Ritual in modern life

Humanity needs ritual to give substance to his spiritual life.

What are the rituals?

Initiatory, equinox/solstice, change of life, daily, cleansing, other.

Special actions and words and time spent in a sacred place with others of like mind provide people with a structure to focus their energies.

A consistent set of actions also allows the mind to focus and relax and let the spirit take over.

Unfortunately, current rituals are old, in some cases dating back several thousand years. They were designed for times and cultures and spiritual development that is not current anymore.

What can we replace it with? There is certainly some good and effectiveness in the old rituals, or they would wither away through lack of use or disinterest. Let’s look at them to see if we can deduce some essential elements to base new rituals on.

What are some popular ritualistic behaviors? Certainly traditional Christian worship comes to mind. As does the less traditional “praise” worship. Further afield, rock concerts, teenage display behavior, gang initiations, ceremonial magic could also be considered ritual behavior.

Rituals have a structure-a beginning, a middle and an end. Essentially you’re working with energy, either physical or spiritual in nature. The 3 phases act to gather and seal, work with, and store or release energy.

The “Bodhisattva cops”

At the end of our current great incarnation, the masters who return to clean up the dirty street and sweep the last ones up. “Move on down the road”

Volunteer to come back fully conscious. They act to pull the left path people into one. They do this by merging. Left-temporal, nontemporal influence, control, sensation, egocentrism, power, implosive vs expansive. Right-cooperative, mutual growth & raise, othercentrism, submission, use of physicality for higher purposes, integration, expansive. Here’s what happens-most everyone has grown up or devolved. They’re either fully left or right-no fence sitters. Rights are already transcarnated. Lefts are physical but working in nontemporal, for personal gain and power.

The Philosopher’s Stone

The essence of alchemy is the Philosopher’s Stone-the method of transmuting pure essence of spirit energy into physical and mental activity and reality. It is not a stone per se, but a method of attainment that pulls Kether, Ain Soph and Ain Soph Aur into Tiphareth and distributes the transmuted spiritual essence and energy into Malkuth and beyond.

The Great Work is realizing the transmutation and providing a conduit to pass spiritual essence and energy through Tiphareth to the three physical states below Tiphareth and to all other beings in and below those states-to allow them to experience Kether and beyond, and to assist them to realize Kether in their own existences and to move onto higher energy states.

This is the basis for Christ and the transforming principle that underlies all spiritual life. “Every man and woman is a star” describes the essence of this “bringing down of the light” that is the goal-moving energy from the highest to the lowest. “As above, so below” is the basis of spiritual reflection, a guidepost of making the transformation, and a simultaneous refinement and transformation of all highest into all lowest, all lowest to all highest, the Great Work in all forms, methods, beings, and places.

The essence of spiritual transformation is our will, and the use of our will in harmony, oneness, and realization of the Great Work. We strive to attain the highest, the Kether that is within us all, and to assist and distribute that essence to all, everywhere, forever.

Will Legalization End The Violence?

As a drug user of some 17 years, I say YES, legalization will end the violence.

Here are three reasons why.

Use vs. abuse

Drug use is what is currently thought of when you look at the legal drugs-alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. While these drugs are certainly abused by many in our society, they are commonly considered drugs that can be used without abuse symptoms (craving, withdrawal, lifestyle change). The non-legal drugs (cannabis, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, heroin, prescription drugs used illegally, etc.) are currently thought of as drugs of abuse. From personal experience, both types of drugs have the potential for abuse (as we well know), but both can also be used without abuse symptoms.

Abuse is, in my opinion, a psychological problem. Those who abuse one particular substance are likely to abuse others. If the abuse/addiction patterns can be addressed, through therapy or other means, then the individual may be able to break the cycle of abuse/addiction and be able to lead a normal life free from abuse.

By legalizing drugs, a way becomes possible to monitor drug use/abuse patterns and treat potential abusers before they damage theirs and others lives. Each drug user gets a prescription for the drug(s) they choose to use. When the supply runs out, they have to return to refill the prescription. As all prescriptions are held in a common data store, when a user begins to request refills above a given rate, a flag is raised to have the user be recommended for treatment. This could be hardened to require the user to undergo treatment before further refills are sold.

Comparing some use patterns of users vs. abusers may serve to illustrate why legalization may reduce the numbers of abusers (and thereby violence). The classic “signs of an alcoholic” may be relevant to other drug use as well, and enable us to see indications of abuse (the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) is definitive in this regard.) A user will use a given drug from rarely to often, but not consistently at elevated levels. For example, a user may smoke cannabis regularly on Friday and Saturday nights, occasionally on weeknights, rarely or not at all on weekdays. An abuser may smoke cannabis every day, upon waking, at lunch, after work, alone, all the time. A user will consider his/her use to enhance enjoyment of life, whereas an abuser will consider their use to be how they get through life. If a user runs out of the drug, they will not panic over whether and when the next purchase will take place. An abuser will panic, and become desperate for the next purchase immediately. This leads to irrational behavior, such as stealing or killing for money for the purchase. This is how the cycle of abuser violence starts. By reducing abusers, abuser violence is reduced.

Legal vs. illegal

Having drugs be legal versus illegal also has an important effect on drug-related violence.

Illegal drugs means criminal activity. As the suppliers and distributors of illegal drugs are criminals, they will disregard law. This makes violence possible. As they have no legal means of recourse against those with whom they dispute, they use whatever means are available to them to resolve the dispute. This usually means violence. As the legal barrel of a gun is unavailable, they use the literal barrel of a gun.

By removing the criminality of the substances, the suppliers and distributors of illegal drugs become irrelevant. Normal business supply and distribution networks, standards and practices (and regulation) become the norm. As legal businesses, the suppliers and distributors have recourse to the law, and legal means to resolve disputes. Thus the literal barrel of a gun becomes irrelevant, replaced by the legal barrel of a gun.

Benefits unrelated to violence

Drug legalization also provides several other benefits.

Legalization improves control over quality of illegal drugs. By having the FDA regulate drug quality, “bad” drugs and drugs of varying potency are less frequent. This provides a more stable drug experience, reducing overdoses and unexpected side effects from adulterants.

Legalization provides tax revenue. By taxing drug sales, the government receives direct revenue that can be used to fund drug treatment and reduce the deficit.

A Final Word

As a longtime drug user (and sometimes abuser), I applaud anyone who chooses to stay drug free. But I also feel that any adult that chooses to use drugs should be able to. I do feel that treatment for addiction is critical, as is changing the home and societal causes of addiction. More importantly, I DO NOT condone drug use of any kind for children. The laws enforcing this should be extremely strong-none of the nicotine mamby-pamby lax enforcement-our children are our future-we have a responsibility to the future to see that they grow up right.

Tibetan Buddhist Lotus Deity Summary

Location Element Buddha Consort Buddha-realm Color Ray Throne Implement Enemy Virtue Attendants
Center Ether Vairochana Akasha Dhatvishvari All-pervading circle/Densely arrayed White Blue Lion eight-spoked wheel Ignorance All-accommodating, embodiment of emptiness
East Water Vajrasattva Akshobhya Buddhalochana Complete joy Blue White Elephant five-pronged vajra scepter Violent Anger Mirror-like Wisdom Kshitigarbha, Lasya, Maitreya, Pushpa
South Earth Ratnasambhava Mamaki Glorious Yellow Yellow Horse wish-granting gem Pride Equality AkashaGarbha, Mala, Samantabhadra, Dhupa
West Fire Amitabha Pandaravasini Blissful Red Red Peacock lotus Attachment Discrimination Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Gita, Aloka
North Air Amoghasiddhi Samayatara Perfected actions Green Green Eagle vajra cross Jealousy All-accomplishing Wisdom Vajrapani, Sarvanivarnaviskambhin, Gandha, Nartya