‘Consummatum Est’ – Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1867 – Wikimedia
I happened to visit a church recently, and was intrigued by one single sentence placed just under the main crucifix, which read in French as: “Tout est consommé”. I had never heard this particular formulation before. These words appear in the Gospel of John (19:30), and have been translated into “It is finished” in modern English. These are the very last words uttered by Jesus on the cross before he relinquished his bodily existence, and was resurrected as pure being. In Latin, it runs as “Consummatum Est’.
All is consummated, which means all is finished, accomplished, brought to completion. It means we are wholly with the ‘highest’, nothing is left that lingers in separation. All that is other than god, other than the very presence or being that we are, has been consummated, put into the fire of consciousness, eaten, devoured, transformed into its very essence. The truth of it has been exposed, and the objects — all that seems to have its proper existence — have been revealed to be of one single essence. The ten thousand things have been digested, transformed into the truth of their being. They have been revealed as the One. The illusion of multiple existence has been seen for what it is: one being giving no room for an other. Anything that stood as separate or ‘other’, has been consummated into the fire of emptiness. Not a barren emptiness, but a living one, a fertile emptiness, teeming with possibilities, with creativity. Everything that was objective has been devoured into supreme subjectivity, which is nothing but the feeling of being, in which all existing things have found their home, have dissolved their separate identities, have bargained their many names for the Nameless. The many have been revealed as being one. Therefore whole, complete, in need of no ‘other’, or ‘better’, or ‘more’. The many shadows of obscurity or illusion have returned into the light of their essential being. They have disappeared, have relinquished their illusory separateness, incompleteness, or ignorance to return into the truth of their ultimate being as oneness, fullness, or understanding. The shadow of existence always shows up as many. But the pure light of being is revealed as one. This is an end, a finish line, because there is no more to be revealed, no more to be added, understood, analysed, enquired. This is a natural completion, a form of creative death, which means the realisation of the very nature of death as the living aliveness of pure being. It is whole, therefore unattached, innocent, incapable of being sullied or diminished, immune to death, and open to the infinite. Finally, you come to the understanding that this consumption is the sublime alchemical process, the transfiguration through which suffering is metamorphosed into peace, separation into oneness, and death into eternal life. This is the realisation, awakening, or resurrection of our true essence that was buried under, or veiled by, our illusory sense of self and the constant toil of life in the forms of suffering and death. In other words, you have been crucified on the altar of ultimate being. ‘Consummatum Est’.
Text by Alain Joly
Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904)
– Jean-Léon Gérôme (Wikipedia)
– ‘Consummatum Est’ – Painting (Wikipedia)
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