Immanuel Kant proposed the notion that we have both the phenomenal world which can be apprehended to the senses and the noumenal world that cannot be apprehended by the senses. Before taking this into the realm of metaphysics, I think we should focus on the fact that he probably meant that we simply don’t experience reality as reality is- we experience reality as our bodies tell us reality is.

But that doesn’t mean that the notion of metaphysics can’t somehow fit into this.

My realization is that the noumenal reality- or better yet, shall we say, the Noumen- the stark void is-ness of things, what I’ve termed “black fire” at times- is precisely what I’ve come to identify with in terms of Christ.

What I mean to say is that Jesus Christ gives us both levels of reality, the phenomenal and the noumenal. The historical man Jesus is the phenomenal reality- the flesh and bones that made up his body. The Christ is the noumenal reality- the Logos- the unseen reality that we can’t possible begin to grasp with our bodies.

So it goes with the Holy Eucharist, and Bernadette Roberts says as much. The Holy Eucharist become the Body and Blood of Christ- yet we see no body and we see no blood. This has been explained in terms of Aristotelian philosophy that I’m not going to go into now. The Holy Eucharist remains bread and wine phenomenally, but noumenally– the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ has appeared. The phenomenal, then, is a veil over the noumenal.

The question that’s on my mind, and likely the minds of everyone else, is why I would identify the overwhelming experience of the Noumen with Christ in the first place, and this is a confusing thing to me as well, as, quite frankly, that seems almost superfluous. I can experience the Noumenal reality and imagine most people do or have without necessarily identifying it with Christ.

But what I can say is this: the Noumen is real, more real than the vast majority of the life I’ve lived. Perhaps the Christian imagery is simply the major way in which I can interpret the Noumen- otherwise, I’m left with a kind of vast Void that cannot be translated to other people. I can write blog after blog about the Noumen, about the black fire, but who will understand? Maybe this is the kind of frustration that Jesus faced in trying to explain things to the Apostles.

Another point is that the actual revelation here is something that my liberal tendencies don’t want to accept- that there is actual and substantial connection between the Noumen and Christianity. That’s pretty terrifying, as it sets me up in a position that Christianity is no longer a religion among religions but becomes more absolute.

But Christianity is certainly not perfect, and though it may point to the Truth, to the Noumen of Christ, it is not the Noumen that is Christ in and of itself, and I’ll always be aware of this.


Okay, done ranting.