“Divine Teachers were there at the side of man in his infancy, and they authoritatively proclaimed the law of sacrifice, and incorporated it in a most elementary form in the religions by which They trained the dawning intelligence of man.
It would have been useless to have suddenly demanded from these child-souls that they should surrender without return what seemed to them to be the most desirable objects, the objects on the possession of which their life in form depended.
They must be led along a path which would lead gradually to the heights of voluntary self-sacrifice. To this end they were first taught that they were not isolated units, but were parts of a larger whole, and that their lives were linked to other lives both above and below them.
Their physical lives were supported by lower lives, by the earth, by plants; they consumed these, and in thus doing they contracted a debt which they were bound to pay.
Living on the sacrificed lives of others, they must sacrifice in turn something which should support other lives; they must nourish even as they were nourished; taking the fruits produced by the activity of the astral entities that guide physical Nature, they must recruit the expended forces by suitable offerings.”