Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ritual Symbolism Versus Real LIfe Actions
The culture and subcultures that make up our being bring to the table expectations of what we are to participate in and actions we are expected to perform. 

Among some of such expectations are symbolic rituals.

There are symbolic actions that we can perform that actually MEAN something else. They teach us lessons about the values we should keep.

Here are some symbolic rituals: foot washing during communion services, walking under the chuppah during a wedding, giving Christmas gifts, ablution rituals, wearing a wedding ring, or placing a bumper sticker on your minivan about Supporting Our Troops or Breast Cancer Awareness.

You can see that many rituals take place during religious services or rites of passage. And other symbols are representing a cause or even a popular fad.


Washing feet may a be good way to show humility and service, but in the USA most people do not really need their feet washed during church. I will assume that most people are not walking dusty roads in sandals just before a service. They likely bathe before the meeting and they are likely to pay especially close attention to their feet on foot-washing days! 

WHY NOT SERVE YOUR NEIGHBOR IN A REALISTIC WAY (in addition to the symbols). 

...wash a car for free. 
... help someone's kid learn their math lessons. 
... teach someone a skill they want to know just as a way of reaching out.
... remind your significant other that they are your better half. Mean it. Show it.
... give somebody a much needed gift based on their recent troubles.
... clean up the parts in your life that are getting out of hand.
... reunite with a loved one.
... give to charity.

We have learned many teachings through symbols. But we are not to just blindly nor routinely keep on performing symbolic rituals. They are passed down for a reason.


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