Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rejection of Ritual

I realized today that it is ritual that sends me into a panic. All rituals come with rules for behavior that must be strictly adhered to in order that all others can stay in the moment of the spiritual plane that they enter through the door of ritual. I have always suffered from a bad sense of rhythm, catching up to what others do several clicks too late to fit in. This leaves me with a sense of embarrassment and often infuriates others taking part in the ritual. For this reason, I am simply unable to feel comfortable in ritualistic environments.

Because I can't catch on to the rules as others do in the group, I cannot lose myself in the rhythms of the rituals. This enables me to stand outside the group and observe where the rituals are leading the others. When I don't know or trust the leader and all of the participants, I simply can't relax because I don't know where the group will end up. This doesn't seem to bother others, but it is crippling for me.

I oftentimes take a leadership role in facilitating the rituals to keep from participating in them. This is the only way I can be included, but still feel in control of where I'm being led.

I have come to believe that ritual is another way of fostering attachment to things on earth, just the opposite of what I believe our spirits need. People are not meant to be programmed to expect sameness in their lives; life on earth doesn't operate on ritualistic patterns. Control of life is an illusion that traditions and rituals foster.

When we live in constant ritual, we eventually stop hearing and seeing what is really happening around us. Where this can be very comforting to some, it also leads to much brutal group-think. This is the purpose of ritual; it breaks down the individual spirit and replaces it with a collective consciousness and conscience.

Death rituals are the ones that most frighten me. They have been so sanitized that we can no longer accept them as natural parts of the cycle of life. We are not allowed to enter into the death act with those who hold huge bits of our spirits inside of their physical manifestations. When the physical manifestation of the spirit begins to manifest in another way, we pretend that the spirits are sent somewhere to wait for us. I reject this notion.

My own experience is that while I wait with one whose body is releasing their earthly attachments to this earth and everything on it, this physical manifestation of energy is simultaneously imparting that spirit to those who care enough to be there for the final walk with them. They will be with us in an even more powerful way for the rest of our lives because the spirit is not limited by physical limitations of time and place.

It is okay for each of us to die a bit as our loved ones leave their physical manifestations. This releases space in our own spirits to internalize all that they have attempted, in life, to share with us. For me, rituals block the path of the sacred spirits as they meet and greet each other. Just like marriage and motherhood, the sharing of the spirits is only sacred when left to progress as it must between the people most intimately involved.

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