Ritual, Mantra, Initiation, Ceremony, and Magic
Ritual is the outward manifestation of the need in man to break the barriers of the ego in order to become a part of something greater. It is the visible form of an inward or spiritual grace. Rites are calculated to arouse the sentiments that support a given goal. Ritual is valuable because
1. It organizes experience. The manner in which an experience is “perceived” will determine possible ways that experience might be used. This allows more conscious control of our growth and development.
2. It lends grace and style to action, preventing clumsy uncertainty, wasted energy, and distractions. 3. It enhances the general atmosphere by using specific symbolism.
In psychology, ritual is considered the celebration of a myth, which is achieved through a carefully constructed enactment of the myth. Because ritual is the externalization of something internal, myth has a more archetypal (*) than logical structure to it. Rituals reveal values at their most fundamental level. Man expresses in ritual what moves him most.
Therefore: The symbol always originates on the inside and is projected outward.
Ceremonies and rituals are the means provided by society for periodically drawing up the energy attached to symbols. As symbols sink back into the unconscious, ritual serves as a technique to bring them back into a more common awareness.
Magic has been defined as “the science and art of causing changes to occur in conformity with will.” What this means is that conflict occurs when people are not living their true will. The purpose in learning magic is to discover that true will (not necessarily desire) and then live it.
Therefore: Every intentional act is a magical act. Whenever individuals change their perception of reality, they also change the ways reality can affect
them. This has to do with attitudes, expectations, and projections.
Therefore: Whenever individuals take a mind alterant, they are (by definition) performing an act ofmagic.
Rituals can thus be used to “program” an experience of awakening to create a deeper awareness of the spiritual. The art of magic is science combined with ritual. This information if used with proper knowledge (like pronunciation of a mantra), experience, skill, and bhava will enable individuals to control their experience, and as a result, give them more control over who they become.
[*] “… the archetypes, as structural forming elements in the unconscious, give rise both to the fantasy lives in individual children and to the mythologies of a people.” — C.G.Jung