Commune

579. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.</em

Harry and I talked into the night about communion. Most cultures have their unique version of the communion meal. For the Makah, the whale is their god. To hunt and consume the whale is to take the body and blood of the god into their body. In return, they perform rituals to resurrect the god. For the Mayan, it is the corn that gives life; corn is a god. The people take it into their bodies and become god like; their commitment is to create the conditions for the gods return. They tend to the god. The god feeds them. It is a cycle of life. There is no end, no outcome. There is no rapture. There is a relationship. “This is my body. Take it and eat. This is my blood. Take it and drink.” The form is different; the ritual is the same.

Harry pointed out that regardless of the form the purpose is to commune – thus a communion meal. The people commune individually and collectively with their godhood. They take it in; they become the god. They, in return, perform the rituals and ceremonies; they live in such a way as to give rebirth to the godhead. It is a cycle of renewal. It is a participation sport: it is personal, intimate, an infinite game.

At its most potent, it is a way of living. It is not something confined to a single day of the week or an observance performed once in a while. It is not something you can leave behind when you leave the church. The whale chooses you because you are worthy, because you live each day an existence worthy of being chosen to consume the body, take in the god, and have proven yourself capable of performing the rites necessary to give rebirth to the god that feeds you. It is a mutual responsibility: I will feed you if you will attend to my re-creation.

And, at the heart of this relationship, is this thing we call art. The rituals, the dances, the music, the images are (were) meant to facilitate the communion; the coming together of human and muse to reaffirm the community's identity, to transform and transcend the everyday. Wear the mask and you become the god. Pete told me that he picked up a brush for the first time and froze; to make a mark carried an enormous responsibility. He put the brush back in the can and thought, “I am not yet ready for all that this will unleash and I want it more than I’ve ever wanted anything.”

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