RitualIncoming LinksMarch 10th, 2021Ishmael, the protagonist, is free from this mania. Instead he can dwell in multiplicity, make friends of strangers, participate gladly in foreign pagan Rituals.March 29th, 2021The striatum is ignited by cues: stimuli (words and images) or events that foretell the addictive act. And symbols grow like glistening spiderwebs, each with a central hub connected to multiple anchor points. Rituals combine actions and goals into strings of events that are themselves symbols. And they are powerful. *Thread on @kev_mcg's The Game of Qualitybut ultimately I just don't believe I can literally enchant the sketchy grove behind my workshop using a magic wand Ritual and homeopathic potions the thing about putting up big sacred stones is pretty cool though 📰 Body PleasureMassage as a cultural Ritual uses techniques to make touch more pleasurable and less intrusively intimate: covering the body, eschewing eye contact, limiting speaking, ensuring that massage strokes are away from rather than toward the breasts and sex organs, etc.📰 Deep LazinessOne person’s Ritual is all but useless to another, especially a really good Ritual. No one has a routine that works perfectly, unchanged, forever, every season of the year. (If they did, I doubt they’d be reading this.) On the contrary, behaviors and Rituals must change and self-repair as the individual and circumstances change. 📰 How Meaning Fell Apart | MeaningnessThe fluid mode approximates the complete stance, which incorporates the accurate insights of eternalism and nihilism: recognizing that meaningness is always both patterned and nebulous. Likewise, the fluid mode acknowledges structures of meaning without attempting rigid foundations. Its values are collaboration, creativity, improvisation, intimacy, transience, aesthetics, and spiritual depth through community Ritual.📙 All Things ShiningIf it is the warmth of the coffee on a winter’s day that you like, then drinking it in a cozy corner of the house, perhaps by a fire with a blanket, in a cup that transmits the warmth to your hands might well help to bring out the best in this Ritual.This experimentation with and observation of the coffee ultimately develops in you the skill for seeing the relevant features of the Ritual and ultimately develops the skills for bringing them out at their best.When one has learned these skills and cultivated one’s environment so that it is precisely suited to them, then one has a Ritual rather than a routine, a meaningful celebration of oneself and one’s environment rather than a generic and meaningless performance of a function.Ishmael’s polytheistic view finds in the communal Rituals of daily life, contradictory and polysemic and plural as they are, the meanings that can drive away the drizzly November of the soul.That is why the great Sperm Whale shall take the place of Zeus in the coming pantheon of gods. For the overpowering mystery of his blank, unrepresentable brow is what makes every Ritual, if properly lived, a site of contentedness, joy, and meaning to wipe away the drizzly November of the soul.📙 Improvisation“The Eucharist is much more than a Ritual repetition of the past. It is rather a literal re-membering of Christ’s body, a knitting together of the body of Christ by the participation of many in his sacrifice. . . . If torture is the imagination of the state, the Eucharist is the imagination of the church.”Cavanaugh argues that “torture is a kind of perverted Liturgy, a Ritual act which organizes bodies in the society into a collective performance, not of true community, but of an atomized aggregate of mutually suspicious individuals.”📙 Scattered MindsThe best plan, I find, is not to insist that any one task be finished but to impose a strict time limit in which to work. When the appointed time period is over, stop. This will eventually lead to a better appreciation of what one actually does with time when carrying out strange and unnatural Rituals like picking clothes off the floor or sorting out dusty magazines in a corner.📙 The Biology of DesireIn OCD, often considered the first cousin of addiction, Rituals are performed to avoid or to ease anxiety. There is no reward in washing your hands for the fiftieth time, or checking the light switch yet again. Compulsive behaviour is a highly automatic response to a stimulus, but it can combine with the motivational flare of the accumbens and the fear networks of the amygdala, laid down over years of personality development. The dorsal striatum does not act in isolation, and the accumbens and amygdala are its most vociferous neighbours. According to Robbins, this combination of neural forces may best explain full-blown addiction.In contrast, the high-suicide communities had lost their traditions and Rituals. The kids ate at McDonald’s and watched a lot of TV. Their lives were islands clustered in the middle of nowhere. Their lives just didn’t make sense. There was only the present, only the featureless terrain of today.The striatum is ignited by cues: stimuli (words and images) or events that foretell the addictive act. And symbols grow like glistening spiderwebs, each with a central hub connected to multiple anchor points. Rituals combine actions and goals into strings of events that are themselves symbols. And they are powerful.OCD is often considered a pure form of the compulsive drive that marks the final stage of Addiction. And we know that people with OCD arrange their lives into repetitive Rituals. So it shouldn’t be surprising that most addicts find comfort, but also excitement, in the Rituals that lead up to the act itself. The fastidious preparation of the heroin injection; the arrangement of a glass surface and a blade to pulverize crystals of cocaine; the dressing up that precedes a night of gambling or sexual excess. The Rituals become gratifying in themselves, part of the webbing of symbolic significance.📙 The Spell of the SensuousWhen a Navajo person wishes to renew or reestablish, in the world, the harmonious condition of well-being and beauty expressed by the Navajo word hozho he must first strive, through Ritual, to create this harmony and peacefulness within his own being. Having established such hozho within himself, he can then actively impart this state of well-being to the enveloping cosmos, through the transforming power of song or prayer.