Is it possible for someone to subconsciously sacrifice oneself?
I have a friend who once told me a story. He, for his own reasons, had become embroiled in a family's bitter trauma. As it happened, there was a married father of young (toddler) twins who had become involved in an extra-marital affair which involved multiple late night comings and goings. During one of these 'goings' in the middle of the night to visit his paramour, one of the young twins followed the father into the garage without the father knowing it. The father then unknowingly backed over the toddler, causing massive brain trauma.
The father immediately discovered this and of course called an ambulance, and woke up the family. The child was taken to the hospital, but could not be revived. By this time, the entire extended family had arrived at the hospital, with considerable animosity toward the father. It seems that the entire family knew about the affair, but the father had never been confronted about it, until now. This is where my friend, for reasons that are not important, became involved with the situation. He told me that he remembered walking into the waiting room of the hospital and seeing the entire family sitting on one side, and the father sitting by himself on the other. The family was virtually hysterical, yelling epithets at the father. My friend then told me that he 'had the perception' that the dead toddler had sacrificed himself for the sake of his brother. For through his death, he would bring about a halt to the broken relationship between the mother and father, and now with this crisis and divorce that would ultimately ensue, had brought about an end to what would have been an incredibly dysfunctional childhood.
Of course, when I say that the toddler sacrificed himself, I don’t mean that the toddler had the conscious mental operation ‘I am going to put an end to this dysfunctional family relationship so my brother can grow up in a better home’. I mean that the so-called Higher Self of the toddler, working in the depths of the toddler’s unconscious will, brought this situation about.
Could something similar be the true in the case of Heath Ledger?
Let’s examine the facts. Heath Ledger died shortly after finishing the film Dark Knight. On the set of his next production he was witnessed walking around muttering ‘I can’t sleep’. (Probably he was saying, “I can’t bloody sleep” but that’s beside the point). Heath Ledger died shortly thereafter from an overdose of sleeping pills that was likely unintentional (in the sense that we normally use the term).Read More.... 
Could it be the case that Ledger’s inability to sleep was brought about by the role he played as The Joker in Dark Knight?
How can we make sense of this using the example of the toddler’s sacrifice given above?
For this we must briefly examine the role of The Joker in Dark Knight. The Joker is an individual who acts without concern for anyone but himself. It becomes clear that he is an individual that has become severed from all family and other social ties which normally bring coherence and cooperation in everyday society. And yet he is not psychotic. He is clearly not hallucinatory or irrational. On the contrary - he is hyper-rational, and is merely following the logical consequences of one for whom social norms no longer mean anything. In short, The Joker does whatever he wants. Literally EVERYTHING HAS BECOME A JOKE. That is, The Joker represents in archetypal form the forces of chaos and anarchy.
Rudolf Steiner talks of a time when the thoughts, feelings, and actions of The Joker will not be the exception, but in fact will be the norm. This will be the time of the so called War of All Against All, and will end this great epoch of time just as the previous one (in Anthroposophical cosmology the Atlantean age) was ended in a flood, and the one prior (the Lemurian) by fire. During this time, all normal family and social relations will be ended, and it will indeed be a time of “Every man (and woman) for themselves”.
OR, NOW ALL WE HAVE TO IMAGINE IS WHAT THE WORLD WOULD LOOK LIKE IF EVERYONE THOUGHT, FELT, AND ACTED LIKE THE JOKER DID IN THE BATMAN MOVIE.
Do this for a second.
No, really - DO IT.
It is all too easy to see how this could bring an end to all human life on this planet. Pretty scary, huh?
Thanks to Heath Ledger’s incredibly and hauntingly REAL portrayal of what someone in that era will be like, we can now form REAL mental pictures of this (potential) catastrophe, and take steps to avoid it - or at least prepare for it. The mental pictures which Ledger has given us can serve as a DRIVING FORCE for the will in terms of preparation for this (potential) coming event.
But what does this have to do with Ledger’s death? Likely what happened was that the only way that Ledger could throw himself into the role as Joker and make it as real as he did (REAL in the most absolute concrete sense as above) was to more or less critically injure or disturb his astral forces so that they could no longer depart from the body. Thus necessitating his use of extreme doses of sleeping medication in order to allow his astral body to depart. Indeed - it now becomes obvious that the ONLY way Ledger could get his astral body to depart from his physical form after his role as The Joker (or now we could say - after he in some sense became the Joker) was to do so permanently - that is, through his physical death.
And we can also see how this can be explained using the example of the toddler above. Ledger’s Higher Self, working in the depths of his will KNEW that with his startlingly real portrayal of the forces of anarchy, his astral body would be critically disturbed, which would have lead to an early death regardless of the intervention of the sleeping medication.
This also explains the massive turnouts of people in order to see Ledger’s performance. Knowledge of the coming War of All Against All is seething just below the surface of most people’s consciousness. The desire to see The Joker is a kind of morbid fascination that results from this unconscious knowledge.
After seeing the movie, one can even detect the strange desire to see MORE of The Joker, and feel a twinge of regret that there will never be a repeat performance of Ledger in the role of The Joker.
One can only hope that there never will be.