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Re: Flesh and Blood of Christ (Communion)

May 17, 1997 10:20 AM
by Titus Roth

"Leamon T. McDonald" <> wrote:

> I am very interested in the full concept of the blood & body of
> Christ.

Enough true saints have placed their faith in the sacrament that I
would have to say there is something to it, both literally and
symbolically. Theresa Neumann, the Bavarian stigmatist lived only off
the sacrament and took no other food, yet looked pretty hefty in her
pictures. In Garabandal, Spain, a Marian apparition site, a
photographer caught a waver of bread manifesting on the expectant
tongue of one of the visionaries. One can always suspect fraud, but
there are enough corroborating testimonies that I think not. (Read of
Paramahansa Yogananda's yogic attunement to Theresa Neumann in
"Autobiography of a Yogi"). Furthermore the ritual has survived all
these centuries, indicating some kind of psychic vitality in it.

But why bread and wine and why do we say we are eating the flesh and
drinking the blood of Jesus? It does seem rather peculiar.

I couldn't give any real answer but here are some reflections. In
communion, bread is substance, body, matter, form; and wine is spirit,
transcendence. Jesus, as a polarized and balanced being, had both
earthly and heavenly qualities in equal measure. In taking communion,
one internalizes His qualities and is made of "one body in Christ"
(St. Paul).

In ancient times, there was a belief that to incorporate the qualities
of an animal, you had to eat it. It seems to me that there is a both a
1) literal and 2) symbolic truth here.

1) Symbolic because you really have to internalize or digest a trait,
or make it part of you before you can really gain any benefit by
it. Take the playfulness of an otter. (If you've never seen one, they
are the most fun-loving creatures on the planet.) You can study the
otter's movements and possibly gain nothing, but after a serious
holistic effort, you can say that you have cultivated a "gut" or body
level capacity for enjoyment of life.

2) Literal because there is some vibration in all food. You probably
missed the long and loud debate on vegetarianism and food on this
list, but suffice it to say that a form of the literal belief (justly)
survives today.

Rambling thoughts. To quote a great theosophical sage, "Your mileage
and direction may vary."

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