"I would die loving you" - Swami Muktananda
A man in NY asked swami Muktananda, who was speaking on the subject of love, “what will you do if I point a gun and shoot you right now?” Swami Muktananda answered: “I would die loving you.”
[I've heard a couple versions of this story. This one is the only one that gives a source: http://dialogicalecology.blogspot.com/2012/10/in-defense-of-pacifism.html ]
This story sums up the HANGED MAN to me , the archetype of ultimate sacrifice and surrender.
As with the story of Jesus dying on the cross, I don't think the ultimate sacrifice is of life, but rather the sacrifice of ego and control, all in the name of love or a higher purpose.
The Hanged Man is in a seemingly very vulnerable position, but looking at hir face, one can see that s/he is not distressed. S/he has nothing to defend. S/he willingly puts hirself in this position of suspense and inaction and simply hangs out.
When we draw this card in the present position, we are being asked to let go of the illusion that we have any control of the outcome, we only have control of our own response. Not having control is not the same as not having influence; however, in this moment we are being challenged to take a more passive role and be in service to something much bigger than us. This card can always be reflected on when we want to let go of habits that get in the way of living our lives from a foundation of love and kindness. For me, the ultimate sacrifice to this cause would be not participating in self righteous gossip. Yep, that sure would be a sacrifice!
Because this is a Major Arcana card, how we respond to our current situation has the potential to heal old wounds and create more choice and deeper love in this life and the next.