This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on June 3, 1976
22:14And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the apostles with him. 22:15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 22:16for I say unto you, I shall not eat it, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 22:17And he received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:22:18for I say unto you, I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 22:19And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 22:20And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you. 22:21But behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22:22For the Son of man indeed goeth, as it hath been determined: but woe unto that man through whom he is betrayed! 22:23And they began to question among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.
We mentioned that Jesus uses the occasion of a banquet or supper or a feast for many of His most important teachings. Certainly He does that in the incident we will now take up, which is on Page 196 in “Harmony of the Gospels”.
Here we have something very unusual; we have the three synoptic Gospels, and then we have I Cor. 11:23-27, which really should not be in this HG, but it is for this particular instance, which is, of course, the last supper. The Luke version of this is the one that starts out in our HG with drinking from the cup. Then the four Gospels give the account of the four different descriptions of His sharing the bread, the wine, and calling them His body and His blood.
This description, which has become, of course, an important sacramental rite in many Christian churches, again, can only be appreciated if you know the metaphysical symbolism involved of the bread and blood and why Jesus refers to them as body and blood and to eat and drink. The meaning of all this is behind Unity's practice of spiritual communion. We do not use the actual symbols of the wine and bread but with the word we duplicate this event as spiritual communion.
Now, first of all you have Christ. Jesus is the Christ in this particular incident; and, of course, the Christ is the spirit of God, individuated or made personal to man as his own spiritually-perfect self, your true be-ing, your wholeness, perfection, your spirituality. This is Christ in each person. The body of Christ would be the substance of the Christ-presence or the Christ-body in each human being, as it is comprehensible to the human mind. Please make that distinction. There may be more ingredients or components of the Christ-self than we now comprehend, but we now can comprehend twelve aspects of the body of Christ or the embodiment of the Christ-presence. Of course these are the twelve spiritual faculties, which are personalized divine ideas in the spiritual nature of each person and expressing through him as his soul-qualities and manifesting through him as body-consciousness and body-organism: faith, love, will, imagination, understanding, zeal, strength, power, judgment, order, renunciation, and life. The substance of these twelve divine ideas, which are spiritual faculties are the body of Christ. You see, He broke the bread, which means there are components of the body of Christ; and we are eating of the body of Christ, and this is the way we should conduct our spiritual communion service, by reminding people with words of the components of their Christ-nature, eating of this bread, this body of Christ, by becoming consciously aware of the twelve powers. You can compose some beautiful spiritual communion services on that idea. We have not even begun, really, to formulate communion affirmations as is possible to do when you understand that the bread symbolizes the body of Christ, refers to the components of the Christ-body, which are, that divine ideas become spiritual faculties, which are the twelve powers.
Q. Eating is conscious appropriation?
A. Right, consciously appropriating the idea is eating the substance of Christ, the body of Christ. It is so logical and so simple. How it ever got blown up into this wild theological distortion, I do not know; but we can bring it back to divine order with our metaphysical logic behind all of Jesus' words and actions.
Q. That distortion always struck me as being cannibalistic, for some reason.
A. It is very disturbing to people. I remember as a child, I grew up in the Catholic Church, every time I went to communion on Sunday, I was disturbed and frightened and one part of me felt as though I was doing something right, I was obeying my parents and doing what our church said; and the other part of me felt guilty of something. I think it was my hypocrisy that I was feeling guilty about but I did not know what the word hypocrisy meant then. I knew when I did not feel right. We can get all these things back into their beautiful Truth-logic when we put the light of metaphysical understanding on them.
[Words missing from bottom of p.290 of transcript] ... eating the body of Christ when we are consciously appropriating the ideas and especially the rightful combinations of these ingredients. It does not always have to be all twelve, but there are twelve.
Now, blood and wine, as used here, are synonyms, wine symbolizing blood and blood symbolizing the life; so we have the Christ-life, the life of Christ is the essence and the vitality imparted by the Christ-Spirit. The true Source of each individual life is the idea of divine life or Christ-Life. "Take, eat, this is my body" speaks Jesus, representing the Christ, the Christ of every man. To eat the body of Christ is simply to consciously accept the presence of Christ as your thought of that body comprising your own twelve spiritual powers. "Drink ye all of it. This is my blood" means to consciously accept the presence of Christ in you as the perfect source of your life-energy and vitality. When you are simply just thinking and believing and affirming and giving thanks that the source of all your energies, all the life-essence of you, of which you are the free expression, is Christ.
At the source of your life is divine purity and eternal renewal. This is drinking the blood of Christ, appropriating the life-essence and energy of pure Spirit directly into your own life-stream, into your individualized expression of life; possibly the greatest healing treatment of all is drinking the blood of Christ. Remember, folks, Christ's body is the source of your true body; and Christ's blood is the source of your true life-energy. It is not a synthetic like some body-aspects are, some energy-modes-of expression are, in a sense, synthetics; but the true body has its origin in the Christ-body, which is a divine idea in God-Mind and in Christ's blood or spiritual life-essence and energy is the source of your individual life energy.
In a communion service, the wafer is to be swallowed whole without touching the teeth. There is occult meaning behind all of these rights of the Catholic Church, but most of it has sort of gotten lost.
Text of the original transcript at the top of p.290 through the 3rd paragraph of p.291.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-13-2014