Faison 19X Moamin
Strange Symbolic Magical Cannibalism
( The Basis for European Identity and the belief of their cultural superioty)
The Roman Catholic ritual of Mass, with its emphasis on the magical ceremony of "Eucharist", is both a fundamental part European self-perceived identity, and a cornerstone in the early formation of European social structure.
During the latter 4th century, the Roman Catholic church, began to solidify their religious rituals. Under a European religious concept similar to what Kotak (*Kotak is a anthropological reasearcher.) refers to as "the Big men" known as "Papal Authority", the earliest Catholic leaders formulated a ritualistic ceremony based on guidelines as set down by a Christian missionary Saul/Paul. The ritual known as the "Eucharist", is derived from Paul's instructions that Christians must re-enact a pseudo-historical scene in which the central figure of their faith ( Jesus ), gives bread and wine to his followers. It must be noted, however, that this symbolic re-enactment has both magical, symbolic, and social connotations for its practitioners.
During the ceremony of the "Eucharist", the individuals involved are divided into two sharp and contrasting segments. The first noticeable group, or religious stratification, is comprised of the "Church" Officials ( i.e. Bishops, Cardinals, Priests, etc. ), whom have a higher social status within European culture and its derivative cultures. But similar to the magical "Leopard Men" of more ancient African peoples, their power is only as effective as it is perceived by the believers of his magical strength. The Catholic practitioner, holds the belief that the representative of the Church in his/her particular town or village, is capable of providing a magical link between himself, their God(s), and themselves. It is this multilevel interdependency, that gives the Catholic priest his power.
The division of the people into a leader ( whom has this magical power of sacrament ) and the partakers of the sacrament, directly reinforces the social order of European society. European society ( post-Rome ), is/was centrally molded by the ideas and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, and its many political involments. To establish social order, a ritualistic symbol of that order was instuionalized by the "Church fathers", in which the symbols of their society were made understandable on many levels. First and most apparent in the Mass ceremony, is the Authoritative, secular power of the religious/magical leader, i.e. "the Priest". It is this, Priest, that is symbolic for the Churches authority over the masses and more importantly, since only and ordained Priest can minister the sacramental Eucharist, he ( representing Church authority ), has the only true and legitimate final word. It should be noted that this ritual is only performed by the males within the group, yet again reinforcing the authoritative structure, of both the Church, and the male domination of European society. In their paradigm, a woman cannot possibly hold the keys to godly communion ( bonding with their God ), and therefore a Priest perfuming this ritual must be men. This is still evident today; on both levels. We must remember what Kotak says concerning the " nature of Ritual." " Ritual ", is defined by Kotak as , "..formal, repetitive, stylized...they convey information about the participants and their traditions. Repeated year after year, generations after generation, rituals translate enduring messages, values, and sentiments into action." This is most definitely with the content, as well as the structure of the Mass/Eucharist ceremony.
Kotak defines magic as ".. referring to supernatural techniques intended to accomplish specific aims. these tequniques include spells, formulas, and incantations used with deities or with impersonal forces." In the magical ceremony of the Roman catholic Church, bread is used to not only be the re-enactment of their central religious figures actions, but is supposed to literally and symbolically his actual flesh. It has been documented that in some cultures, flesh of the actual dead is consumed by relatives and/or extended kin within that locality, to gain a form of spiritual bond or merger with that deceased individual ( i.e. ritualistic cannibalism ). The ceremony of "Eucharist" takes this concept a great deal farther; not only do they see themselves as eating the flesh of a man, but they consider this man ( Jesus ) to actually co-exist with their other Tri-entity deity,( i.e. The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost ) of which he represents the son. Thereby they are not merely gaining closeness with a deceased mortal, but they are becoming a integrated part of their God itself. The official doctrine, constructed by these early Europeans , is a magical term called refereed to by themselves as " Transubstantiation ", which the Oxford Dictionary defines as the following: " the doctrine that the bread and wine in the Eucharist are actually (not symbolically ) converted, by consecration into the body and blood of Christ. though their appearance remains the same." Catholic literature documenting their magical ceremonies, explain to its believers, that although the taste, touch, and smell, of the bread and wine remain the same; nevertheless it is in fact being converted to the blood and flesh of the deceased Jesus ( which, by Roman Catholic Biblical doctrine, is believed to have been resurrected form the dead ). This is a excellent example of what Kotak speaks of when defining magic, i.e.. " supernatural techniques used to accomplish specific aims." Well then.., just what are the aims, of these practitioners of the Eurchrist ceremony and Catholicism?
It is already apparent clear that the magical ceremony of the Catholic Eucharist, is not just a simple incantation or spell, but rather it is a complex ritual. " Ritual ", is defined by Kotak as , "..formal, repetitive, stylized...they convey information about the participants and their traditions. Repeated year after year, generations after generation, rituals translate enduring messages, values, and sentiments into action." Close attention must be called to the last half of Kotaks statement..".. sentiments into action.."; it is this, I believe, that is the root of understanding the aim and subsequential effects of this purely European ritual. As previously discussed, the core of the Eucharist ceremony is the merger of the believer physically, and symbolically with one part of their God, i.e. Jesus. These doctrines and ritualistic practices, did not come into existence until several hundreds of years after the death of the historical personage known in the West as Jesus; during the almost unbelievably long time period between his actual life and the formation of these doctrines, European culture had become interwoven into the historical facts.
The Eucharist served as a social template for Early Europeans , and a source of modern ethnocentricities to the highest levels. During the Middle ages, when these ritualistic activities became the crux of Medieval ( European ) religion, European artists, and scholars alike, attribute a false- European identity to the physical Christ figure, and by doing so add yet another level to the magical proceedings. As Kotak informs us, " .. they accept a common social and moral order, one that transcends the status of the individual..", and indeed unlike animalism or paganism, Catholicism manages to place the face of its practitioners, as the " face of god". If what Kotak says is true ( concerning magical techniques reducing anxiety ), the magical ceremony of Eucharist, by further establishing an ethnocentric kinship bond with Jesus/God, they have a excellent system for alleviating their " fears of the uncontrollable". Just as the magical ceremonies of ancient Kmt/Egyptians, made a physical/sexual co-relationship between the Pharaoh and their high God; thereby giving them " the face of god..ie he was god "; likewise.. the ritual of Catholic Eucharist further establishes to the European that they are part of and the physical likeness of God. A more powerful security blanket could not be woven
This being realized, latter Western History becomes very understandable, when view from the eyes of the Catholic practitioner. Through their magical ritual, they see their ethnic as the same as their God, and by eating his flesh and drinking his blood, further reinforce this concept of interwoven European/God identity.. Ethnocentrism is inevitable. This is clearly displayed is all off European history.. which might as well be called Catholic/Christian history. The underlying current of globally encompassing Europe ethhnocentricy is generated by a collective view of being in Kinship relationship with their God.. and if this is true ( as they do indeed believe ) all others are outside that kinship group, and are treated as such, be it consciously or subconciously. The intrinsic, almost overwhelmingly complex, relationship between European religious history/politics, and what we here in the west, refer to as " our culture ", is the derivative of the social orders and ideologies established by Europeans, for Europeans, in their basic micro-universal ritual of Eucharist. The ceremony of Eucharist/Mass, therefore, serves the functions of cultural identity, transmission of their collective values, religious/social collective power, anxiety control, and is at the sub-conscience root of European and subsequently modern Western culture.