Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Where will this search take them: down the path of the ego or the path of the spirit?
Religion makes a big deal out of sacrifice and giving things up. There is an attraction to asceticism which, as it moves to an extreme, can become masochistically sick.
Buddhism is clear, in its teachings, about the importance of the middle path, and balance.
Giving up of the path of the ego, though, is no sacrifice, because, once properly understood, the idols of the ego would not have provided the yearned for fulfillment anyway. Pursuing the idols on the path of the ego is a wild goose chase and never comes to the desired fruition. It is barking up the wrong tree.
Where is the sacrifice, then, in giving up the idols on the path of the ego?
The things on the path of the spirit lead one to authentic fulfillment and wholeness. To pursue the things of the path of the spirit one has to leave the path of the ego. This is no sacrifice, but a turning away as the idols on the path of the ego no longer seem relevant, meaningful, desirable.
Turning from the idols on the path of the spirit is not a sacrifice but a liberation, and freedom from and thereby a freedom to.
As it is written in A Course Of Miracles, the fraudulent motto of the path of the ego is "Seek and do not find."
Jesus says in Matthew 16:25-26:
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a person if that person gains the whole world, yet forfeits their soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for their own soul?
As Tracy Chapman sings, All That You Got Is your Soul.