The Rites of Manhood: Man’s Need for Ritual

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Tradition and ritual are inherent to being human. The most deluded anti-ritualist is the one that forsook the sacred rituals just to unavoidably embrace the rituals of the icon of the age. See Peter Burke’s comment below.

The anti-ritualist denies the unity of man as soul-body, thus the anti-ritualist is a Manichean in disguise, indeed, an iconoclast at large.

A ritual consists of doing something in your mind (and often feeling something in your heart), while simultaneously connecting it to doing something with your body.

When rituals are stripped from our existence, and this fundamental human longing goes unsatisfied, restlessness, apathy, alienation, boredom, rootlessness, and anomie are the result.

The embrace of ritual in the Western World was first weakened by two things: the Protestant Reformation’s movement against icons and ceremonialism and the Enlightenment’s emphasis on rationalism.”

Peter Burke argues, we’ve just replaced old rituals with new ones: “If most people in industrial societies no longer go to church regularly or practice elaborate rituals of initiation, this does not mean that ritual has declined. All that has happened is the new types of rituals—political, sporting, musical, medical, academic and so on—have taken the place of the traditional ones.” But the new rituals – watching sports, attending music festivals, checking Facebook, shopping, visiting a strip club on your 18th birthday — are light on nourishment and do not satisfy.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/12/16/the-rites-of-manhood-mans-need-for-ritual/

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