The Joy of Sacrifice
Secrets of the Sufi Way
by E.J. Gold
The Zero Sacrifice
The Sacrifice of Peace of Mind
The first sacrifice ordinary man cannot make for himself, another must make it for him. This is why the first sacrifice is numbered zero. The Sacrifice of Peace of Mind is brought about simply by being exposed to the possibility of knowledge, thus having the opportunity for transformation.
In the diagram of certain alchemical processes there is usually shown a cave into which the experimenter is entering. He is expected to go all the way through to the other end of the cave.
This cave is also called "The Labyrinth". We call it the Corridor of Madness. It is the period during which the psyche is 'eaten' by the essence - when the impressions stored in the false centers are transferred to the real essence centers. After this, essence emerges as the active, rather than the passive, force controlling the organism.
The corridor must be traversed completely from one end to the other without stopping, going off in search of side exits, turning back or hoping for outside help. We must not give in to despair, or look for something soothing and calmning within the corridor. This is the real meaning of the magician's warning to Aladdin (Al' Uddin) in the cave of treasures.
Nothing other than the path of struggle will be effective in the corridor. The madness will not abate until the end has been reached. This is why the essence is exposed and tested before the student begins his journey. If essence is too fearful, savage or stupid - or if it holds its own survival at the cost of other beings - it is not allowed to embark on the journey under the guidance of the school at that time. One is never allowed to endanger the Work.