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Hey Kirk,
That's a great rumination on and comparison of the sacred/profane and public/private spheres. I never thought to connect the two. Nonetheless, I have found that, personally, as of late, I haven't engaged in much conversation about rituals, personal sacredness, and so on and so forth as much as I got into those conversations as in college. Interesting that you bring up.

Maybe you should set up bulletin/discussion board so us readers and you can have ongoing conversations about these topics you bring up! I would love to get all types of views on these topics.
--Mr. Lex Tue May 11 09:36:37 2004
Well, glad it made you thoughtful. You seem like someone more likely to be in touch with that kind of stuff.

I'm not sure if kisrael merits a full-fledged ongoing message board...that's kind of what the comment tool here is for, though obviously it puts certain limits on the ongoingness of conversations.
--Kirk Tue May 11 11:15:32 2004
I don't know if I'm up for an online version of the kind of navel-gazing discussions that made college so much fun, but FWIW--I do think there is an important place for ritual in one's personal path to "ordination", though whether the ritual is private or shared is a question best left to the individual.

I would also point out that you are highly ritualized--look at the process of doing the blog, for pete's sake, not to mention the love blender and videogaming itself!

The sticky wicket is how to negotiate the rituals of those closest to you--giving some of them wide berth, trying to find some of yours and theirs that can be collaborative, and looking for opportunities to create new ones in common. Very tricky, but probably one of the most crucial elements of any intimate relationship.
--Rocco Tue May 11 11:20:42 2004
Interesting point about the way I may be ritualized and not even realize it. And it ties into a thought I had earlier today: I'd say I hold some things important, but not sacred. Is there an important functional difference? Doing the Blender every month and kisrael every day are both rituals...and both are important (to me)...but are they sacred? What makes that boundary? Do you need what my rationalistic-philosophic-self would think of as "mystic mumbo jumbo" to draw that line?
--Kirk Tue May 11 11:32:57 2004

My opinions in answer to the questions from your last post: 1. Probably not, 2. It's a matter of semantics; if by "sacred" you mean "invoilable", the answer is "No"--if you mean "holds a place in my life and my personality of deep importance", then the answer is probably "yes", 3. See #2, 4. I really doubt it.

What makes something "sacred", in my opinion, is how deeply it reflects something about you. If you lose the "thing" itself (e.g., you can't keep up the websites), that doesn't change what they meant to you, and the part of you that was so strongly drawn to do them will just find another form of expression. Sacred doesn't mean un-transmutable, either--you are always open to change on your websites, but note how carefully you consider the change. You, as a person, are a dynamic entity, so those things that are important to you are likewise dynamic. That doesn't mean they're not "sacred"; just the opposite--the more they are as a true reflection of your own growth, the more "sacred" they are!

--Rocco Tue May 11 13:12:25 2004
Oops--that should have been "inviolable"!
--Rocco Tue May 11 13:13:02 2004
There's some degree of truth that I'm more likely than anyone else to think about ritual, sacredness, etc. etc. but in some way, I think I have a similar bent toward empiricism and rationality as you may. Nonetheless, I do like to reserve belief for what us humans do not know, assume too much about, etc. etc.

I guess I could say that I have faith in an infinite mystery, if not necessarily some kind of divinity. As for what I consider sacred: I would view full engagement in the moment, in life, in people, and in the general discourse and interaction that exists in this universe along with the spontaneous novelty that becomes manifest and acts to fully engage us in the moment then question what happened in that time, then to have those conclusions further questioned by future engagement and novelty brought about by the new conditions. Some people, mainly sports stars, artists, researchers, etc. etc. have probably called this full engagement "The Zone." And I guess, further, I would regard rituals are a way to either test the findings brought about through this method or are ways to somehow create this full engagement. Other than that, I find myself engaging in tedious compulsions like shaving, brushing my teeth, eating, working, etc. etc. that help to maintain my corporeal existence, so in the future, I can hopefully enter another state of engagement and possible thought about that engagement.

I feel that's an apt description of my mindset on the topic.
--Mr. Lex Tue May 11 16:04:12 2004
At the risk of bending the conversation in weird ways, I'd like to mention Mr. Lex is a vegan, and for a time was even a "fruitarian", meaning he tried to shun vegetables that killed the plant, but stuck only with ones where the fruit is freely given.

Which leads people like me to assume that he's like all mystical and in tune with nature and all that jazz; which really is a bias; as if it wasn't possible to make a rational decision that trying to minimize the killing of other things, even lifeforms that seem "simpler" than us, is a Good Thing.

In fact, I think there is a suspicious utilitarian streak of post-facto reasoning in a lot of my morality. I can argue left and right why I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, but really, it's the pain in the butt factor (along with enjoying tasty animals) that stops me. 

Though...bringing the conversation back to the sacred/profane thing, it's probably my lack of "sacredness" that makes it easier to make those utilitarian arguments. If, for instance, animal life isn't "sacred" per se, then the reasons for abstaining are less deep. (Though I recognize that there are some very practical benefits to the lifestyle.)

Heh, maybe Evil Bastard was right, I do need more room for this message box :-)
--Kirk Tue May 11 16:17:29 2004
Hmmmm. . .not eating meat and being vegan as mystical. I guess it could be looked at in that light, but I guess I look at it in a more Buddhist, mindfulness type of way of following a path of non-violence except in self-defense or some strange area of complete unreasonableness that requires violence to solve the problem "correctly." In general, though, I simply have an aversion to violence, in general.

But, of course, there's a lot of rational reasons behind being vegan, too. =D
--Mr. Lex Tue May 11 21:05:10 2004

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