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..:: Sacrifice ::..

By

Alan Schneider

                               

             This chapter is concerned with that universal action which empowers all spiritual practice in any tradition, and at any level – the act of sacrifice. This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, form of ritual in religious history, and undoubtedly dates back to prehistoric times as well. There is also an appreciable amount of work available in the Mystery Teachings which traces this activity beyond even human origins to the most distant roots of consciousness. This single area of investigation can convey more understanding of the utmost importance to the Seeker than any other, for it is tied to the very cornerstone of our evolution and awareness. 

            I am sure that the remarks made by the author regarding the Arthropodic Mind in chapter two will be recalled by the reader with only a mild reminder at this time. The division of the awareness into its evolutionary hierarchy is a very effective teaching tool, and has been a feature of the Mystery Teachings from time immemorial. In this approach, there is yet another layer beyond the Arthropodic Mind that represents an even earlier level of evolution, accompanying the first emergence of vertebrate life in the sea well before any record of animal life on land has been found. This is the Icthyian Mind – the level of consciousness of fish. In the evolution of fish, the appearance of the invertebrate skeleton and spinal column is seen for the first time, indicating that the complexity of the previously mentioned excitatory nervous system has reached a resonant level permitting the process of life to be possible without the presence of an inclusive continuous shell. There is, as usual, the presence of some conflict of opinion regarding which level of Mind appeared first, or whether they emerged more or less simultaneously. The earliest fossils of complex organisms frequently seem to have both shells and segmented exoskeletons, even in the case of some plants. To round out the picture, it is further possible to postulate the existence of the Vegetable Mind. Where “Mind” is a reference to consciousness, please recall that anything physically manifest has this quality to some extent. If a pebble has this, the Mineral Mind, then there is every reason to suppose that a plant has significantly more, and the vibrational experience of many plants confirms this to the Adept! This is one reason why God is represented as a radiant Lotus Flower in Hinduism.  

            One element of consciousness which is generally absent in the vegetable and mineral vibrations is aggression. This quality of vibration only appears in the animal kingdom with the advent of the nervous system. And some degree (frequently a great degree) of aggression is demonstrated in the herbivores as well as the carnivores, if only as a defensive provision. We have now arrived at another concept mentioned in the preceding chapter: the prey/predator relationship and it is here that the motive drive for sacrificial behavior as demonstrated in human activity originates. Understanding the cruel  irony of this most ancient, brutal, and destructive characteristic of life on our planet as another condition of Divine Love is one of the most difficult, painful, and humbling lessons which the author has learned through acceptance along the Way, and it is of the utmost importance that this fact of existence is accepted in that sense. Please follow along. 

            We have all probably been exposed to the traditional Darwinist argument regarding predation that this is the primary mechanism of natural control and balance in the environment, which always tends to become resource scarce at the vegetable level first. This means that the herbivores, by virtue of their central nervous systems, will always overgraze the available food supply in any ecosystem eventually – that is, in the absence of carnivores to continually reduce their numbers. The inevitable result is that the herbivore population will then be reduced by inter species aggression, disease, and starvation, three alternatives which are hardly more desirable than predation. When the tendency of most predators to take the easy prey – the aged, sick, deformed, injured, etc. – is weighed into the balance, the situation can be seen to be a grisly but functional system. And the inevitable conclusion of the process of living – death – always falls alike on every individual regardless of their place in Creation. How could a God of Love possibly have instituted such a condition? Why? I can assure anyone that all of the arguments above and any collection of platitudes do absolutely nothing to take the anguish from the awareness of a mother who has just lost her child, or from a young man who has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or an old man who spent years watching his wife slowly die and finally must face his remaining years saddened and alone... 

            All of the bloodshed of millions of years of evolutionary history has culminated in the ascendance of humanity. Not surprisingly, we have proven the title to our crown by raising the states of destruction to even higher, more massively wanton levels in the brief time of our occupancy of the throne. The veils of the senses really do seem to be a Veil of Tears, as the Bible maintains. And so they are, my friend, so they are. Hinduism describes the physical body as “the city with nine gates” – two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one genital, and one anus – and these are also the gates of a prison of consciousness. Are we made of the stars? We are made of the ashes of the stars, and this is where we return. Once again, Why? 

            The human condition cannot be understood from the human perspective. This fundamental Truth is the reason for sacrifice, and for faith (and also for addiction and  fanaticism of all kinds) and for the existence of this book, as well. From the perspective of the God whom I have met personally, and whom I love completely, the world and our place in it are not only comprehensible, but sublime. I have done everything in my power to share this with the reader and Seeker herein, and shall continue the process now.  

            As an Omnipotent Consciousness, God is Perfect, Complete, Omnipresent, and is also Continuously Manifest – ever changing and evolving in form, appearance, and vibration – and this is the essence of Omniscience: total knowledge through active expression in being. This is as opposed to human knowledge – composed of static, finite sensory impressions and memories.  Human sensory awareness sees completion as something existing in time, with a beginning, a process, and a conclusion. This is all illusory. God sees everything that we are and do as Eternal Petals manifesting on the ever more Radiant Lotus of Divine Consciousness. We see birth and death. God sees evolving Manifestation. We know suffering and attachment. God knows Eternal Love. God is the Expression: we are the Reflection. 

            When we stand in front of a mirror, the image that we see is reversed one hundred and eighty degrees, exactly halfway, from the actual position we are in. And our reflected awareness in the mirror of the physical form is also reversed one hundred and eighty degrees, from the Awareness of God. This is why I described the physical universe and all within it as absolutely flawless when explaining the Daoist symbols of the Creation Diagram – the Dao is a perfect mirror... 

            Why did God Create, knowing that we would suffer? Because He knows that our suffering, including death, is only transitory – another illusion – and that we will know Him again, and discover this ourselves eventually. Why do we so often fail to see this in life? Because we choose not to. Like the Little Children we are, we choose to be delighted with our new toy, our new attachment, our new distraction, no matter how many times we see these things fade, or be ripped, away from us. Why does God permit this? Because He Loves us far too much to take away our power of choice, use it as we will, and He is the Presence in all  things knowable, even though we may not know this. And God has also never stopped calling to us to Come Home – this is why we finally must leave this world of Illusion – it’s time to go Home to the Truth. In the bloodshed and destruction of predation, or warfare, or domestic violence, or most importantly, of sacrifice, the Logos sees only that what was contributed by Lucifer as a temporary vehicle of reflection  is returned, and literally recycled, through that source, to be expressed again in another mirror, until that Dance is Finished. And the Soul which God Created returns to Him, also to be released again in Love, until this Dance is also Finished. So it is that we are all Dancers at the End of Time...  

            I have attended meditations at many centers in my community. In the garden of one facility, a specific vision would invariably leap into expression during the course of my trance. It concerned an apparently ancient battle in a walled city of antiquity. The aggressors, a fierce well armed and armored people, had forced their way into the city and were literally slaughtering the much less aggressive inhabitants. I am sure this was a psychic vision of a real episode in history somewhere: the graphic character of the scenes, which I will spare the reader, has left me convinced of this. I was filled with anger and horror at this pathetic destruction of the innocent community and its people. I experienced this vision repeatedly over a period of some weeks, and eventually became familiar with two of the participants in particular: one attacker, and one defender. The two were engaged in furious combat with each other, which the attacker finally won, killing his opponent, who was an obviously gentler man by nature and appearance. I found this scene to be particularly pathetic, but knew better than to disregard the Divine message which had to be there. Finally, I spoke in anger to the Presence of God within me, demanding to know why I had to be wounded in the spirit with such a truly horrible perception. 

            The Logos customarily speaks in symbolic form to the Seeker, but a literal voice is also sometimes heard. God said ”Look at the violent, brutal man who seems to be the victor. He has slain his gentle enemy, a Good Man, and has taken all that he can plunder from the city. This man has a Soul, but knows this not, and knows Me not as well. The things he has done on this day will only lock him deeper in the dark dungeon of his lonely life. Every time he raises his weapons in victory or defeat, he moves deeper into the darkness which will greet him at death as it has in life. All the fallen works which add to his keep and the days of his life will only increase his blindness. Now look at the slain form of the Good Man. This man knew me and loved me through the life long discovery of his Soul, my gift to the flesh. He knew that his mortal flesh was flawed and would eventually be lost for the sake of the Victory of his Spirit through my Grace. He fought his lonely battle not to triumph against his enemy, but in the certainty that he would triumph in the release of his Soul back to Me, no matter what the outcome to his flesh. He has come Home to his Father, and lives with Me in Glory, having been released from the agony of his fallen Earthly form. Now, who is the Victor?”   From God’s perspective, this world of karma and Maya, although certainly still an expression of Love, is a challenge of opportunity to know the Truth from the most extreme illusory condition possible. God knows that we will all achieve this vision eventually, and that this seductive life of gratification is a temporary, if recurrent, exercise in consciousness, nothing more. Death constitutes not the end of life in sadness, but the necessary next step in spiritual renewal, to manifest another opportunity to live and learn again. The whole meaning of the Life and Resurrection of Christ was to communicate this Truth of the immortality of the spirit to humanity on the clearest, most evident level, so that anyone could understand and accept this. 

            Now we can discuss sacrifice as a way to know God. Since there are many levels of sacrifice, I will begin with the customary human baseline condition – No sacrifice – life in Maya. This is also the baseline evolutionary condition, of all things, and of mankind during our emergent condition in prehistory. In the beginning of our pre human lineage, there was simply a chaotic grappling with a chaotic condition determined by instinct, and the outcome was determined by relative levels of abundance, and by chance. In the present day world of the sensory consciousness, there is also chaotic grappling with a chaotic condition, and the outcome now is determined by relative abundance and chance just as it was then. We believe that we have order through control, because we have more. In fact, we have more control because we are more controlled, and we also have less real sense of spiritual presence as the cost of that control. Personal control is the state of no sacrifice: in this place, we have “sacrificed” our relationship to God for an Illusion. And what we have gained in this condition is not worth what we have lost. Let us look farther into the beginnings of sacrifice. 

            At some point in the origin of human consciousness, our ancestors began to sense an emergent order in the violent, chaotic world around them: pattern recognition began to develop in our awareness. And at some point in “modern childhood”, our infantile consciousness also begins to sense this same order in this same chaos, as the same pattern recognition continues to emerge. There is no time – I have said this again and again: only the unified field exists. The Lotus Petal of the vibration of pattern recognition simply continues to pulsate in Radiance at the frequency of the Tetragrammaton forever. Pattern recognition is also the beginning of the differentiation of baby libido, then and now. The sense of emergent ego identity is implicit in pattern recognition: the pattern is reflected in the perceiver, and vise versa. This is the Dao of recognition. The organizer is the order, and the order is the organizer. In the sense of prehistory, with pattern recognition came the perception that the chaos from which the patterns emerged might, like the perceiver, be ordered on some level as well, might be motivated, and might be attentive.  

            So the first experimental actions were attempted to approach this suspected intelligent chaos – things of recognized value were offered to this being, and to these beings, these hidden intelligences, in solicitation, and the results – or apparent results – were noted. Was the hunt or the harvest more or less abundant? Did we produce larger, healthier families? Have we become stronger than our enemies? And today, does mother seem to hold me more, feed me more, give me more, as I move from crying to the first awkward perception of solicitation? Interestingly enough, the answer to these questions is YES, frequently enough. Here we have the origin of sacrifice, then and now, and forever. Even at the most primitive historic or personal level, sacrifice seems to “work”, because it does work. The reason for this is very interesting. Sacrifice is an attempt to communicate, and an attempt to communicate does communicate, particularly at the level of conscious awareness. Now, the communication does not always take the course we might envision: the hunt is not always successful, nor the harvest plentiful and mother does not always respond more quickly nor cooperatively. But most mothers love their children, and God loves His Children, and this means that there is an inherent tendency for attempts to communicate in both instances to be successful. In addition to this, in any attempt to communicate anywhere regarding anything, I am always communicating to myself, am always reaching out to my own condition, and this communication is achieved, even if unconsciously. Remember, the Act of Creation was and is being achieved with a Word: this is also an act of communication. The universe is created by the vibration, or interaction, of the Tetragrammaton. Communication is a conscious interaction. “Ask and Ye shall Receive.” 

            In the simplest possible terms, the essence of this book thus far has been my demonstration of the concept that the sum total of Creation is God interacting with God in Love. I have also made the statement that we are God’s Children, and that he wants us to come Home, even though He gave us this separate Life in Love. And I have said that God’s Love is not a selfish expression, as human love frequently is. Yet, we are here in that Gift of Life in a separate selfish condition, and when we sacrifice, it must come from that condition as well. What is the perception of the Logos regarding this? How should we proceed? Let us take another look at the prey/predator loop in regard to this question of selfishness, viewed from Perfect Love. 

            What is the ultimate nature of God’s Perfect Love, as manifest in Creation? The answer to this is expressed in use of the Sahasrara Lotus at both ends of the Diagram. Sooner or later, again from the illusory human view of time, all things return to the Logos from which they emerged. In fact, nothing ever returns to God because nothing ever leaves God! The baby libido, represented on the Diagram as Sahasrara, and known to Jung as the Primal Self, is all there is. The Primal self is shown as a finite core at the center of the sphere of consciousness as a way to describe the structure of the individual human psyche, because the karma of the physical body sustains the perception of separate existence. The Primal Self is not in the personal psyche: it is everywhere. This diagram was constructed by a consciousness (Jung) that knew the Truth, but had never personally reached the Truth. If we were to reconstruct the consciousness diagram from the perception of God, it would be reversed. We would see a translucent white sphere representing the Primal Self. As we entered this sphere, we would again pass through the large region of the collective unconscious on our way to the center, but the sequence of manifestation would be reversed as we descended the layers of the Chakras from Sahasrara on the outside. As we approached the center of the sphere, we would pass through the layer of the archetypes at the lower boundary of the Chakras. At the center we would find a densely packed dark cluster of individual Karma in the form of the dense physical universe(s). All of the incarnate human physical forms and individual sensory egos, and ego kernels are in that cluster, actually relatively closer to the external margin, in a layer of sustained consciousness immediately inside the archetypes, and outside the Dyad. At the very core of the structure is the Monad, Lucifer, furiously pulling against the great mass of Creation. Unlike the Triad, and the Dyad, the Monad is in a state of unified consciousness. Why?  Because there is still one more layer left within it. What is this layer? Sahasrara, the Logos, and the Primal Self, vibrating the Tetragrammaton! 

            Animal predation exists at the level of the Dyad. With the expression of YHVH, everything else required to generate the Triad was inevitable, including the animal vibration. Prey and predator are that expression of Yin and Yang, respectively. Had this not taken place, karma could not manifest, because the division in the Dyad is the expression of Karma. The Monad is the mechanism of Karma. And the Tetragrammaton creates Karma. One could view this entire process, and the hundreds of millions of years of animal consciousness, as the generation of a sufficient mass of karma to manifest Maya in the form of the senses. 

            Particularly in the example of the reconstructed sphere of consciousness, it can be seen that a continuum of manifestation is in evidence, from the Monad in hyper dense condition at the center, to Sahasrara at the surface, in Pure Consciousness.  If we continue past the surface, what do we find? We find the vibration of the Tetragrammaton and the Monad, and then the Dyad! And so on. There is nothing but God, it’s just that simple. This is the best description of the Truth that I can provide as a human being. God’s Love is manifestation of Consciousness on and through every level of this continuum. We feel love in our hearts: God feels love everywhere, and we are the expression, or Children, of that Love: a dynamic region of reflected consciousness within a Super Consciousness. 

            The Logos appreciates any gesture made in recognition of the Divine Presence  – sacrifice -- with great delight. In the manifestation of the Blood of the Lamb, God even sacrificed Himself through the communication of the New Testament, to assist humanity in struggling with this process. This is an indication of levels of sacrifice. The practice of physical blood offering was one of the first forms, and really amounted to sacrificing to Lucifer, performed by a consciousness which was very deluded in the earliest stages of Maya and karma, and very close to Lucifer through the Dao of animal predation. But the recognition of something was beginning. The burnt offering was a manifestation of a significantly more evolved perception of the Logos as manifesting in invisibility through the air, as the most etheric yet tangible medium known to the ancients. Here we see a transition to the perception that the spirit, or consciousness, of the sacrifice was not specifically embodied in any particular part of it’s dense form, such as the blood, but was generally present at a higher level in and around it. Now, we must briefly examine the practice of human sacrifice. 

            A belief eventually formed regarding sacrifice that the more spiritually present the sacrifice was demonstrated by it’s nature to be, the more spirit was given to the God, or the demigods, seen as the focus of the practice. Inevitably, the option of human sacrifice became attractive in this belief system: the human consciousness had evolved to the level of its own primary recognition by this point. The relative extent of the sacrifice was also considered significant, and human sacrifice saw it’s most brutal pinnacle of expression in the practice of child sacrifice, particularly of the first born son. The great enlightenment of the story of Abraham’s agony before God over the prospect of the sacrifice of his son represents another milestone in the concept of communication with God. At the instant when the heartbroken Abraham was about to deliver the fatal blow of the knife, as an expression of the condition of his love for God being above even his love for his son, God appeared to him in a vision with the revelation that his demonstration of that love in his willingness to give the spirit of his son back in sacrifice was a sufficient sacrifice in and of itself, and the life need not be taken. In this example, which marked the end of human sacrifice by the Jews, we begin to see the awakening understanding of the sacrifice that we can give to the Logos which is most prized – our personal love and service in this Divine Gift of Life. The Logos wants our spirits back, not in death, but in spiritual love, because this reflects Divine Love, and in the gift of spiritual service, because this reflects the Gift of Life. I have heard people say that they cannot believe that God loves us utterly and completely, because they do not see this in their lives. God does love everyone completely. But love on any level is a condition of relationship. We must return God’s Love, must love God, for this relationship to function. The deepest  meaning of sacrifice is this expression of love returned. 

            God knows that the essence of both karma and Maya is the illusory perception of linear time. This is built in at the foundation of our condition by Lucifer. In fact, the Hindu religion refers to the perceived passage of time as “The Dance of Shiva”. It certainly might as well be the Dance of Lucifer; the effect is the same. One of the things that was most notable about my experience described in Chapter One was that the perception of time and space was absent in the Godhead. This was left behind as the vehicle of karma as I passed through the Portal of Shiva: He retained what was His. As I write this, I am nonetheless still apparently consuming linear time in the process and this foundation of Maya will mark the boundaries of my incarnation with certainty. So I have chosen to use some of my precious time to write down these things which I have told you, and this book is one my greatest sacrifices, performed for God, and given to you in my love for the sake of His Love. This is how God wants us to communicate, and this is how God wants us to sacrifice. Literally, He wants us to symbolically return, or release,  the karma time given to us in the form of our incarnation, through service, devotion, and enlightenment. 

            All of the things which I have said and done and described in this book have cost me my time in this incarnation, and they have also cost me my resources to a greater or lesser extent, and a marriage, and several other attachment oriented relationships, and a job or two, and my blood on one occasion. And the process of Enlightenment has cost me the comfortable rosy halo of my ego and all its delusions, and some people would say that my sanity went with along with it. I know a little about sacrifice. The reality of these apparent losses is a fairly good indication of what can be required to follow the Path. If so much is required, why even bother to make the effort? If we are doomed to return here again and again anyway, what could be the point? Why not simply take what I can of the fruits of this Tree of Knowledge of this sensory experience, which is at least seemingly real? I will attempt to give you my answer to these questions, which we have all asked them at some point. 

            Part of my Karma in this life has always been an all consuming search to know, including above all the search to know and experience the truth at the deepest most fundamental levels possible. I have been ever fascinated with the hidden relationships which are everywhere and in everything in the universe. I delight in the revelation of the Secrets. I am a natural born explorer and spiritual Seeker. 

             I also take great satisfaction in the act of assisting and healing in the world. This includes everything from repairing a broken bowl to soothing a broken heart or mind. It just makes me feel so good when I experience the glow of joy in others as their suffering and burdens are eased. So I am also a natural healer and care giver. And you could say that I am selfish: I enjoy feeling good about good works, and feeling and knowing the Creator as a real condition of my experience, not merely an abstract belief, or a philosophical argument, although I have certainly argued long and strong in this volume. And I love sharing the Truth of these things with others, with you, because I know that Truth will heal your wounds, no matter how deep they may be, and will set you free. And I love that freedom. To have experienced what I have, to have known the revelations that I have discovered, not as information, but as Living Truth, is beyond price, value, or comparison on any material terms. When I look at a child now, I see the innocent, radiant Light of God shining in a little human chalice. And I can frequently tell from the way they return my attention that they see the same light within me. And I can also see this Child in everyone. How much can this be worth? 

            It can take some time to begin to feel this, but the benefit of sacrifice, apart from the assistance to the Seeker from the enlightenment process viewpoint, is that anything given in this way is returned in far greater measure than could ever be anticipated or expected, through the Grace of God, immediately manifest in this dense physical life. In this way the Saint, the Adept, and the Guru are in direct knowledge and experience of the Logos, or communion, because they have sacrificed everything, have let go of all attachment, have released all karma, and have extinguished the sensory ego – everything has been released in sacrifice to Divine  Consciousness as action  in recognition of that  Love. Under these circumstances, awareness exists in a constant state of Ecstasy in Divine Union, in the highest state of Yoga knowable before Maha Samadhi manifests as physical death, and the Soul returns to the Creator in Sahasrara. The Guru knows the death of the physical body of karma for what it is: the final liberation of awareness from the City of Nine Gates. The understanding has come through enlightenment that the information provided by the senses regarding the relative value of unenlightened physical survival is exactly opposed to the Truth of the Logos in this matter: the unenlightened life is not worth living. When the work of the Soul has been completed through the release of karma as required, the function of incarnation is complete. 

            The Ascended Master literally does not live in the same sensory reality as the unenlightened individual. Each time that an attachment to sensory Maya is released through Enlightenment, Yoga to the Logos advances in the form of both the quality and quantity of awareness of Higher Consciousness within the Seeker. The Guru sees even the condition of Maya through God’s eyes, not merely the twin gates of the sensory physical eyes. When all of the Illusion of Attachment is gone from awareness, the message of the senses about the karmic physical universe and body, including the feelings and emotions, is experienced as a radiant reflection of the Cosmic Dance of Love which has been mentioned so often in these pages. The Radiance of the senses is experienced as a natural step in the continuum of Higher Consciousness manifest through  the Chakras, and the total awareness of all these levels of Knowing is integrated into one dynamic condition: the totally expressed Jungian consciousness. Following the attainment of this state of being, the Master is free to abandon the sensory realm and the body if so desired, and return to the Godhead, or the choice can be made in Love to retain incarnation and serve God by revealing the Truth to   humanity as the Sat Guru or Bodhisattva: the Divine Lotus fully Manifest in human physical form. In this way, the Master fulfils the remaining time of incarnation as a living sacrifice of Love in service to God. This is the Highest Consciousness attainable: the state of Perfection in Divine Yoga. 

         (Copyright 2009, by Alan Schneider)

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