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The Ritual


homospiritus
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I want to leave the Catholic church because I don't believe the dogmas but my problem is: I love the ritual! I love the music, the colors, the flowers, the incense, the candles, all that stuff. It's beautiful! And there's nowhere else you can experience that except at church. Yeah sure I could make up my own little ritual at home but it wouldn't be the same without a community. Has anybody else found it hard to let go because of the art and music and other beautiful elements?

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I want to leave the Catholic church because I don't believe the dogmas but my problem is: I love the ritual! I love the music, the colors, the flowers, the incense, the candles, all that stuff. It's beautiful! And there's nowhere else you can experience that except at church. Yeah sure I could make up my own little ritual at home but it wouldn't be the same without a community. Has anybody else found it hard to let go because of the art and music and other beautiful elements?

 

Hi homospiritus! Wecome to EX-c! good to have you here. There are definitely things about the Church that I miss.... A lot. But not enough for me to go back and hear the bible being quoted or the Sunday sermons.

 

I have a 'non-believing' Uncle who has gone to church for years and is involved in everything. He loves it. He pushes all the stuff he doesn't like, out.

 

I suppose you will be the only person who can decide this for yourself. Maybe, just go and enjoy and do what my Uncle does??

 

Best wishes to you!

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Hell, I love Nazi pageantry but I'll be dipped in shit if I'm gonna participate in their rituals.

 

Stop supporting and empowering them and find a new hobby.

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I think that's easier said than done florduh!

 

I too enjoy certain ritualistic parts of xianity and church. I haven't replaced them with much and I do miss them, but I found that the negatives always outweighed the positives so I haven't been back. I have occasionally popped into a cathedral as a tourist and I always enjoy just 'being' there.

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I think that's easier said than done florduh!

Well, that's up to the individual. Just think of what that lovely ritual represents and BE DISGUSTED. If one craves fancy dress and rituals so much, they can always join the Mummers or Shriners.

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Hell, I love Nazi pageantry but I'll be dipped in shit if I'm gonna participate in their rituals.

 

Stop supporting and empowering them and find a new hobby.

 

Your reply, sadly, is all too true.

 

All the mindless fun stuff is connected to bad causes.

 

I mean, where can I go to sing show tunes with like minded people unless it is to support a fascist political party?

 

Loyalty of friendship is predicated on accepting a common dogma and show that loyalty by not challenging your friend's mindless parroting of the predominant group think.

 

Very few thoughtful people who think freely want to get together and participate in mindless ritual and pageantry - the fun stuff.

 

So ya, the social aspect and some of the mindless ritual is fun. I miss church choir and at xmas I find it hard, nay almost impossible, to sing those nasty carols that extol Jesus. I quit a choir because they sang too many gospel songs that the seniors like.

 

But I paid attention to the priest and I can't get past the fact that a lot of those intricate rituals make little sense and that most of it is about controlling people - not about making them better people. Later I learned that the control of people was about creating opportunity to abuse them and create a refuge from justice. The pope is a filthy rich scum-bag protecting scum-bags which protect abusers.

 

The ritual that shows the embodiment of Catholic hypocrisy and abusive power structure is the one where those greeting the pope kiss his ring. How much more unlike Jesus could that be?

 

I often feel unconnected to a community of like minded people. And that really is an important point. When we think for ourselves we consciously choose to not participate in being likeminded with others even though there exists a natural comfort that comes from being with like minded people. Social reciprocity and conforming to social custom has positive social benefits and I think many non-religious people are confounded by this contradiction between the benefits of social conformity and the benefits of individuality.

 

As an extreme, drinking the gospel of Benny Hinn or the gospel of Mao Tse-tung brings many social benefits. At a less extreme and depending on the situation, wearing a suit to a business meeting with customers or eating your food continental style can bring social benefits even if there is no direct logical reason to dress a certain way or eat a certain way.

 

Non-religious talk seems to encourage independence and do what you like but life does not always reward independence and free thought/choice.

 

I don't have any recommendations for you - only sympathy for your dilemma.

 

Mongo

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When we think for ourselves we consciously choose to not participate in being likeminded with others even though there exists a natural comfort that comes from being with like minded people. Social reciprocity and conforming to social custom has positive social benefits and I think many non-religious people are confounded by this contradiction between the benefits of social conformity and the benefits of individuality.

 

Mongo thank you! I'm at a point in my life where I don't think I will benefit from individuality. But your reply gives me something to chew on.

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The ritual that shows the embodiment of Catholic hypocrisy and abusive power structure is the one where those greeting the pope kiss his ring. How much more unlike Jesus could that be?

 

 

 

 

I agree 100% here, Mongo. Even seeing it done on television makes me feel soiled and in sore need of a shower. Disgusting on so many levels!

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That's one of the reasons I don't like the catholic church. The rituals just seem pointless after a while and even while I was a practicing believer they began to lose their worth. To each his own I suppose.

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I don't think I will benefit from individuality

Seriously?

 

Seriously. How can I benefit? I'm quite sure there's something I'm missing and I'm open to suggestions. I'm lost.

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Seriously. How can I benefit? I'm quite sure there's something I'm missing and I'm open to suggestions. I'm lost.

 

The benefit is to be free from a prescribed doctrine and to not feel any social pressure to believe things that don't make sense to you.

 

However, it seems like you've significantly increased your sense of personal control and freedom to think what you want.

 

Quite frankly, if you are happy and feel free to be yourself then great and I have no issue with your enjoyment of ritual.

 

Do you feel pressure from the non-religious people to abandon ritual? This goes both ways even though some non-religious folk would deny that.

Free thinking means ignoring pressure from religious and non-religious sides and choosing for yourself.

 

Personally I can't look at the ritual and see beauty. I only see psychological tools to manipulate what people think and reinforce that thinking pattern. Keeling, bowing, responding in unison to the leader's chant, seeking forgiveness to a human authority - it is all about people manipulation.

 

Mongo

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Do you feel pressure from the non-religious people to abandon ritual? This goes both ways even though some non-religious folk would deny that.

Free thinking means ignoring pressure from religious and non-religious sides and choosing for yourself.

 

Thank you for pointing this out to me. If I had it my way right now, I would continue to go for the community and help those in need but I wouldn't go to confession.

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Hell, I love Nazi pageantry but I'll be dipped in shit if I'm gonna participate in their rituals.

 

Stop supporting and empowering them and find a new hobby.

WOW!

DAMN!

PREACH IT FLORDUH!

 

WOO!

 

*excuse me*

 

I am in a mood.....and your attitude is FUELIN the flames, baby!

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I want to leave the Catholic church because I don't believe the dogmas but my problem is: I love the ritual! I love the music, the colors, the flowers, the incense, the candles, all that stuff. It's beautiful! And there's nowhere else you can experience that except at church. Yeah sure I could make up my own little ritual at home but it wouldn't be the same without a community. Has anybody else found it hard to let go because of the art and music and other beautiful elements?

I have recognized for a long time that Catholicism attracts people who find ritual comforting. One of the reasons many find it so is that it represents stability and continuity, presumably back to the original Pope, Peter. Others, I suppose, just find it comforting for the same reason any repetitive / compulsive action (like sitting and rocking back and forth in your chair) appeals ... it stimulates the production of serotonin and calms the production of adrenaline, if I recall studies I've read correctly.

 

You might consider why you find ritual attractive. If it's because of the seeming unchanging-ness, or more simply because you just like to keep doing things you're accustomed to or grew up with, that's not necessarily bad so long as you bring mindfulness to it and are aware of why you do it. But if leaving those rituals would produce anxiety or depression in you, beyond normal adjustment, it may indicate an addiction or unhealthy dependence. You'll have to sort out for yourself if it's healthier in the long run for you to put some distance between you and potentially mindless habits.

 

Personally if I want to do something mindless I'd rather read a novel or watch a movie or take a nap; those actions leave me much less beholden to or dependent on anyone. But what they don't provide is a sense of community, and that may be the trump card for you. The sense of community and connection that church provides is so attractive that even my fiancee, a lifelong agnostic who sees zero appeal in religion itself, has tried to attend a couple of churches in her day to see if she can plug into that without driving herself nuts (she couldn't). Personally I can't do it well in most non-religious settings. The way people behave in the herd drives me batshit.

 

So I don't have a good answer for you. If you just like the idea of feeling warm and fuzzy with other people, church may suffice. If however you seriously think they will visit you with hot chicken soup when you're ill, even if you're not sufficiently dedicated and ardent, your mileage will definitely vary. I think alot of the sense of community is very subjective and not real in a rubber-meets-the-road, I'm in trouble and need you now sense of the word. In other words people are in love with the idea of community but aren't committed to actually extend themselves to BE a true community. I have always applied that test ... to me there is no real community if no one would notice you missing for weeks if you quit showing up, if no one is usefully "there" for you in times of need, if there's no actual commitment.

 

I have this convo with my fiancee all the time, she thinks I must miss the regular morning coffees I used to have with "friends" back in Arizona but the truth is, I could have stopped showing up and no one would have checked on me and they would have been surprised when they read weeks or months later in the papers that my rotting corpse was found propped up in front of the TV. She would like me to cultivate more of that kind of activity here and I keep telling her, I only did that in AZ because I had time on my hands that I don't have now, because I was basically lonely and needed some kind of human contact on a more or less daily basis, but now I live with her and her kids and that need is met. Of course this is what bothers her; it implies I'm counting on her for something [sigh].

 

I envy people who can convince themselves that singing Kum By Yah in a large group actually means something. I envy people who find themselves alone to be adequate companionship. If either of those things worked for me I could join some kind of group or go be a hermit and I'd be fine. The latter would certainly be much simpler.

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Thank you DesertBob!

 

The ritual does give me warm fuzzies and I am at a very lonely place in my life. I have made friends at that church and they do help people in need. It's not just BS there. I want to remain involved in a practical way by feeding the hungry so I can focus on that.

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