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Old 17-07-2012, 09:44 PM   #141
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Lightbulb Master of Ceremoonies

A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia ("rites performed by Etruscan pontiffs near Rome.")...A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including by a religious community...In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behaviour systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it is a symptom of obsessive–compulsive disorder...

According to Joseph Jordania, the initial function of ritualistic behaviours in human evolutionary prehistory was to achieve the altered state of consciousness in hominid brain, in order to transform individual hominids into a group of dedicated individuals with a single collective identity. In this state (which Jordania calls battle trance) hominids did not feel fear and pain, they were religiously dedicated to group interests, were not questioning orders, and could sacrifice their lives for the common goal... This state was induced by ritualistic actions: loud rhythmic singing, clapping and drumming on external objects, dancing, body and face painting, and the use of specific cloths. The same kind of ritualistic actions are still widely used in order to achieve the psychological unity of participants in various religious practices, as well in military forces to prepare soldiers for the combat situations...There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions that may be incorporated into a ritual. The rites of past and present societies have typically involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, processions, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, and much more. Religious rituals have also included animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, and ritual suicide...

Rituals can aid in creating a firm sense of group identity. Humans have used rituals to create social bonds and even to nourish interpersonal relationships. For example, nearly all fraternities and sororities have rituals incorporated into their structure, from elaborate and sometimes "secret" initiation rites, to the formalized structure of convening a meeting. Thus, numerous aspects of ritual and ritualistic proceedings are engrained into the workings of those societies...

Last edited by lightgiver; 17-07-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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