COMMUNION, SALVATION, & MYSTICAL UNION

Posted by & filed under blood of christ, bread and wine, Communion, Eucharyist, Frithjof Schuon, interfaith, meaning religious symbols, sacraments, where in the Bible.

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Communion Symbols of Bread and Wine

Jesus tells his followers that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…. [F]or my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.”

The ritual of Communion is a ritual of sacrifice and rebirth, a renewal of the binding compact between the people and God – the ancient Hebrew covenant – whose symbolism of circumcision always included the cutting of flesh and the letting of sacrificial blood. This is not a new covenant, but a renewed understanding of the covenant, with new multifaceted symbols. There are many levels of meaning, e.g.,
The flesh, the ‘Bread’, is the outer, the material. 
The blood, the ‘Wine’, is the inner, the spiritual
The flesh also symbolizes the life of Action, the domain of the Lesser Mysteries: the descent into this realm. The blood symbolizes the life of Contemplation, the domain of the Greater Mysteries: the ascent back to God. All of this will be ‘fed’ (taught) to the initiate. The two sublime principles will then blend and reunite within the soul, and the results will permeate the entire being. The initiate, like Christ, can then ‘die’ to this world and return to the upper realms. 
Frithjof Schuon

The Sacrament of the Eucharist, notes Frithjof Schuon, serves two distinct purposes, one for the ordinary churchgoer and another for the initiate: “[I]n the first case their end is salvation pure and simple, and in the second it is mystical union.” This dual usage sheds light on the distinction between exotericism and esotericism. As Schuon goes on to point out, all of Christ’s efforts to refresh our understanding of the ancient teachings, so that we can begin to think and see in a new way, illustrate and confirm his clear conviction in the superiority of the esoteric to the exoteric.

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