As I am thinking about my New Year's Day ritual at Race Point some thoughts about my previous post began to unwind I decided to put them down here. Let me say at the outset I sincerely hope what is said about a sociologist-novelist-daily columnist "he doesn't have an unpublished thought" would never apply to me! LOL
In all cultures down the years there have been the needed phenomena of Sacred Ritual and Psycho-Drama: two distinct yet closely related activities in humans. What relates to the Holy Other: YHWH, G-d, God, the gods, the Universe and the like, also related to the innate human expression of the self in what is the gradual unfolding personhood - the Self - or the psycho drama. Perhaps I could define psycho drama as the unfolding of that unique sequence of events in our personal journey by and thru which we come to fulness of Personhood.
There, that said. Now my little yearly ritual which has evolved for me, in me -- writing down things in the past year with which I have not been happy; things I have done that I do not wish to repeat in this New Year -- wrapping the wet paper around a rock, secrued with seaweed, and then thrown into the ocean -- falls into the realm of rite/ritual and my personal psychic/spiritual growth and awareness.
In dynamic this rite is very similar or in the same genre as what catholics do in Confession of Sin. First this: when I reflect on what I want to change from my conduct in the past year does not in any way or fashion deny or exclude all the good, positive, good things in my life during 2009, as my buddy COOP seems to suggest. I own and acknowledge the totality and connectedness of my life but by my ritual centering on one area of my life. . . what could be designated as 'negative'. . .
Let me say a bit about the Catholic Sacrament of Confession aka Penance. In this ritual, having owned my sins or my deviance into 'bad choices' or sin, I then confess to a minister of the church community against whom I have sinned -- all of my actions DO have communitarian affects . . on others -- and he acting as a minister of God and as a representative of the Community declares that my actions/bad choices/ sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
At the end of the prayer 'the act of contrition' I say/it says. . "I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. . ."
I have sinned and I intend to change (amend my life).
Now I do not claim that my yearly ritual is a Sacrament of Confession but when I think about this it certainly is akin to it.. . .it is an owning, a resolve, and a way to amend my life for the future.