This is my third talk on Anthony Bourdain and his adventures as mystical poems, if you will. While I don’t know what Bourdain thought he was doing, I’m finding that his work was revelation of the sacred in the profane, the spiral in the everyday world. As Buddhism says: Samsara (the world) and Nirvana (the sacred) are One. So the Master Chef is a Priest, and the death (killed pig) is transmuted through fire into the life of the people, but with great joy and passion in the creating and eating of the Eucharist. The transmutation of Death into Life is the power of all religions and ritual, but we think it’s just on Sunday. We have lost the sacred, so like Bourdain we are cursed to wander the earth looking for it.
Our profane mind, our worldly mind separates death from life, even assigning God with creation and the Devil with destruction. In the East God is both creator and destroyer at the same time, at the same time. So life is ambiguous. Everything is dying, everything is being born. Death gives life, life brings death. Life is the One that is two.
Seeing that is the Zen Satori. The Koan of life is cracked. God is no longer divided and dismembered. It is through SEEING that we are made whole. The Now becomes sacred.
Compare the Communion in a main stream church and the communion with a Master Chef. Both have the same ingredients: fragmented ingredients, the death of a sacrificial life, the fire of transubstantiation (the funeral pyre) turns death into life and joy. But you can see the difference between the dead ritual meal, and the living meal, the dead Eucharist and the living Eucharist. The Church holds the sacred hostage, and just serves it out in wafers on Sunday. But in real life, you too can become a Master Chef. You too can become a priest. You too can turn death into life. You too can discover the sacred in the profane, the One in the many, the whole in the parts.