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What Happens When We Lose Our Social Rituals?

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_happens_when_we_lose_our_social_rituals

greatergood.berkeley.edu

What Happens When We Lose Our Social Rituals?
When the shelter-in-place orders came down in California, the first thing I thought of was my cousin's wedding-the one I was supposed to officiate. I'd been working on creating a special ceremony since the fall. But once the pandemic kicked in, everything was cancelled.

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The shared rituals and their importance

The shared rituals and their importance

Rituals give us a feeling of going beyond the ordinary, of turning events into something special and meaningful. And shared rituals are essential to humanity, as they provide us all with a sense of meaning as well as belonging o a group. 

Despite the social distancing measures, rituals can still be kept, even though at distance and not as strong as when they are established through face-to-face interactions.

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Adapting shared rituals

While going through difficult times, we are all losing, more or less, the shared rituals we used to have with others. But that is not actually such a bad thing.

Instead of thinking about what was lost, we could think about what we still have and figure out ways to make the most of the time spent at home, like staying more with our family or getting in touch again with old friends by calling them.

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Making new rituals

It’s not that difficult to create rituals online. Focus on:

  • Asking people to bring to their online gathering something symbolic to share, to create a sense of connectedness.
  • Marking the moment as something special by having someone provide an opening statement.
  • Creating emotional highs by using music or something else with high emotional resonance to augment the experience.
  • Having a distinct ending that includes an emotional peak, because people tend to remember an event better that way.

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The loss of many of our public rituals, including things as simple as meeting a friend for coffee or a drink, has led people to naturally look for new ones.

The Universal God

Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy(1945) is an extraordinary work of synthesis, introducing global (particularly eastern) spirituality into mainstream western culture.

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The Author and Philosopher's fresh take on religion, shaping it as an 'empirical spirituality' was a huge influence in the 1960s and which has since then led to more people (now 27% in the US) being 'Spiritual but not Religious'

Constructing One's Reality

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