The Last Supper
From Chapter 9, Heeding the Call
At the end of my meal, all that was left was a few pieces of crust on the plate, and half a glass of wine. I thought about the Lord’s Supper. I took a small bite of the crust and recited the scripture in my mind. “This is my flesh, he who eats of this bread will have eternal life.” And then I took a sip of the wine. “This is my blood, poured out to all creation for the remission of sin.”
I pondered over the symbolic meaning of this strange, ancient ritual. Perhaps Jesus was an enlightened man, who realized fully the equally illusory nature of life and death, as well as the wonder of human existence. He didn’t have to taste death, but he endured the experience just to prove to all of us that it wasn’t real. “Eat my body,” he said, “the Bread of Life. Taste it. Drink my blood and you will never have to taste death.” To taste his blood was to endure his sufferings, and to arrive at the other side. If he was an enlightened man, after all, he knew that his life was a physical representation of all life, the one consciousness, and he conquered the cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth so we wouldn’t have to.
I rolled a cigarette and allowed my thoughts to wander even greater distances of improbability. Perhaps we have done Jesus an injustice by attaching metaphorical significance to his words. Have any brave theologian track stars run with the notion that his pleadings at the last supper may have been more literal than we’re prepared to admit? For if Christ is identical to God, and if we are all identical to Christ, then all of existence is one consciousness indeed. In as much as the bacteria in our digestive tracts, which were then chewing away at the sacraments in my stomach, in all likelihood failed to grasp the so-called “totality” of which we consider them only a part, perhaps we humans are mere bacteria for a larger organism we might call Gaia—all life on this planet. And if we take this radical notion, that all organisms on Earth are so interconnected that they can be understood to be inextricably tied, then whenever we eat, whenever we breathe, we are in fact, consuming ourselves. Thus the cross-cultural mystery, drawn from the mossy dregs of our collective unconscious, of the fish, or the serpent, or the dragon consuming its own tail, may be a more accurate representation of true reality than most have yet realized.