posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 01:23 AM
In general I lean toward the idea that "Ritual" is a tool people may use to make it easier for them to trick themselves into doing the actual
"work" of the mind.
1) If I chant rythmically for ten minutes, jump up and down seven times, then spin for three minutes while visualizing light around me, and flip a
light switch...guess what? The light turns on. If somebody else goes through precisely the same process, the light will probably turn on as well...but
all we really had to do was flip the switch.
2) Thoughts and thoughtforms tend to "groove" like tracks in the ground. If I walk over the same path a dozen times, it becomes deeper, and more
well formed. If somebody else then comes along and walks along the same path, it doesn't matter that it's their first time...the path itself has
been made. Similarly, if thousands of people are performing a ritual with a similar belief, and a similar expectation, someone who performs that
ritual for a first time may be able to benefit from the previous efforts of others.
3) Ritual often tends to encourage states of no-mind. Anything repetitive does. When you brush your teeth are you focusing on what you're doing?
Probably not. It's a routine. It's a ritual. It's the same thing, done over and over.
3a) In this sort of mental state, it's easier to not disrupt yourself. Talk to any martial artist, athlete, or practitioner of zen. Perhaps they
"visualize" at some point, perhaps they don't...but when they actually perform, they are in a state of no-mind. They are allowing themselves to act
as a train along a set of pre-made tracks. The train isn't involved in any sort of decision making process regarding where it goes, it simply moves
forward along the track that has already been made.
3b) This mental state is..."related" to the "female" portion of the mind. The part that does not think, or direct, or judge. but simply "does."
So...yes, there may at times be merit to ritual, but there may at times also be merit to using crutches.
At the very least, if someone insists on making use of ritual, I would at least encourage them to create their own. It will be more effective
in the long run, more likely to engender personal understanding of what's going on, and less likely to result in unforeseen, and potentially
extremely nasty side effects.
Remember...anyone can turn on a light switch. It requires no understanding of electronics, or circuitry, or anything else...just flipping the switch.
That's fine, if all you want to do is turn on the lights in your living room. If you want to maintain a power plant, it's probably in your best
interest to understand what's going on.
So, the question I would ask practitioners of "magic" would be, do you want your "magic" to be powerful enough to provide light to your living
room, or powerful enough to provide power to the city?