Trying to sacrifice because you're not ready to let go
When you try to remove something from your life but you aren't genuinely ready and healed to the point of recognizing that you're already detached from it, it is like ripping it out and trying to enforce a state of compliance. That is the ego working overtime, taking over the spiritual path to try to be the enforcer of spiritual laws on a behavioral level.
You cannot let go of something while you value it or while you believe it is the truth. And regardless of whether that thing is good for your sanity or not, or even if it is making you suffer, the demand to remove it when you're not ready to brings about sacrifice. And usually it means you are "should-ing" yourself.
It is the ego's way of attempting correction without actually correcting anything. It wants to simply take an axe to anything in your life that has been deemed "unspiritual" or not in alignment with "the course" etc, as if doing so will make you more spiritual. And yet these so-called unspiritual things are OF the ego. So then it's the ego pretending to get rid of the ego, which it will attempt to do with great gusto. That passionate slaying of the dragon passes for what appears to be a valiant effort to be more spiritual, but really keeps and reinforces and increases the ego.
So sacrifice, while seeming to be a call for a reduction of ego, is actually a call for an increase of ego, masked by the illusion that sacrificing has the same 'goal' as true spirituality. If the course says you are not a body, the ego will come along and say "get rid of the body otherwise you are not being spiritual". Yes the goals are the same, but the reasoning and the consequences and the purpose of this information is different. Or rather, how the goal is obtained is different. Spirit would have you gently look at what makes you believe the body is real and to examine how beliefs you've held are in fact false, so that you can recognize you are not them, thus releasing them, avoiding the need for sacrifice. But the ego would tell you, ok, you gotta get rid of this shit, you are not spiritual enough.
The ego's intention therefore is to reinforce the sense that you are deprived, not good enough, not spiritual enough, and lacking, such that it will compel you to "sacrifice more" in order to become more spiritual in a short space of time. This really is a device to increase the sense of separation between what you are (love) and what you think you are (ego) by affirming just how in need of correction you are. What it means then is that underneath this attempt to sacrifice is some form of guilt which is telling you "you're not spiritual enough" and "you need to get more spiritual urgently", which compels a sense of panic and attack, taking the form of sweeping cuts to all kinds of things which you're not ready to relinquish.
Sacrifice then is the ego trying to be spiritual, trying to move too fast, trying to enforce the Course's truth before you are ready, trying to make out that you are in spiritual poverty and therefore need some horrific sweeping tools to correct you. This is not what the Holy Spirit asks of you. It is not what the Course asks of you. It is what the ego tries to make of the course, in the name of upholding its truths.
Holy Spirit asks only that you become willing, of your own free will, to have your perception corrected, when you are ready, so that you can SEE clearly what is true and what is false, so that you can recognize that what you thought was valuable is not, and what you thought was true is false, and thereby recognize that you no longer want the ego. Only then can you genuinely be willing to let go of it, or rather, recognize that it never really was something you had to begin with. Then it falls away without any fanfare or enforcement or effort. And certainly no sense of sacrifice or pushing or urgency. Holy Spirit is infinitely patient and kind in this matter and would never ask you to be ripped from the ego while you still believe it is who you are.
Be kinder to yourself today in recognition of what you still have left to correct and let Holy Spirit be the gentle corrector, according to your genuine willingness and readiness, and try not to impose artificial enforcement upon yourself asking for sacrifice. It's ok to take your time and it's okay to still be doing "all the guilty things" that are "of the ego" for as long as you need to, while you're still believing in them. Correction needs to take place at the level of willingness and readiness, not at the level of leaping ahead and skipping steps just to prove you are worthy of God.
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