A religious ceremony may seem like superstitious non-sense, even to “true believers” of a certain type. Yet it is the farthest thing from non-sense: a ceremony sets the intention of the participants, and that is a very real and powerful force. Manifesting abstract intentions: that is how you bring order into being. Now, what exactly that intention is, or ought to be – that is another question. But that question has nothing to do with the efficacy of a ceremony.
To articulate an intention of will is a salient and substantial level of being that the individual human can rise to through enacting a sacred ceremony.
Ok, so now that next question: what is the intention you want to practice bringing into being? But you cannot answer this question, you definitely cannot ever answer this question, unless you first accept the reality that a ceremony actually does something, that it is more than an aesthetic experience, a performance.
But if you want to say that a ceremony alters the world, simply by being a force of intention, then wouldn’t that mean that all art alters the world in a similar way? By being a deliberate presentation of human will? Even if this were only possibly the case, even the suggestion ruins the sacred’s claim to sole handing down of the holy.
No, it cannot possibly be the case that art and religious ceremonies are qualitatively commensurate, or existentially similar, because art does not have an explicit intention, or does not need an explicit intention. Which means a clear and good intention is not an essential component of art, but only an accidental feature. For religious ceremonies, on the other hand, setting an explicit intention is the entire point. It is not only essential, it is the thing itself as far as ceremonies go.
So then back to the main question: what is the intention you want to bring into being through the actions of the ceremony? Is it for power, and desired ends of your own? Or is your intention to seek union with the holy?
What is the holy anyway? That is a good question. But it’s far from an intention. An intention is worshipful, because an intention seeks. A thought is, or may be; but an intention seeks. A true intention is worshipful, because it seeks outside of itself, because what the holy is the individual person cannot create. And thought is a subtle form of creation. Thus, only by seeking outside your own thoughts can you find the holy.
But what does it mean to worship? Is it mostly about a prostrate body position? Does that physical movement activate something psychologically?
It is easy to worship the holy, because the holy gives life. You did not create yourself, and you do not delimit yourself. You find the holy outside yourself, because whatever the holy is is the great Spirit who creates souls, and you did not create your own soul. You do not know why you were born as you, and not some other person, and you never will.
And so you seek and you seek through intention, grasping in the darkness of second-sight and hope, a path dimly lit by noble intentions. Traveling a red road, a causeway of elemental radiance running infinitely between the North Star of the holy and the here and now, where the ceremony takes place.
I am not a holy man. But I am a person who must build with intention, noble intentions, and the humblest of means, using only the subtlest of resources. It is with this admission and humility that I propose the essential building project. It is this intention that I can with fullest faith set myself toward.
I am not a person invested with any authority to consecrate ceremonies. But if there is anything I seek to bring to life, it is the essential building project. I am ready to give my life for it, and so I can make my daily activities rituals, ceremonies when I share them with others. I am without authority as a religious or civil figure, expect that which the essential-project grants everyone. That authority is essential equality, which is the central principle of the essential building project.
What is the best way to begin a building?