SACRIFICE AND THE SOUL'S CHOICE
Julie of Light Omega
There are times when souls who are willing are called to forgo their own advancement or comfort so that others may live and flourish. This calling is one to which the heart responds, seeking to actively participate in an act of great love.
'Sacrifice' and 'letting go' of something one values are often considered to be the same thing. However 'letting go' can take place along many lines of motivation and for many purposes, whereas the deepest meaning of 'sacrifice' is to 'make sacred,' a choice that involves the soul. To 'sacrifice' something is to let go of something or to endure or bear the pain of something in order to further the purposes of a higher ideal that partakes of the Divine. It is in service to this higher ideal that one gives up something precious in order to bring something even more precious into being.
'Sacrifice' in this sense does not take place out of a desire to suffer or out of a wish to endure pain. If it were only this it would not be a reaching for the higher that partakes of Divine reality. To willingly bear suffering, to endure discomfort, to experience the loss of peace, comfort, joy, or physical ease becomes 'sacrifice' when it takes place in the presence of love and as an act of love. Such love desires to bring into being something greater than the pain.
Suffering can be endured in 'making sacrifice' because in the depths of love it is considered a small price to pay for the accomplishment of what the heart deems to be most sacred and worthy. Such love can move mountains. It can change history. It can alter worlds. The endurance of painful experience in service to a higher purpose that is greater than oneself, that is worthy of one's fullest love, and that is an expression of that love, is what makes sacrifice possible. Love must be present in the source motivation, however, as well as in the full range of action which sacrifice may entail. Sacrifice based on hatred is a contradiction in terms. Sacrifice that betrays the principle of love and that harms another is also a contradiction in terms. The love that is part of the ideal must infuse all parts of its expression. In the presence of such love, human beings become more than they are or have been.
Humanity has come to avoid sacrifice as it has come to see in it only pain, only deprivation, only the letting go of the more pleasant aspects of life. Though it may involve this, there is always beneath this outer appearance the sacred purpose for which sacrifice is made, the ideal which one clings to. This invisible purpose, often unknown even to the self, can conceal a hidden joy. It makes great acts of heroism and courage possible even when the outer self feels incapable of such acts.
Why might sacrifice be needed? Because in the oneness of all that is there are times when those souls who are willing are called to forgo their own advancement or comfort that others may live and flourish. This calling is not an edict or command. It is a holy Voice to which the heart responds with gladness, seeking to actively participate in an act of great love. Seeking to affect the lives of others, to serve the good that one's actions will bring to them. Such motivation permits the relinquishing of what the self might wish. One lets go of one's own lesser wishes in order to serve the greater wish of extending love so that others might thrive.
Such love upholds worlds. It allows each one to take part in the great common task of humankind - namely, to recognize the oneness of all in the unity of God.
*The sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham is often referred to as an act of violence that the Bible supports and that God required. In this, the understanding of the calling of each soul toward this sacrifice is omitted, for the Biblical narrative reports only the outer manifestation, not the inner wish, need, and calling of the heart and soul to fulfill a portion of God's Divine plan.
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Article Section - Purification