The Most Powerful Rite

Share thoughts and ideas regarding what can be done to meet contemporary humanity's need for rites of initiation and passage.

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The Cove
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Post by The Cove » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:43 pm

A rite:

Standing in the middle of a forest that contained the reservoir of sweet water for the local city on shrooms. The most violent storm in ten years for the region whipping around me felling trees and making rivers of roads. I am there with a friend, now a famous German astrologist, he is gone, eyes rolled up into his head standing at the crossroads with me in that howling tempest, witnessing the theurgic lifetimes of his nature spanning from Egypt to the present - he would later impart in wasted wonder.

He rides the greater realities, I do not, I hold back - keeping my anchor point - until the archetype of the region bends it's intent upon me and I blast forth, present in all lifetimes as what I have been, am and will be. The god form is old damaged and maddened wishing for what it has lost - it's fury echoing the cycle of the apocalypse in manifest reality. It wants me as a tool - I deny it, bad idea... Every inner demon, every error in all my actions are given to me and made potent - madness takes me and I become simple in my love for all that I love in life - holding the worm of despair from my core...

Meh, enough for now...

Maybe more later...
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Neoplato
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Post by Neoplato » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:15 am

What is the most powerful rite you have ever seen or participated in? Why is it powerful? What myth was it reflecting/invoking if any?
Well for me it's either "baptism" or "communion". In one we die and are reborn into a new life and in the other we renew life with the consumption of life. If I had to choose between the two, I guess "baptism" is the most important. Throwing off humanity and entering into the divine. But without the consumption of life, life wouldn't exist.
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
odinprog
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Post by odinprog » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:07 pm

Sadly, I'm a first time contributor although I have been an associate for years.
Believe it or not, I thought last night's The Biggest Loser featured a very powerful ritual or rite of passage. The contestants had to carry all the weight they lost over 16 mounds of sand. Each mound of sand correlated to that particular week in the show. Contestants were then able to drop weight from their bags once reaching the top of each mound, according to their results for that given week. So, if a contestant lost 14 pounds in week four, that is the amount weight they got to drop at the apex of the fourth mound... and so on. After successfully traversing all sand mounds the contestants had to climb a rather large hill, carrying only the empty bag. This bag, by the way, had a picture of that person when they started the competition, i.e. pre-weight loss. Once at the top, the contestant was able to throw their bag off the steep backside of the hill. As they did so, many of the contestants said something along the lines of, "Never again"! In this way they were participating in a ritual or rite of passage that was symbolic of their transformation and the leaving behind of their old self and old habits.
I can't say this is the most powerful example I've experienced, but I think this is a good example, and it was fresh on my mind. :D
Neoplato
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Post by Neoplato » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:37 pm

Hi Odinprog,

I'm just the opposite, I'm new to the forum but can't stop posting. :D

It is interesting that even for entertainment, we are drawn to something that has the form of ritual. It would appear that we as humans are preprogrammed for this. The big question is "why?".
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by odinprog » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:40 pm

It is interesting that even for entertainment, we are drawn to something that has the form of ritual. It would appear that we as humans are preprogrammed for this. The big question is "why?".
Hi Neoplato,
That is the $100k question so to speak. I go back and forth on this as I suppose we all do. Sometimes I chalk it up to there being a deeply spiritual reason that comes along with being human (or perhaps simply part of the "universe"... an interconnectedness if you will). Other times I say to myself that our brains are all simply hard-wired in the same way. The real root of both scenarios is that in some way, we are all the same. Perhaps that is not a truly earth-shattering statement, but I think I find comfort in knowing that despite all of our differences, whether it be culture, or financial status, etc... the most basic element of what makes us human is the same. I think that is a pretty cool thing to really begin to wrap your mind around. Of course these are not all the potential "solutions" to this question that I have come up with myself, but they all somehow come back to this simple point. Maybe simply acknowledging this commonality is more important to the why behind the question. It's fun food for thought at any rate.
Thanks for the reply!
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Post by Neoplato » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:05 pm

Maybe simply acknowledging this commonality is more important to the why behind the question.
Yes, I agree it's the most important. The hard part is to get everyone in the world to acknowledge this. I have a saying for this:

"Why do we hate each other for what we are not, insteadiing of accepting each other for what we are?"
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Re: The Most Powerful Rite

Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:36 pm

The Cove wrote:What is the most powerful rite you have ever seen or participated in? Why is it powerful? What myth was it reflecting/invoking if any?
As a child, the Roman Catholic ritual packed a whollop. I remember attending the induction of my sister into the Dominican Convent's novitiate. The sound of the soprano choir and seeing my sister dressed in a wedding gown as a sign of her "marriage" to Christ gave my 8-year old self something to remember. When I became Sacred Heart School's May Queen, I was about 13 and all dressed up in the white wedding gown to place a crown of roses on the head of the statue of the Virgin amidst the sopano voices of about 300 school children singing "Hail Holy Queen".

Other big ceremonials were Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the great televised funerals of JFK and the popes, the news-covered local rites like the pilgrimage to Chimayo at Easter and Las Posadas de Barelas at Christmastime, and First Holy Communion (again with the white dress and veil).

In addition to the kneeling before my revered grandmother to receive her Spanish language solemn blessing before we embarked upon our trek to California in a loaded station wagon in the summer of 1963, we gathered as a family before the nicho of our foot-high statue of the Sacred Heart to say the rosary every Friday night at around the time that a TV priest was regaling us with the phrase, "The family that prays together, stays together".

Second on the list is the set of Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs I've attended, where coming of age takes on a genuinely significant and transcendent meaning. This rite cannot but give us one more reason to admire the Jewish faith and the faithful keepers of that extraordinary tradition.

Third, the Pueblo Indian ceremonials held at the pueblos and at the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center, when the myths of many generations of ancestors are recalled and made vibrant with new life and meaning for the Indians and for anyone privileged enough to witness the events.

Solemnity is easier to achieve in a great cathedral than in someone's living room, but it was achieved to my satisfaction at a Goddess Pagan ritual I attended when I was more active in the Unitarian Church. There was silence. We were directed to stand and sit in certain places and there was a robed and crowned priestess in the center who used jeweled wands and candles and feathers and bones to great effect. I remember that the sacred visage of the Goddess was passed around the room, from hand to hand, and as you lift the veil of the small picture, it turns out to be a mirror. I was surprised at the level of seriousness that permeated that ceremony. It easily rivalled any other religious ritual I've ever known.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by Ercan2121 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:30 pm

Big city rites, 9to5 rites and all that time you spend in traffic. All big cities have rituals of their own and I think these are the most powerful rituals today :P
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Post by Neoplato » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:10 pm

All big cities have rituals of their own and I think these are the most powerful rituals today -Ercan
Also the most tedious, boring and meaningless. :(
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
Ercan2121
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Post by Ercan2121 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:48 pm

Neoplato wrote:
All big cities have rituals of their own and I think these are the most powerful rituals today -Ercan
Also the most tedious, boring and meaningless. :(
There has to be some purpose anyway, Neoplato?
A purpose somewhat related to our sense of being alive? :P
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Post by boringguy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:51 pm

Neo,

Remember the story Campbell told of how annoying it was for him having to wait on Jean when he was meeting her somewhere, since, according to Joe anyway, she was almost always late. But after he learned to take that time to observe and relate to the world and life going on around him in that moment, it almost became that he regreted Jean had arrived as early as she had when she did get there.


bg
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Neoplato
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Post by Neoplato » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:38 pm

boringguy wrote:Neo,

Remember the story Campbell told of how annoying it was for him having to wait on Jean when he was meeting her somewhere, since, according to Joe anyway, she was almost always late. But after he learned to take that time to observe and relate to the world and life going on around him in that moment, it almost became that he regreted Jean had arrived as early as she had when she did get there.


bg
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I wish it were that simple. My life is more like a dictatorship. At any given time, I must be at my appointed place...from sunup to sundown with a few brief vacation days thrown in there.

I want to be free as a bird and ride the wind...not stuck on the bus sitting next to the "Big Stink Man". :|
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Post by boringguy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:56 pm

Neo,

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius


:) Yes sometimes it is definately easier to see than others.



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Neoplato
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Post by Neoplato » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:46 pm

boringguy wrote:Neo,

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius


:) Yes sometimes it is definately easier to see than others.



bg
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Well, I'm sure somebody can find beauty in the Big Stink Man. However, when I'm being squeezed up against the window, and this guy smells like he bathed in cologne and then you get a whiff of the BO after scent...

Whoo-whee!! Heaven on Earth! :lol:
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Post by boringguy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:00 pm

Thats funny Neo.

Well if rituals are enactment of experiencing myth, and all practices really are just that in some sense, ment to evoke what we then put to thought, then maybe the big guy is a practice of sorts. :wink:

Or then again, on other days maybe the olny beauty we can muster is the appriciation that buses were designed with lots of seats. :)



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