05 April | Sacred Readings v1

Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who has suffered and found life.”

Jesus said, “Take heed of the Living One while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see Him and be unable to do so.”

The Gospel of Thomas


36

When one is about to take an inspiration, he is sure to make a (previous) expiration; when he is going to weaken another, he will first strengthen him; when he is going to overthrow another, he will first have raised him up; when he is going to despoil another, he will first have made gifts to him:–this is called ‘Hiding the light (of his procedure).’

The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.

Tao Te Ching


But the word has come to be associated with suffering, and in all religious rites of sacrifice some suffering, if only that of a trivial loss to the sacrificer, is present. It is well to understand how this change has come about, so that when the word “sacrifice” is used the instinctive connotation is one of pain.

The explanation is seen when we turn from the manifesting Life to the forms in which it is embodied, and look at the question of sacrifice from the side of the forms. While the life of Life is in giving, the life, or persistence, of form is in taking, for the form is wasted as it is exercised, it is diminished as it is exerted. If the form is to continue, it must draw fresh material from outside itself in order to repair its losses, else will it waste and vanish away. The form must grasp, keep, build into itself what it has grasped, else it cannot persist; and the law of growth of the form is to take and assimilate that which the wider universe supplies. As the consciousness identifies itself with the form, regarding the form as itself, sacrifice takes on a painful aspect; to give, to surrender, to lose what has been acquired, is felt to undermine the persistence of the form, and thus the Law of Sacrifice becomes a law of pain instead of a law of joy.

Annie Besant