This was a good talk because it went where I had never been before. As a Metaphorical Priest I made a living sacrifice: I sacrifice the known, the plans, the control, the insurance, and the fear of what you will think. When you make the ultimate sacrifice, you are suddenly fearless. Having given up everything you hold valuable, you had nothing to lose now. That’s what a sacrifice is.
When the Catholic Church took away the Latin in the Mass and turned the priest around, Joseph Campbell said ti turned the Eucharist into cook show. The mystery was gone. The magic was gone. And that is what has happened to Christianity’s mystical tradition in the modern age. We live in a rational world (thank you science) and in this world it is possible to know everything, given enough time and money. But Mystery and Awe are not knowable; and, BTW, the other hand of Awe is Terror. The other face of Mystery is Terror. This is why we love horror movies. And, if I may suggest, we love the replay of Terror on TV News. Wow, you get a video of Terror, and it is golden. We get to experience Terror vicariously. We get to keep the cake of Awesome Terror and eat it too.
You see, because we have attached the symbols of Transcendence—the sacred Eucharist for instance—to history instead of seeing it as a portal to Awe and Terror, we have killed it into a symbolic remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus through grape juice and a wafer. What power is there in a wafer and grape juice? Where’s the blood? Where’s the terror, the death, the shock and awe? The symbol has lost its power.