The Importance Of Using Rituals

rituals work

Scientific American on the mysterious benefit and power behind “irrational” rituals:

Rituals take an extraordinary array of shapes and forms. At times performed in communal or religious settings, at times performed in solitude; at times involving fixed, repeated sequences of actions, at other times not. People engage in rituals with the intention of achieving a wide set of desired outcomes, from reducing their anxiety to boosting their confidence, performing well in a competition – or even making it rain.

Recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. Why? Because even simple rituals can be extremely effective. Rituals performed after experiencing losses do alleviate grief, and rituals performed before high-pressure tasks do in fact reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence. What’s more, rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work.

Humans feel uncertain and anxious in a host of situations. In the late 1940s, anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski suggested that people are more likely to turn to rituals when they face situations where the outcome is important and uncertain and beyond their control.

Despite the absence of a direct causal connection between the ritual and the desired outcome, performing rituals with the intention of producing a certain result appears to be sufficient for that result to come true.

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  • Simon Valentine

    or
    humans don’t actually have any control anyway
    and there’s these moments of programming anomalies
    that aren’t anomalies so much as programs
    and it’s all the same anyway
    self-aware that they’re self-aware? step up step down? peek poke? infinitely vertical line hierarchy? genus dementia? diminsia? daemons, yuh? blah becomes blah. all the same stuff already. “conversion?” “NP.” “wrong?” “time.” “wrong?” “wrong.” second person? third person? first person? reinstatement? identical meaning opposite verbage? simultaneous variable impossibility? n-body?

    n-body cosmic ritual attempt to solve n-body problems.
    “if the n-body problem exists, simply exist to solve the problem.”
    i don’t have control and so could not have referenced control to say we do not have control? or i am not human? semantics? programming.

    “simply existing solves the problem”
    “simply existing proves NP”
    existence is P ? NP in as much as existence was assumed to require time? “any logical path takes as antecedent that which may be stated to be the outcome” as a logical idea of what logic is, as everyone an equally idiotic animal. thelemma? what lemma?

  • Cyprus Mulch

    “Despite the absence of a direct causal connection between the ritual and
    the desired outcome, performing rituals with the intention of producing
    a certain result appears to be sufficient for that result to come true.”

    Once again, modern science catches up with what occultists have known for millenia.

    • Ittabena

      I sort of agree with Buzz below. In most situations, from what I’ve found, the same result can be had without rituals. Rituals seem like an aid in the beginning but as you become more practiced at focus (developed?) they are not really required. In fact if used too long I would classify them as a potential crutch.

  • BuzzCoastin

    “performing rituals with the intention of producing a certain result
    appears to be sufficient for that result to come true”

    my own experience leads me to believe that focused intention is sufficient
    but ritual can help keep & intensify the focus

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Gill/503139188 Daniel Gill

    And people thought Anton LaVey was a weirdo simpleton charlatan plagiarizer or whatever. Who’s plagiarizing now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.piazzetta Bill Piazzetta

    NLP uses the term “strategies” (basically a programming metaphor) to explain the same thing. So whatever it is you do you have a certain “program” you have to run through in order to do it, which is nothing more than a set of steps you perform, either internally, externally or a mixture of both. This is the “strategy” you use. So in order to know if something is worth buying or not for example it has to fit certain criteria and you have to process your “buying” program in order to decide (going through a certain sequence of internal/external images, sounds, feelings, etc). This can be considered a ritual, in my opinion.