of crossing over into the “far country” of offense. The wonderful part of all this is that when we turn to forgive, to let the merciful love of God flow through us, the Spirit sweeps us up into a veritable river of divine power. We are forgiven, and we are set free from unforgiveness. Forgiveness really means to “cross over”, to get out of the “far country”, to give for. Forgiveness is actually giving up something lesser for something greater. You give up the “want” of the far country, for the open arms of the Father. You give up your hurt of the offense, for the freeing love of God.