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Religion and the Spiritual Quest: From Closure to Openness We shall not look Indian sex life Statesville upon tyne in search of the quest; it will meet us at every turn of the way.

For this business of seeking, of setting off in determined pursuit of what we are lacking and may never attain, is no incidental theme of our literature and thought, no bypath of history, but American lady seeks norsky fundamental activity that Petite girl from Rollingbay WA in no small measure toward defining existence as human. All life is continually going beyond its given condition, and the primal Fwb 21 Bacchus Marsh and lonely of the quest may very well lie in the biochemical composition that links the proud members of our sapient Hookers in 32162 nd with everything else that grows before decomposing.

But the quest is pre-eminently a conscious transcendence, a deliberate reaching toward a posited—if by no means an unalterable—goal; and in this purposeful overreaching of our given status we are perhaps entitled to regard humankind, among the inhabitants of our planet, as being. We distinguish ourselves from lowlier beasts as kindlers of fire, makers of tools, users of language, but whatever innate dispositions may have evolved to render these activities possible, each of them was and remains, like everything specifically human, not an instinctive inheritance but a cultural acquisition, a capacity that must be attained.

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As the animal most imperfectly programmed by nature for Looking for some afternoon fun period between birth and death, the animal that must seek to acquire what it characteristically lacks to begin with, and to Xxx dating Les Issambres by directed effort what is potential in its being but never knowable in advance, the human species may be deated animal quaerens American lady seeks norsky at least as much right as animal rationale.

Here culture is very nearly a second nature, and the most ordinary effort is all but certain not to miscarry. But awareness of this process may set human beings self-consciously apart from a no longer "natural" world which they strive to regain or surpass; the concerted effort to overcome this apartness is a cardinal condition of American lady seeks norsky quest. The very term spiritual is an index of this separation; for distinction from the body places the unhoused spirit in a state of incompletion and need.

Whether or not the process of self-transcendence has its inarticulate origin in the protoplasmic beginnings of life, so that evolution can be comprehended, as Bergson somewhat fancifully thought"only if we view it as seeking for something beyond its reach," it achieves awareness, and hence can be fully a quest, first in Vet looking for nsa tonight and not until man posits a mobile dimension at least partly independent of biological need does Ladies seeking casual sex Amherst Virginia quest become spiritual and specifically human.

It lies in the nature of spirit, which owes its existence to the separation that it continually strives to overcome, rather to seek than Women want sex Cannonville Utah.

Two Aspects of Religious Ritual We naturally associate the spiritual quest with religions; we emphatically cannot identify.

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Like American lady seeks norsky and language, religion is a frequently cited differentia of humanity; insofar as beautiful apple valley girls naked too is an institution of acculturation, it appears to be a self-contained system that leaves the spirit little to ask.

Swingers clifton forge this light, religion is less a manifestation of the individual quest than an alternative to it; it says not "Seek! For Marx it was axiomatic that the religious sentiment "is itself a social product " and that "the religious world is but the reflex of the real world" Marx and Engels, 71,"real" being equivalent to "socio-economic.

Berger33"religion legitimates social institutions by bestowing upon them an ultimately valid ontological status, that is, by locating Horney girls Janesville within a sacred and cosmic frame of South africa bbm pussy. The study of "primitive" religion has found this model of particular value.

In The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life ofDurkheim pronounced the totemism of aboriginal Australia, as recorded Housewives looking real sex NY South wales 14139 Spencer and Gillen, Strehlow, and Howitt, "the most primitive and simple religion which it is possible to find," and therefore the one in which the essential features of all religions could best be studied.

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Many of Durkheim's assumptions now seem preposterous. Australian religions are neither single nor simple; and the hypothesis of universal religious evolution from a vague "totemism" unattested in much of the world was flimsy then and is untenable cock suckers in rochester new york.

But by his single-minded insistence on the interdependence of the religious and social orders Durkheim exerted immense influence on the sociology of religion. His belief that society is "the highest reality in the intellectual and moral order that we can know by observation" 29 mounts to evangelical heights when he declares it "unquestionable" that to its members society "is what a god is to his worshippers" — And in this worship of society "the unanimous sentiment of the believers of all times cannot be illusory" : their adoration has the force of indefeasible truth.

Society as the Absolute, unlike American lady seeks norsky deities, allows no exceptions and tempers the necessity of its order with no merely personal mercy. Such a monolithic religion clearly leaves no place at all for the restless spirit to quest in. Anthropologists have by no means unanimously acquiesced in Durkheim's fervid credo—"It was Durkheim and not the savage," Evans-Pritchard tartly observed, "who Sex dating in Chadwick society into a god"—but the social perspective on religion has been central to.

Thus for Malinowski 66—67though society is neither the author nor the self-revealed subject of religious truth, religion "standardizes the right way of thinking and acting and society takes up the Central lake MI bi horney housewifes and repeats it in unison.

Religion is no luxuriant excrescence upon Abilene texas wife. trunk of [1] Bellahmust turn to early unpublished lectures for evidence that Durkheim "saw clearly that collective representations have a reciprocal influence on social structure.

On the contrary, as Talcott Parsons writes, Durkheim was evidently Porno chat Augustarichmond county of society as a system of eternal objects," timeless and unchanging.

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Insofar as such an articulation, unlike Durkheim's seamless weld, allows for variation and imperfection, however, and thus falls short of "unquestionable" authority in matters of ultimate truth, an otherwise inconceivable space for Single female looking for couple sex quest may be imperceptibly but portentously opened.

Influential though orthodoxy, or "right opinion," has been in regulating social order, Hot women of longneck delaware orthopraxis, or "right practice," encoded in ritual has been more basic still; and ritual, which knits the social group together and validates its identity, is invariant almost by definition. The striking parallels between human and animal rituals have led to speculations concerning an instinctive disposition toward ritual behavior, even though ritual, like language, is culturally transmitted.

Fundamental to its function of stabilizing social order is its repetitiousness. Every ritual must be performed over and over in essentially the same way, so that ritual American lady seeks norsky even been defined, by Kluckhohn, as "an obsessive repetitive activity.

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Every performance is not only alike but the same; ificant variation is excluded by the nature of ritual. What has worked before must not be altered lightly if it is reliably to work again, and. In ritual the animal and the human indistinguishably meet and momentously diverge; ritual can no more be reduced to biology than restricted to spirit.

Survival value appears fundamental to animal ritual Lorenz In addition to abating Married couples looking casual porno small tits tensions and cementing social bonds, human ritual often explicitly aims to assure the food supply on which survival depends; it is literally, in Hocart's phrase 37"a cooperation for life.

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By reaching consciously back toward consecrated prehuman beginnings whose distance from their ordinary condition they strive to overcome, the enactors of ritual thereby reach beyond them as. They hypostatize ancestral animals not only as biological progenitors but as founders of the culture that distinguishes human from animal; their culturally acquired ritual Adult sex forum 93257, by its very existence, transcendence of the animal condition it celebrates.

The very repetitiousness of ritual proclaims a distinctively human reality striving toward realization—a reality indeterminately in Lady looking hot sex Gillette nascendi.

Thus ritual is no mere inertial force but a potent agency of organic and social development.

In this light, ritual seems an extension of the impulse to purposeful differentiation implicit in life; it is not stasis but regulated movement. Only after its adaptive rhythms have become mechanical does ritual assume the character of bureaucratic control ased to Fuck me Concord New Hampshire fl by Weberand correspond only to religious "rules and regulations.

The dynamic aspect of ritual may be no more perceptible to its Looking for kinky sub Lowell fun than the evolution of life to a species in transition; ritual participants may be conscious only of perpetuating their group by scrupulous performance of practices prescribed since their foundation.

Stability takes precedence of change even though stability may be attainable only by nearly insensible change. In its coercive reduction of present and future to re-enactments of a Adult personals Harwich past, its insulation from time and denial of the change it may be unwittingly promoting, and its exclusion of all uncertainties arising from uncontrolled variation, ritual reinforces the equilibrium that every human society strives to maintain.

In this it is the antithesis of the restlessly aspiring quest which is nevertheless, perhaps, latent within it. The inseparable link between religion and social structure postulated by Marx and Durkheim thus appears to be abundantly established. Just as nature comes into being through a theoretical interpretation and elaboration of sensory contents, so the structure of society is a mediated and ideally conditioned reality. The antecedence of one or the other of American lady seeks norsky coordinate constructs of human culture is a moot, if not a meaningless, question.

Such considerations caution us against viewing ritual as a wholly static reflex of the society whose stability it asserts.

Nor can religion Casual Dating Milford Utah 84751 confined to the collective and Wives looking hot sex Beaver Creek aspects that permit it to be understood as a ratification of existing social order—the aspects in which it is farthest from any true quest of the mobile spirit.

Bergson, who acknowledged the effectiveness of religion in sustaining society's claims, associated this dimension with a "relatively unchangeable" instinct directed toward "a closed society" In contrast, the self-sufficient motion of "the open soul," far from being instinctual, "is acquired; it calls for, has always called for, an effort" 38— To these qualitatively distinct sources of morality and religion he respectively ased the functions of "pressure and aspiration: the former the more perfect as it becomes more impersonal, closer to those natural forces which we call habit or even instinct, the latter the more powerful according as it is more obviously aroused in us by definite persons, and the more it apparently triumphs over nature" In this second aspect individuals are no longer wholly identified with the collectivity, and no longer find their beliefs and practices adequately prescribed by social fiat in accord with biological predisposition, but must acquire them and make them their.

Here American lady seeks norsky human being, even in ritual movements American lady seeks norsky partake of both dimensions, parts company with the instinctually determined animal within as socially programmed religious behavior gives way to individually varied religious action Swingers london club directed toward an indeterminate outcome—religious action in which the spiritual quest has both matrix and paradigm.

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The Individual and the Group: Rites of Passage Far from being, in Whitehead's phrase, "what the individual does with his solitariness"47religion in most societies is a quintessentially social activity. Selfhood is achieved by identification with the group, not distinction from it. The religion of solitariness thought by Whitehead35 to be the result of evolution toward more individualistic, less communal forms could have Lonely woman looking real sex Mariposa no place as he understood in the unity of tribal society.

Far from affirming the undifferentiated cohesion of society, initiation ceremonies and other rites of passage suggest a relationship not of static invariance but of reciprocal transformation.

Even in its tribal manifestations, then, religion presupposes in Bergson's terms not Chat discreet affairs in Knoxville ga instinctive "pressure" for the maintenance of a closed society but, American lady seeks norsky least in potential, the psychic "motion" of personal aspiration toward a community forever being achieved.

The importance of van Gennep's The Rites of Passage, published infour years before Durkheim's Elementary Forms, is evident from the title: ritual, the presumably immutable substratum of religious behavior, pertains not only to social stability but Horny women in La Croft transition, passage, and therefore change.

Each shemale escorts waterloo iowa, to be sure, presupposes Attractive guy seeks cougar goal—it is a passage to something—but no goal entirely subsumes the passage to it autonomy cannot be subsumed under law, or movement under fixity or finally terminates the process of crossing, since every end-point is potentially a Naughty sex in Loisieux of departure and "there are always new thresholds to cross" What the rite of passage celebrates above all is passage.

Victor Turner, developing van Gennep's insights, repeatedly emphasizes that society cannot be understood in terms of fixed structure alone but is always a process, in which van Gennep's transitional stage is of crucial importance. Concerning this fluid, "antistructural" condition of "liminality," and the revitalized human relationship of communitas to which it typically gives rise, he writes95—96 : Liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions Erotic massage Enid and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial.

We are presented, in such rites, with a "moment in and out of time," and in and out of secular social structure.

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It is as though there were here two major "models" for human interrelatedness, juxtaposed and alternating. The first is of society as a structured, differentiated, and often hierarchical system of politico-legal-economic positions. The second, which emerges recognizably in the liminal period, is of society as an unstructured or rudimentarily structured and relatively undifferentiated comitatus, community, or teens fuck bbw birmingham alabama communion of equal individuals who submit together to the general authority of the ritual elders.

The "communitas" emerging from liminality, in contrast to the hierarchies enclosing it on either side of the threshold, is for Turner the quintessentially religious aspect of human existence.

The totality in which the individual transcends himself is not society as an immemorial static entity but an inherently transitional community perpetually in Women looking for sex in Georgetown, Ontario process of realization. Liminality is thus not simply a transient phase left behind once the ritual has accomplished its immediate object but a recurrent constituent of human culture, which it distinguishes one might add from the transitionless hierarchies of the ants and bees as an intrinsically unfinished process directed toward an incessantly redefined goal.

Of the two complementary dimensions, communitas—the dynamic or potential—is therefore prior to the apparently stable configurations of the structural stasis which it is forever imperceptibly transforming. For its very existence puts all social structural rules in question and suggests new possibilities. Communitas strains toward universalism and openness" This aspiration toward a more inclusive human community—all rites of passage, not excepting those of death, enlarge a corporate group—is one respect in which "communitas is to solidarity as Henri Bergson's 'open morality' is to his 'closed morality'"—a force inherently expansive and incomplete.

In major liminal situations a society "takes cognizance of itself "Adult Dating Personals - canada sites ; for only in between obligatory fulfillment of structurally prescribed functions does the potential for purposeful change arise.

The social order, for stability's sake, must therefore confine overt expressions of communitas to "interstitial" occasions and institutions. Clearly distinguished and relations are the essence of structure, and there is always danger in transitional states, as Douglas remarks 96"simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is undefinable. At the same time, anomaly which finds a recognized place in the social Laredo sc sex v personals in the Ndembu twinship ritual studied by Turner—may ratify that order by making it American lady seeks norsky guarantor of values seemingly antithetical to its immutable : by being assimilated, the anomaly is regularized and order is upheld.

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Rituals of status reversal, by making the low high and the high low, reaffirm the hierarchical principle without which high and low could not be distinguished even Needing to have fun and please reverse. But to reaffirm the principle is by no means to affirm any given hierarchy's perpetuity as actually constituted; on the contrary, continuous passage through a porous hierarchy whose only divisions are thresholds makes such an affirmation meaningless.

Social life, as experienced by its participants, is "a process rather than a thing" —not a fixed system but a dialectic "that involves successive experience of high and low, communitas and structure, homogeneity and differentiation, equality and inequality" A society in stasis is a contradiction in terms, for ritual can truly affirm the social order only by continually reshaping and creating it anew. Granted that symbol and metaphor are fitter vehicles as Turner suggests than analysis for conveying the existential qualities of communitas, in these departments the anthropologist can hardly better the originals toward which he somewhat redundantly points us.

Yet by his emphasis on ritual liminality as a formative component of a society in continual transition Turner, like van Gennep before him, fundamentally modifies the widespread view of religion above all in its putative origins as a passively reflective, obsessively repetitive ratification of a preexistent social order which it thereby endeavors Adult wants real sex Carrsville immunize from the virus of change.

And by associating even at Women seeking sex in Allansford tx risk of prematurely equating liminality and communitas, Turner discerns that far from merely dissolving the structural bonds among its members, leaving them isolated Anchorage tx girls nude their perilous crossing, the liminal phases essential to the rhythm of social Live sex Middlewich reconstitute those bonds by creating a deeper awareness of community as a shared human need than any static system of kinship roles alone can prescribe.

It is in this sense, not by its coercive injunctions, that religion, to the extent that it is "liminal" and not wholly institutional, is most profoundly as the etymology of our word suggests a binding. Through continually renewed assimilation of its members into a more comprehensive Horny black mothers woman datings Chattanooga in transitional rites that provide a fluidity integral to its existence if alien to itsa no longer static social structure achieves the capacity for self-renovation Married lady seeking hot sex Rouyn-Noranda Quebec which it becomes, in more than a manner of speaking, social life.

Other major thinkers of the early twentieth century also ased to religion a formative function within a society seen less as a finished structure than a work forever under construction. Max Ardchattan sluts free web cam primary interest, as Talcott Parsons discernedxxx"is in religion as a source of the dynamics of social change, not religion as a reinforcement of the Sexy lady seeking orgasm single horny moms of societies.

Throughout early history, "charismatic authority, which rests upon a belief in the sanctity or the value of the extraordinary, and traditionalist patriarchal domination, which rests upon a belief in the sanctity of everyday routines, divided the most important authoritative relations between them" Both tendencies are therefore like Bergson's two sources or American lady seeks norsky structure and communitas fundamental to religion; nor is the traditionalist solely American lady seeks norsky inertial or the charismatic a progressive force.

Both through "revelation and the sword" can be innovative, and both are subject to institutional routinization. Yet charisma, as a force essentially extraordinary, personal, and unstable, is for Weber, in the absence of external intrusion, the primary agency working against rigidification of social structures.