How can we circumvent Ritual?
As much as I have become acclimated to ritual, being a cradle Catholic myself, I am curious if there is a less procedural and meticulous way by which to have recourse to supernatural power. Being an orthodox Catholic is not exactly conducive to delving into what it would marginalize as "occult practices," such as shamanism, energy medicine, reiki, and voodoo. This restriction of curiosity notwithstanding, I have invested great time and interest in just such material, and I couldn't help but notice that all of it is replete with ritual, procedure, strict scrupulous attention to ingredient, and nearly "scientific method" in its expectation of a predetermined result. As romanticizing as this ritual is for some, I can't help but be a little overwhelmed by the nuance from one culture to another, so here's the real question: what unifying reality are all these discrepant rituals trying to invoke, and how can we simply dispense with the blood sacrifice, talisman-donnings, ornate vestments, and endless mantras to cut to the heart of the matter? Perhaps I am searching for a "purified" approach, one not shackled to any particular agenda. I condone ritual only insofar as it focuses the mind and inspires the heart, but beyond that, it seems to be laced with outdated, mythologized ravings that it attempts to solidify into doctrinal truth, oppressively enforced. In other words, ritual taken too far can become dangerous. I believe that it ultimately comes down to semantics, but I want to know that convergence where beliefs get it right. The closest article of belief I have encountered regarding a universally applicable paradigm of reality is the Universal Energy Field, of which visible matter is composed in crystallized form. Some adepts like shamans have purportedly learned to manipulate this energy field to effect change in this world, at both an energetic and manifest level. But I am wondering if any have unlocked this power by NOT subscribing to one particular doctrinal religion or strict procedure requiring ingredients and potions. So, I ask, is there indeed a legitimacy behind the belief that perhaps we should scrap the overzealous adherence to prescribed ritual so that we can become truly empowered humans and not pocketed groups of codependent, fear-based brutes? Anyone know or heard of any truth behind the claims of shamanic or voodoo power, or any other non-mainstream systems on the periphery of our warring, domineering religions? Thank you!
What is wrong with ritual?
Rituals are all around us. Humans are ritualistic beings. We make rituals out of everything.
In our everyday lives, kissing your spouse hello and goodbye, shaking hands with friends and strangers, prayers before meals and bed, celebrating holidays the "family" way, even doing your morning toilette.
Rituals also give reassurance to children, adding a sense of confidence through repetition. Family members are brought together and bonds are strengthened.
Society has rituals: graduations, inaugurations, the Independence Day, New Years, Halloween, parades, the Olympics opening ceremonies.
Religion also has rituals, like baptism, marriage, and funerals.
This is the way humans live, celebrate and rejoice. This is also how we pass our values and traditions onto future generations.
The main rituals of the Catholic Church are seven sacraments:
The Sacraments of Christian Initiation
+ Baptism: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2.shtml#art1
+ Confirmation: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt1art2.shtml
+ Eucharist: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt1art3.shtml
The Sacraments of Healing
+ Reconciliation: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt2.shtml#art4
+ Anointing of the Sick: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt2art5.shtml
The Sacraments at the Service of Communion
+ Holy Orders: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt3.shtml#art6
+ Matrimony: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt3art7.shtml
For more information, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 1121-1666: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/parttwotoc.shtml
With love in Christ.
"what unifying reality are all these discrepant rituals trying to invoke, and how can we simply dispense with the blood sacrifice, talisman-donnings, ornate vestments, and endless mantras to cut to the heart of the matter?"
Study chaos magic.
First of all, what's wrong with ritual? If you wake up every morning and brush your teeth, is that not a ritual? As a Catholic, you might be better suited for kaballah. Rituals in the beginning are tools to be used. As you progress down your path you will find 'ritual shortcuts' that can be used instead of long drawn out rituals. For certain things, you will always need rituals, but for others there are shortcuts. As far as what rituals to do, you should find ones that just 'feel right' to you. First thing you need to learn how to do is to feel the energy involved, then you start learning to control it. If you truly get involved, it is something you will do for the rest of your life.
I love it.
You have stated my feelings much more elegantly than I could have.
Hypnosis is an easy answer. All the rituals and recited prayers
are to inculcate in your mind in a numbing way the mindless
poop that has been handed down to us for thousands of years.
There are some new age religions that do exist without dogma
and only a modicum of ritualism. They are about half peopled by
ex catholics who feel as you do.
When a person is deeply hypnotized it is so susceptible to suggestion
that if told that a pencil eraser is a red hot poker, when touched by the eraser, will actually blister from the touch.
That doesn't require a shaman, but does give some idea of the power of
thought and belief in our world today.
There is still room for more exploration of physical phenomena