Most people associate the word ‘sacrifice’ with the idea of difficulty, loss and suffering. Well, that is where they make a great mistake. Initiatic science tells us that sacrifice is not a deprivation or loss but a substitution, a transference, a change of level. The same activity is involved, but on another level and with other, purer, more luminous materials.
Sacrifice, therefore, is the transformation of one kind of matter into another kind, of one kind of energy into another; one deprives oneself of something in order to have something better in its stead. That is sacrifice. Take a lump of coal: it is black, dirty and ugly; sacrifice it and it becomes fire, heat, light and beauty. Someone who refuses to make any sacrifices condemns themself to perpetual cold, ugliness and darkness.
Of course, as long as you still believe that sacrifice is going to deprive you and make you suffer, you will never be ready to sacrifice anything. So the sooner you adopt the initiatic point of view the better; it will teach you that when you renounce something it must always be in order to replace it by something better.
Suppose you want to renounce a bad habit: gambling, for instance, or drink or women. If you don’t put something else in its place it will keep coming back to tempt and torment you because you have not cultivated another need strong enough to overcome that old, ingrained flaw. In fact, if all you do is repress your old habit, you may even be affecting yourself psychologically.
Until human beings understand this they will continue to inflict great suffering on themselves and then, naturally, they will come to the conclusion that it is not worth trying to make sacrifices because not only are they bound to fail, but they suffer even more.
To be continued…
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Izvor Book 219, Man’s Subtle Bodies and Centres
Chapter 1, Human Evolution