“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No Ritual Is Truly Empty

Every form has its own kind of content. (That's just basic art and literature analysis 101.)

No doubt, there is the good manners of "following the form," which I can't help subscribing to as an ex-Brit and as a Buddhist. But why is it good manners? It's not that the ritual one "just follows" is empty. It's that it has its own kind of content that is uplifting.

Otherwise I can just make up a ritual that includes shooting as many people as possible, and follow it without reason.

But sure yes, form, bring it on. Suits, under certain circumstances. The Californian neurosis is to be too suspicious of authority--with the ironic consequence of summoning the pepper spraying cops, overreaction.

Yet as I've said before, you need to know how to have generosity before you have discipline.

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