As it happens, the Catholic liturgy and the receiving of communion was meant, at one time, to serve as a daily initiation into not just the memory but the actual practice of these energetic disciplines. I say discipline because it is a form of training, for all three centers. Unfortunately, the ritual of the Catholic liturgy and the communion became detached from real inner understanding, and the fact that we receive Christ in the body and blood — that the actual physical substance of the blood itself receives the physical particulate matter of a finer substance, Gurdjieff’s Hanbeldzoin— has been forgotten. We literally receive Christ in the blood, because Christ is the representative of the solar influence, of God himself and his physical manifestation within this planetary system. The feminine part which receives this is mediated by the heavenly presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We participate directly and actively in God’s work of insemination of the material by the divine when we connect with our sensation to bring divine energies to the moon within ourselves, and open our feeling to the solar influences which flow into us from above. Only through the single sense of being can we participate directly in this; and so the communion represents a symbolic action of making ourselves whole within ourselves, through the receiving of grace, so that we can make our individuality, our undivided this, available for this sacred and necessary work.
This represents, in its entirety, the true purpose of man on earth, and reveals to us (if we develop the single sense of being) the opportunity that we have for ourselves, which is only one-third of our responsibility, but represents what we are allowed to keep because of our effort.
The sacred Communion reminds us that we receive, we mediate, and that we are also given a gift for our effort of relationship. In this way, we understand that feeling, thinking, and sensing represent three forms of relationship with God and three forms of service: feeling being the worship of God, thinking being the relationship with community and others, and sensing becoming an awareness of ourselves.
I was asked yesterday about why the communion, which used to serve this purpose, doesn’t “work” anymore. What went wrong? I thought this was quite a good question at the time, but did not anticipate that I would bring it up as a consequence in these essays. The fact is that the reason the communion no longer functions in an active role for the development of being is exactly the same reason as the problem this essay attempts to define. It is our lack of a single “I” that has fractured both the function of a human being’s presence and the function of the holy Communion. Nothing real can be received and retained unless being is whole. Sensation serves as the receptacle for Being which is received from a higher level.
This is, once again, why Mary (the fecund, fertile, infinitely compassionate and merciful mother) stands on the crescent moon. She receives; the moon is the vessel that retains. We can remind ourselves here that Mary represents, in a certain way, not divine Love — that is Christ’s role – but divine Wisdom.
We don’t traditionally think of Mary in this way, but the understanding of man’s role in the rate of creation and Mary’s role in the mediation of Christ’s love for mankind puts the question squarely in front of us and demands that we think about it much more carefully. It also raises the question of the fundamental and inherent intelligence of the material world, which at every level continually marvels biologists that study it.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.