Ritual

DannyL

Wild Horses
Been having borderline experiences since my teens though - lots of sleeping where I was conscious of the room, and felt I could open my eyes. Sleep paralysis/lucid dream borderlands. I used to send a signal to a former partner to wake me up, by starting to breath funny whenever I was in that state.
 
Been having borderline experiences since my teens though - lots of sleeping where I was conscious of the room, and felt I could open my eyes. Sleep paralysis/lucid dream borderlands. I used to send a signal to a former partner to wake me up, by starting to breath funny whenever I was in that state.
I've had this plenty after three days on drugs. The scariest one was when I got up and went about my day in perfect boring detail, took a piss, got a drinkand then woke up in my bed. What's real now? Eh? Fucked.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
My theory about that stuff is that when you're in that state, the "psychic stuff" that normally forms dreams, dream characters and scenarios is somehow presenting to the (semi) conscious mind. As most people find that state very disorientating, people assume it's aliens or demons or whatever. I've had it appear as my Dad, imagining he was in the room, my gf etc etc.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i've not had any of that stuff i don't think. not the scary stuff.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
The "on the chest" thing must be connected with respiration somehow. I think this happens to people when they lie on their backs, esp if you don't normally sleep in that position, and you get a sense of very laboured respiration.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I've had this plenty after three days on drugs. The scariest one was when I got up and went about my day in perfect boring detail, took a piss, got a drinkand then woke up in my bed. What's real now? Eh? Fucked.
I used to find I would often get it or something similar Friday or Saturday mornings after I'd had a beer and was trying to have a lie in.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
"Sexual gratitude is an emotion much less frequent in modern days that in medevil times, owing to the fact that industrialisation has cheapened the value of the sex-thrill by lowering the ritual-walls surrounding it."
not wanting to interrupt the discussion but do want to get your thoughts on this. the idea of experience set apart and sacralised.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
This is from an old colleague’s thesis on monuments, agency and identity. Useless without that context and highly boring (Bourdieu and Judith Butler prolapse) but I’ll include it anyway

Ritual and ritualisation


This point about architecture is an important one. Architecture can have a profound effect upon the way in which action and ritual is perceived. It is worth considering the nature of ritual here for a moment. The notion of ritual first emerged as a counterpoint to the reason and logic that was seen to be the hallmark of western thought (Bell 1992, 6). Those actions in a society that could not be explained within this paradigm were taken to be ritual acts. This point of view often survives in archaeology today. More complex views of ritual also exist, indeed it is often seen as "a definitive component of the various processes that are deemed to constitute religion, or society, or culture" (Bell 1992, 16). Often this is expanded to present a view of ritual in terms of the coming together of opposing or contradictory social forces (Bell 1992, 16). These notions have dominated the classic anthropological accounts of Bateson, Levi-Strauss and Geertz (Bell 1992, 35).

Catherine Bell has recently argued that this logic is circular however, and based on the Cartesian dualities between thought and action that are central, but peculiar, to much of western philosophy (1992, 25,32). She identifies three key structures behind this view of ritual, the separation of thought and action, their reintegration, and the separation of the theorist and practitioner, between us and them, between our thought and their action (Bell 1992, 25). These dualities miss both how ritual forms part of the reality of social life and how it creates an unbridgeable gap between subject and object. The recognition that the very definition of ritual is based on such a dichotomy leads Bell to argue that in fact ritual acts are not clearly differentiated from other acts of social behaviour (1992, 29). Thus rather than try to define ritual, she argues that the study of ritualisation is essential (Bell 1992, 74). Ritualisation is the "way of acting designed and orchestrated to distinguish and privilege what is being done in comparison to other, usually more quotidian activities" (Bell 1992, 74).

The architecture of enclosures clearly helps distinguish the activities that take place there from more day-to-day activities. It is this that helps create the possibility for the ritualisation of action; the activities that take place, such as excarnation, exchange and deposition to have connotations and understandings different to that they might have elsewhere. It is this that might make exchange safe where elsewhere it might be dangerous. It is also this that allowed these activities to have particular ramifications in terms of the regulatory ideals that were cited, maintained and undermined through performance at these sites. It is important to think also about the physical effects the architecture of such a monument has upon the possibilities for action for a human body (Barrett 1994; Tilley 1994; Thomas 1996). The causeways entail that the enclosure can only be entered from certain directions. At certain sites, notably many of the European enclosures but also at Etton, particular entrance causeways were situated at the cardinal points (Bradley 1998; Pryor 1998). This would entail certain experiences at particular times of year, with regard to the rising or setting sun or moon. Narrow causeways or entrances require people to enter in certain orders and "provide another field in which distinctions between groups or individuals could be drawn" (Edmonds 1993, 111). Those enclosures with multiple circuits could create a hierarchy of value, with restricted access moving from inside to outside. This point of view, a phenomenological or dwelling perspective (Ingold 2000), can help us to think about the ways in which different performances might be accessible from certain points of view and not from others. Such a point of view also allows a consideration of the experiential nature of constructing such a monument and how notions of identity might be caught up and defined through the building and memory of building.
 
My theory about that stuff is that when you're in that state, the "psychic stuff" that normally forms dreams, dream characters and scenarios is somehow presenting to the (semi) conscious mind. As most people find that state very disorientating, people assume it's aliens or demons or whatever. I've had it appear as my Dad, imagining he was in the room, my gf etc etc.
Yeah the subconsious bleeds into conscious mind. And it feels like a matter of ratios. With sleep paralysis you're using a semi-conscious model of the environment you're in and subconscious material bleeds in, tones and atmospheres and presences and the subsconscous runs the script. With lucid dreaming you start with an imaginary model of the environment but can impose your conscious will within it, choose the script within limitations.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
It reminds me of a comment in an essay on sex magic by a bloke called Steve Wilson. He said something like, in the early days of Crowley's OTO the thought of doing anything sexual was enough because sex was generally so much more inhibited. So the kind of visualisation of God forms or whatever people were doing, worked for them and they could still get off. When he tried this stuff in the 80s, he found it a real bind and very unatural but that's because he'd lived through the promiscious 80s, been in Rajneesh's groups and was used to having as much sex as he wanted.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Eliade talks about this in terms of space. sacred sites.
I'll go out on a limb and say you can encounter sacred spaces very directly in your everyday church. There's a thoroughly different atmosphere I assume due to all the prayer. I don't know how to "prove" this to a cynical rationalist but that's a fool's errand anyway. Would love to visit some of the big active temples in India one day to sense how their subjective atmospheres might feel.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I'll go out on a limb and say you can encounter sacred spaces very directly in your everyday church. There's a thoroughly different atmosphere I assume due to all the prayer. I don't know how to "prove" this to a cynical rationalist but that's a fool's errand anyway. Would love to visit some of the big active temples in India one day to sense how their subjective atmospheres might feel.
i agree. this is a big theme in a lot of literature too. A Glastonbury Romance is full of it (I'll find a passage for you) and so is David Jones' The Anathemata.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
and don't worry the day has almost arrived when we will throw the cynical rationalists on a glorious flaming pyre
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
can't wait to hear the sacred music of thier anguished repentant screams
 
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