Ritual Quotes

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Ritual: Power, Healing and Community Ritual: Power, Healing and Community by Malidoma Patrice Somé
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Ritual Quotes Showing 1-30 of 40
“We need ritual because it is an expression of the fact that we recognize the difficulty of creating a different and special kind of community. A community that doesn’t have a ritual cannot exist. A corporate community is not a community. It’s a conglomeration of individuals in the service of an insatiable soulless entity.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“The focus here is not on ritual itself, but on opening up something in hearts and spirits that has been locked away so long that individuals can barely remember the source.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“ritual is called for because our soul communicates things to us that the body translates as need, or want, or absence. So we enter into ritual in order to respond to the call of the soul.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“The only place where abundance is warranted is in nature. A person who wastes is a person who insults the gods. In light of the waste encountered in the modern world, one wonders if anyone knows that there is a world outside of this abundance where people are aware of priorities other than materialism. The”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“We do not always allow ourselves to work through pain. More often than not, we think pain is a signal that we must stop, rather than find its source. Our souls do not like stagnation. Our souls aspire toward growth, that is, toward remembering all that we have forgotten due to our trip to this place, the earth. In this context, a body in pain is a soul in longing.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“speed is a way to prevent ourselves from having to deal with something we do not want to face.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“My father finally performed the ritual thathe owed to the Earth Shrine, but the questions remain: Why do the innocent suffer from the negligence of others? Why is it that social responsibilities are inseparable from rituals? And why is it so important that every individual in a community stay in good rapport with their gods and goddesses? Here”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“I am tempted to think that when the focus of everyday living displaces ritual in a given society, social decay begins to work from the inside out. The fading and disappearance of ritual in modern culture is, from the viewpoint of the Dagara, expressed in several ways: the weakening of links with the spirit world, and general alienation of people from themselves and others. In a context like this there are no elders to help anyone remember through initiation of his or her important place in the community. Those who seek to remember have an attraction toward violence. They live their life constantly upset or angry, and those responsible for them are at a loss as to what to do. For”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“For an African who comes to America, there are no words to describe the shock he encounters. At first blush this culture shows itself as heaven somewhere away from the planet. But there is still connection to the planet in a left-handed way. Americans are spoiled every which way, to the point where they behave as if no one else on the planet can possibly be hungry or unsheltered or without a television set or a telephone. Incredibly, I find that they are even aware that they are the only people in this whole world to enjoy the privilege of waste and squandering. If an American isn’t expressing pity for a person who doesn’t have a television or telephone, he’s expressing excitement at the thought of how enjoyable it would be to witness a tribesman being introduced to these modern gadgets. Sometimes they even expect the rest of the world still to be walking naked, sheltered in huts and eating lizards and worms. I”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“I remember once being asked by an American, “Does everyone in your country still sleep in trees?” And I replied, “Yes.” He was overjoyed (or at least seemed so) at meeting someone who had slept in a tree. But when I added that in our capital city of Ouagadougou the ambassador of the United States sleeps in the tallest tree, he walked away confused and a bit suspicious. Americans are bred to expect the rest of the world to be underdeveloped. The”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“In his book The Africans, Ali Mazrui began his study of the triple heritage of the African people by pointing out that the ills of the continent of Africa nowadays are the result of the anger of the ancestors in the face of the general desecration brought about by modernism. He indicates that throwing away one’s culture for another is an insult to the dead, and can result, as in the case of Africa, in a lot of unresolved ills. In a way, Mr. Mazrui is not just speaking about mechanized Africa, where the worship of the ancestors is being gradually replaced with the worship of machines. He is also speaking to the developed countries, where the antlike frenzy of life, characterized by a work-obsessed culture, is symptomatic of an illness that is perhaps too large to face. Thus”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“People in touch with this archetype are in search of caring, for their spirit seeks to transcend the stress placed on the body and the mind by the rapid motion of everyday life around them. Such people would not be ashamed to express their hunger for transcendence — these are the kind of people in need of ritual. Ritual:”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“Ritual in a way is an anti-machine, even though the industrial world is not totally devoid of the practice of ritual. David Kertzer, in Ritual, Politics and Power, points out it is innately inscribed within humans to do ritual. He goes on to show that ritual exists in every aspect of political practice where the construction of power is ordered by symbol and ceremony. For him, ritual is unavoidable in modern political and social interplay because it is something that enables people to deal with archetypes. There is some truth in such a vision. But I think that the term is being manipulated to fit certain urges for legitimization. A spirit can be used to legitimize someone’s desires. For example, someone can say that a spirit told him or her to do something, which legitimizes his or her unwarranted action (as in the American comedy line “The devil made me do it!”). One can claim divine sponsorship to justify actions that have nothing to do with the divine. One has only to look at American televangelism for that. It”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“Ritual is not compatible with the rapid rhythm that industrialism has injected into life. So whenever ritual happens in a place commanded by or dominated by a machine, ritual becomes a statement against the very rhythm that feeds the needs of that machine. It makes no difference whether it is a political machine or otherwise. I”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“So one of the ways to maintain a certain sense of self is to remain somewhat linked to essential traditionalism. This”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“Human senses are devices of communication. Sight is a language, as are pain, touch, smell and taste. The most powerful among them is the feeling of pain. For the Dagara elder, pain is the result of a resistance to something new — something toward which an old dispensation is at odds. We are made of layers of situations or experiences. Each one of them likes to use a specific part of ourselves in which to lodge. It’s like a territory. A new experience that does not have a space to sit in within us will have to kick an old one out. The old one that does not want to leave will resist the new one, and the result is registered by us as pain. This is why the elders call it Tuo. It means invasion, hunting, meeting with a violent edge. It also means boundary. Pain, therefore, is our body complaining about an intruder. Body complaint is understood as the soul’s language relayed to us. A person in pain is being spoken to by that part of himself that knows only how to communicate in this way. Thus,”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“Is it possible then to say that pain is good, primarily because it is a call to growth? The Dagara elders would say yes. They believe that a person who has suffered is a person who has heard pain (won Tuo). The person hears the pain as a creative action, connecting that person with his or her highest self, which prescribes an alternative to spiritual death. So pain at least teaches us something. It is commotion, e-motion and a call for a rebirth. It teaches that one must return to a mode of living that began with life itself.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“each time we enter a ritual space we do so because something in the physical world has warned us of possible deterioration at hand. This presupposes that one does not enter into a ritual without a purpose, a goal. As I said earlier, ritual is called for because our soul communicates things to us that the body translates as need, or want, or absence. So we enter into ritual in order to respond to the call of the soul. So illness, perhaps, is the sign language of the soul in need of attention. This means that our soul is the part of us that picks up on situations well ahead of our conscious awareness of them.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“When sacrifice is the only way to save a person from death, or, as I have come to notice in this culture, from fatal psychic or physical disruption — auto accidents, psychological illness, stress or depression — how does one find ritual space or sacred space when everywhere around no one seems to be aware that some kind of sacrificial ritual is needed? There are many cases in which people live separated from their souls in this culture. There are many cases of people actually ending their lives because there was no home to go to nor any kind of ritual to receive, such as the one from which I was fortunate enough to benefit. A Dagara elder would include such situations as accidents, heart attacks, or any sudden death within the category of separated souls. So the question as to whether an accident could have been avoided has its answer linked to whether it is possible for society to see the soul of the dying before its actual death. So”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“people have had to update their trust because money has intruded into everything,”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“It is more realistic to think about the spiritual needs of family and self as a starting point for social transformation than to begin thinking we can change Hollywood. The magnet of materialism is keeping people too busy to hear about spiritual change. In addition, the power of the Machine causes people not to hear what we have to say. The Machine is influencing a greater part of our lives than we think. To make Self each person’s own best spiritual project is to avoid the crush of the gigantic modern Machine. Ritual enables us to live a life that is much closer to what our souls aspire to. Industrial”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“A true community begins in the hearts of the people involved. It is not a place of distraction but a place of being.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“It is the right of the grandfather to tell the grandson later what was said while in the womb. It is the right of the grandfather to give the name that will serve as a life program to its bearer. Grandfather”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“Anyone who worships his own creation, something of his own making, is someone in a state of confusion. Power”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“The problem with Western culture is that it is a show-off culture that intimidates. This is why it is generating so much death, loss and displacement. To perform ritual for show is to generate some kind of death or loss. Concealment of ritual is an act of life preservation because it is only in its concealment that needs are met that cannot be met in any other way. If”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“If our goal is to repair all the damage done by the powers of progress, it becomes important to make sure that we focus on how to stay underground while attempting to reconnect with true ritual and true spirits.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“I have witnessed funerals where wounded people in great need of healing (through ritual) are the ones actually planning and taking care of the funeral arrangements. These are people who need someone to help them in their own grief who are burdened with creating ritual space for themselves as well as others. We are facing here some kind of flawed process of self-caretaking. Who can create ritual in its proper space and sequence when there are no elders? Who is there who remembers the old ways, the ancient ways, the ways of the heart, the ways of the spirit that reach to the depths of the soul in its grief? It”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“Acknowledgment of error is not error. A person who sincerely tells the spirit that he did something wrong cannot be punished anymore. The wrong itself is its own punishment. Power”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“As humans, we are fascinated by supernatural, spiritual power. Every moment you display this kind of power to the world, that power isolates you. You become displaced by the power you display because that power is also displaced through you. For”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
“behind the mighty-looking corporations are a group of wealthy people whose personal lives are lived in marginality. To maintain the show of corporate power, they must give up something of themselves, their spirit. These people start to become invisible because they are mere instruments of the power being displayed, the power being made visible. They take a back seat to the corporation’s need to be powerful. They then begin to lose touch with their own souls, with the world of the invisible. This is why they are marginal. The greatest needs ends up being expressed by these people and through these people. It is the action of those in power that produces the poor, the menial worker, the man and woman in debt and the homeless. Misused power triggers its exact opposite as if that opposite needed to be there to highlight the dysfunctionality of its creator. The menial worker, the man and woman in debt, the poor and the homeless exist, as if they must, to highlight the person in power. The person who displays this kind of power needs more help than those who are, more or less, the casualties of this power display. The”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community

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