Creating and Altering Rituals

Creating and Altering Rituals

This means we can create that uplift more easily than we might think. So does that mean the coronavirus outbreak, especially given the need for “social distancing”, a big event involving the whole world will make “everybody focus on the same thing and feel the same emotions,” which creates a sense of solidarity? But, at the same time, however, we lose face-to-face interaction with other people. The other question then is can phone conversations, and Zoom meetings make up for that loss?

I would say the answer is sort of a yes, but to a weaker degree, because there is something special about in-person ritual.

How Ancient Chinese Philosophers View Rituals

The term ritual has taken on connotations of mindless repetition. We tend to think of ritual as something that tells us what to do, not as something transformative. Which is unfortunate given the importance of rituals in everyday life. Rituals can be a healthy routine of activity that symbolize and facilitate important dimensions of experience.

Confucius led us to a radically new vision of exactly what ritual can do. For Confucius everything began with the question, “How are you living in your life on a daily basis?” The reason these daily moments are important is because, as we will see, they are the means which we can become a different and better person.

Chinese philosophers saw the world as consisting of an endless series of fragmented messy encounters. This worldview emerged for the notion that all aspects of human life are governed by emotions including the endless human interactions that take place. All living things have tendencies to respond to things in a certain way, like flower tends to lean toward the sun, butterflies seek out flowers. Human beings have dispositions too, we respond emotionally to other people. Constantly our emotions are being drawn out from us, our feelings sway back and forth depending on what we encounter. When we encounter something pleasurable, we feel pleasure, toxic relationship makes us feel despair, rivalry with a neighbor arouses our jealousy. We are pulled to and fro emotionally. And we find ourselves experiencing certain emotions more often than we do others. And our responses become patterned habits. Every one of us live in a fragmented world, are buffeted about endlessly by disparate events and reacting passively.


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About the Author

Ivan Zy LimDr Ivan Zy Lim is a Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years of extensive practice experience in treating mental health issues. He is passionate about helping adults and adolescents with psychological and emotional difficulties. Prior to this profession, Dr Lim had over 20 years of experience in the corporate world. He has extensive experience in multi-cultural consulting, training and team facilitation; and has delivered workshops in 13 countries around Asia pacific. Dr Lim is a strong believer in living a balanced and healthy life. His other passions include Chinese martial art, Qigong, Chinese philosophy, spirituality and Lion & Dragon dance. His passion for Chinese Martial Art comes from the unique philosophy within the system that he believe is transferable into a counselling and life philosophy context. His Chinese Martial Art path was and still is a significant part of his physical, philosophical, emotional, psychological and spiritual being. Dr Lim have integrates Chinese martial art philosophy (Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism ) and Western talk therapy, a fusion of Eastern ideas with Western process. It provides an approach to learning and living well; the practical, the psychological and the spiritual, which he believe more adequately explain Asian behaviour.

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