Rituals

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2009 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

 
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Traditional concepts and definitions

The concept of ritual and ceremony is a rather broad topic. What is covered here is, at best, an overview. It covers the some salient points as to how rituals are seen working within the creativity perspective through the energy consciousness model for our creative endeavors. In discussing rituals, it is appropriate to look at as to how they are typically perceived. Ritual and ceremony are actually two closely related ideas as seen below. For the purposes of our creative endeavors they can be seen as synonymous.

If we look at the typical definitions of ritual and ceremony as those provided below, we find there are a series of what can be described as circular definitions that entwine ceremony, rite, ritual and religious practices with oneís concepts of a deity and powers that create the world as we experience it. It is the traditional use of rituals to try to influence the Creative Powers of Creation is what makes them relevant to our creative ability and creative power. The question and challenge is, "How can we use rituals to effectively access both the inner and outer creative powers. Especially with the realizations that our inner world is reflected in our outer.

Ceremony is defined as a formal act or ritual, or series of them, performed in a prescribed manner. It is formal collective observances. A more disparaging use of the term ceremony is that it is also seen as a rite hat has lost all meaning or is an empty ritual. Ceremony is seen as adherence to ritual forms and formality as is an act of formal courtesy such as shaking hands upon meeting an individual in some cultures or bowing in others.

A rite is seen as a solemn or religious ceremony performed in an established or prescribed manner. Or, it is the words or acts constituting or accompanying the prescribed manor of action. A rite is also any formal practice or custom.

A ritual within these traditional definitions is defines as a prescribed form or method for the performance of a religious or solemn ceremony. It is any body of rites or ceremonies and can be a book which sets forth such a system of rites or observances.

What is interesting is all these definitions are entwined and focused on religious observances and actions taken in support religious traditions. It is important to note here that which is religious usually addresses, or attempts to address, oneís concept of a Deity or deities. As such, that which is considered religious whether one realizes it or not, is focused on or towards accessing the creative process behind Creation and influencing the unseen energy before it manifests as a physical experience.

In this regard, something that is religious is traditionally seen as the beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior etc, constituting manís relationship with the powers and principles of the universe, especially with a deity or deities. It is also considered any particular system of beliefs, attitudes and the like. Religious is seen as an essential part or a practical test of the spiritual life and that which is religious is an object of conscientious devotion or scrupulous care. That which is given conscientious devotion or provided scrupulous care is traditionally seen as sacred in some way. Something that is sacred is set apart or dedicated to religious use; hallowed. Pertaining to deity, religion, or hallowed places or things. That which is sacred is consecrated or dedicated to a person or purpose. Entitled to reverence or respect, not to be profaned. In any case, anything considered religious is about accessing the unseen realms of the Deity or deities.

Something that is seen as spiritual is slightly different than religious. Traditionally that which is spiritual pertains to, having the nature of, or consisting of spirit, as distinguished from matter. Or it is seen as pertaining to or affecting the immaterial nature or soul of man, pertaining to God, or to the soul as acted upon by spirit

Definition within the creativity perspective

Synthesizing these definitions into one statement, we can say a ritual is somewhat synonymous with ceremony and a ritual is a series of actions and/or statements usually made in a prescribed form, method, or observance, in the context of a religious, spiritual, sacred and frequently a secular tradition in a solemn ceremony. Since there is a strong focus on the deity aspect of in ritual, a ritual really means a set of very powerful actions we employ to utilize the creative powers of the Universe within the tradition of use.

The question is, "What is a ritual from the creativity perspective?" especially since the creative efforts we are discussing here are about how we create the reality and experiences we have.

From a creativity perspective, a ritual is simply a set of very powerful actions or statements that one employs to utilize the creative principles of the universe. The question then become, "Exactly what are the creative principles that one employs in rituals for creativity purposes?" Alternatively said, "Exactly how does a ritual employ the creative principles and powers of the universe?" These questions are address in the topic, "Basic theory giving rise to using rituals, ceremony and metatheater"

Creativity perspective on rituals

Within the creativity perspective, rituals are seen and used in different ways. Rituals can be used as a powerful creative tool to: obviously, explore the power of rituals in our life; step into our creativity and access our creativity ability and creative power; explore the depth and breadth of our creativity; step out of mind; transform our life; release our creative spirit and regain the ability to enter the most creative state of being; create a gentle phoenix in our creative endeavors; reenter a state of creative play for any creative endeavor; create a memory to catalyze our actions in which case they act as seeds which grow and unfold in our life; provide a boost of emotional energy to nurture a desired creation; and the like. Exploring rituals and associated metatheater allow us to enter our creative imagination to explore options and bring back solutions we find in our creative imagination to see how they may work in the physical world. and/or to increase the probably of the Ultimate Accident and an experience of the infinity of our being. We can use rituals and metatheater with others in something like the Salon or other gathering to explore and probe the boundaries of our mind in playfulness and to probe the limits of our mind across the a broad range of experiences.

Creatively, rituals should be used as a way to access, practice and demonstrate our creativity and to return to the most creative state of being. How rituals can be used is only limited by our own creative imagination. Because they can act as a doorway to creative play and the most creative state of being, the intention should be set to return to the creative state of play before doing any ritual.

Although there are a variety of creative principles that come together in a ritual, the most significant purpose of the ritual if we allow it is that it creates the conditions including the exploration of options and possibilities to cause us to act in full accordance and alignment with the beliefs, attitudes and emotions we have that relate to the powers and principles of creation. From the creativity perspective, ritual and ceremony provides a way to ground our our intention in the physical world or make our intention physical. It can create a powerful memory to catalyze our actions.

Said in a different way, the most powerfully creative way of being is to hold a set of beliefs, attitudes and emotions that are fully integrated and coherent across all aspects of our being, That is, they are equally valid internally and externally for the individual and equally valid spiritually, mental, emotionally and physically and our actions, literally or symbolically, are in alignment with these beliefs. Similarly, the ritual allows us to construct a set of action to help see if this alignment exists to bring whatever we desire into physical manifestation. Hence, from the creativity perspective, the ritual and ceremony is where we being to ground our intention in the physical world or make our intention physically manifest.

Since much of our experience in life is determined by what we think about the situation rather than the reality of the situation, any literal or symbolic act, and how we perceive that act, can be seen as reality and hence it has the power to change our memories to correspond to the perception that we are now having. It is an extremely powerful technique and is best summarized as fighting illusion with illusion. Analogously, rituals can be seen as using a placebo effect. It works because we believe it works and it will work if it lies within the span of control of our mind to create. However, because of how we create our experiences by how we focus our attention and awareness by how and what we think and believe, rituals are much more than a placebo. Rituals are more about creative play and from the creativity perspective address creating a memory to catalyze our actions in which case they act as seeds which grow and unfold in our life and provide a boost of emotional energy to nurture a desired creation.

It needs to be understood unless the energy from the "highest realms" is able to freely flow to the ground point in creation what is desired will not manifest. The ritual allows us to create a set of actions that allow us to totally act true to who and what we are and/or how and what we believe. Of course it needs to be realized, that who and what we are may not correspond to how and what we think and believe. We will have to do our own experiments to see if these two align.

A ritual, designed by ourselves or another, is only a way to process the energy within our being and channel it in a predetermined direction as determined by the ritual. The ritual is a real experience. Whether the ritual is literal or symbolic in its actions, that experience of the ritual resides in the memory. As a memory, it can continually channel our creative life energy in the direction set by the ritual. Rituals can be used in two ways. One way is to honor the intuitive guidance we receive. The other is to create a memory to catalyze something we desire to create. Here we create a memory that can be used to continually catalyze our actions.

Since the creativity perspective is about accessing and releasing our unlimited creativity, rituals are about aligning with the source/Source of our creative power. Here we are talking about words and actions governed by our relationship with, and understanding of, the source of our creative power and the creative powers/Creative Powers of creation/Creation. More importantly, we are talking about performing a set of actions in alignment with the thought, feeling and/or images that arise from alignment with our creative life energy/creative spirit that flows from or arises from the Source of our being that is sustaining us as we are. That is, we access and use our body wisdom, our intuitive guidance and our creative passion along with the understanding of our mind to create what we desire. Anything that we do, literally or symbolically in alignment with these is a ritual. Of course we are free to view or not view oneís actions as such. Nevertheless, this is why our actions can be so magical and powerful when we follow our intuitive guidance for they arise from the Source of Being and what gives us life.

In understanding what rituals do, we need to understand we are in a shared creation. Some of what we experience is determined by what we personally have created and part of what we experience is what we have agreed to participate. In those situation where we agreed to participate, we may not be able to change what we experience for it is beyond our control. That is, we have given away our creative power over the situation in order to participate in the shared creation. If however, it is what we have created, then we have the power to recreate something different. Rituals are very powerful in these areas when we donít know exactly how we have created what we experience. The ritual allows us to access whatever we did in a way were we do not become conscious of exactly what we are changing. Rather we make the changes in a nonconscious way through the ritual.

The question is, as it always is, how much does our mind interfere and change and/or edit what our body wisdom, our intuitive guidance and passion forward to the conscious mind. To use ritual and ceremony in our creative efforts, we need to consult our body wisdom, intuitive guidance and our creative passion and allow them to guide us as to what our ritual and/or ceremony looks like. This means to use rituals effectively we will have to be able to feel the subtle sensations. On this point, since feeling gives rise to our creative power, the more we can feel the more power our ritual can have. In creating rituals with great feelings, we create a memory with the best information and energy that our mind can supply for the manifestation of our intention. It is our actions which bring our intention into a physical experience and we can use the memory of the ritual to catalyze our passion as the intention becomes physical reality over time.

Other than forming a habit of action, any ritual does nothing for us if we do not act differently in some way in our life as a result of the ritual. We need to freely do something that causes us to change who and what we are. The ritual itself may be what we do but it is a fine line between the ritual being the action itself and the ritual being a hollow action. The idea is that the action within the ritual changes the cause of the cause effect relation that is currently in our life resulting in a new cause. That is, we change our consciousness through what we think and believe through the ritual. If everything remains the same and we do not change the cause effect relationship the ritual is a hollow set of actions. In many ways a ritual is about drawing a line and step across it. When we step across the line, we step into a new world.

From a creativity perspective, the error most individuals make relative to performing any initiation they may undergo or any ritual they create for manifesting a particular intention is that we believe the initiation or ritual will achieve what we desire. In actually, the initiation and ritual only prepares the way for mind to step aside and allow Creation to determine what needs to be done as the creation process unfold. In this regard, the ritual should contain some element of surrender. The initiation and ritual should open the door of mind. We must then follow what our intuitive guidance and body wisdom lead us to do if we hope to meet our intention. In essence, our choice to engage in the initiation or ritual is mind playing the role of consciousness in the creative process to become the cause to create a flow of energy which then unfolds into the desired experience. Subsequently following our intuitive guidance and body wisdom allows us to access this new flow of energy generated by our mind through the ritual. However, we must surrender to the flow if we desire to manifest what we desire.

As said above, to use ritual and ceremony in our creative efforts, we need to consult our body wisdom, intuitive guidance and our creative passion and allow them to guide us as to what our ritual and/or ceremony looks like. In doing so, we create a memory with the best information and energy that our being can supply for the manifestation of our intention. Our actions bring our intention into a physical experience that we can use to catalyze our passion as the intention become a physical reality over time. In this regard, the ritual is about creating a seed condition, which if planted in fertile soil and properly nurtured, will grow and manifest.

Using rituals to access the flow

What needs to be understood is that we create our reality and we create our experiences by our intention and the desire we hold and how much energy in the form of passion and emotional energy we can put into that intention and desire. The intention we hold causes a flow of energy that flows along the path of least resistance. This flow of energy will eventually manifest in an experience of what we desire within the environment we find ourselves if we hold our intention with unwavering faith and as a single point focus in our life.

In many ways, the process is automatic. If we are going to manifest what we desire, we need to surrender to the flow of energy created by our intention that will give rise to what we desire and trust the Creative Power of the Universe will carry us to manifest our desired creation. We must follow the lead of the flow of energy and not what we think. If the ego is not harnessed, it is here the ego will be instrumental in destroying our own creative endeavors. This is the main reason why we do so much of our creativity nonconsciously. Our nonconscious intentions are not disturbed by the continual distraction suffered by the conscious mind and the loss of focus the mundane often creates . This is one reason why ritual and ceremony can a be so powerful in our creative endeavors by imprinting an intention into the nonconscious mind.

Since we need to surrender to the flow of energy which gives rise to what we desire, it is important to become aware of what we desire to feel to lock onto that flow with the feeling. When we intend something, it is important to ask what feeling do we desire to experience that accompanies what we intend. Often, we end up intending what mind thinks will give us what we desire when in reality we desire a particular feeling different than what our thinking will produce. In this understanding we can create a ritual, meta-theatrical performance, or a guided meditation that represents what we desire to create to get a feeling of what we desire. Then we can use our internal compass to lock onto that feeling to guide us in our creative efforts. The feeling for what we desire to create will need to become a single point focus or meditation for our life.

The memory of, and symbolism in, the ritual

Any memory that inspires us or provides a place where we can go and remember what is import to rejuvenate and re-energize ourselves into actions is an asset of invaluable proportions. From a memory perspective, it does not really matter if the memory is of a real experience, a memory of virtual experience like we obtain in acting out a theatrical production , in a simulation of some type, or the memory of a movie or a book, the power of any of these memories to catalyze us into action is the same. Whether we use the power of memory in a constructive way is another question.

In using the memory of a ritual, the ritual can be used to create a surrogate experience that can substitute for an experience which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do. In this regard, the ritual can be a symbol. In the same way we can choose something to stand for, or represent, something else. We can similarly do so with a ritual. We can use a ritual we create to symbolize as choice or commitment we make. Usually we choose an object to typify a quantity, abstract idea, and the like. For example we can choose the oak tree or steel a symbol of strength. Or we choose a character, mark or other sign indicating something as we would use a symbol to represent a quantity in mathematics. In a similar way our ritual can be totally symbolic for changes we are making within our being. Here again, a properly designed ritual and/or ceremony around what we wish to create is a way to create a simulation through literal or symbolic actions of creating such a memory.

We need to understand that any action we make or take, either in what we would call real action or symbolic action as in a ritual or ceremony, is an action that reinforces to the psyche the desire on our part to manifest the thought behind that action or ritual. For example, the simple action of completing an application form for some endeavor is an action on our part and the statement of an intentionality for our life and can be seen as ritual that we are performing. The question is, "what is the intention behind completing the application?" Are we completing it because we truly want what the application is preparing us to do or are we completing it to satisfy somebody elseís desires and we have no real intention on following up on what the application will require. On the surface the actions will be the same. But where we are directing our energy depends on the intention and beliefs that underlay our actions.

If we symbolize all ours actions in a ritual, or some other simulation such as a metatheater, all that we do will be as powerful as the accuracy of ours symbols. The more ours symbols are effective analogies and metaphors, the more powerful ours ritual. A note of caution needs to be made here. We can perform a ritual or series of actions according to someone elseís parameters but how much energy is releases depends on how much what we do aligns with what we believe and what we would do if we were free to create the whole ritual. Also, the energy that we release in following someone elseís ritual is available to them if they decide to use. In many ways the ritual for them is only a matter of how we get us to focus our attention and awareness to do their work and/or use our energy to manifest their desires. "Playing along" with someone can become quite dangerous. This is one reason why religious and secular traditions, especially military traditions can be so powerful at creating a united front, motivating people and energizing people to manifest the cause of the leader or system who is guiding the ritual. It is an extremely manipulative force that can readily be used to harness an individualís creative life energy into a given direction. The issue is what do we believe about what is done in the ritual and how much of what is done in alignment with the truth of our being.

Overall simplified process

The process works as follows. We need to set a clear intention for what we wish to achieve. We then use the ritual to explore options and look to see where there may be energetic obstructions to what we wish to manifest. Then we create a series of unique actions preformed in a prescribed way in response to ours intuitive guidance and in alignment with ours beliefs about the powers and principles of the universe. What is done should be done in the way that we think and feel it needs to be done, not what others direct us to do or manipulate us to do. The ritual we create and perform then catalyzes and causes the creative life energy within ours being to flow into the direction of ours intention. How much energy flows depends on how much alignment there is between the energy flowing to sustain our body experiences and what ours nonconscious presents to ours mind, and how literally and accurately we act out what we consciously and nonconsciously think and believe. The goal is to align all ours beliefs and accurately carried though in each step for us to access ours creative passion for what we desire to create. For example, to try and create something that we feel ours God will judge us as being "not good" is self defeating from a creativity perspective. We may have the personal strength of will to create what we desire but we will be always be proverbially looking over ours own shoulder as to the expectation of our God and we will find what we manifest is no where near as enjoyable or near what it could be. In this regard it is appropriate to have a concept of God which supports what we desire to create and experience. Or, we need to limit our action to what we think is acceptable to the God in which we believe. Addiction comments on the process of the ritual is discussed in the topic, "Sequence of action in creating rituals."

Function of rituals and fears

Just as there obstacles to consolidating our creative life energy, there are obstacles to anything we desire to create. These obstacles will not be seen until we actually step forward to act. If they are not faced we will be unable to manifest what we desire. However, what needs to be noted here is these are not the obstacles that mind thinks we will face. Rather the obstacles are what arise on the path as we walk the path to manifest what we desire. Because creation is a journey into the unknown, mind will be of limited help in telling us how to face them. We will have to consult our intuitive guidance as to the best way to get past the obstacle we face. It is here the concept of complex integration and the use of metatheater and rituals can often be of assistant. They allows us to address issues in our creative imagination and find solutions that otherwise we could not address. Here our ability to enter creative play especially in our creative imagination becomes very important.

One can use a ritual to address any fear. The concept is very simple. Design a ritual of our choosing or have one designed by someone we trust, around the particular fear that we would like to address. It can be create any way that we like. But, however we create it, it should lay the seeds to convince ourselves about three things. One is that our intent to remove the fear is achieved and we will do so. A big part of the rituals is to set the intention to do. Two is we call back our creative power to have the strength and awareness to face any obstacles that prevent that fear from being removed and vanishing from our life. The third is look for insights for however that fear caused us to not live our life fearlessly is addressed. Costume and a metatheatric scenario designed to act out overcoming the fear in ritual can be very powerful at convincing the psyche that a shift has occurred. Besides, would we go to all that trouble to create the ritual if we were not serious about removing the fear? The action of creating and doing the ritual allows us to embrace and honor our own commitment to take action. The memory of the ritual will continually catalyze our life relative to that fear and its ghost if it reappears.

The not doing practice of an initiation and rites of passage are also effective fear-addressing rituals. It is suggested whatever is created that we make it a fun and memorable event because then we will always have the pleasures to remember associated with the fear leaving. Probably the best recommendation in designing a ritual to address a fear is to make it play and have fun. It is in the play and fun of not doing the usual thing that the real gentleness of the transformation process can be made available. The opportunities for play and not doing are only limited by the limits we placed on our creative imagination.

Related topics
Power of intention
A catalyzing memory

Metatheatric performance

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