Thursday, September 18, 2008
Rethinking a thought about bread and wine
What is the Christian Eucharist? Or Communion? Or Lord's Supper? Breaking of bread and drinking of wine that represents the body and blood of Christ, that a very short and incomplete explanation. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a long version, a version that I heard someone say was just so much gobbledegook. But for Christians it is a sacrament, that which is sacred, or as Augustine of Hippo said, "a visible sign of an invisible reality." So I was thinking that perhaps another way to understand the "gobbledegook" of the Eucharist, and certainly not an explanation your local parson will give, is that we are not to forget our past, our evolutionary past, a past so removed from our present reason and intellect that some refuse to believe it was ever so, but as many non-Christians look upon the Eucharist as ... well, as an enactment of ... well, of cannibalism, then one can understand how reprehensible this enactment can appear to be to an outsider. But what if we admit to our evolutionary past, a past that indeed would include every sort of animal behavior, even cannibalism. Imagine that ancient time when the human brain became a human mind, a mind that suddenly looked at the world about it in a totally different way, a way shaped by reason and intellect, and of course, superstition. But too, the superstition could and was in many ways the minds way to settle the onslaught of troubling questions, questions that animals don't ask themselves, questions that the new mind conjured up about the relationship of the self with other selfs, of the self with the world, of the self with oneself. So, I think Jesus not only wanted us to remember him, but to remember our past, and to never forget from where we came in order to understand where we are going, for the "born again" is a "180-degree turn about" in one's life, or you may think of it as maintaining the forward-movement of evolution in one's life, because, as we all know, we humans are certainly capable of regressing, instead of becoming more human, some choose to become more animal.