On the Impossibility of Mediated Ritual


On making an attempt to watch a video of a recent gathering in Britain I was struck by this thought; that no actual ritual can survive passing through a mediated filtering intact. Not only will our understanding of it be broken, but any value it might have held risks being destroyed in the process.

If we give it a moment’s thought it becomes clear that this must be so.

A ritual is a vital conjunction of immediacy within cycles of continuity. It partakes of the heightened presence one feels within a sacred space and it connects us with all those who’ve come before within a tradition brought to life, to this moment, through ritual. This can only occur within a circle of profound sincerity.

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The Currency of Trust


The last post has brought us to the point of examining trust. This phrase, the currency of trust, appears to hold some promise.

Let’s begin with another word, seriousness. Serious, trust, compassion; these are among a suite of terms we fear today, or hide our fear behind disdain at their current condition and denatured meanings. Seriousness and sincerity have come to be two such terms much in need of a rehabilitation.

What is it to be serious?

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Intention, Sincerity & the Works of I


This post is a departure for Horizons of Significance. Instead of an essay, this post is a poem.

There have been times when while writing fiction or essays, I’ve felt what was coming out might really be a narrative or expository poem instead.

Coming off the last post, which seems to have brought some sort of break in the train that preceded it, I thought I’d include this poem, written right after. In its own way it belongs here, at least I think so…. All of my poetry can be found here.

Intention, Sincerity and the Works of I

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Nature is a term for that which was born


I’ve studied the meaning of “nature” for forty odd years. I took a class on it in 1972, when there were few such courses. I’ve been as confused over what it could possibly mean as anyone, caught between all the assumptions that have stuck to the term. Then in the first week of this year, reading Julian Bell’s What Is Painting?, I came across this simple definition.

“Nature… (is) that which was born.”

Once it was pointed out, the common root with natal, it was obvious. The relief at finding this clear simple meaning washed away any embarrassment over how long it took me to get here.

As, most recently, Paul Kingsnorth has delineated the twists and turns that took us from nature and natural to environment and ecological, stripping the term nature of all its baggage and starting fresh relieves the technical aura of the latter terms and restores a clear meaning to the former.

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A Conversation around Questions of Sincerity, Stone Soup


Andrew Taggart has become the first contributing author on Stone Soup. In his first post he looks at the story and responds to the skeptic’s view.

In the end he asks, “How can someone … avoid the fate of the con man?”

I’d like to take a stab at that. I’d like to say the answer is simple, though it’s not likely to please “the skeptic.”

Sincerity.

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