There is truth in the world. There is a way in the world. As Sting said, “There is a deeper way than this.” And it is expressed in stillness.
I may get a little Gnani here, non-devotional. From one point of view the purpose of ritual is to honor the gods, and I won’t deny that. People tend to get caught up in what might please the gods. I guess because we like to make people we care about feel good, happy. But as far as applied theurgy goes, the purpose of ritual is not so much to get the gods attention or please the god, but to practice the memory of the god repeatedly, and through devoted practice of the communion ritual, so imbed the sense of the gods presence in our mind that it influences us even when we aren’t thinking about them, making room for the god to live in our psyche, mind and heart.
In some traditions, they say the gods are forgetful and need to be reminded to help their people, but from another point of view, it’s humanity who is forgetful, but with devotion can come to be so familiar with the presence and teachings of a deity that we just live with that influence guiding us always. In extreme cases perhaps even leading to what some call sainthood. Shall we discuss sainthood or should we do more detail on ritual?
Seems to me that there is a shift in devotion from my “containing” an idea of the god, to the god’s containing me, and this seems like what you just explained. That’s exactly what happens. It’s necessary to start where we are, but we end up where they are. Ritual is a mirror of what was already the truth anyway. We just use ritual to train our minds to perceive the truth more clearly.
The attention needs its habits to occupy it before the soul’s eye can open. The small mind blinds the larger one. When you occupy the brain fully, its processes sort of collapse into a recursive loop which frees the background quantum process to expand and resonate more fully. Otherwise, it remains entrained to the brains rhythms. This state of entrainment is necessary. Normally, we need to know what’s going on around us, manage our day to day affairs well. This means the mind can’t be ignoring the user interface of the brain.
I.e. “Small mind.” Yes, but we tend to be forgetful. This is the veil of Maya. Maya is our mother, the ways of the body are her veil, but like any veil they can fall away without our destruction. The body doesn’t have to die for us to see. This is apparently a very difficult thing to struggle with.
So, no sacrifice of the body is required in ritual for Shiva? Indeed not, that’s a human contrivance. But humans do it because many seem to find it necessary. Sort of like the shaman Don Juan explaining why some people need to take peyote many times, some once, and some not at all.
Yes, but how about sacrifice of the body’s “urges”? You need not sacrifice the body’s urges. That’s an illusion, a misunderstanding. What needs to be understood is that it’s no sacrifice to free yourself from the bodies urges for whatever time becomes appropriate. People think they are in danger if they ignore the bodies urges, feel threatened by every little thing. This isn’t true, but they never learn what the body can do because they never test its endurance. They just believe the superficial, the apparent, but how often is the apparent synonymous with the actual?
The disciplines of yoga are not necessary because the body is somehow evil or sinful or impure. The body mirrors the universe. Yoga is for creating the experience the brain needs to redefine itself, to guide you to the realization that the mind can be freed.
I feel that the “actual” might take a larger view than the apparent takes. The actual is much larger than the apparent. Indescribably larger, multiversal, but that’s a different issue.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.