Transubstantiation, Eucharist, and Integrative Catholicism

By Doug Esse

I am a good Catholic boy and super weird. I fully believe in transubstantiation and I have had incredible experiences in Communion. Not as much anymore because I am now That which I eat. A few years ago, I experienced a unitive consciousness shift that Cynthia Bourgeault talks about. As Meister Echkart says, “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love. All God wants of man is a peaceful heart. The knower and the known are one.”

However, I do believe in the fleshy miracles that have been reported over the centuries. But I do not believe that the fleshy miracles are the body of Jesus. Why? Because Communion or the Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”) is the “Body of Christ,” not “Jesus.” Jesus and Christ are not the same thing, as Richard Rohr talks about.

Christ pre-existed Jesus because the entire universe is the Cosmic Christ, or Universal Christ. “Christ” means anointed, blessed, way shower. All of the manifested universe is Christ in these ways… they reveal to us what the Mystery of Union and Unity have always been up to; dying, rising, arising, converging, complexifying, simplifying, loss, renewal.

These are the patterns of Love’s own evolution, in, through, and as the manifested universe. I don’t believe that Jesus was the only son of God or the 2nd person of the Trinity.

Christ was, though, because Christ is the synonym for that phenomenon within the Divine Life that emerged as a Thou, or Subject. In other words, if Infinity is undifferentiation without experience of Itself and thus has no knowledge of Itself, then whatever occurs after Infinite becomes aware and has the one original idea (to know and experience) emerges as a subtle differentiation…and That is Christ.

Moreover, now we have the primordial Trinity:

— there is That which is always undifferentiated infinity and thus eternally transcendent to even one original idea (Holy Spirit); 

— there is That which originated the one original idea (“Father”), 

–and there is That which was begotten from the Originator of the one original idea, the subtle differentiation (“Son”).  The “Son” or “Christ,” will be God-experiencing-Godself-as-Creation and thus, we get what Teilhard de Chardin, Merton, Keating, Rohr, Bougeault, Delia, etc, have said, the universe is God’s Flesh…the Body of Christ, as it were.  

When Catholics partake in Communion, they are participating in the divine mystery.  But so are we when we do anything, right? We are God participating in the divine mystery.  However, as one of my theology profs taught us, “that which is always and everywhere the case must be noticed, accepted, and celebrated sometime.” Fr. Michael Himes called this the sacramental principle.

So what is the fleshy stuff in the fleshy miracles?  Well, I would hold that it is the product of powerful thoughtforms that are made manifest not unlike egregores. 

If these phenomena help people believe that what they eat is really Christ, then great. But unfortunately, the miracles are weaponized by apologists of the faith to pull people into uniting together (become Trad Catholic) in order to fight against postmodernism’s crisis of meaning.

They don’t realize that they are entrapped within the energy of unprocessed bellicosity and thus, in the name of Christ, they actually choose the ethos of separation exemplified by scapegoating, just the opposite of Christ consciousness (unitive consciousness).

Postmodernism’s crisis of meaning is the result of postmodernity doing what it is supposed to do: critique meaning-making systems that have framed our collective biases, our epistemology, and our heuristics. Postmodernity is the new opportunity, or global catalyst, to die upon the Cross of our rigid assumptions and tired bellicose attitudes in order to rise with a new kind of freshness that frees us to connect heart to heart. The existential anxiety felt keenly by us in a postmodern world becomes the very cornerstone upon which the foundation of a truly metamodern or integral worldview can be built. Here, we include all of the other stages of consciousness development–and thus, transcend them all. Only from the integrated stage of consciousness, can we sift the wheat from the chaff of each of the previous stages.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s