Footnote to “Ritual”: Four Elements of a Kaleidoscopic (or Ritualized) Perspective

elephant

This is a footnote to Ritual.

More coherent modes of language arise when the following perspectives are realized (at the very least):

1) We each see different parts of the proverbial elephant.

This suggests parallel truths. A multiverse. Each infinite and also limited.

2) We look with different levels of magnification. A microscopic vision of the elephant’s trunk at the cellular level is not more true than a macroscopic vision of the trunk as a whole. They are relevant to different contexts.

This makes it easy to suspend judgement.

3) The elephant is a moving target. The trunk we describe is already a different shape. Reality changes as we learn. I go into this a little more in Ritual, part II, in the section titled “The Simplifying Potential of Negative Language.”

This is a humbling perspective.

4) Wildest of all: The elephant we perceive is actually not the elephant itself. But I think a distinction needs to be made between actuality (the “holomovement,” the creativity of nature itself), and reality (the “things” we abstract from actuality as information, perceptions, theories or thoughts).

If we understand this in our bones, then there is no alienation. Then the world becomes sacred in the absence of religion.Read More »