On Sacrifice and the Path


On Sacrifice and the Path


Sacrifice is a prevailing theme of many world religions, whether you are giving up life, time, or money. The idea is that you have to pay for salvation somehow; nothing is free, after all. Some religions have an entire laundry list of things you cannot do, things you must give up entirely in order to practice their faith. Some ask for money, either through tithes or “charitable donations.” The entire Christian faith is based on what is an objectively barbaric form of human sacrifice. The message is clear: to be saved, you must offer up something in return, or forgo something you once indulged in. A sacrifice must be made.

Pagan spiritual traditions incorporate energetic reciprocity: to invoke the favors of the gods, certain offerings are made. These offerings can be physical or energetic in nature, either cream and honey to please the Fae folk, or personal psychic energy expended during a healing rite. These sacrifices are more personal (as pagan practices usually are) and less brutal than the central human sacrifice present in Christian spiritual tradition. They focus more on paying back the energy or power granted by the gods or spirits.

All the Path asks you give up are your anger, your fear, and your sense of self-righteousness. It is recommended that you let go of these things for the sake of your own inner peace, and the Path even offers guidance on how to free yourself from these toxic states of mind. One step on the Path of Enlightenment is to turn your anger and fear into compassion and patience, your self-righteousness to mindfulness. This is part of how you attain Serenity.



Reverend CJ Carlin



  1. Your thoughts are always deeply felt. Thank you for sharing your humble expression. Many will find these ripples long after you have written them.


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