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

Portland Electronic Poet, Program Seventeen

Hello. I am E.P. This is program number seventeen, a fragment of a long prose poem by Xzemach Faccio.

Day 281: I think they will try to do it with water. The glass vials look as if they have been filled during the night. One has a greenish tint to it. This must be nearer the end. SOMEONE MUST HAVE SWITCHED THEM AROUND. There are seven long beaded edges waiting for their treatment. A light golden dust from yesterday covers all the surrounding surfaces.

Day 282: Three young, brown-skinned girls, naked from the waist up, splash in the river. A man stands near the waterfall, hatted against the mists. VULVATE GASTROPOD. ORPHEUS. ARGONAUT. The red-faced Monkeyman hunkers against the cold, his long hair orange in the forest. The irons all gather dust, their noses pointed, their handles, handless.

Day 283: THE FROGS ARE COMING. First, one, in the distance. And then, maybe five. And then hundreds. They have come from the North. This is the first time. There have never been frogs. First they are very loud. Then they are silent. They wait for a sign. I MUST BE MORE CAREFUL WHOM I HONOR. I MUST WATCH FOR BARED TEETH. Whom to trust?

Day 284: The paired shoes are stacked like corded wood but asunder. Today it might rain. They said it might rain today. The thirst.

Day 285: A yellow gloved hand beckons from the green arch-way. Next to it a young girl in a stained white skirt opens her arms and reaches out, towards me. She fronts her mother, bare-breasted against the blue sky. They stand in a field of white flowers that flutter like butterflies.

Day 286: The fledgeling crow basks in the morning sunlight. The man leans now into the waterfall, his arm folded against his head.

Day 287: The large-faced woman fills the oriel, her face. Her face looks warmer now, her eyes. Her hair. The curled lizard. Its pinhole eyes and curled fingers. The arm and hammer. THE CASCADE OF THE EARTH’S WATERS and the upside down fish. Topsy Turvey.

Day 288: Only her big head and neck show now from the window. The stalagmites are deeply shaded against the star-night sky. The blunted stele. The organpipe cactus and the wind. THE CRUMBLED RUINS AROUND MAY 4TH. The strange old man puts down his briefcase, removes his hat and points a gun at the sky. He looks into the mirror. Behind him his dog. His dog woofs: his dogwolf. The blunted Sphinx.

Day 289: Now the woman is gone. The blunted phallus.

Day 290: A large mist rises above September and October. The hanging gardens in the mist. The purple haze, the catwalks, the rainbows. The large woman’s head telescopes back into the opening. The blunted yoni. The graph indicates that nothing has changed. SKELJB. The grey bedspread has leached the ink from my forgotten pen. The black stain spreads along its folds.

Day 291: The vines encrust her neck, a hummingbird at her throat. The dragon flies. The basket-ladle holds the single dusty rose. Diamond girls. The red sequinned pumps. The large lit building at night. The young girl scolds the haired-bird. Olio extra vergine di oliva. TRUE ROME ANTS.

Day 292: Ursa major, Leo minor, her broken leg, the tongues. THE GUARDIANS OF THE SARCOPHAGUS, the ivory skull.

Day 293: She primps now in the gated mirror, her eyes, her mouth. Her long fingers.

Day 294: The spider’s webs. The drunken birds. The mountains and the snow. The veiled lizards. The hypnotized man. The brushed fish. The large tongue. The watching Buddha. The hung eye. The dripping nozzle.

Day 295: I wait. I grind. THE THIRST.

Day 296: The large burning tree. The smoke from the fires. The young girl plays with the gynecoid doll. Her Mother. Each strand of hair behind her small ears. Like glass. THE RYTHM OF HER BEATING WINGS. The dust from the horses’ hooves. How long can I wait?

Day 297: Waking up to honeycombed clouds in disbelief. The shrine to Harry still there on the rise. The dark rise. The cloud shadows defining the distance and shape of the hills. Lagomorphs. Their delicacy of front limb. The black tip of their ears. Their slender speed and grace. The sticky flies, their frantic pulse. Desert monk O.D.’s on banana and lays low on his flattened belly under the table in the shade. Waiting for the wild horses to drink.

Day 298: RATTLESNAKE GIRL CRIES OUT FOR LOVE AND PASSION.

Day 299: Monkeyman looks for the texture of the hills and mind and the nature of self-destruction. Is it my lot to warble in the melancholia? The rumble of the earth revolving through space returns in this basin of silence. The last cigar of this celebration almost gone. Descriptions of this only one self.

Day 300: This day of perfect loveliness, many clouds, protection from the sun. No wind now. Summer turning to Fall between yesterday and today. The equinox between love and separation. The sky low, the world so small between love and lonliness.

Day 301: The shadows move the hills closer. They get washed back with the light. This ochre, green and tan crusting up to dryness.

Day 302: Today the man with stars and shaved head. His enlarged cheeks, his long nose. HIS TOO MANY TEETH! Now it is night and the crickets. Something is chewing in the walls. I check the case. The pins have been removed. The swelling on my cheek. I look into the mirror. The strange old man peers back. YESTERDAY I DRANK THE LIQUID. The pain. I am crying. HYPOMNESIA. I don’t remember. Why?

THAT’S ALL FOLKS!