Quote of the day: UNDERNEATH

November 17, 2015

UNDERNEATH

Mythologist Michael Meade says there are three layers of experience. The first is the social layer: “Hey, how’s it going?” “Fine, how about you?” The second layer is difficult emotions such as grief, anger, rage, envy, violence. The third layer is deep soul contact, true intimacy. Meade says that you can’t go from layer one to layer three without going through layer two, and we avoid layer two at all costs. We stay on the surface, where we talk about the weather and who’s doing what on Capitol Hill. We need a way, as a community, to get through layer two. Otherwise, when there’s a tragedy, how are we going to deal with it? If we don’t chew on these subjects, they chew on us….

It’s up to us to devise our own rituals. One of the values of ritual is that it has the capacity to derange us, to shake us out of the old forms. We need that derangement, because the current arrangement isn’t working. We have ceremonies, yes – weddings, graduations, church services — but we come out of those pretty much the same as we went in. You’re supposed to emerge from a ritual wondering what the hell just happened. Ritual connects us to spirit and soul. It can shift us out of our usual state of mind. Ceremony works to maintain and renew social bonds. We needs both, but we rarely have access to rituals that are potent enough to break us open.

–Francis Weller, author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow, interviewed in The Sun

weller book

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