What is the role of sacrifice in this work?
At some point in your work on self, you may discover the mysterious power of sacrifice. To me, sacrifice belongs to the old ways, the ancient traditions which once shaped our understanding of our place in the world. Now, it is largely forgotten if not rejected…having been superseded by a more user-friendly sense of personal evolution with a minimum of pain.
I do not wish to make a logical assessment of sacrifice…what it means or how it works….just some observations.
That for which I make sacrifice is made more valuable; its power is enhanced by the value of what has been sacrificed to it. The message of Jesus has survived 2000 years because of his voluntary sacrifice. Without Easter, who would remember Christmas?
Genuine sacrifice seems to require that it be voluntary but I am not certain this is so.
Sacrifice for my own benefit is not sacrifice but a kind of bargaining or exchange. To sacrifice I must lose something of value to me without compensation. Yet, there is also a sacrifice of substitutes, where I may give up a personal attachment in order to come closer to my Friend.
When an impasse is reached and there appears to be no way out, sacrifice may be called for, to break the stalemate. A sacrifice releases energy and opens up fixed positions. In this case, the sacrifice may need to be known but there are other times when it must be hidden so as not to attract the notice and approval of others.
Sacrifice that engenders resentment or self-importance is not real sacrifice and would better not be made.
Every kind of work can lose its virtue when mixed with human fears and ambitions…burnt offerings to propitiate the gods, for example. There are no rules to follow here. You must discern the murmurings of your heart to find a gesture which is sacred, one which lifts the spirit.