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Psychology and Religion

[Carl Jung on the “Sacrificer.”]

What I sacrifice is my own selfish claim, and by doing this I give up myself.

Every sacrifice is therefore, to a greater or lesser degree, a self-sacrifice.

The degree to which it is so depends on the significance of the gift.

If it is of great value to me and touches my most personal feelings, I can be sure that in giving up my egoistic claim I shall challenge my ego personality to revolt.

I can also be sure that the power which suppresses this claim, and thus suppresses me, must be the self.

Hence it is the self that causes me to make the sacrifice; nay more, it compels me to make it.

The self is the sacrificer, and I am the sacrificed gift, the human sacrifice.

Let us try for a moment to look into Abraham’s soul when he was commanded to sacrifice his only son.

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Quite apart from the compassion he felt for his child, would not a father in such a position feel himself as the victim, and feel that he was plunging the knife into his own breast?

He would be at the same time the sacrificer and the sacrificed. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, CW 11, Page 261-262, Para 397.