Thoughts over Easter – The Power of Sacrifice – Part One

Posted: April 12, 2009 / in: Spirituality / No comments

The ‘power of sacrifice’ and its miraculous effects upon our lives when made correctly. In almost all the spiritual traditions on this planet we find references, to a greater or lesser extent, about ‘sacrifice’, as its power reveals new life, the new age, and transformation. According to these spiritual systems the entire Creation is in fact made possible by the supreme sacrifice that God makes in the perfect and permanent process of creation.Even though it is a subject about which many people believe they know a lot, if we look closer we will realize that in order to correctly understand the reality of sacrifice as a profound divine mystery, we first of all need to deeply understand the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

At least once a year all the Christian world and in fact all the world, (because nowadays we live in the world of communication) focuses directly or indirectly upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and its importance for all of us. Unfortunately it must be said that in many situations (and sometimes even in the fundamental books of Christianity) the moment of Easter (when Jesus Christ gave his life for his people and for mankind) is treated in a superficial and sometimes even intentionally unclear way. Due to this approach, this wonderful, magnificent gesture Jesus made in order to make a better world for us became an act of suffering, an act of terror, an act which in fact does not reflect the reality of his act or gesture.

If the entire Creation is made possible by the supreme sacrifice that God makes in the perfect and permanent process of creation, let us first see what God is sacrificing in the process of creation and also why He needs to make this sacrifice, since He is The Almighty, who can do whatever He wants, anytime. To understand this we will use a model of Creation, a model which is a synthesis of all the models that are used by different spiritual systems (and of course we have to keep in mind that it is only a model and the reality is even far more complex than what is presented here).

Before the whole process of creation starts, in the Supreme Consciousness all the possibilities which exist in the future manifestation, in the future Creation, are equal. In front of the Divine Consciousness none of these possibilities or potentialities is more important, longer, or bigger than any other possibility.

For this reason, in order to create, God the Supreme Consciousness needs to start “somewhere”. To begin the process of creation God needs a starting point, a mark for the future development, otherwise all the equal possibilities remain in a state of perfect balance in the Supreme Consciousness and there is no Creation.

Therefore, in order to start “somewhere” God needs to make a first choice, and this first choice is made by “ignoring” all the rest of the potential Creation in favor of the first choice. In the sequence of creation this will become the first step.

In this same way, the next step is in fact always what follows in the sequence of creation and it is made possible so that God continues the act of creation. This is made possible only by this process of “ignoring” the rest of the equal potential possibilities by focusing and choosing only one of them.

Therefore, in the act of creation God focuses exclusively on something and consequently “excludes” everything else (for the moment). In this way, even though the Creation is very vast and expresses all the infinite Divine possibilities, at the same time it is also accurate and precise. This accuracy and precision of the entire manifestation, with all its levels and worlds and limited consciousness, are made possible by this sacrifice of the multiple choices by making only one choice.

The act of sacrifice that God is making is not a mere act of rejection, but rather it represents an act of embracing only one aspect and apparently sacrificing, (apparently from the point of view of creation) the infinitude of the finite Creation. Without this act of sacrificing the infinite possibilities by focusing upon one of them, without this exclusive focus into the creative act, it will not be possible for anything to manifest and everything will remain just pure potentiality with its infinite possibilities in the Supreme Consciousness.

Upon closer inspection (and thus losing the general perspective for a while but gaining details) we see that God’s act is a conscious choice that replaces another status of consciousness. The sacrifice that God makes by choosing one detail that is becoming the next step and sacrificing the whole general perspective for a while is a conscious one, it is not an accident or determined by an exterior force (for there are no “exterior” forces)

In this way God makes the manifestation of a particular level of consciousness, of a particular aspect, of a particular being possible; keep this important observation in mind for later on. It will enable us to be ready to understand some secret esoteric aspects regarding the exemplary sacrifice of Jesus Christ and to extract valuable conclusions for our daily life and the way we can use the power of sacrifice for our spiritual evolution.

God’s act of creation is not dictated by the “rules of the game”, but by His free expression of choices. We can understand now that any choice we make leads to a sacrifice that sooner or later will emerge, claiming the proper “price” for what we have chosen to bring into manifestation or to bring into our life in this way.

This idea, that everything we choose has a “price”, is a fundamental one and it will take the shape of a very important conclusion later.When we want to bring a dream to life we have to make the right choices and in correspondence with this to pay the “price” through the sacrifices that will come together with our choices, first of all by limiting our possibilities.

The immature aspirants, who don’t understand these secret mechanisms of the universe, think in terms of having ‘everything’ without sacrificing ‘anything’. In this way, even though they always begin an action with a lot of enthusiasm, when it comes to sacrificing something they run away because they cannot understand its mechanisms.

As we can see in our lives, when we want something we are confronted with more than this simple mechanism; any choice implies a sacrifice, irrespective of whether we choose the “right way” or the “wrong way”. A choice implies the sacrifice of the potential options by choosing only one, thus ignoring all the rest. This is the first sacrifice which is placed in the beginning of every project we will ever do in our life. This is the fundamental sacrifice from where everything starts, including the whole Creation.

The discussion about whether our choice is right or wrong belongs to the inferior mind. For the initiate, before talking about right or wrong, making a choice implies a sacrifice and knowing this prepares him/her – by allowing the act of sacrifice which comes together with the choice.

Even if it might sound easy, in reality many discover that making a choice is not that easy.

In fact, what does it mean to be ready to make a choice? First of all to be ready to make a choice means to be aware that we can choose! In many situations people are unaware they can choose and sometimes, due to attachments and fears, they refuse to see this because intuitively they know that choice comes with sacrifice.

Moreover, to be aware that we can choose means first of all to be aware of the field of all potentialities. The field of all potentialities is in fact contained in the “creative void” from where everything starts and where everything returns after existence.An initiate who wants to gain the freedom of choice strives to “wake up” all the time, to become aware of the multiple possibilities that are born within the creative void.Being aware of this infinite field of possibilities we make the first and decisive step towards making any dream come true in our life.

Every single success, every time we make a dream come true in our life, is in the beginning rooted in the creative void and starts with a choice we make, thus making our first and most important sacrifice by becoming aware of one option and sacrificing the infinite possibilities which previously existed as potentials.

For an initiate this is the true sacrifice. To be aware of the possibilities in order to be able to choose is the real readiness for this sacrifice.

Let’s see why sacrifice is so scary and for whom it is so scary. Sacrifice makes it possible for us to transcend the limits of the present reality in order to make room in our life or in the universe for a new aspect of life, for a new understanding, for a new status, for a new level of existence.

Sacrifice therefore makes it possible for transformation to appear and stagnation to disappear by giving birth to something that appears to be “new” in our life.

Normally we consider that our thoughts, ideas and actions are all “original”, that we are the authors. In this way we consider ourselves to be separate entities from the Totality, being able to create and to manifest something completely independent from the Universe. From a spiritual perspective this can rightfully be considered the “original sin”, the source of confusion and misunderstanding in our life. Remember that there is “nothing new under the sun”, everything (when we are at this normal level of consciousness) comes from the universal “reservoir” of thoughts and possibilities and it is not new, it just transits through our being again and again. Therefore we can eventually bring something new into our life which is limited.

But even so, the only possibility to bring something completely new into our life is through sacrifice. When we correctly perform a sacrifice we clearly feel that something new will appear in our life. In this way we can say that the renewed transformation is the very expression of the Spirit in manifestation and its basis is the sacrifice.

Continuous renewed transformation is the only access to universality and eternity that the limited consciousness has while existing in the dual world. The inertial and unconscious stagnation is the expression of the “shadow” of the Spirit we generally call ; this inertial and unconscious stagnation is based on a deep fear of anything new, as well as on the attachments to comfort, continuity and security.

As a consequence we can understand now why sacrifice is a terrible threat for the ego, as sacrifice dissolves the very basis of the ego – stagnation, thereby making a new status possible, a new level that will emerge into our life and thus into the universe. If we look around us we can see people making a lot of efforts to achieve something and sometimes they are even suffering while making all these efforts. Afterwards they say: “I have sacrificed so much to get here”, or “I have sacrificed so much to create these possibilities”.

It is interesting to observe later that sometimes, out of the sacrifice that person mentions, something good, harmonious or beneficial does not come in that person’s life. Instead of the good aspects, attachments, suffering, confusion, conflicts, tension, or illness seem to come out of the sacrifice they have made. This typical situation shows that not always what we may consider – from the ego perspective – to be a sacrifice is a real sacrifice and then of course, seeing such a result, we will become more careful when we say “I have sacrificed so much to get here”.

Now let’s see what a sacrifice is in reality and how we may correctly use this formidable power. From the aforementioned life situations we can see that there are real sacrifices which always bring immediate genuine transformation, spiritual understanding and evolution into our life; and there are also the so-called ‘false sacrifices’ that bring with them attachment, suffering, confusion, illness and tension.

It is apt to mention here the folkloric saying, “a kick in the backside is followed by a step forward, taken by us.

If we put the problem from this perspective we can say that there are efficient sacrifices that bring immediate spiritual results and what I call ‘slow sacrifices’ that take us on a long journey, until, being moulded by the kicks of life, we eventually attain spiritual results. Both visions, the first one with real and false sacrifices and the second one with fast and slow sacrifices, are correct since we are interested in the differences that exist between the two aspects for its practical importance in our daily life.

In relation to the deeply mysterious and often misunderstood exemplary sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and following this parallel (by other examples) we will be able to understand the reality of sacrifice and the misunderstandings that radically influence this topic of ‘sacrifice’ nowadays.

If we will make an imaginary travel back in time 2000 years ago, we will see that Jesus knew what was about to come upon him and he even knew who would betray him ‘with a kiss on the cheek’ as the Book tells us.

Furthermore, He announced this information to the gathering of disciples. Despite having this knowledge He continued without any fear, facing an apparently “tragic” destiny, but still following the divine principles He taught.

Usually when we think about this moment we think about the tragedy rather than His glorious victory achieved by following His principles, the principles He taught until the end. Remember that in those days Jesus didn’t follow the Book, for

He was “writing” it right there and then. And He also didn’t perform the sacrifice because He didn’t have another choice or He didn’t realize the danger He was exposed to. Jesus knew the danger, He also knew all the consequences, yet He chose to follow the principle of LOVE that would make human beings better and deliver a better world. His attitude was firm in following the path not because of the lesson He would give to the people around Him for they were the ones killing Him or at least watching Him die (without moving a finger). His attitude was one of firmness of following His beliefs, His attitude was to follow the teachings and not to focus on the failure of the others to understand His teachings.

Seeing from this perspective we should consider what a state one must have when, after enthusiastically teaching people about true belief, about love, about loving and trusting God, they look at Him as a stranger and don’t move one finger to save Him; moreover they deny knowing Him – as Peter did three times in the night Jesus was arrested – or they choose another one to be spared from the terrible death. In such a situation one must have an extraordinary determination to go further since no science showed precisely that this sacrifice would have any meaning at all for the people, or that it would work for sure and in the end people would listen to the message. The sacrifice was made “blindly” until the end without any prior certitude that it would succeed or fail.

The fact that the sacrifice was not made in vain, that it was in fact a success, was only understood later on, after hundreds of years, however Jesus could have given up before the sacrifice even took place upon seeing his own disciples betray and deny him. Instead Jesus focused upon the goal and not upon the sacrifice, He therefore performed the sacrifice to the end proving in this way that He really wanted to save human beings and deliver a better world, and as a result not even the terrible events were able to stop him in the moment they happened.

Jesus taught the people around Him for years, many of these people were now in Jerusalem (for Palm Sunday), many of the people had spent years attending meetings with Jesus and they faced this tragic event without doing anything, without trying to save Him and more than this, some of them even chose His torture and death (by opting for Barabbas’ release).

When the Roman governor asked the Jewish people if they wanted Jesus or the local leader Barabbas to be released, the same people who had come to listen carefully to His teachings then betrayed and condemned Him to death. Of course, some say that the priests from the temple had the place filled with their servants who instigated the people to choose Barabbas, but this still doesn’t make the ones who previously listened to Jesus’ words less responsible for their choice!

For many this moment is an important one because it focuses upon the sacrifice, it focuses upon the tragedy that unfolded, but if we try to put ourselves “in Jesus’ sandals” we will realize that in that moment He was confronted with an extraordinary choice.

In that moment nothing showed the success of His previous teachings; He had taught about love, about following your heart, about belief in God, He taught people about loving each other and now, in His extraordinary moment of need, when He, the teacher, was unjustly accused of heresy, those who had followed him for years gave up on him, they no longer followed His teachings and He could see this.

But this sacrifice of an uncertain success represented a part of His choices and at that point He could choose something else. He could choose to “confess” His sins and give the priests the satisfaction that He recognized His mistakes and He could have walked out from prison free, at least momentarily. He could have chosen to go away and not even enter Jerusalem for Palm Sunday (because He knew that people would forget what he said and embrace the formal social conventions in the end, choosing the political leader instead of God). Knowing that Judas would be the one who will plan to “help” Jesus the way in which he did, He could have at least chosen to lead Judas away because in this way there would be no betrayal.

All these choices existed at that moment, choices that were for sure not delivering a better world, not delivering a better human being. But these choices did not come from the principle of ‘love’ and from the principles of ‘tolerance’ and helping one other as Jesus preached and therefore He did not consider any of these choices.

There was also another choice – the choice to follow the path of Love. This was not a choice of sacrifice, it was a choice to continue further with the Divine principles regardless of what will happen.

In that situation Jesus did not choose sacrifice, He chose to follow the Divine principles, and that choice alone puts Him in the situation to pay the “price” in the shape of a proper sacrifice. To deliver a better world and give better chances for the evolution of the whole of humanity was Jesus’ aspiration and by following that until the end, at a certain point He crossed paths with society, with people’s egos and He had to “pay” the ultimate “price” to make His “dream” come true – making a better world, creating a better chance for salvation.

We often see people claiming to be ready, saying they would ‘do anything for a certain ideal in their life to come true’. However, when life comes to them claiming the necessary sacrifice for that ideal, they start to have second thoughts, doubting the success and as a result they finding reasonable excuses to betray the ideal in front of the imminent proper sacrifice. These people claim that they become “more realistic”, that they have more mature thoughts. However, those betrayed ideals represent (for the majority of people) nowadays the failures of the so-called ‘maturity’ even for those who call themselves Christians, who were supposed to learn about the power of sacrifice from the best model we have had in this world, which was Jesus Christ.

The ideals that we develop when we start to grow up, the ideals we have when we are young and full of energy, possibilities and potential are confronted with terrible and terrifying moments (for the ego), when we have to make a choice and then we have to follow that ideal by paying the price with the sacrifices that are needed.

For this reason the immense majority of people living on this planet make compromises in order to downsize the sacrifice needed, instead of manifesting the wonderful ideals they have chosen to follow. Moreover, if we go back to Jesus’ example we see that He chose to follow the Divine principles with all the risks – He went to Jerusalem in a difficult time, surrounded by a group of disciples who will leave him in the most difficult moments – and consequently He continued until the end, paying the ultimate price without knowing if His gesture will teach anybody a lesson or if He will be counted among the thousands of prophets who had died before Him, killed by the angry mob or by the scared people of power while remaining almost anonymous…

I wish you all a happy Easter celebration, full of choices…

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Advaita Stoian

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