Many in the
modern and postmodern eras, from the academic to the layman,
have confessed to feeling a deep sense of alienation. It is no secret
that life as it is, is chaotic, and that we draw on symbols and culturally
accepted explanations to make some sense of it all, be it religion, psychology,
science, political ideology, or any other discourse that attempts to find
meaning in life and tries to connect the human experience with the rest
of the cosmos.
from Metropolis (1927), a German
expressionist film by Fritz Lang.
"Man has little needs and deeper
needs. We have fallen into the mistake of living from our little needs
till we have almost lost our deeper needs in a sort of madness....Let us
prepare now for the death of our present 'little' life, and the re-emergence
in a bigger life, in touch with the moving cosmos.
It is a question, practically of relationship.
We must get back into relation, vivid and nourishing relation to the
cosmos and the universe. The way is through daily ritual, and the reawakening.
We must once more practise the ritual of dawn and noon and sunset,
the ritual of the kindling fire and pouring water, the ritual of the first
breath, and the last. This is an affair of the individual and the household,
a ritual of day. The ritual of the moon in her phases, of the morning
star and the evening star is for men and women separate. Then the
ritual of the seasons, with the Drama and the Passion of the soul embodied
in procession and dance, this is for the community, and act of men and women,
a whole community, in togetherness. And the ritual of the great events
in the year of stars is for nations and whole peoples. To these rituals
we must return; or we must evolve them to suit our needs. For the truth
is, we are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs, we are
cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal, sources
which flow eternally in the universe. Vitally, the human race is dying.
It is like a great uprooted tree, with its roots in the air. We
must plant ourselves again in the universe."
D.H. Lawrence, "A Propos
of Lady Chatterley's Lover"