The other day i heard Mother Eagle singing a song, “Sons of God, hear His holy word, gather around the table of the Lord. Eat His body, drink His blood, and we’ll sing a song of love. Allelulia!”
The song actually has quite an upbeat and cheerful melody to it. It’s kind of fun to listen to. But paying attention to the lyrics felt like a smack in the face. And then a flood of realizations occurred throughout the day.
1. Of course Catholics aren’t going to be that big into vegetarianism. I mean…they eat people! At least, that’s the idea. In the Catholic tradition, bread and wine literally becomes the body and blood of another human being (who, according to Catholic theology, is 100% human and 100% divine). So, if every week you’re eating another person, and actually gathering around to do as a sacred ritual, it seems like it’d be quite tough to then gather up compassion for the life of another ‘lesser’ animal. (Although…not exactly sure why i’m inclined to label other animals as ‘lesser’).
Anyway…this is a tough one to write out because the whole idea is fairly absurd and easy to get humorously emotional about. Eating another human being while singing a song of love is VERY POWERFUL.
Imagine, you’re on a boat with 4 other people, and you’re stranded in the middle of the ocean. All food runs out. You all begin to starve. On Day 10, you all realize that not everyone is going to make it unless you take some drastic measures. Mutually, you agree to draw straws with everyone, to see who will die so they can be eaten so that the rest may survive (this actually happened, at least once!). So someone ends up giving their life so that the rest may live for another few days. Literally though, from a single body, maybe everyone lives for another week.
Is it worth it? Is it worth it to eat a human friend just so your individual body can survive for another week? Would that week even be enjoyable…or would regret fill you the whole time, fill you up much more than that human body you just ate? 😉
But wait! There’s more.
Same situation, on a boat, starving. About to draw straws to see who dies and gets eaten. And then! Ta-da – your homeboy Jesus is like, “It’s okay guys. You can eat me. No need to draw straws. Eat me and enjoy!” He goes on to justify his decision a bit…”It’s like any of our bodies are going to live forever anyway. Right? All our bodies are going to die sooner or later, and if you guys are really that caught up in living a few more days in these bodies, sure you can go ahead and eat me! Why not? And hey, do me a favor and enjoy it. Even sing a song of love while you do it!”
Jesus is suddenly the man.
He lives beyond identification with the body. He lives in the Reality of death of the body. Whether there is an eternal element to him doesn’t even really matter in this case. The point he demonstrates is clear. The body dies. THE BODY DIES. So what? It’s going to die no matter what we do about it. Might as well embrace it. And, if you can offer up your body so that other people who aren’t comfortable with their mortality might experience a greater sense of peace and some relief, then why not offer it up?
He demonstrates peace with death, accepting mortality. And really, for all any of us know, the life beyond this human experience might be far more awesome. It could also be worse, although the point is – the experience beyond this human embodied experience is inevitable. So, meanwhile, during this human lifetime, why not enjoy it? Or, if enjoying it is tough, like if you’re carrying your own cross to your crucifixion or something, you can still accept.
Eckhart Tolle writes about the 3 enlightened states of being: Acceptance, Enjoyment, Enthusiasm.
The baseline is acceptance. Jesus, by carrying his own cross to his own crucifixion, lived in a state of acceptance. And then, even on the cross he says of the people responsible for him being on the cross, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” He even accepts the people responsible for killing him! Because why? Resistance is futile. And no one knows what they’re doing anyway!
So we are all under Grace. In one way, this means that we are all operating by ignorance, and how much we come out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of understand and truth is somewhat beyond us. Each human beings operate as best as they can, given their unique experience in life.
We are all just doing the very best we know, even people who put someone else up on the cross! Sure, on some level, they might have thought it wasn’t such a good idea, but ultimately they carried out the action because it was what they conclude was the most reasonable action. And so forgive them for they know not what they do. Given their unique life experiences, that choice was practically inevitable.
What else does the Bible apparently say over 300 times?
Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Don’t worry.
And Bob Marley’s corollary to it, “Be Happy.”
Don’t worry. Be Happy. Forgive them for they know not what they do? Why? Because we’re all just doing the best we can!
And why worry? The body dies anyway! Worrying doesn’t make you live any longer. And even being happy also doesn’t make the body live forever. So you can be free from worry, knowing that there is nothing you can do that makes the human body live forever. So, if your experience is an eternal one, then it’s going to be eternal regardless of what you do in this short amount of time. You’re eternal regardless, or finite regardless (i lean towards eternal ;)). Nothing anyone does in this lifetime is going to earn infinite paradise or hellfire! So don’t worry. The body dies no matter what. Might as well be happy and enjoy the experience while it’s happening.
When would eternity occur? Eternity, something like infinite time, if it’s real, must be real right now. So, we are already in Eternity! The experience you have right now, in this moment, is the eternal one.
And as Jesus shows, you can accept anything! You can even accept carrying your own cross to your own crucifixion! Why resist? Why worry? Futile efforts! You can do anything with a smile, or at least with compassion. Remember – no one knows! So why not forgive? Ignorance is our divine birthright that frees us from the burdens of judgment and resistance 🙂
Which reminds me of perhaps a new favorite motto…
There’s no right way to live.
There’s no right way to live.
Well…for one, every human body dies. No matter how you choose to govern the body, it dies. When it comes down to it, you can even kill and eat another person and it’s all good. Morality be gone 😉 Infinite flexibility in the present moment…situational ethics to the max!
And also…every one of us is operating from ignorance, incomplete knowledge. We each function with a unique ‘knowingness’ and ‘not-knowingness,’ so what’s good for you is not necessarily good for me, and visa-versa. And what might heal me might kill you, who knows? Everyone is unique. Every human mind/body is made up of its own set of unique experiences, and because of this, all external and internal stimuli creates different responses in each of us. Thinking of the number 2 for me might generate thoughts of Truth (i associate 2 with Truth :-)), whereas for you it might remind you of the terrible 2s (an awesome phase for two-year-olds, so i hear).
When it gets right down to it, each moment is unique. We are in a constantly growing, expanding, evolving universe. And, being part of this Reality and in the universe, we too are constantly growing, expanding, evolving, even if we’re not aware of it. This means that any ‘knowing’ of the past becomes moot to the novelty of the present moment. Which is why, who knows, today might even be that day when you kill and eat a person. Who knows? 😉
And when you embrace that there is no right way to live,
the right way to live.
Which is always growing, expanding, evolving. Infinitely flexible. Adapting, adjusting, accomodating.
Moment to moment, living in Roman, doing as the Romans do in the Here and Now.
Detached from everything. Free! Free! Free! Free to respond uniquely in the Present Moment.
Despite all this freedom and infinite flexibiltiy in the Present Moment
i still stand by
Love and Gratitude
as a solid foundation 🙂
Remember..you can even eat a person singing a song of love 😉