On Ritual 3
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“A ritual has a substantive aspect and a formal aspect.
The substantive aspect is about the how; the formal aspect is about the what.”
“What if the substantive aspect is missing and you only have the formal aspect?”
“That’s an empty ritual.”
“So the essence of ritual is the substantive aspect. It may or may not have a formal aspect.
Let’s call a ritual with a substantive aspect, substantive ritual.
Let’s call a ritual with a formal but no substantive aspect, formal ritual.
You can perform anything as a substantive ritual by imbuing it with meaning and feeling, by doing it mindfully, contemplatively, with a loving grateful heart.
As long the substantive aspect is missing, you have a hollow formal ritual regardless of how fancy the veneer.”