“We don’t have too much ritual in our life anymore. And these life symbols which people rely on to keep their feeling of well being, that life is not too bad after all are required more and more.” John Hench

A RITUAL is an act that is performed for a benefit. John Hench tells us that we need more and more rituals to enhance our feelings of well being. Unlike Shakespeare who regarded the world as a stage Confucius saw the world as a temple in which each of us is not just a player but a participant in a grand sacred ceremony.

In our age very few of us see the world like Confucius mostly because of the challenges we face in order to survive. Unemployment, sickness, disappointments, homelessness, and similar hardships take away the very meaning of life. But it is precisely because of the hardships we face that we ought to find out what went wrong.

If we have looked all through our environment with no satisfactory answer it is time to look within. There is a place of unity within us and our challenge is to reconnect with this center so that we are no longer individual players but participants in a grand sacred ceremony.

 There are four main functions of rituals and they include:

1. Preparation for a New Life: New Life rituals are mostly associated with our life cycle from childhood to adolescence and from adolescence to adulthood. This transition in our life cycle results in developmental changes involving the physical body, the emotions and the mental. In effect the ritual highlights these changes and teaches the participant to be responsible in dealing with the demands of the body. New Life rituals also give the participant a “New Life”. This ritual is mostly for those who made some retrogressive choices but want a second chance. The ceremony serves as a balm to heal the participant and literally presents him or her with a “New Life.

2. Honoring the Sacred: We can honor the sacred by partaking in a ritual. Pilgrimage rituals for example enable us to honor our teachers, saviors, prophets and the Divine. In Islam it is a requirement for every Moslem to make the Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime with some exceptions. The purpose is mostly to honor Allah. Christians visit the birthplace of Jesus to honor the savior. Buddhists visit the places associated with the life and teachings of the Buddha for the same purpose. The practice of Puja in Hinduism also honors the Gods.

3. Connecting with the Sacred: Participating in rituals can bring us into the presence of the sacred. Baptism in Christianity connects us to the Divine. Puja in Hinduism also puts us right in the presence of the Divine. When you participate in a ritual with faith it takes you from the mundane world to a spiritual world where everything is possible. Merely taking the first step to enter the CIRCLE of UNITY in UNISM lifts you up to be with the HIGHEST! The ancient Greeks celebrated the Eleusinian mysteries yearly for participants to have a glimpse of the Highest. Socrates is said to have benefited from the ceremonies.

4. Transformation of Consciousness: Rituals also have the effect of transforming our consciousness. Rituals evoke certain states of mind that engender humility, gratitude and shape the moral character of the participant. Further rituals engender new thoughts that enable us to look at life differently. The experience of Malcolm X in Mecca is a case in point. During his Pilgrimage to Mecca he saw Moslems of all colors and races interacting as equals and that experience totally changed his world-view; it transformed him to become a new person. It transformed his level of consciousness to see hope in human racial relationships. You can also transform your consciousness by participating in a RITUAL! Please contact us for more information. 

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