Friday 16 August 2019

Was is Ritual for? Spiritually, and psychologically?

Ritual is about getting contact with the divine, especially when otherwise contact would not occur.

The great age of ritual was the long 'agrarian' period (after the invention of agriculture) - that period of increasing government and formal structures. The agrarian phase came between the original, fluidly and spontaneously organised 'hunter gatherer' type societies where people lived immersed-in spirit and in constant contact-with the gods; and 'modernity' where most people never experience the spirit world, and deny the reality of gods.

To put it another way - ritual is associated with priests; and priests are essential for contact with the  divine. The earliest societies did not need priests although their 'shamans' were useful. And in the modern period priests have dwindled to 'a job' - and been replaced by journalists, public relations specialists and similar commissars and ideologues.

Ritual formed a channel between the individual and the divine.

Without ritual there was no channel, and many or most people could not experience the divine.

Nowadays we think of this subjectively, in terms of psychology; e.g. that ritual trains concentration, and focuses attention, creates a particular and receptive state of mind. But originally, ritual was objective.

Done correctly - and by real priests, ritual changed the world.

As a general observation, it seems that in modernity and increasingly; ritual has lost its effect. Subjectively, people are alienated, cut-off and isolated from the divine and therefore from each other; they no longer experience concentration, focus, receptivity in response to ritual.

Much more importantly, ritual no longer opens an objective channel to divinity. Human consciousness has changed, developed; such that there is no spontaneous link to the divine and ritual is ineffectual.

In sum: we cannot passively experience the divine. To experience God and the spirit world is nowadays an active, purposive choice.

Therefore, as we develop from childhood, we moderns lose our original and spontaneous immersion in the divine; but ritual can no longer serve to keep us in contact with the divine - so most people are cut-off from spontaneous experience of the divine.

And people do not make the attempt actively to choose to re-establish contact; either because they think the divine is non-existent, the task impossible, or else they do not know how and cannot recognise contact when it happens.

Indeed, after a failed attempt at people living by personal ritual (from - say - the middle 1950s to the 1990s); ritual has nowadays becomes primarily evil and satanic in its purpose and effect.

It seems that the Global Establishment continue to deploy ritual (and associated symbolism) as initiations and to enforce loyalty. For the masses; major public events deploy media-peer pressure, crowd-effects, music, sound, intoxication - both to manipulate ritual participants to the desired hedonic and nihilistic materialist world view; and to appease guilt by orgies of mutual virtue signalling (e.g relating to 'charities', awareness, celebration, protest, mourning and other supposedly-good causes). 

However, as I have often argued on this blog, it is the contention of Romantic Christianity that there are truly-Good post-ritual, post-priest-mediated; chosen and individual-led ways that the modern individual can and should resume contact with the divine: specifically with God and the spirit world.

And, although these ways are done by the individual (and the individual must be responsible for them) - by reconnecting with the divine, they also re-open the doors to other people (living and dead) in a directly-experienced and un-mediated way.

The past is impossible and regressive, the present is intolerable (and 'progress' based in materialist modernity is purposively-evil); therefore we should turn our effort and attention to the future.


mobius said...

It's not so bad if you take yourself out of the bubble. Creation is still divine.
Get thee to a hermitage. ;o)

Bruce Charlton said...

@m - Sorry, I don't get your point.

dearieme said...

Is the Swedish brat sailing to America a case of ritual?

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - No. It is something like a manipulative stunt designed to keep people talking about the climate scam. My meaning of a ritual is something 'standard', repeating which has a predictable (nowadays) psychological effect.