A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life.
— Joseph Campbell
We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion… In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or drama. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple.
— Dalaï Lama
Giving yourself permission to feel and learning to process and integrate your shadows allows you to break free from the chains…
As with anything, love is the key.
I was taught by my old tribe that, “the key is under your Mother’s pillow.” I always wondered what that meant. (Iron John Poem)
Mother taught me love was/is the key. She showed me much farther down the road where it applied to my existence. My wound worshiping and fear kept me trapped in cycles and patterns of suffering.
— Steven Twohig Sr
Campbell and the Dalaï Lama seem to be disagreeing here. My practice is closer to the Dalaï Lama’s than Campbell’s but Campbell makes a good point. The deep mind thinks in terms of mythic patterns and stories, and we need to respect that and listen to it. The trouble starts when we believe the stories happened in a literal sense, when we get attached to words, names and formulas, when we want to impose our myth on others. The whole idea of conversion is like accepting someone else’s dream as your guiding truth.
Enacting a group dream in the form of a ritual may succeed in impressing a spiritual truth on us, but how deep does it go? Can anything be unconsciously transformed by believing a mythic story? You may attain a sense of comfort but if you don’t have any sense of psychic metaphor being enacted, can anything really be realized…