Comment to 'Unbelievable Initiation Rituals'
  • There should be and has been as will continue to be strong reactions, opposition, and outrage to “barbaric” rites. They maybe have been accepted at certain times, but more and more they are opposed. There are international organizations that diligently work at educating against these practices.

     

    That work is important as a way of decreasing human suffering by way of educating folks as to the uselessness and harm caused by these beliefs. They include amongst others male circumcision as well as female incision and its more dire form of infibulation; a long conversation for another day perhaps.

     

    Aside from that consideration, which has to do with human societal activity, there is nature’s own mechanics. The two I see running parallel. Animals are simply subjected to the directives of nature, but as humans, we have sense of civilization and we act willfully. Our actions are subject to change and adaption according to time and place. Many of those rites had their significance in their by-gone contexts.

     

    Their definition of a body was different, it belongs to the group not really the individual. Even further back the fate of the community would be considered in peril because one individual was not adequately “processed”. So for instance a bad natural event or drought causing lack of harvest would be cause for pointing the finger. And now, in the modern context, the individuals find their significance in a broader context that includes the media and their peers.   

     

    I consider rites as being many and dependent on the developmental stage, some stages are more marked according to the needs of the society. But the end of life rites, I also consider rites in their own right. For me, those are the most important ones that I need to prepare for. Though nearly all human societies (and some animal ones, sporadically – such as the elephants) would rather have the last rites to be ceremonial and important, in terms of what practices they carry on with the decomposing or degrading carcass or dead body, human or otherwise.

     

    By dream rite, I muse myself at the experience of raising the life force specifically. But of course, that can take place at pretty much any age that is capable to follow the instructions. I consider having shown my young relatives to raise the energy an initiation rite into mysticism.
    Aside from that, my own circumcision was part of an initiation rite, as it was a group of a handful of neighbor peers that were subjected to the practice (that I consider typically unjustified regardless). The details of that rite, their cultural and moral significance as well as its gradual lowering in age from puberty to at my time, elementary school age (latest middle school – in the cities) to now only babies could also be elaborate writing for another time.

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