“The basic elements in cultural transmission and transformation are psychological.”
– Julian Huxley
This is how we change.
Since time immemorial, high rituals have been performed to transform reality. Ritual: a spiritual psychodrama of conscious, deliberate actions taken to facilitate change; changes to the whole of the environment people exist in, starting with the mental landscape of the people themselves. The place where our reality is first born a dream.
Artist Sharon Devlin once bluntly described the true purpose of ritual as being a method to alter one’s mind: “It’s a sacred drama in which you are the audience as well as the participant and the purpose of it is to activate parts of the mind that are not activated by everyday activity.”
The mechanics of change, change through mechanism, a rhythm to sync to, merge and flow with, a magnetic draw drawing one down the path toward transmutation.
Rituals are vehicles driving home those ideas — information, data, symbols — which, upon transmission and transformation, create the language by which new society members communicate after they are initiated.
Note that ritual is not always a conscious action; not everyone partaking in a ritual is made explicitly aware that they are participants… and yet still, new patterns of thought, of significance, are drummed in (conscious or not).
An initiation ritual typically involves three stages… and see if any of this sounds familiar to you.