(Part Four)

 

(Continued From Part Three)

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It is important for us spiritually and psychologically to feel that we are giving something to other people.  We feel good when we give to other people but we also like the fact that when we give to others, they often will try to give something back to us.  They might not be able to give us money in return for what we give them but they usually will give back appreciation and love to those who help them.  The appreciation and the love that we receive from the people who we give to can make us stronger spiritually and psychologically and can enrich our lives.  

But sometimes things happen where a person is forced against their will to give their spiritual energy to another person (a person in this situation becomes a spiritual sacrificial lamb or a scapegoat).  An example of this might be a situation where one of the popular students in a high school classroom starts showing up late for class or starts turning in their assignments late.  The teacher might be afraid to discipline this popular student out of fear that the disruptive student might not be able to handle the loss of face that would result from the discipline.  The teacher might decide that the disruptive student needs a boost of spiritual energy.  The teacher might start to suddenly make life difficult for one of the quiet students in the class who is always on time and who is not disruptive in class.  By timing his attack on the more quiet student to coincide with the time when he should have been disciplining the more popular and disruptive student, it would demonstrate to anyone observing the situation (in this case everyone in the class) that the teacher wanted to take some of the spiritual energy of the quiet person (and also any respect that the other students previously had for the quiet student) and give it to the disruptive student.  This would save face for the disruptive student and would also protect the teacher from criticism that he did not use discipline when the popular student was disruptive.  The teacher did use discipline, but he disciplined the wrong person (he disciplined a student who less popular and who was in his opinion less worthy than the more popular student and disruptive student was).  After the "discipline" the behavior of the disruptive student would improve at least temporarily.  While it would certainly be unfair for the student who took the blame (and who had to unfairly receive the discipline that should have gone to the other student), it would make the teacher look good and it would also give a spiritual boost to the disruptive student (who would no doubt find the situation to be "delicious").  The teacher gave a spiritual gift to the disruptive student and the disruptive student probably gave the teacher feelings of appreciation and love in return.

A question arises when looking at the above situation.  Was the gift that was given by the teacher an example of "giving from the heart"?  In some ways it was an example of giving from the heart and in some ways it was not.  The teacher was not really giving the disruptive student anything from his own heart.  He was taking the spiritual energy of the quiet student and giving it to the disruptive student.  The quiet student was the one who was giving from the heart, not the teacher.  The teacher was not giving up anything at all.  For the teacher it was a win-win situation that had very little to do with the heart.

Spiritually and psychologically vulnerable people such as the quiet student in the example above can over time develop a reputation for being selfish people who never give to others.  This happens because in their role as the spiritual sacrificial lamb or scapegoat they are never given the credit for the spiritual gifts that they give.  They may make attempts to escape their role as the spiritual sacrificial lamb or scapegoat hoping that they can avoid a situation where they will be forced to continually give spiritual gifts to other people and then watch while the appreciation and love that is given by the recipient of the spiritual gifts goes to another person (such as in the example above where the appreciation and the love go to the teacher).  But it is very hard for a person to escape the role of being a spiritual sacrificial lamb or scapegoat.  The types of people who take pleasure in stealing the spiritual energy of another person and putting them in the role of a spiritual sacrificial lamb or scapegoat are not the types of people who are going to allow them to break free of their spiritual bondage.

Most of us can tell when we meet a person if they are a giving sort of a person or if they are a selfish person who is just totally wrapped up in themselves.  But we need to realize that it may be possible that early in life some of the people who we define as being selfish and totally wrapped up in themselves may have been unfairly deprived of their spiritual energy (when their spiritual energy was unfairly taken away from them) and they may have as a result been forced to give away a lot of their spiritual energy to other people.  It is not a perfect world and sometimes things happen that should not happen.  If it is true that they did not want to end up in their present situation but were forced down that path when their spiritual energy was taken away from them (and if they tried to stop what was happening but were not able to), then it can be argued that even though they may have given away a lot of their spiritual energy and even though they now appear to be selfish and totally wrapped up in themselves, they should not be blamed as much as they presently are.  They are not really selfish by nature.  They were simply forced by their community into a spiritual position that they did not want to be placed into.  They appear to be totally wrapped up in themselves because they are nervous about the fact that their spiritual energy is constantly being drained out of them and that there is nothing they can do to stop the situation.

Sometimes people who are spiritual sacrificial lambs and scapegoats get defensive when people suggest that they should learn to be less wrapped up in themselves.  They feel that the people who are trying to get them to change are the same types of people who put them into the difficult spiritual position that they are presently in (they are the same types of people who deprived them of their spiritual energy originally) .  They need to, with insight into the situation, stop blaming themselves for having become people who are wrapped up in themselves.  But they also need to realize that they might have, since having been forced to give a lot of their spiritual energy to other people through the years, forgotten that throughout their lives they have tried to reverse the path that they were on so that they could give to others freely from the heart rather than being forced to give to others.  When they realize this they will understand that they may have in some ways unintentionally become similar to people who are by nature selfish and who are by nature totally wrapped up in themselves.  

When trying to understand people who have been forced to become spiritual sacrificial lambs and scapegoats, we need to remember that not all people who are totally wrapped up in themselves like being in the spiritual position that they are presently in.  When analyzing people in this position, we need to look at the specifics of each particular situation. Are they by nature selfish and totally wrapped up in themselves or did they become that way because they were forced to give from their hearts rather than being allowed to give freely from their hearts?

(Continued In Part Five)

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