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99.32 - The Way of Sacred Rite Basic description...

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The Way of Sacred Rite Characteristic virtues Characteristic vices or excellences of practice or degenerations of practice 1. Competence : Sensible to archetypal form; possesses a developed aesthetic sense; graceful and decorous; keenly sensible to timing; master of the art of participation in sacred ritual; master of the art of ritual detail and the art of choreographing ritual action; thoroughly acquainted with and possesses a lively sense of and an ability to enter into and interpret the basic stories en symbols of the tradition. 2. Balance of finitude and infinitude : Possessed of profound awe and reverence in the presence of the sacred as archetypal form while realistically appreciating the finite conditions of its lively mediation; freshly sensitive to archetypal patterns as transcendent to, though disclosed through, finite and familiar symbolic forms; re- appropriates timeworn forms with freshness and creative imagination; sensible to what is important and what is not; composed in the face of small crises that occasionally occur in the midst of sacred ritual. 3. Selflessness : Sincerely involved in sacred worship for its own sake; ready to enter fully into collective ritual activity for the sake of the group; open to being challenged and changed by participation in sacred ritual; humbly regards ritual status as service and as meriting no special recognition or advantage over others; ready to help the least participant enter fully into sacred worship. 1. Shadow side of competence : ready to treat all problems as calling for solution through participation in sacred ritual; tends to over-structure activities and events; overly conservative. 2. Incompetence : Insensible to archetypal form; lacking a developed aesthetic sense; un-cognizant of religious kitsch (religious art that manifests no genuine aesthetic sensibility); ignorant of basic stories and symbols of the tradition, lacking a lively sense of them, or unable to enter into and interpret them to others; ignorant of ritual properties; awkward, uncertain, or fumbling in ritual performance; prone to ritual mistakes and improprieties. 3. Imbalance : Loss of finitude: Idolatrous toward ritual form and symbol, where secondary symbols and ritual details are identified with sacred meaning as opposed to being its vehicle and mediator; absolutely closed-minded to considerations of creative variation or alternative ritual forms. 4. Imbalance: Loss of infinitude: Merely perfunctory or wooden in execution of ritual; preoccupied with ritual detail, or variation of ritual form, at expense of enabling participants’ access to the sacred archetypes; uncreative in repeating time- worn symbolic forms; insensible to the sacred in and through the symbols; lacking awe and reverence for the transcendent dimension of the sacred archetypal patterns; discomposed in the face of small crises in ritual detail.
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