Eucharistic Consciousness

A relational perspective of the mystery of presence
Origin The Holy Eucharist is the oldest experience of Christian Worship as well as the most distinctive. Eucharist comes from the Greek word which means thanksgiving. In a particular sense, the word describes the most important form of the Church's attitude toward all of life. The origin of the Eucharist is traced to the Last Supper at which Christ instructed His disciples to offer bread and wine in His memory. The Eucharist is the most distinctive event of Orthodox worship because in it the Church gathers to remember and celebrate the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ and, thereby, to participate in the mystery of Salvation. The words and acts of Christ at the institution of the Eucharist stand at the heart of the celebration; the Eucharistic meal is the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, the sacrament of his presence. Christ fulfills in a variety of ways his promise to be always with his own even to the end of the world. But Christ's mode of presence in the Eucharist is unique. Jesus said over the bread and wine of the Eucharist: 'This is my body...this is my blood....' The event lucidly explained in John chapter 6 was pre-figured in the Old testament by bread of presence in the tabernacle and what was offered by Melchizedek King of Salem. Jesus is known as the High Priest forever according to the order of Melkizedek-Heb 6:20

Different churches and Different meanings Although all denominations recognise the importance of the Eucharist, they differ about its meaning. Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine that is offered is the actual body and blood of Christ and another form of sacrifice. They believe that although the bread and wine physically remain the same, it is transformed beyond human comprehension into the body, blood soul and divinity of Jesus. This is called Transubstantiation.

Protestants believe that Jesus made his sacrifice on the cross and simply follow the tradition of the sacrament in memory of the event, recalling its symbolic importance in the life of Jesus. Churches also differ in how often they receive the Eucharist. The more importance a Church places on the sacraments, the more often its members will receive the Eucharist. For Roman Catholics, the Eucharist is the most important act of worship. All Roman Catholics are encouraged to receive communion at least once a week during Mass. Some practising Catholics may receive the Eucharist every day. Didache, may be the earliest Christian document outside of the New Testament to speak of the Eucharist, says, "Let no one eat or drink of the Eucharist with you except those who have been baptized in the Name of the Lord," for it was in reference to this that the Lord said, "Do not give that which is holy to dogs." Matthew 7:6 A letter by Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written in AD 106 says: "I desire the bread of GOD, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ."

Writing to the Christians of Smyrna, in about AD 106, Saint Ignatius warned them to "stand aloof from such heretics", because, among other reasons, "they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again." In about 150, Justin Martyr wrote of the Eucharist: "Not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Realism Vs Nominalism Anglican Eucharistic tradition has varied considerably over the past centuries indicating a multiform tradition centering around the philosophical traditions of realism and nominalism. If we scrutinize the writings of the Reformation Archbishop of Canterbury,Thomas Cranmer, 1489-1556, we could see that his writings and liturgical products suggest that the underlying philosophical system characterising his theology of the Eucharist is principally that of nominalism. There are however, elements of moderate realism in what he writes. It is the presence of both the nominalist and realist statements in his writings on the Eucharist that indicate an inconsistency in his thinking. In view of the inconsistency in Cranmer‘s thinking on the Eucharist, where he wants to be both a realist and a nominalist at the same time, the coherence of his scheme, philosophically and theologically have given rise to doubt. Considering the views of William Law we encounter a theology of moderate realism whereas with John Stott we find nominalism, where the sign and signified are clearly separated and self-enclosed entities. The present Archbishop Dr.Williams takes a moderately realist stand and considers that the universal Christ as logos is instantiated in the particulars of Eucharistic actions and signs where the significance of Easter is made present. Multi-Dimensional Reality In order to grasp the finer mystery of Christ's presence in Eucharist and the resulting state of Consciousness, which I propose as a distinct state of Eucharistic Consciousness, we need to embrace a holistic, non-linear, multi-dimensional view of reality and move away from a static , atomic form of reality. The Scientifc side of it- Breaking apart the Atom In the last century, several major discoveries in modern physics have completely shattered the classical Newtonian model of the universe. First, matter was found to be neither solid nor static. It was discovered that the atom is in fact mostly empty space in which invisible electrons whirl at velocities of approximately 600 miles per second around a tiny nucleus. The high velocity of the electrons in the atom give it the appearance of solidity, just as a rapidly rotating propeller might appear as a solid disc. Within the nucleus itself are particles that also move about at extremely high velocities – up to 400,000 miles per hour. The

nucleus, being very dense, contains almost all the atom‘s mass. In fact, it the human body were compressed to nuclear density, it would take up less space than a pinhead. A second major discovery which came out of the very revolutionary theory of quantum mechanics is that matter has a dual aspect – it appears sometimes as particles and sometimes as waves. One of the consequences of the wave aspect of matter is that it is impossible to have a well-defined measurement of the momentum or velocity of the particle and at the same time to have a well defined, precise measurement of its position. The mathematical form of this relationship between the uncertainty of the position and momentum of the particle is well known among scientists as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. We may choose to measure with precision either position or momentum, but we may never know the measurement of both at the same time. Thus, the more deterministic models of classical physics were forced to give way to a dynamic, ever-changing description of the universe. Which means we may not always see or hear what happens at deeper levels that we may not have the capacity to perceive. A third important discovery, expressed in Einstein‘s theory of special relativity as the famous equation E=mc2, is that matter is not indestructible, but is rather a form of energy that may be transformed into other forms of energy or matter. We can no longer think of an atom as a solid particle; it is mostly empty space. Matter has a dual aspect – particle and wave. Further, matter is no longer seen as something dead but as a condensation of vibrating energy. In reality, solid matter is only a condensation or a concentrated manifestation of an underlying un manifest field of energy and intelligence that permeates and upholds everything in creation. The discovery of the Unified Field of All the Laws of Nature The recent achievements in mind-body research have paralleled breakthroughs in modern physics. In physics, matter and energy are viewed as expressions of four fundamental fields : gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. In the last few years quantum physics ahs reached such a profound level of understanding that it has been able to locate one unified field of all the laws of nature at the basis of these four fields. While the complete mathematical description of this field is still developing, it is clear that the unified field of natural law is the source of all material diversity. It transcends all existence; it is a field of pure information from which all the different forces and laws of nature sequentially emerged in the first microseconds of the creation of our universe, and from which this process is continually taking place at every moment. According to Newtonian classical physics, the world is made to tiny, indestructible atoms. Matter is solid and easily measured. This viewpoint has permeated every academic discipline and every area of society, and has had an enormous impact on our world view. With the development of quantum physics some 70 years ago, the classical paradigm has been gradually replaced by the quantum paradigm. In the world of quantum physics, matter is no longer solid; it is only a perturbation, a condensation in an underlying field. The famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that we can only know either the position or momentum of a particle, never both at the same time. In the quantum world, paradoxes abound. For example, particles may appear sometimes as particles and sometimes as waves. Even when we describe a particle; it is only in terms of ―probability amplitudes‖ a mathematical description of a wave or field that states the statistical chance of defining either its location or momentum.

Beyond elements we see in the physical world as atoms and particles, lie waves of quanta, quantum realities, that contain the very transformational presence and Consciousness of Christ within that dimension and in joining with Him, it helps transform us in day to day life. Ordinary human consciousness cannot find anything within itself that would cause humans to perform a mystery. It can only do so when it is seized by the mystery. In Heb 11:3 we are told that the worlds were framed by the word of God. so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. There is a higher dimension to focus on in the mystery of Eucharist which is beyond the philosophical discussions confined often to elements and particles and the physiological processes as if they could be achieved in isolation of the actual participatory process. In the new mystery we transcend the three-dimensional space, and together with God, we participate in "Another" reality and the "Otherness" which is achieved at the Eucharist. By this what I say is that we do so on earth in a dimension somewhat different to the limited three-dimensional space of reality we are normally used to. This has further ramifications on the multi-dimensional way we operate and the significance of time in different dimensions. "The Eucharist is ... a 'personal' encounter of Christ, an occasion in which the participant meets Him and invites Him into his (or her) very being. To those whose spiritual eyes are open Christ can be seen in the Eucharist, just as He was seen by the Apostles in Luke 24:30-32." We substantiate Christ's presence when we share in the Eucharist. Ontological Transcendence In my publication " Clinical Psychology" I hinted at the presence of an ontological reality in altered states of consciousness: I have also indicated some of the ways in which ASCs - Altered States of Consciousnesscan manifest positive psychological significance. ASCs may also bear ontological significance, in that they may suggest the presence of another order (or orders) of being. Our task in here is to explore that possibility, and to examine some of the ways in which ASCs may act as indicators, which point toward other dimensions of being. By noting that persons who have experienced altered states of consciousness, or states of non-ordinary reality, often suggest or say outright that they have in some way transcended the ordinary world, that they have stepped outside of it, or see it from above, or discovered depths in the world that they have not ordinarily seen. This report is often taken, by unsympathetic ears, to indicate nothing more than the simplest sort of Freudian wish fulfillment; i.e., an instance of a wish being fulfilled by a type of hallucination. This view of the skeptic is not so much a result of what the actual data suggest, as it is a result of his world view which a priori simply has no room for such a report being true. The currently fashionable world view does not allow for authentic ontological transcendence of the ―‖this-worldly‖ sphere of reality, since in the current world view the ―this-worldly‖ sphere of reality is the only sphere of reality. Thus any claim to have transcended it would be delusory, would in fact be (in the current jargon) an ―escape‖ from reality. If ordinary reality is the only reality, then the phrase ―states of non-ordinary reality‖ is self-contradictory, and the struggle to transcend ordinary reality is destined to futility. The point here is that the skeptic‘s inability to allow for authentic transcendence is not a result of the data, so much as it is a

result of his attenuated world view which declares a priori that ontological transcendence is a metaphysical impossibility. Here I offer some reflections on the notion of ontological transcendence, which may allow for its acceptance as at least a valid possibility. We shall see that this may require some willingness to see the universe as having dimensions or aspects which are not normally accessible to human consciousness, and not composed solely of what is evident to normal waking consciousness. It will require a willingness to sacrifice one’s dogmatic certitude that the reality of normal perception is the only reality, outside of which there exists only dream and illusion. Philip Wheelwright, argues that man‘s existence seems to point toward some kind of beyond, and he thus proposes a ―liminal ontology‖, a ―metaphysics of the threshold‖, whose basic proposition would be ―we are never quite there, we are always and deviously on the verge of being there.‖ As he suggests, in an essay titled ―Man‘s Threshold Existence‖, Nietzsche‘s Zarathustra, furthermore, announces a theme common to other philosophers, that man is a bridge, not an end. All of these are hinting at a ―something more‖ in the universe, as aspect or dimension of things that somehow transcends the ordinary world, and is in some sense ―more real‖ than the facts and events of the ordinary world. Relying on Huston Smith now, I wish to suggest this as a working definition of the term transcendence. ―I propose to use ‗Transcendence‘ to name the there with respect to value which we sense as encircling our present existence; the Value More that exceeds our current possession.‖ Transcendence is the name for that More that human beings have often sensed, or have often felt a need for, which is broader or larger or fuller than the ordinary world, and in some sense lies ―beyond‖ the threshold which normally bounds our existence. What are some of the results of transcendence experiences of the sort instanced above? In the first place, it is likely that these are experiences of a very high order, of the sort Maslow terms ―peak experiences‖, in which the individual is most alive, most healthy, and at the peak of his capabilities. Maslow allows for gradations in peak experiences, and would fit this sort of experience high on the scale, perhaps as the intense most type of peak experience. Thus, the sorts of positive results that accrue as a result of peak experiences would also accrue as a result of transcendence experiences, since they are of the same order. These include therapeutic benefits of the following sort: positive changes in the self image, positive changes in interpersonal relationships, remission of neurotic symptoms (at least for a time), increased creativity, increased spontaneity and self-expression, and so on, in the realm of psychological improvement. But what exactly is at work here? Maslow speaks of the matter from the perspective of a psychologist, but what is the larger context here, and how does it happen that these psychological benefits accrue? Smith suggests, in a larger perspective, that the effect of transcendence experiences is to ―counter predicaments that are ingrained in the human situation; predicaments which, being not fully remediable, are constitutional. ………..now there is also a second category of transcendence experiences, which do in some way call into question the usual assumptions about the limits of being, and this sort of transcendence Smith terms ontological transcendence. Ontological transcendence is of the sort which cannot accept as final the standard view of reality, the standard view which most people find suitable and within which most people are quite content to live. The mass of men are quite content to seek their transcendence in the

this-worldly spheres of love, hope, and commitment to causes; so they do not find it necessary, do not find it somehow demanded of them, to seek beyond the limits of what most men accept as real. Those who do feel such a demand upon them, who do feel required to look beyond the this-worldly, begin to find themselves involved in the quest for ontological transcendence. Ontological transcendence, springing from a divine this-worldly discontent, opens into reservoirs of being and value which are not normally perceived in the universe. In fact now, we have a conceptual form for understanding the possibility of valid transcendence, a spatial and two temporal forms, all three with a certain amount of evidence to back them up which disqualifies them from the pejorative category of ―armchair fancies‖. This-worldly transcendence, of course, does not require an enlarged world view for it accepts the standard view of reality and works within those limits; things generally are accepted to be the way they seem to be. Ontological transcendence, on the other hand, is not satisfied with the world as it seems, but claims that there must be larger dimensions of being, other regions of value that elude normal consciousness: things are not as they seem. Smith claims that both types of transcendence are equal in difficulty and in worth. ―With respect to ontological Transcendence‖, he says, In neither case, Smith is saying, is the standard view of reality right: neither with respect to the physical complexity of things nor with respect to the ultimate limits of value in the cosmos. Or rather, instead of saying that the man in the street is wrong, let us say that his suppositions are right, but right only so far as they apply, namely to the this worldly. Likewise we do not say that Euclid‘s geometry is wrong, only that it is limited to the macro world of normal perception. In so far as Euclid, or Newtonian physics, or the man in the street, claims to have discovered the limits of reality, and claims that his suppositions apply to the whole of reality, just that far is he mistaken. For the world is vaster by far than they have imagined. Now we have some conceptual forms, which would allow the possibility of valid transcendence experiences. But is that enough? Have we any hard evidence proving the existence of actual valid transcendence experiences? In other words, suppose we admit a world in which valid transcendence is a possibility, does it ever actually occur? Granted the possibility, is it ever an actuality? In the attempt to answer this question we must first note that the quest for ―hard evidence‖ is likely a mistaken quest, for Aristotle‘s point at the beginning of the Nicomachean Ethics applies here too: in such matters the wise man seeks only as much certitude as the subject matter can bear, and here one would be mistaken to seek the same degree of certitude as he seeks n physics. W.T. Stace, in Mysticism and Philosophy, says it thus: It should be emphasized that in so difficult a field we cannot expect ―proofs‖, ―disproofs‖, ―refutations‖, ―certainties‖. The mystic indeed does not argue. He has his inner subjective certainty. But this only raises a new and puzzling problem for the poor philosopher. At any rate, the utmost we can expect in this area is tentative hypotheses, reasonable opinions. And of course only nonscientists believe in the supposed certainty of science. Scientists know that their solutions are hypothetical only; and ours will doubtless be much more so. So, even though we may not be able to find ―hard‖ evidence for the actual occurrence of transcendence experiences, still we can look to certain suggestive data for hints. We can expect some of the data available to at least be suggestive for us, and lead us toward a reasonable opinion. My own opinion is that there are such hints available to us which are

suggestive enough to allow a reasonable mind to hold that such transcendence experiences do actually occur. …and finally, it is quite likely that altered forms of perception would be necessary for these experiences of transcendence. Since normal consciousness seems able to perceive only the standard sort of reality, the aspects or dimensions of reality that lie well within the bounds of the ordinary, then it would very likely be necessary for some alteration to take place before other dimensions could be perceived. Altered states of consciousness, in other words, may well be necessary prerequisites for the perception of non-ordinary really. C.D. Broad expresses the matter thus: Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is an aspect of the world which remains altogether outside the ken of ordinary persons in their daily life. Then it seems very likely that some degree of mental and physical abnormality would be a necessary condition for getting sufficiently loosened from the objects of ordinary sense perception to some into cognitive contact with this aspect of reality. Altered states of consciousness, of transcendence is ever to be made actual, would seem to be necessary prerequisites, and the ability to shake oneself loose from the normal modes of perception would then be ranked as a gift, or a skill for which not everyone has a talent. Having concluded these reflections now, it can be said that there is at least some substantial argument in favor of the belief that ASCs can manifest ontological significance. ASCs, in other words, may justifiably be taken as constituting some evidence that there are other dimensions of being and value which transcend the ordinary world. The evidence is at least suggestive of the possibility of valid ontological transcendence. Neurocardiology The latest research indicate that the heart has its ganglia which operate like a mind of the heart and is rhythmically connected to the mind of the brain. So the laws that are written in the heart could align with the laws that are operative in the mind. This is why God has told us that as a person thinks in his heart, so is he. It is the heart that devise the evil . His laws in our hearts This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. (Hebrews 8:10) It is easier for Christians to obey God's commands under the New Covenant than it was for the people of Israel to obey God's commands under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant we have the Holy Spirit to help us and God has placed his laws in our hearts. They are no longer cold commands that must be obeyed in the flesh. The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer's heart. God has given us his Spirit to help us live the life he wants us to live. He has written his laws in our hearts and his Spirit gives us the desire to obey them. The Eucharistic Consciousness strengthens us more to bring thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ. What more could God do for us, short of taking control of our lives and making us obey him like robots? That would mean removing our free will from us, which he would never do.

Guard your hearts Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 'Then I said, "Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God." ' (Hebrews 10:5–7) God prepared a body for his Son and you can be sure it was exactly as Isaiah had predicted. There was nothing in our Lord's appearance that would have attracted us to him, because the beauty and majesty of our physical bodies are not important—it's the heart that matters. The world in which we live puts so much emphasis on the way that we look. Are we dressed correctly? Have we got the latest fashions? Are we using the best skin creams and lotions? These are worldly things designed to improve a person's outward appearance, but they don't impress God. God looks at the heart. We need to examine our hearts regularly to make sure that nothing has crept in to divert us from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3), because the human heart is deceitful and difficult to understand (Jeremiah 17:9). Proverbs 4:23 says: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. The Hebrew word translated 'wellspring' in that verse means 'the starting point and the end'. That means that the human heart is the alpha and omega; the beginning and the end—the most vital part of our being as far as eternal life is concerned. * The Bible says that we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17). * The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:21–22). * God writes his laws in our hearts (Hebrews 8:10). * We speak according to what is in our hearts (Luke 6:45). * And sin, which defiles us, comes from the heart (Matthew 15:19–20; Acts 5:3). The Christian's heart is a battle ground and we must guard our hearts above everything else. For centuries, the heart has been considered the source of emotion, courage and wisdom. Negative emotions lead to increased disorder in the heart's rhythms and in the autonomic nervous system, thereby adversely affecting the rest of the body. In contrast, positive emotions create increased harmony and coherence in heart rhythms and improve balance in the nervous system. The health implications are easy to understand: Disharmony in the nervous system leads to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs while harmonious rhythms are more efficient and less stressful to the body's systems. More intriguing are the dramatic positive changes that occur when techniques are applied that increase coherence in rhythmic patterns of heart rate variability. These include shifts in perception and the ability to reduce stress and deal more effectively with difficult situations. It has been observed that the heart was acting as though it had a mind of its own and was

profoundly influencing the way we perceive and respond to the world. In essence, it appeared that the heart was affecting intelligence and awareness. Research indicates that the heart is far more than a simple pump. The heart is, in fact, a highly complex, self-organized information processing center with its own functional "brain" that communicates with and influences the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways. These influences profoundly affect brain function and most of the body's major organs, and ultimately determine the quality of life. The Intelligent Heart Some of the first modern psychophysiological researchers to examine the conversations between the heart and brain were John and Beatrice Lacey. During 20 years of research throughout the 1960s and '70s, they observed that the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. A generation before the Laceys began their research, Walter Cannon had shown that changes in emotions are accompanied by predictable changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and digestion. In Cannon's view, when we are "aroused," the mobilizing part of the nervous system (sympathetic) energizes us for fight or flight, and in more quiescent moments, the calming part of the nervous system (parasympathetic) cools us down. In this view, it was assumed that the autonomic nervous system and all of the physiological responses moved in concert with the brain's response to a given stimulus. Presumably, our inner systems tooled up together when we were aroused and simmered down together when we were at rest, and the brain was in control of the entire process. The Laceys noticed that this simple model only partially matched actual physiological behavior. As their research evolved, they found that the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not only understood, but obeyed. Even more intriguing was that it looked as though these messages could affect a person's behavior. Shortly after this, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could "inhibit" or "facilitate" the brain's electrical activity. Then in 1974, the French researchers Gahery and Vigier, working with cats, stimulated the vagus nerve (which carries many of the signals from the heart to the brain) and found that the brain's electrical response was reduced to about half its normal rate. In summary, evidence suggested that the heart and nervous system were not simply following the brain's directions, as Cannon had thought. The Brain in the Heart While the Laceys were doing their research in psychophysiology, a small group of cardiovascular researchers joined with a similar group of neurophysiologists to explore areas of mutual interest. This represented the beginning of the new discipline of neurocardiology, which has since provided critically important insights into the nervous system within the heart and how the brain and heart communicate with each other via the nervous system. After extensive research, one of the early pioneers in neurocardiology, Dr. J. Andrew Armour, introduced the concept of a functional "heart brain" in 1991. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a "little brain" in its own right. The heart's brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells like those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel and sense. The recent book Neurocardiology, edited by Dr. Armour and Dr. Jeffrey Ardell, provides a comprehensive overview of the function of the

heart's intrinsic nervous system and the role of central and peripheral autonomic neurons in the regulation of cardiac function. The heart's nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites, which detect circulating hormones and neurochemicals and sense heart rate and pressure information. Hormonal, chemical, rate and pressure information is translated into neurological impulses by the heart's nervous system and sent from the heart to the brain through several afferent (flowing to the brain) pathways. It is also through these nerve pathways that pain signals and other feeling sensations are sent to the brain. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain in an area called the medulla, located in the brain stem. The signals have a regulatory role over many of the autonomic nervous system signals that flow out of the brain to the heart, blood vessels and other glands and organs. However, they also cascade up into the higher centers of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes. Dr. Armour describes the brain and nervous system as a distributed parallel processing system consisting of separate but interacting groups of neuronal processing centers distributed throughout the body. The heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information independently of the brain or nervous system. This is what allows a heart transplant to work: Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibers running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. In a heart transplant, these nerve connections do not reconnect for an extended period of time, if at all; however, the transplanted heart is able to function in its new host through the capacity of its intact, intrinsic nervous system. The intrinsic cardiac nervous system, or heart brain, is made up of complex ganglia, containing afferent (receiving) local circuit (interneurons) and efferent (transmitting) sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons. Multifunctional sensory neurites, which are distributed throughout the heart, are sensitive to many types of sensory input originating from within the heart itself. The intrinsic cardiac ganglia integrate messages from the brain and other processing centers throughout the body with information received from the cardiac sensory neurites. Once information has been processed by the heart's intrinsic neurons, the appropriate signals are sent to the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes as well as the muscles in the heart. Thus, under normal physiological conditions, the heart's intrinsic nervous system plays an important role in much of the routine control of cardiac function, independent of the central nervous system In the beginning it was the Word that transformed itself into flesh. Word is a property of consciousness which is transformational in nature and may even transform into physical realities as explained therein. We must pause to ask what it means in Heb 4 : 12 that the word is living and powerful.....piercing even to the division of spirit and joints and marrow. It is in joints and marrow that our blood is produced. It seems that in a place where blood is produced, the Word is alive, active, present and witnessing. A silent witness to the realities of the drama we enact in day-to-day life. Could it then be that the word cleanses our blood thereby cleansing our thoughts and finally the very character itself. The word is also light, it not only cleanses but dispels darkness and exposes all that are hidden. Heb 9: 10 says that the laws were written in our hearts. Heart is the organ that pumps the blood to every cell and tissue for us to be alive. In the Eucharist , it is the very act of participation that affects us. That is why we are asked in 1 Corn 11 to examine ourselves carefully and some who did not do so were weak and sick and many sleep. The blood is affected to make one healthier or sick and further poisoned to make one die. In the presence of His word our blood which carries imprints of our own character and qualities of peace

which passeth all understanding or conflictual tensions with resulting toxicity receives its due reward on an on going basis. As we sow, so shall we also reap. A New State of Consciousness Like many states of consciousness we may experience in life, such as waking , sleeping , dreaming and transcendence, the grace imparted at the Eucharist takes us to a newer dimension of "Eucharistic Consciousness " , which in reality is Kingdom Consciousness that helps us live life to the fullest. This is not to say that you are merely conscious of the Eucharistic mystery but a separate state of consciousness rightly called Eucharistic consciousness will result giving us a new way to renew our minds and bring thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. We begin to experience Kingdom reality right here on earth. There is nothing you and I can do to achieve such a state except by surrendering ourselves willingly at the Eucharist to the Christ present. After all Christ came into our earthly 3D dimension and left again into His own dimension and the only thing that connects us to both dimensions is through his flesh and blood at the Eucharist. The Eucharistic Consciousness is produced in the heart and operates within helping to change the working of our own brain-mind through the process of ongoing sanctification This new consciousness works alongside our normal states of consciousness, and if you yield to God fully, daily examining and allowing the Holy Spirit to work with you, you will soon find a very strong state quite unlike any other , that will then make you victorious in all you say or do because Kindom principles will be working here. After all now you are a partaker of a consciousness that belongs to a heavenly dimension and should act accordingly as a citizen of heaven. This would indicate a greater degree of love for fellow beings, more empathic and caring, more accommodating and greater bridge building. The new state would also involve changes in brain functioning as well. This change in the brain can be understood by what happens to those who speak in tongues. The latest research conducted at University of Pennsylvania had this to report on glossolalia or speaking in tongues; Speaking in Tongues' Result of Different Brain Function Glossolalia, otherwise referred to as "speaking in tongues," may be a religious practice, but is also the subject of new medical research on the brain. "Speaking in tongues is an unusual mental state associated with specific religious traditions. The individual appears to be speaking in an incomprehensible language, yet perceives it to have great personal meaning. Now, in a first of its kind study, scientists are shining the light on this mysterious practice -- attempting to explain what actually happens physiologically to the brain of someone while speaking in tongues. "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered decreased activity in the frontal lobes, an area of the brain associated with being in control of one's self. This pioneering study, involving functional imaging of the brain while subjects were speaking in tongues, is in the November issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, the official publication of the International Society for Neuroimaging in Psychiatry. "Radiology investigators observed increased or decreased brain activity - by measuring regional cerebral blood flow with SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography)

imaging - while the subjects were speaking in tongues. They then compared the imaging to what happened to the brain while the subjects sang gospel music. "We noticed a number of changes that occurred functionally in the brain," comments Principal Investigator Andrew Newberg, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, Psychiatry, and Religious Studies, and Director for the Center for Spirituality and the Mind, at Penn. "Our finding of decreased activity in the frontal lobes during the practice of speaking in tongues is fascinating because these subjects truly believe that the spirit of God is moving through them and controlling them to speak. Our brain imaging research shows us that these subjects are not in control of the usual language centers during this activity, which is consistent with their description of a lack of intentional control while speaking in tongues." "Newberg went on to explain, "These findings could be interpreted as the subject's sense of self being taken over by something else. Scientists, assume it's being taken over by another part of the brain, but we couldn't see, in this imaging study, where this took place. We believe this is the first scientific imaging study evaluating changes in cerebral activity -looking at what actually happens to the brain -- when someone is speaking in tongues. This study also showed a number of other changes in the brain, including those areas involved in emotions and establishing our sense of self." "Newberg concludes that the changes in the brain during speaking in tongues reflect a complex pattern of brain activity. Newberg suggests that since this is the first study to explore this, future studies will be needed to confirm these findings in an attempt to demystify this fascinating religious phenomenon. Consciounsess is not a Unitary Phenomenon Libet's demonstrations of a delay between decision and consciousness; the 'split brain' commisurotomy experiments of Sperry and others, and the remarkable phenomenon of blindsight: these experiments have such obvious implications for consciousness that they cannot be ignored. Some of the most-discussed experiments in the field are those carried out by Benjamin Libet, which appear to demonstrate that supposedly conscious decisions are already settled before we become aware of them. Libet asked his experimental subjects to move one hand at an arbitrary moment decided by them, and to report when they made the decision (they timed the decision by noticing the position of a dot circling a clock face). At the same time the electrical activity of their brain was monitored. Now it had already been established by much earlier research that consciously-chosen actions are preceded by a pattern of activity known as a Readiness Potential (or RP). The surprising result was that the reported time of each decision was consistently a short period (some tenths of a second)after the RP appeared. This seems to prove that the supposedly conscious decisions had actually been determined unconsciously beforehand. This seems to lend strong experimental support both to the idea that free will is an illusion (at most, it would seem, there is scope for a last-minute veto by the conscious mind - a possibility which has been much debated since) and to a form of epiphenomenalism . Libet himself proposed in 1994 that the diverse neural events which contribute to consciousness are drawn together by a conscious mental field (CMF): a phenomenon which emerges from certain kinds of brain activity The key point is that consciousness is not a simple, unitary phenomenon. There's a difference, for example, between just saying what you think, and carefully planning in

advance the words you're going to say. But nobody would claim that just saying what you think wasn't a conscious activity. What happens in Neurotheology Neurobiologists Andrew Newberg and Eugene d'Aquili have conducted research in the specialized field of 'neurotheology' which suggest that 'religion is intimately interwoven with human biology'. Their extensive observations of praying Franciscan nuns and meditating Buddhist monks reveal that certain religious experiences like meditation and prayer are linked to heightened activity and changes in the material structure of the brain and nervous system. According to Newberg, the 'human brain is genetically wired to encourage religious beliefs'. Spiritual experiences like transcendence and inner peace, through meditation and prayer are increased by the activities and interactions of the different areas of the brain and neural networks. We believe that this may be the way God wanted them to function so that the experience we are having would then be transmitted to us through the brain in a way we could appreciate it as humans. After all it is said in Eccl 3: 11 that God put eternity in our hearts. Many parts of the brain are involved in the development of spiritual experiences. Different parts of the brain do not work in isolation from one another. The brain and nervous system function as an integrated network. Since spiritual behavior such as prayer and meditation involve 'highly complex emotions, sensations and thoughts', therefore many parts are involved. The limbic system, that part of the brain which is associated with emotions and motivation and the connecting hypothalamus, amygdala and the hippocampus are observed to be involved in spiritual activity . Some of the most basic components of the nervous system like the arousal and quiescent system also foster religious experiences . The field ran into controversy by presupposing that all spiritual experiences are the result of neural impulses and brain patterns. The field of neurotheology does not accept that spiritual experiences may be actually causing the neural impulses, but is the other way around. How ever we believe that the spiritual experiences cause the neural impulses so that the human is able to identify and experience them. Spiritual experience is specifically defined in neurotheology. Subjects may feel at one with the universe, experience sudden enlightenment, altered states of consciousness, ecstatic trance, or spiritual awe. Most recent investigation has used brain imaging to study people undergoing a spiritual experience. However, it was the studies in the 1980s by Dr. Michael Persinger that have mainly defined neurotheology and caused great criticism. Persinger believed that he could cause a spiritual episode with stimulation of the temporal lobes. His research has come under recent attack because his study was not double blind, and those tested had some sense of what to expect. We are relieved that the Persinger experiments in neurotheology have been attacked as bad science. Modern neurotheology with brain mapping techniques is more fascinating in its suggestion that all humans, regardless of religion, may have a common core that makes us open to experiences of a spiritual nature. This innate spirituality may actually do more toward proving that a God exists. Those who believe in intelligent design are apt to point to this as a specific

design of man being ―made in God‘s image,‖ and the ability for all to find a spiritual way of life. The latest research as at 2006, has found that the human brain does not contain a single "God spot" responsible for mystical and religious experiences. Instead, the sense of union with God or something greater than the self often described by those who have undergone such experiences involves the recruitment and activation of a variety brain regions normally implicated in different functions such as self-consciousness, emotion and body representation. These latest findings contradict previous suggestions by other researchers that the there might be a specific region in the brain designed for communication with God. The studies found that mystical experiences activate more than a dozen different areas of the brain at once. One of the regions, called the caudate nucleus, has been implicated in positive emotions such as happiness, romantic love and maternal love. Relational perspective of Eucharistic Mystery All this clearly points to some mystery that is beyond our grasp but is enacted by God for our sake which then has long term consequences that are either positive or negative and in the collective participation we are given a foretaste of heaven. In fact, we seem to be getting a blood transfusion that works for our better health mentally and physically or for our own destruction !! Such results pre-suppose the actual presence of someone in whose presence we thus receive a blessing or judgment. It is not in the elements themselves in isolation but in the dynamic flux of active participation within an actual presence and a consequential transformation of elements effected within a multi-dimensional reality resulting in a Eucharistic Consciousness that we experience true meaning of Eucharist in our lives. It is best understood not as focussed narrowly on the elements of bread and wine and a supposed ‗moment‘ of consecration, but on the whole life of God‘s people as expressed in the entire Eucharistic action, to sanctify both us and the bread and wine, so that in our corporate eating and drinking we may be united to Christ. As the Spirit binds us to Christ in his offering of himself to the Father, we are directed back to the once-made-sacrifice of Christ, his victory over sin and evil. But in being drawn back we are also pointed forwards: the Spirit unites us to the risen and ascended Christ who is yet to come and brings about here and now a foretaste of God‘s final kingdom. Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe MA., MS(Psy)., PhD is an Attorney-at-Law: Transpersonal
Psychologist with a special interest in Consciousness, Human rights, Encryption, Cyber crimes , Apologetics and Comparative Religions. Currently holds the following Board positions:   Head Faculty of Creative Studies and Vice President Strategy Neuroscience Research Centre Vice President Legal & Strategy ACA Miramar, Fl , USA

He is the Founder member and the Academic Dean of International Institute of Theological Studies which operated in the Arabian Gulf in 1990. Watson Scholar and International Faculty Member Haggai Institute for Advanced Leadership, USA. He has worked with many International companies

including Standard Chartered Bank, Alfuttaim and Adnoc handling Job Evaluation, Compensation and Policies. For several years he functioned as a Corporate Trainer in Sri Lanka and overseas covering middle and senior management levels. Author of ―Organizational Behaviour‖: joint author of ― Clinical Psychology‖, and a set on ―World Religions”. The first two covering Buddhism and Christianity were released in November 2004. His review of Pope Benedict‘s encyclical ‖ Spe Salvi ‖ could be viewed here. He has participated in International dialogues on Apologetics, Buddhism and Islam. He has also taken a keen interest in ancient Sri Lankan art, language & culture and participated in many research projects on Beli Lena Homo Sapiens Balangodensis and Ravana. Currently holds the following Memberships and Advisory positions: Life Member of the Organization of Professional Associations, Bar Association of Sri Lanka and The Colombo Law Society: Life Member of the British Scholars Association, Sri Lanka, and Cambridge University Society of Cambridge University, England, Life Member and former Treasurer of Cambridge Society, Sri Lanka. Academic Board of EDU Brussels: Advisor to Lifeboat Foundation :Member of The World Jurists Association, International Council of Psychologists, Institute of Counselling Glasgow. Member Sri Lanka Institute of Directors

Website with free resources and downloads http://madure.net

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful