"The Bible has been given to the Western World by the Recording Angels who give to each and all exactly what they need for their development."
— Max Heindel
References: John 1:16-17; Romans 5:12-13; I Corinthians 10:31.
The Sacrament of Communion (continued): "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said Take eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself... For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." (I Cor. 11:23-30)
In the foregoing passages there is a deeply hidden esoteric meaning which is particularly obscured in the English translation, but in the German, Latin, and Greek, the student still has a hint as to what was really intended by the last parting injunction of the Savior to His disciples. Before examining this phase of the subject, let us first consider the words, "in remembrance of me." We shall then perhaps be in better condition to understand what is meant by the "cup" and the "bread."
Every one among us goes out into the world to fight the battle of existence. Under the law of necessity we forget the love which should be the ruling factor in Christian lives. Every man's hand is against his brother. Every one strives for a position, wealth, and power that goes with these attributes. We forget on Monday what we reverently remembered on Sunday, and all the world is poor in consequence.
We also make a distinction between the bread and the wine which we drink at the so-called "Lord's Table," and the food of which we partake during the intervals between attendance at Communion. But there is no warrant in the Scriptures for any such distinction, as anyone may see, even in the English version, by leaving out the words printed in italics which have been inserted by the translators to give what they thought was the sense of a passage. On the contrary, we are told that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, all should be done to the glory of God. (I Cor. 10:31)
Our every act should be a prayer. The perfunctory "grace" at meals is in reality a blasphemy, and the silent thought of gratitude to the Giver of daily bread is far to be preferred.
When we remember at each meal that it has been drawn from the substance of the Earth, which is the body of the indwelling Christ Spirit, we can properly understand how that body is being broken for us daily, and we can appreciate the loving kindness which prompted Him thus to give Himself for us; for let us also remember that there is not a moment, day or night, that He is not suffering because He is bound to this Earth. When we thus eat and thus realize the true situation, we are indeed declaring to ourselves the death of the Lord, whose Spirit is groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of liberation when there shall be no need of such a dense environment as we now require.
But there is another, a greater and more wonderful mystery hidden in these words of the Christ. Richard Wagner, with the rare intuition of the master musician, sensed this idea when he sat in meditation by the Zurich Sea on a Good Friday, and there flashed into his mind the thought, "What connection is there between the death of the Savior and the millions of seeds sprouting forth from the Earth at this time of the year?" If we meditate upon that life which is annually poured out in the spring, we see it as something gigantic and awe inspiring; a flood of life which transforms the globe from one of frozen death to rejuvenated life in a short space of time; and the life which thus diffuses itself in the budding of millions and millions of plants is the life of the Earth Spirit.
From that came both the wheat and the grape. They are the body and blood of the imprisoned Earth Spirit given to sustain mankind during the present phase of its evolution. We repudiate the contention of people who claim that the world owes them a living, regardless of their own efforts and without material responsibility on their part, but we nevertheless insist that there is a spiritual responsibility on their part, connected with the bread and wine given at the Lord's Supper: This from the ordinary manner of reading would seem far-fetched, but when we bring the light of esotericism to bear, examine other translations of the Bible, and look at conditions in the world as we find them today, we shall find that it is not so far-fetched
To begin with, we must go back to the time when man lived under the guardianship of the Angels, unconsciously building the body which he now uses. That was in ancient Lemuria. A brain was needed for the evolution of thought, and a larynx for verbal expression of the same. Therefore, half of the creative force was turned upwards and used by man to form these organs. Thus mankind became single sexed and was forced to seek a complement when it was necessary to create a new body to serve as an instrument in a higher phase of evolution.
While the act of love was consummated under the wise guardianship of the angels, man's existence was free from sorrow, pain, and death. But when, under the tutelage of the Lucifer Spirits, he ate of the Tree of Knowledge and perpetuated the race without regard for interplanetary lines of force, he transgressed the law, and the bodies thus formed crystallized unduly, and became subject to death in a much more perceptible manner than had hitherto been the case. Thus he was forced to create new bodies more frequently as the span of life in them shortened. Celestial warders of the creative force drove him from the garden of love into the wilderness of the world, and he was made responsible for his actions under the cosmic law which governs the universe. Thus for ages he struggled on, seeking to work out his own salvation, and the Earth in consequence crystallized more and more.
Divine hierarchies, the Christ Spirit included, worked upon the Earth from without as the Group Spirit guides the animals under its protectorate; but as Paul truly says, none could be justified under the law, for under the law all sinned, and all must die. There is in the old covenant no hope beyond the present, save a foreshadowing of one who is to come and restore righteousness. Thus John tells us that the law was given by Moses, and grace came by the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17) But what is grace? Can grace work contrary to law and abrogate it entirely? Certainly not. The laws of God are steadfast and sure, or the universe would become chaos. The law of gravity keeps our houses in position relative to other houses, so that when we leave them we may know of a surety that we shall find them in the same place upon returning. Likewise all other departments in the universe are subject to immutable laws
As law, apart from love, gave birth to sin, so the child of law, tempered with love is grace. Take an example from our concrete social conditions: We have laws which decree a certain penalty for a specified offense, and when the law is carried out, we call it justice. But long experience is beginning to teach us that justice, pure and simple, is like the Colchain dragon's teeth, and breeds strife and struggle in increasing measure. The criminal, so-called, remains criminal and becomes more and more hardened under the ministrations of law; but when the milder regime of the present day allows one who has transgressed to go under suspended sentence then he is under grace and not under law. Thus, also the Christian, who aims to follow in the Master's steps, is emancipated form the law of sin by grace, provided he forsake the path of sin.
It was the sin of our progenitors in ancient Lemuria that they scattered their seed regardless of law and without love. But it is the privilege of the Christian to redeem himself by purity of life in remembrance of the Lord. John says, "His seed remaineth in him," and this is the hidden meaning of the bread and wine. In the English version we read simply: "This is the cup of the New Testament." but in the German the word for cup is Kelch, and in the Latin, Calix, both meaning the outer covering of the seed pod of the flower. In the Greek we have a still more subtle meaning, not conveyed in other languages, in the word poterion, a meaning which will be evident when we consider the etymology of the word "pot." This at once gives us the same idea as the chalice or calix — a receptacle capable of holding a fluid. Our English words, "potent" and "impotent," meaning to possess or to lack virile strength, further show the meaning of this Greek word, which foreshadows the evolution from man to superman.
We have already lived through a mineral, a plant, and an animal like existence before becoming human as we are today, and beyond us lie still further evolutions where we shall approach the Divine more and more. It will be readily conceded that it is our animal passions which restrain us upon the path of attainment; the lower nature is constantly warring against the higher self. At least in those who have experienced a spiritual awakening, a war is being fought silently within, and is all the more bitter for being suppressed. Goethe with masterly art voiced that sentiment in the words of Faust, the aspiring soul, speaking to his more materialistic friend, Wagner:
It was the knowledge of this absolute necessity of chastity (save when procreation is the object) upon the part of those who have had a spiritual awakening which dictated the words of Christ, and the Apostle Paul stated an esoteric truth when he said that those who partook of the communion without living the life were in danger of sickness and death. For just as under a spiritual tutelage, purity of life may elevate the disciple wonderfully, so also unchastity has a much stronger effect upon his more sensitized bodies than upon those who are yet under the law, and have not yet become partakers of grace by the cup of the New Covenant
(You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the Independent Study Course name and Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below.)
1. Compare the general attitude toward our daily meals with the attitude taught in the Bible.
2. How are the wheat and the grape the "body and blood" of Christ?
3. State briefly the cause of our unduly crystallized bodies.
4. What is "grace"?
5. How only may we redeem ourselves from the sin of our progenitors in ancient Lemuria?
6. What is the real meaning of the "cup of the New Testament"?
7. Give in your own words the esoteric truth voiced by Faust concerning the higher and lower natures.