Sacrifice in Mysticism

05 Aug 2013 19:57 #114863 by Alethea Thompson
Sacrifice can come in a variety of forms, everything from giving up time to offering up one's own blood. Mystics tend to assign great value to certain items and/or concepts in order to achieve specific outcomes from the divine.

In some mystical practices, I have found people which call out to the gods and demand something rather than simply ask because "if I'm not happy, there is no way you [the gods] are happy, so make me happy and you'll be happy!". Those people have had varying results, which could simply be a matter of coincidence or fate.

For this discussion, I'd like to see what the views are in regards to their own sacrifice and mysticism, how it relates to your religious beliefs (if you hold any specific pantheon) and how it affects your life as a whole (if at all).

I'll go first. Know that these are my views, and do not diminish the views of people which oppose them. The concept of sacrifice in mysticism is very much a personal relationship.

Christianity calls for the sacrifice of time, energy and money (because money is what makes the world go round, that could be physical money or "real" money in terms of goods you produce) for charity. As long as you are doing well by others, it will come back to you.

In my own experience, this has some truth to it, but the act of actually sacrificing (in a balanced manner) my time, energy and money does not tend to produce positive or negative results for me as a person, only to the people which I am affecting. In order to get returns for myself, I find that I'm always having to put energy, time and money towards myself. This in and of itself is not the definition of sacrifice in Christianity, it's simply the act of acting in selfishness so that I can have an opportunity to give back. In the Christian faith, the common phrase to hear is "God gives to those which help themselves".

In a way this makes Christianity one of the most difficult faiths to follow. When looking at different faiths, the answers become easy- go to a god and things will get taken care of. This has become part of the problem with Christianity, as people take the same message from other faiths and then find themselves knelling before a cross asking for some sort of answer without heeding the "help themselves" clause. When nothing happens, they get angry. When someone approaches them and begin to make statements such as "You will get returns by getting involved with the church through XYZ", all it does is redirect one's focus from one problem and then get them back into a confident flow in order to fix the problem they came to the church in the first place. But is it where you need to be at that moment in time?

I have found that in my own Christian practice, I have determined my own terms in what I will sacrifice and when I will do so. This has lead me to believe that sacrificing items or concepts is not important, what is important is my character when I approach my God and request assistance with a matter. Every sacrifice I make, accumulates as a form of biography, rather than a quick answer of "here is my goat, please give me the tools to determine the truth of this case".
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05 Aug 2013 20:40 #114867 by steamboat28
Replied by steamboat28 on topic Sacrifice in Mysticism
Sacrifice in most practices is a cosmic variation on the notion that "you can't get something for nothing." Sacrifice is the coin of the spiritual realm, and a lowly human can purchase no miracles without it.

The difference in some Abrahamic religions is that the sacrifice stops buying miracles and requests, and instead, is used to pay down the debt of sin--it is an atonement sacrifice, to bring us closer to God, rather than to ask for specific favors. In Christianity, the sacrifice is shifted from man to Christ, buying out our debt so that we may ask freely (to continue the metaphor.)

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06 Aug 2013 00:31 #114885 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Sacrifice in Mysticism
in paganism the general view is that whatever you put out gets returned threefold...want help? give Buddhism whatever you put out comes back in karmic balance...want a good afterlife? live a good life....nothing is free...something must be given in order for something to be received.... basic rule of maintaining balance, basic law of physics... for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction...

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Out of darkness, he brings light. Out of hatred, love. Out of dishonor, honor-james allen-
He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure-james allen-
The sword is the key to heaven and hell-Mahomet-
The best won victory is that obtained without shedding blood-Count Katsu-
All men's souls are immortal, only the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine -Socrates-
I'm the best at what I do, what I do ain't pretty-wolverine

J.L.Lawson,Sr Knight, B.div, Eastern Studies S.I.G. Advisor (Formerly Known as the Buddhist Rite)
Former Masters: GM Kana Seiko Haruki , Br.John
Current Apprentices: Baru
Former Apprentices:Adhara(knight), Zenchi (knight)

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06 Aug 2013 00:49 - 06 Aug 2013 00:49 #114887 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Sacrifice in Mysticism
I always saw sacrifice in this context to be about developing a closer relationship to the spirit and one more removed from the physical existence.

The assertion being that the 'mystical' was non-physical. A particular practise then might say that having a better relationship to that mystical source would automatically translate to positive things elsewhere, such as the physical... perhaps not for you but perhaps for others instead. In this intepretation the term is not really a genuine sacrifice, but a technique of transformation or focus.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 06 Aug 2013 00:49 by Adder.

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