Manual for Teachers: Section 13 . . WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF SACRIFICE? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 33 paragraph 5

Section 13

WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF SACRIFICE?

page 33, paragraph 5

WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF SACRIFICE?

WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF SACRIFICE?

WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF SACRIFICE?

5 What is the real meaning of sacrifice? ²It is the cost of believing in illusions. ³It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth. ⁴There is no pleasure of the world that does not demand this, for otherwise the pleasure would be seen as pain, and no one asks for pain if he recognizes it. ⁵It is the idea of sacrifice that makes him blind. ⁶He does not see what he is asking for. ⁷And so he seeks it in a thousand ways and in a thousand places, each time believing it is there, and each time disappointed in the end. ⁸“Seek but do not find” remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise.

Special Relationship

I wrote the following when I was just learning that my relationships were all special and what that meant to me in terms of sacrifice. I am no longer confused and my relationships have been transformed and continue to grow stronger in truth and beauty as I remain vigilant for ego intrusion. But I left the writing as it was because it is a reminder for me that I never want a special relationship again and because it is a stark example of the real meaning of sacrifice.

As I have thought that giving up self requires sacrifice, I have missed the point. It is the illusion that asks for my sacrifice. To believe in illusion I must deny the truth; that is, I must sacrifice truth. The special relationships I have been talking about are an example of this. I hold tightly to them because I think they are my salvation. I think they are the source of my happiness.

Ego Sacrifices

In order to maintain the belief that my special relationships are the source of my happiness, I must sacrifice the truth, which is that the special relationship is not pleasure, but pain.  What do I sacrifice in the embracing of specialness? Well, the special relationship demands that I give up my Self, my unity with All That Is. I must pretend to be small, fragile, vulnerable in every way. I must suffer inevitable loss, and in fact, have come to accept that crushing loss is the price one must pay for love. The greater the love, the more awful the loss when it finally comes.

I suffer great pain to bring the child into my life. I watch in fear as the child lives its life; fear it will be hurt, will be sick, will be snatched from me by a vengeful God, as surely I deserve since I snatched my self from Him. I give less than is asked of me and suffer crushing guilt all my life. After giving my all to my child I watch as he spends that life moving further and further from me, taking with him the love I have dedicated my life to building.

Insanity

I watch each of his/her accomplishments with pride and love, but also with fear because each accomplishment brings my child closer to independence, and so further from me. If the child manages to navigate the dangers of the world and grow into an adult, I then feel that I have “sacrificed” years of my life to his constant and vigilant care and am now reduced to staring at the phone in hopes of a call.

This is the ego’s idea of love. It centers on fear, sacrifice, and loss. And yet, the ego insists that it is God who is asking for the sacrifice when He asks that I give up my special relationships. The ego warns me that God wants to leave me with nothing.

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that the true sacrifice is believing in the ego version of love. This belief strips me of the memory of Love so completely that I am afraid of it. Who really remembers what it means to love without fear, without sacrifice of any kind? Who is it that does not associate love with loss?

Love

Who can remember that love is eternal and unchanging and that nothing that is done or said or experienced can affect it in any way? Who can remember what it is like to know one’s self as Love? This is the true sacrifice, this memory, this certainty, this Self.

I have misunderstood sacrifice, and like everything else in the illusion, have seen it upside down. Mistakenly I have clung to sacrifice and called it salvation. I have turned my back on salvation and called it sacrifice. Thank you, God for clarity. Please help me to be vigilant for the confusion in my mind so that I can let it go. Now that I am more aware of the true order of things, I am also more sensitive to the discomfort of my confusion and more ready to be corrected.

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