Most people aren’t aware but one of the easiest and fastest ways to exert power with another or others is by being miserable and needy. I’m sure you have been in a place where a member shared an experience of depredation and loss which pulled the energy and power out of the group toward him or her. It’s inherent in our human nature since in our bodies, we are all suffering and victims, facing an inevitable end of dissolution.
Such misuse of power is ancient in origin. It’s where the whole idea of sacrifice originated. Perhaps one of the first thoughts to cross human minds in the evolutionary process was, “What have I done? How can I influence the favor of God or the Gods?” And herein arose, as thinkers such as Paul Tillich and Sigmund Freud pointed out, the idea of sacrifice. “If I give up something I really enjoy, perhaps favor will be shown upon me and my family.” Sacrifice involves giving up something enjoyed for the sake of winning favors. Ancient and current religious beliefs still rely heavily on this thinking. It is seen throughout the Judaic/Christian writings, even though it was often rebuked with phrases such as “What God wants is love and obedience rather than sacrifice.” Yet the idea of escape from our “Egyptian bondages” rests upon blood sacrifices of first born lambs. Judaic teachings may have been the first to prohibit sacrifices of children but not the idea of sacrifice. In Christian teachings, as they became codified in the 4th century, the idea of God killing his best and only son became the sacrifice allowing us the blessings of peace and eternal life. Earlier and more prevalent interpretations were banned or erased where possible to enforce this idea of sacrifice. Today, millions of churches still display a crucified Jesus as our needed sacrifice and the Eucharist or Holy Meal is called a “sacrifice” to keep us on our knees and with a sense of shame and penitence.
Although Christianity has taught Jesus as the only sacrifice needed, that idea and model of living still reigns in so many minds. We consciously or unconsciously make ourselves miserable to “pay the price” for someone to love us, or for us to even love ourselves. It’s a brilliant idea of the ego, the body/form identification that is so ingrained in us from birth. So we live years seeking to be “right” rather than happy, casting our misery upon family, neighbors, and the world. Many today, with religious freedoms expanding, are giving up this negative mode of living. They are choosing to simply “have a good time” and somehow through busyness, drugs, playing or working hard expunge sacrifice from their minds. They deny there is any other dimension; this is it, go out playing, and dancing, worn out and used up!
I have found a better, more satisfying way of thinking of myself; identify as one with “the other dimension” of spirit and transcendence, what we glibly call God. In silent meditation and through higher, more liberating forms of teachings and reason, one can come to the realization that one’s deepest self is not the body or material matter but Spirit. That shift can become so significant, dawning upon one’s consciousness like a bright morning sun. One can come to the experience of seeing oneself as One with God, as God’s Son or Daughter, the very Idea of God immortal in me, as me, forever.
This teaching of the Universal Oneness of God’s Creation of Spirit is seen within so many higher levels of teachings, from ancient times to ours. It’s seen in the ancient eastern writings of the Vedanta, the Bhagavad-Gita, and even parts of the ancient Bible. We read often in the Bible how that which Eternal, of which we are, is indestructible, eternal, beyond all mortal substances such as bodies. It’s the “Kingdom,” enlightenment or being “born again.” As such, sacrifice is useless in manipulating our Maker; we are God’s Idea never having left our Source except in our dreams and illusions. We are Love unconditionally, unable to be lost anymore than God or Source. We experience it by awakening to it, realizing it is so.
Once this Identity is discovered, one begins to realize he or she has All. Sacrifice and bargain hunting are unneeded. Wherever one is, God is too. Whether we have many things or very few, whether we live long and short lives on earth, one or many of them, whether we are strong or sickly, we have Everything. In the book A Course in Miracles, the sign of this dawning on a person is the length and frequency of smiling! One becomes the “laughing Buddha” rather than the dying, crucified Jesus on a cross. The crucifixion and death of Jesus become transformed as a lesson teaching that nothing separates us from our Source. To interpret it as later Christians were forced to do, leads to the sacrifice of realization of our own Christ Self, our own Oneness and Perfection within. We project it all on one person alone, the ancient Jesus who probably was not ever a real person anyway but in an ancient mystery story of awakening.
Are you then a mostly happy person, delighted to be “in the world but not of it?” Are you easy to be around and with, cleansed from an attitude of constant whining, judgmentalness, and scarcity? Can you find peace fairly easy within or without? Can you only be happy when the sun is out, skies are blue, kids are perfect, and everything is in its place? Good luck! It doesn’t happen here. Forgive yourself for such foolishness and be free! Yes, it takes mind-training exercises, but many books and teachers abound. Seek them out. If you want to be happy, the Universe will oblige your wish. If you would rather be sad, miserable, and unhappy, such is yours as well.
Choose today to be happy. Happiness is the way to life, not the short dessert at the end. Choose and be free. Let freedom ring from your aura and Spirit, touching everything you come near and whomever you breathe toward with thoughts of peace.