The Significance of the Law of Sacrifice [2 of 2]

Part 1 of 2 here.

It must never be forgotten that this fourth ray of conflict is the ray whose energies, rightly applied and understood, bring about harmony and at-one-ment. The result of this harmonizing activity is beauty, but it is a beauty that is achieved through struggle. This produces a livingness through death, a harmony through strife, a Union through diversity and adversity.

The sacrifice of the solar angels brought the fourth kingdom in nature into being. The “returning nirvanis” (as they are called in esoteric literature), with deliberation and full understanding, took human bodies in order to raise those lower forms of life nearer to the goal. These were and are ourselves. The “Lords of Knowledge and Compassion and of ceaseless persevering Devotion” (who are ourselves) chose to die in order that lesser lives might live, and this sacrifice has made possible the evolution of the indwelling consciousness of Deity. This consciousness, having worked its way through the subhuman kingdoms in nature, needed the activity of the solar angels to make further progress possible. Herein lies

  1. Our service to God, through sacrifice and death;
  2. Our service to other souls, through deliberate self-sacrificing purpose;
  3. Our service to other forms of life in other kingdoms.

All this involves the death and sacrifice of a Son of God, a solar angel, for, from the angle of Deity, descent into matter, manifestation through form, the taking of a body, extension of consciousness through the process of incarnation, are all occultly considered to be death. But the angels “chose to die, and in dying, lived.” Through their sacrifice, matter is lifted up into Heaven. It is this theme which fills the pages of The Secret Doctrine, and which is discussed in greater elaboration in A Treatise on Cosmic FireThe sacrifice of the angels, the death of the Sons of God, the immolation of the mystic Christ, the crucifixion in time and space of all living entities, called souls – this is the theme of those books. This is the mystery hinted at in the world of Scriptures, and this is the secret of the ages, which is only discovered by the souls of men as each of them enters individually into conscious relation with his own soul and discovers that which he has joyously done in the past, and so arrives at the realization of that supreme sacrifice which he made with deliberation in the early dawn of time itself and which, at some point in his career as a soul on earth, he consciously and symbolically re-enacts for the benefit of other souls, in order to hasten their progress towards their goal. Then comes a life wherein, in some form or another, he portrays or works out within himself, but also before the watching world, that great symbolic drama which we call The Sacrifice of a World SaviorThis is the theme of the historical romance of all those great Sons of God who down the ages, have arrived at an understanding of the significance of the divine purpose of God, of the Word incarnated through a planet, of those solar angels who are themselves, the Word incarnate through a human form. Whether they enact this drama, as did the Christ, so as to present to man the symbolism of death and sacrifice, or whether they enact this drama, as did the Buddha, so as to demonstrate to man the sacrifice and death of personal desire (to mention only two of the manifested Sons of God, the Christ and the Buddha), the theme remains the same, – the death of that which is lower in order to release that which is higher, or – on a larger scale – the death of that which is higher in the order and scale of being, in order to release that which is lower.

But the lesson needs to be learned (and it is the lesson which man is now engaged in learning) that death as the human consciousness understands it, pain and sorrow, loss and disaster, joy and distress, are only such because man, as yet, identifies himself with the life of the form and not with the life and consciousness of the soul, the solar angel, whose awareness is potentially that of the planetary Deity, Whose greater awareness (in His turn) is potentially that of the solar Deity. The moment a man identifies himself with his soul and not with his form, then he understands the meaning of the Law of Sacrifice; he is spontaneously governed by it; and he is one who will with deliberate intent choose to die. But there is no pain, no sorrow, and no real death involved.

This is the mystery of illusion and glamor. From these two imprisoning factors all World Saviors are free. They are not deceived. It is well, in passing, to point out here that in the New Age, we shall enlarge our concept of this term World Savior. At present we apply it predominantly to those souls who emerge upon the teaching ray, the second or Christ ray. They enact the drama of salvation. But this is an error, due to the overpowering emotional glamor of the Piscean Age. This astral influence has its roots in the past Atlantean civilization, which preceded ours. In that age, the astral body was the subject of attention. Much that happens today, and which may develop, has its roots in that aspect of energy. Seeds sown at that time are now brought to flower. This is very good and necessary, even if distressing in experience.

But the World Saviors must be recognized as coming forth to serve the race, with sacrifice of some kind along many lines and in many forms. They may be great rulers, or dictators, politicians, statesmen, scientists and artists. Their work is the work of salvage, of restitution, or renovation and revelation, and, through the sacrifice of themselves, they accomplish it. As such, they must be recognized for what they are. Now they are misunderstood, misinterpreted, and judged by their mistakes more than by their aims. But they are dedicated souls. They rescue; they lift; they integrate; they illumine; and the net result of their work, from the angle of ultimate history, is good.

This Law of Sacrifice and the impulse to give can also be traced throughout every kingdom in nature. It is typified for us in the basic sacrifices which take place between the various kingdoms. The essential qualities of the minerals and chemicals of the earth are an instance in point. They are needed by other forms of life and are donated to man through the medium of the vegetable kingdom and through the water which he drinks, and thus, even in the first and densest kingdom in nature (whose consciousness is so far removed from ours) does this process of giving hold good. But the tracing of this Law of Sacrifice in the subhuman kingdoms is not possible here, and we must confine our attention to the world of human living and consciousness.

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