The act of voluntarily losing something, a) in order to gain something else, b) for the sake of a deity, c) for the sake of another person or some worthy cause.
- Sacrifice is totally unknown to God, for He only gives without cost and knows nothing of loss.
- We think, however, that God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus ask us to sacrifice all that we hold dear, especially the things of the body. This notion severely impedes the spiritual journey, for it makes the goal seem fearful.
- It is the ego, not God, that demands sacrifice. None of its pleasures come without the price of pain. It asks us to sacrifice totality to keep a little treasure for ourselves (see T-26.I). Yet this “treasure” is only loss, loneliness, and fear. Thus, the ego asks total, not partial, sacrifice. The real meaning of sacrifice, then, is “the cost of believing in illusions” (M-13.5:2).
- Sacrifice is the basis of the special relationship (see also giving/receiving), where we believe that true love demands, as well as gives, sacrifice. This belief makes God’s Love seem like the ultimate demand. Sacrificing for another only induces guilt, which is meant to obligate the other to sacrifice in return (see T-15.VII.6-9).
- Sacrifice is an idea of our making. Only we ask sacrifice of ourselves. Yet we project this onto God and the world, thinking that their demands are the cause of our deprivation.
- The Holy Spirit asks only the sacrifice of pain. We must give Him not sacrifice, but the whole idea of sacrifice.