Law of Sacrifice (and Death)

Law of Sacrifice

Below are all the known references to the Law of Sacrifice (and Death) in the writings of Alice A. Bailey (AAB) and Djwhal Khul (DK). Links on these pages of the Laws of Alice A. Bailey are to the online books at the Lucis Trust website.

For a discussion of what AAB means by a “law” please see  Alice A. Bailey – What is a Law?


  7. The Law of Sacrifice and Death is the controlling factor on the physical plane. The destruction of the form, in order that the evolving life may progress, is one of the fundamental methods in evolution. 


  Its workings are more apparent to the average human mind in its manifestations at this time on the physical plane. We can trace the connection between the atmic and the physical plane (demonstrating on the lower plane as the law of sacrifice and death), but its effect can be seen on all the five planes as well. It is the law that destroys the final sheath that separates the perfected Jiva. 

  The causal body of the average man is on the third subplane, and as a man becomes fit for the merging into the Triad, that causal body has to be discarded and done away with. Under the Law of Sacrifice and Death, the disintegration is begun on the third level and is consummated on the second, when the man merges with the Triad, preparatory to the final merging with the Monad. Another illustration of the same thing can be found on the physical plane. 

  3. The Law of Sacrifice and DeathThese laws are all dominated and controlled eventually by the three higher laws in the system—the Laws of Magnetic Control, of Disintegration, and of Cohesion. 

  7. The Law of Sacrifice and DeathThis law links itself to the third law, that of Disintegration following the connection that always exists between the atmic and the physical plane. 

  It is subsidiary to the third law. The Law of Sacrifice is the Law of Death in the subtle bodies, whilst what we call death is the analogous thing in the physical body. This law governs the gradual disintegration of concrete forms and their sacrifice to the evolving life, and is closely linked in its manifestation with the seventh Ray. 


  Law 1. The Law of SacrificeThis involves the immolation and sacrifice of that which has been realised. 


  The Life that is, for instance, expressing itself through the medium of the animal kingdom is a self-conscious intelligent entity, working in full awareness of intent and objective, and limiting his sphere of activity in order to provide due opportunity and expression for the myriad lives that find their life and being and sustenance in him. See you how the law of sacrifice runs throughout creation. c. 


  I would suggest to you that that which has to be relinquished may not be that upon which you are at this time laying the emphasis. I would remind you also that the Law of Sacrifice is ever followed by the Law of Re-Appropriation in the spiritual sense. Upon this fact I would ask you to ponder. 


  The will is not, as so many believe, a forceful expression of intention; it is not a fixed determination to do thus and so or to make certain things to be. It is fundamentally an expression of the Law of Sacrifice; under this law, the unit recognises responsibility, identifies itself with the whole, and learns the esoteric significance of the words: “Having nothing (sacrifice) and yet possessing all things (universality). ” I would ask you to reflect upon these words of the great initiate, St. Paul 

  Forget not, the Christ and His great Brothers, and all of an even higher initiate-rank than They possess, have a definite goal, but it is one which will only define itself clearly in the third solar system, the system in which the Will of God is the dominant idea, as the Love of God conditions this system in which we now function. But this is not consciousness or awareness; it is a stage of Being which is connected with the Law of Sacrifice—the law which governs those states of being which grow out of the establishment of right human relations. Purpose can only be revealed and understood when such right relations are the firmly fixed habits of all “points of divine expression. 

  As they are closely connected with this third point (referring to the revelations which the initiate can expect), I would like to touch upon them here. The first statement I made was to the effect that the will is fundamentally an expression of the Law of Sacrifice; the second was an attempt to emphasise the necessity for grasping and accepting two initial premises: First, that energy follows thought. Second, that the eye, opened by thought, directs that energy. 

  Second, that the eye, opened by thought, directs that energy. Why, I would ask you, is the will an aspect or an expression of the Law of SacrificeBecause the will, as considered and understood by the initiate, is essentially that monadic essence, qualified by “fixed determination,” which is identified with the Will or Purpose of the planetary Logos. 

  Sanat Kumara is the prototype of all world saviours. The initiate, on his tiny scale, must learn to function also as a saviour, and thus express the Law of Sacrifice through the medium of the developed, pure, reasoning will, and not simply from that of impulsive love and its activity.Here lies a basic distinction. 

  This striving and reaching forth evoked His response and the going out of His divinity, as expressed in will, activated by “fixed determination” to meet the deeply hidden divinity within these seeds. What He initiated then still persists and—under the Law of Sacrifice—He will complete the task, no matter how many aeons it may take. The initiate, on his tiny scale, has to learn to work as a nourisher and saviour of the seeds of life within all forms with which he may achieve a measure of identification. 

  c. Under this Law of Sacrifice, Sanat Kumara (to express the idea in occult terms) “must turn His back upon the Central Spiritual Sun, and with the light of His Countenance irradiate the path of the prisoners of the planet. ” He sentences Himself to stay for as long as may be needed, “acting as the Sun and light of the planet until the Day be with us and the night of pralaya descends upon His finished task. 

 ” Thus and only thus can the light of the Central Spiritual Sun begin to penetrate the dark places of the Earth; when this happens all “shadows disappear”—an occult reference to the all-embracing radiance of the Monad as it absorbs both its reflection, the soul, and its shadow, the personality. The initiate, on his tiny scale, achieves a paralleling expression of the Law of Sacrifice; he eventually turns his back upon the courts of Shamballa and upon the Way of the Higher Evolution as he retains his contact with the Earth and works as a Member of the Hierarchy for the extension of the will-to-good among men, and therefore among all the lesser evolutions. d. 

  d. Under the Law of Sacrifice, the Lord of the World remains ever behind the scenes, unknown and unrealised by all the “seeds” He came to save, until such time as they have reached the stage of flowering forth as perfect men and, in their turn, become the saviours of humanity.Then they know Him to exist. 

  2. As a result of focussed thinking “in the heart” the spiritual eye opens and becomes the directing agent, employed consciously by the initiate whilst doing his work under the Law of SacrificeWhat is meant here by the words, “in the heart”. 


  2. The Will is fundamentally an expression of the Law of SacrificeParadoxically we found that when the spiritual will was—even in a small measure—expressing itself, there was no such thing as sacrifice. 


  2. The will is an expression of the Law of SacrificeInvolves the astral plane. 

  Later, the directing potency of the ajna centre (the centre between the eyebrows) will attract their attention and the triple process of impression, thoughtform construction, and energy direction will be mastered by them, and the first point of revelation will no longer be a revelation; they will be committed to an intelligent implementing of the Plan upon the physical plane. The Second Point of Revelation: The Will is an expression of the Law of SacrificeThe second Point of Revelation is of peculiar interest. 

  The decision there involved tests the initiate as to how free he is from all desire—a factor which impregnates the entire creative world. Freedom from that control indicates the recognition of the Will as an expression of the Law of SacrificeThe Christian interpretation of the Will of God and of the significance of sacrifice is based, in reality, on human revolt and on human refusal to see anything in the spiritual life but an unintelligent acceptance of the inscrutable divine Will; it posits also the need for pain and the suffering of sacrifice in the sense of complete abnegation of all that might be regarded as good and useful, as desirable and joyful. 


  Now he faces that great transitional initiation and is confronted with the revelation which has been expressed for us in the following words: The Monad is to the planetary Logos what the third eye is to man. These are mysterious words and can only be understood if brought into relation with the previous revelation, involving the Will and the Law of SacrificeIt should be remembered that the Law of Sacrifice (in its destroying aspect) is dominant during the second, the third and the fourth Initiations. 

  These are mysterious words and can only be understood if brought into relation with the previous revelation, involving the Will and the Law of Sacrifice. It should be remembered that the Law of Sacrifice (in its destroying aspect) is dominant during the second, the third and the fourth Initiations. 1. 

  At the third Initiation of Transfiguration, the control of the personality in the three worlds is broken in order that the Son of Mind, the soul, may be substituted finally for the concrete and hitherto directing lower mind. Again, through the Law of Sacrifice, the personality is liberated and becomes simply an agent of the soul. 3. 

  3. At the fourth Initiation of Renunciation, the destroying aspect of the Law of Sacrifice brings about the destruction of the causal body, the soul body, in order that the unified soul-infused personality may function directly under the inspiration of the Spiritual Triad—the triple expression or instrument of the Monad. The significance of these “destructive episodes which produce the freeing of the prisoner of the planet” (i. 

  The recognition of these Points of Revelation falls automatically into two main procedures or planned processes: 1. The procedure carried forward under the impulse of the Law of Sacrifice which “destroys all hindrances, breaks down all impediments and removes all individual obstacles, thus releasing the initiate into that vortex of force in which he learns the method of handling the planetary correspondence of that which he has individually overcome. ” These words should be carefully studied in relation to the second, the third and the fourth initiations. mitted to share during and after the fourth Initiation of Renunciation (which is presented to him in a successive series of points of revelation) is made possible by his submission to the Law of SacrificeThis, in its turn, brings his consciousness under the influence—in developing stages—of the Law of Assembly. 


  Conditions are rapidly being brought about whereby this great event of light distribution will be possible. The Christ can and does function now upon the atmic plane and embodies within Himself the great Point of Revelation which has been expressed by me in the words: “The Will is an expression of the Law of Sacrifice” The invocation now mounting from humanity to that high Place where dwells the Christ is, at this time, focussed in or originates upon the plane of the emotions; because of this, we find the words in the Scriptures that at the end of the age “the Desire of all Nations” will come forth. 


  But—paralleling the period of pain and difficulty—is a compensatory activity of the soul which brings all life and circumstance into true perspective and changes attitudes so completely that the recognition of adequate reward supersedes the realisation of pain. The Law of Sacrifice and the Law of Compensation are closely allied, but the first to become active in the life and to become a recognised factor in daily living is sacrifice. Compensation comes later into recognition. 


  In the evolutionary process there is, therefore, first the form, gradually prepared, adjusted, aligned and oriented during many aeons of time; behind this active form, as it steadily improves and becomes more responsive to environment and contact, stands the slowly awakening consciousness. This is the thinking, intuiting, loving soul, which tightens its hold over its response apparatus, avails itself upon every possible occasion of every advance made by the form, and employs every influence for the perfecting of the great work which it undertook under the Law of SacrificeIt is for this reason that I have not attempted in this Treatise to prove—scientifically and in the modern exoteric sense—the natural response to the inner psychological factors and to the esoteric astrological influences. 


 ) 6. “The Law of Sacrifice and Death is.  


 ) 3. “The Law of Sacrifice and Death is `in a mysterious way’ the reversal of the first law, that of Vibration. It is Vulcan and Neptune in opposition, as yet an incomprehensible idea to us. 


  I, Page 81. The Law of Sacrifice and Death is the controlling factor on the physical plane. The destruction of the form, in order that the evolving life may progress, is one of the fundamental methods in evolution. 

  c. The Law of Sacrifice is the Law of Death in the subtle bodies, whilst what we call death is the analogous thing in the physical body. Page 596. 

  Its workings are more apparent to the average human mind in its manifestations at this time on the physical plane. We can trace the connection between the atmic (spiritual) and the physical plane—demonstrating on the lower plane as the Law of Sacrifice and Death—but its effect can be seen on all five planes as well. It is the law which destroys the final sheath that separates the perfected soul. 


  Nothing further is to be gained by adhering either to the soul or to the form. He has taken all they had to give which throws light on the spiritual Law of SacrificeIt is interesting to note how the soul becomes at this point simply the intermediary between the personality and the initiate of high degree. 


  Each kingdom offers sacrifice to the next succeeding kingdom in the evolutionary sequence. The Law of Sacrifice determines the nature of each kingdom. Therefore each kingdom may be regarded as a laboratory wherein are prepared those forms of nutriment which are needed for the building of ever more refined structures. 


  1. The Law of Sacrifice The section upon which we now enter in our studies will be difficult and controversial. The thread which will guide us out of the bewildering maze of thought into which we must perforce enter, is the golden one of group love, group understanding, group relations and group conduct. 

  No Exoteric Name Esoteric Name Symbol Ray Energy 1. The Law of sacrifice The Law of those. who choose to die. 

  Outpouring fourth ray, at-one-ing energy. This law of sacrifice, which is the first of the laws to be grasped by the human intelligence, and is therefore the easiest for man to understand (because he is already governed by it and, therefore, aware of it) came to its first major expression during this slowly disappearing age, the present age, the Piscean age. This law has always been functioning and active in the world, for it is one of the first of the inner subjective laws to express itself consciously, and as an active ideal, in human life. 

  The theme of all the world religions has been divine sacrifice, the immolation of the cosmic Deity through, the process of universal creation, and of the world Saviours, by Their death and sacrifice as a means of salvation and eventual release and liberation. Such is the blindness and such is the contaminating influence of the lower separative man, that this divine law of sacrifice is wielded with the selfish intent of personal and individual salvation. But the travestied truth remains the unsullied truth on its own plane, and this dominant world law governs the appearing and the disappearing of universes, of solar systems, of races and of nations, of world leaders and world rulers, of incarnating human beings and of revealing Sons of God. 

  It was this aspect of sacrifice which led to the creation of the worlds and to the manifestation of the divine Creator. It might help to a better understanding of the Law of Sacrifice if it were expressed through synonymous words and terms. a. 

  a. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LAW OF SACRIFICE It means the impulse of giving. The whole secret of the doctrines of “the forgiveness of sins” and of the “at-onement” lies hid in this simple phrase. 

  I commend this thought to your deep consideration. It will be apparent, therefore, why it is the energy of the fourth ray which is related to this Law of Sacrifice, and who in this fourth planetary scheme and in our fourth globe, (the earth globe) so much emphasis is laid upon this Law of Sacrifice, “the Law of those who choose to die. ” The fourth ray of conflict (conflict with a view to eventual harmony) is at present not one of the manifesting rays, yet—in the light of the larger cycle—this ray is a major controlling factor in our earth evolution and in the evolution of our solar system, which is one of the fourth order. 

  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. 

  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. 

  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. b. 

  b. THE WORK OF SALVAGE OR SALVATION The Law of Sacrifice means also salvage and underlies all the evolutionary processes and particularly does this emerge into clear significance in the human family. The instinct to betterment, the urge to progress (physical, emotional and intellectual), the effort to ameliorate conditions, the tendency to philanthropy which is so rapidly taking hold of the world, and the sense of responsibility which does make men realise that they are their brother’s keeper, are all expressions of this sacrificial instinct. 

  He liked it not, and hence the pain. ” The same conditions which blend the Law of Sacrifice with pain and sorrow and difficulty are found also on the planet Mars and on the planet Saturn. They are not found on the other planets. 

  There is, finally, the active application and the complete sacrifice of the lower separated self through the power to “stand in spiritual being” which necessarily infers that one has reached that state of consciousness which transcends what may be called, symbolically the “Earth, Saturn and Mars” state of consciousness. Let it not, however, be forgotten that the contribution to these three great planetary Lives, as They embody pre-eminently the Law of Sacrifice, through pain and rebellion, is a major contribution to the whole, and greatly enriches the sum total. The units of divine life and the atoms of electrical energy who pass through these three planetary schemes are subject to them in order to acquire that psychic sensitivity which would otherwise be impossible. 

  This will be discussed more at length after we have considered the astrological implications of the rays, in the succeeding volume. The Law of Sacrifice, therefore, can never be eliminated in our Earth scheme, as far as the human and subhuman reactions to sorrow and pain are concerned, nor can it be eliminated on the planets Saturn and Mars. It is relatively unknown in the other schemes. 

  Entrance into Nirvana, and the beginning of the real Way. The Law of Sacrifice means also c. THE RELINQUISHING OF GAIN This is the basic theme of The Bhagavad Gita. 

 ” Such is the theme of the soul’s endeavor, and such is the spirit which must underlie all creative work. In this thought lies the clue to the symbol of the Law of Sacrifice—a rosy cross with a bird flying over it. This is the loved cross (rose being the colour of affection), with the bird (symbol of the soul) flying free in time and space. 

  Only as servers cooperate from the standpoint of an inner subjective linking can a united world be carried forward. At this time in the history of the world and its periodical salvaging from conditions which are wrecking the current civilisation, it is necessary that aspirants grasp the fact that that salvaging process must be carried on under the Law of Sacrifice, and that only a relative outer unity can be at this time achieved. Not as yet is the vision seen with a sufficient clarity by the many servers, to make them work with perfect unanimity of purpose and objective, of technique and method, or complete understanding and oneness of approach. 

  Your important principle may be realised by an abler mind than yours and by a more advanced disciple as embodying an aspect of a greater principle, an interpretation of a principle, correct and proper at a certain time, but capable of a different application at another time, and by another mind. Under the Law of Sacrifice these three rules might be interpreted thus: 1. Relinquish or sacrifice the age-old tendency to criticise and adjust anothers work, and thus preserve the inner group integrity. 

  Difference is ever of the personality. When this Law of Sacrifice governs the mind, it will inevitably lead all disciples to relinquish the personal in favor of the universal and of the soul, that knows no separation, no difference. Then no pride, nor a short and myopic perspective, nor love of interference (so dear to many people), nor misunderstanding of motive will hinder their cooperation with each other as disciples, nor their service to the world. 


  This work, carried forward successfully and intelligently, should make it possible to inaugurate a new relation between the Hierarchy and mankind. This effort could mark (and let us hope it will) the beginning of a new type of mediatory work—a work carried forward by a salvaging group of servers, who are in training for the establishing of that group which will eventually save the world under the Law of SacrificeThis mediatory work, however, involves the recognition of the Law of Magnetic Impulse, and a desire to understand it, and to cooperate with Those Who wield it. 

  The field of service, first of all, demonstrates as the life of the Spirit, working within the region of a man’s own nature. The first thing the soul has to do when contact has been made and the man knows it in his brain consciousness and owing to the active impression of the mind, is to make the man aware that he is a living principle of divinity, and then to prepare the lower threefold nature so that it can automatically submit to the Law of SacrificeThen it will offer no impediment to the life which must and will pour through it. 


 ) 1. The Law of Sacrifice The Petals of Sacrifice. The sacrificial will of the Soul. 

  The Law of Service The Petals of Knowledge. This fourth Law of Repulse works through the first Law of Sacrifice and carries to the aspirant the quality, influence and tendency of the Spiritual Triad, the threefold expression of the Monad. Its full force is felt only after the third initiation, in which the power of the Spirit is, for the first time, consciously felt. 

  Spiritual Will. This Fourth Lawinfluence comes via the egoic petals of sacrifice and the subsidiary Law of Sacrifice2. 

  7. The Law of Sacrifice and Death(A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 


  2. The Rules For self training Fourth ray force The Law of Sacrifice“I die daily. 


  This can only be done through synthesis. This Law of Synthesis “works through the Seven which yet are One; which points to the seven ways and yet those upon the seven ways are one; which initiates the universal into the many but preserves its integrity; which originates the plan but preserves intact the purpose; which sees the multiplicity needed under the Law of Sacrifice but subordinates that law unto the Law of Synthesis; which breathes forth the many Breaths and yet is Life Itself. ” In this attempt to paraphrase an ancient definition of the Law of Synthesis, I have said all that I can upon the theme. 

 ” Hence Their name, the Buddhas of Activity. Sanat Kumara has now moved one step ahead of Them upon the great cosmic ladder of evolution, for an aspect of the Law of Sacrifice has conditioned Them. However, within the planetary consciousness and among Those Who work out the divine purposes, there are none Who approach the Eternal Youth and these three Buddhas in point of Evolution. 


  These forces are symbolised to the manipulating Master by a triangle. In the Old Commentary it says: “The Master throws Himself—under the liberating Law of Sacrifice—into the vortex of the astral life of the One to Whom our Lord relates Himself with humble joy. And as the Master works, there forms before His eyes a triangle of force in shades of varying rose. 


  g. The Law of Sacrifice and Death4. 


  In the cosmic process we have our tiny share, and each day of activity should see us playing our part with intelligent understanding. Our first aim should surely be self-realisation through the practice of discrimination; we must learn to think clearly for ourselves, to formulate our own thoughts and to manipulate our own mental processes; we must learn to know what we think and why we think it, to find out the meaning of group consciousness through the study of the law of sacrificeNot only must we find ourselves through the primary childhood stage of selfishness (and surely that should lie behind us), not only should we learn to distinguish between the real and the unreal, through the practice of discrimination, but we should endeavour to pass on from that to something very much better. 

  We do not belong to all groups, nor can we consciously realise our place in the one great Body, but we can find some group in which we have our place, some body of people with whom we can cooperate and work, some brother or brothers whom we can succour and assist. It really involves the conscious contacting of the ideal of brotherhood, and—until we have evolved to the stage where our concept is universal—it means finding the particular set of brothers whom we can love and help by means of the law of sacrifice and by the transmutation of selfishness into loving service. Thus we can co-operate in the general purpose, and participate in the mission of the group. 


  I would like here to make two suggestions which I have found helpful. There is a law of sacrifice governing all the evolutionary process. The vegetable kingdom draws its sustenance out of the mineral kingdom, for its roots are in the mineral kingdom. 


You are welcome to post your comments and understanding of this law. 

Also see:

The Laws of Alice A. Bailey

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