Review of parts 1 and 2 – Learning and Struggle
Both learning and struggle as discussed in the previous two parts belong to the mundane world in as much as everyone learns and struggles. Most mundane learning and struggling is fruitless because the state of humans are more interested in comfort than truth, although any healthy ego might say “I want both.”
Learning and struggling when applied with the aim of truth for expanded consciousness, for example involve years of hard work.
Sacrifice and Help
The second two of the four sources belong to the principles of mystery and the divine. Mystery is unfathomable and cannot be explained. Attempts to explain mystery destroys it. In our current epoch the divine is thought of in a parental manner where God bestows grace and divinity upon us as children. The notion of receiving the grace of the divine as children means that we feel we owe no payment in return. Out of this attitude notions of getting something for nothing out of entitlement arises. Nothing need be done to sacrifice or ask for help from the divine without payment. The divine aspects of sacrifice and help will become more evident in this piece and in part four.
Part of the mindset of much modern spiritual nomenclature rejects the word and idea of sacrifice as too harsh and “old world”. It would rather replace the word with “surrender” which implies a process of gracefulness, softness so that it eschews the edges of sacrifice and thereby misses the point.
Sacrifice in most ways is the opposite of struggle. In struggle separation occurs first followed by choice. In other words: I am confronted by something I don’t like doing, I do it and the friction of choosing to do it creates energy. Sacrifice is an act of will or choice from which separation comes and one relinquishes control in the moment regardless of consequences. Sacrifice is a payment without a transaction. A transaction is a payment for goods or services. A sacrifice is payment without expectation for goods, services or anything. A sacrifice once completed is not talked, written or broadcast in any way.
A Partial Example of Sacrifice
The following would have been a sacrifice were it not foolishly reported here:
I was fairly new to California and systems of parking. I lived in an apartment building, that did not have off street parking. I would park as close to the car in-front of me, lock and walk away.
A man started yelling at me from across the street:
“You’re parking wrong.” I told him I was not.
“You’re supposed to park in-between the lines.”
“What lines?” He pointed vigorously at the street:
“Other cars aren’t that way,” I pointed out starting to get more entitled.
“Can you even see the lines?” his face was turning red.
I looked at the lines and saw that he was right and I said:
“You’re right. I’ll move my car.” I moved my car to between the lines.
After that he wanted to be my best friend – he couldn’t stop talking, invited me to Golds’ Gym (underneath the apartment building). I thanked him and politely said no and went inside never to see him again.
In the moment I chose to move my car and park it correctly between the lines on the street I sacrificed my position. I was at peace with myself, contained and present. All the force had gone out of the argument. He didn’t know what to do with the energy so he spent it talking and offering me a gift.
Sacrifices when claimed by ego are no longer sacrifices. In my example my ego was saying aren’t I just great for sacrificing my righteousness and allowing myself to look weak in front of this guy. I abdicated the sacrifice by broadcasting it and implicitly pointing to my “greatness”.
Sacrifice and Decision
When sacrifice is carried out by choice or decision without expectation of result the most common result is freedom. With enough practice with all the four sources [learning, struggle, sacrifice and help] within the context of autogenic training the freedom experienced after most sacrifices does not have to be frittered away; it can be used for more inner work.
Most sacrifice comes as a result of choice or decision. Sacrifices by choice occur in the moment at a precise time when it feels right, when the timing is right. A sacrifice by decision comes before we are confronted with an argument. This is an act of will. The suspension of ego by decision allows will to flow through us and this is experienced as a force or a divine force.
Some sacrifice is not voluntary. This usually happens after the death of a loved one. One can rebel against the death through denial, suppression of feelings reproach and so one that keeps us stuck in the moments before or at the moment of death. If we renunciate our feelings we sacrifice the grief and sadness and begin to move on. And without expecting it we are able to maintain connection with the one that has passed as an unexpected result.
Guidelines for sacrifice:
- A desire for reward destroys sacrifice.
- Bargaining does not enter into sacrifice.
- Do or do not: sacrifice is all or should not be done because it is not a true sacrifice.
- Sacrifice must be something you consider precious.
- Search yourself for attachments and ask if you can sacrifice them.
- Sacrifice can be made for a good reason, but never for a result.
- Sacrifice is never about struggle, it is decision
- Keep your sacrifices to yourself.
- *Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 39-45, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.
- for further reading: A Primer – Autogenic Training
- see also Learning and Transformation Part 2 of 4
- see also Learning and Transformation Part 1 of 4