Awhile back, this poster appeared on Facebook, and some questioned the “religion without sacrifice” phrase.
The word “sacrifice” has come under scrutiny in the past few decades, due to the way it is treated in A Course of Miracles. But today this poster appeared again in my timeline in close proximity to another poster that read, “If you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.”
I think that this sentence is a good restatement of Gandhi’s “religion without sacrifice” being a danger to human virtue. It fits with my understanding of the Hero’s Journey, the path of initiation, in that once the first threshold is passed, the tests and trials begin.
Once a person realizes that there is more to life than what meets the eye (and the other senses) that initial experience is followed by a cellular reaction as the body tries to adjust to the new reality.
That reaction can be painful.
This is why the aphorism “let go and let God” figures so prominently in the spiritual discourse. Non-attachment goes hand in hand with the willingness to “suffer for the kingdom of God’s sake.”
Christ on the cross is a visual icon of Buddha’s declaration, “All life is suffering.” In this, Christianity and Buddhism have essentially the same message:
Change does not come easily—there is always a price.
Today, being Good Friday, is a good day to reflect on this—this season of the Spring Equinox—when the juice is ramped up and all the circuit breakers of our being start to heat up. Current + Resistance = Heat.
Sacrifice sound so painful with much ego implications; replace the word sacrifice with Surrender, would be an interesting replacement. Surrender implies alignment, a change of vibration, the establishing a different rhythm, and the following the beat of a different drummer.
Happy Easter. (-:
Thanks for a timely post, Michael. Sacrifice is a rare commodity, most commonly mistaken to mean the destruction of another human or their happiness and prosperity in the name of ‘the greater good’ or placating an angry god be it religious or political. Sacrifice is deeply personal and might be putting aside what I want at the moment (good or no) to accommodate the need of another living being.