The fabric of rituals come from our ancestors.
Each ritual practiced by large numbers of Americans was inherited from the cultures, practices, religions and traditions of the analog social networks of many generations of our predecessors.
Of course, in addition to the rituals identified below, there are a multitude of family rituals, community rituals, ethnic and racial rituals, religious rituals, nation-state rituals, government sponsored rituals and micro rituals practiced by the diversity of human beings in America.
A quick incomplete listing of some prominent macro rituals in America includes:
Thanksgiving – Feast With Turkeys
Indigenous Ceremonies/Observances/Pow Wows are Many and Decentralized – Sun, Animals, Earth, Rain…
Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa – Feast & Gift Giving & Trees (Xmas)
Eid Al-Fatr – Sugar Feast & Gift Giving
New Year – Alcohol & Party
Memorial Day/Veterans Day – Parades and Ceremony
Labor Day – Vacation
Independence Day – Parade & Fireworks
Birthdays – Cards & Party & Gifts
Weddings & Anniversaries – Feast & Party/Ceremony, Gifts
Birth – Cards
Funerals – Ceremony & Cards
Adolescence – Ceremony & Cards & Gifts
Mother’s and Father’s Days – Cards & Gifts
Valentine’s Day – Cards & Gifts & Dinner
Engagement/Wedding – Diamonds
Ramadan and Yom Kippur – Fasting
Easter – Parade, Candy & Feast & Ceremony
Halloween – Candy Distribution & Costumes
St Patrick’s Day – Parade & Alcohol
Cinco de Mayo – Parade & Party
Numerous Religious Ceremonies
Numerous Ethic, Cultural, Racial & Nation-State Ceremonies
Many but certainly not all Americans practice the rituals of Thanksgiving. One in eight American adults say they do not practice the rituals of Thanksgiving. Each of us choose which rituals to participate in and which to ignore.
Our reason for addressing the subject of rituals is manifold.
First, because all of us inherit a large amount of our consciousness from all forms of ritual, we believe it is important to gain enough perspective to view the rituals in their systemic context. Consider which rituals contribute more harm than good, consider which rituals are fabricated on the backs of inequality, consider which rituals are commercial ventures that transfer more wealth to the wealthy, consider which rituals misdirect our attention, consider which rituals do harm to a sustainable earth and the health of human beings, consider which rituals are based upon, and propagate, inaccuracies and lies, and consider which rituals could be aligned with more beneficent investments in a better world for all.
Second, rituals are precious resources because those rituals that are fully formed command mass action with little investment or friction. It is very difficult to invent a new ritual that will become widely adopted. So, those of us looking for the mechanisms that will empower individuals and institutions toward NETS believe that cooperative beneficent mass action, like those that power many rituals, is a key systemic variable. We can redirect the energy of certain existing mass rituals, or we can invent through social networks a new family of rituals based upon beneficent objectives that can only be fully realized by massive joint actions – synchronous or asynchronous.
Instead of buying millions of diamonds ($80-$100 BILLION dollars per year) from a slave cartel, destroying millions (25 to 30 MILLION) of conifer trees, doing nothing substantial for labor on labor day except a day off for some, spending enormous amounts of money on fancy weddings and unnecessary gifts, we begin to focus more on continuous kindness and a redirection toward making better systemic choices.
We also have private mass action rituals such as brushing our teeth, washing our hands, using cosmetics, wearing ties, eating 3 meals a day, phone checking, hair styling and shaving etc. Each of these rituals has become so programmed that we do them without much thought to their origins or benefits. We have become separated from the objectives of these rituals to the extent that we often fail to question them, despite the fact that hundreds of millions of Americans perform these rituals every day. If Nurture was the primary objective of these rituals, which it is not, we would not perform any of these rituals in the manner we do today, and we would not utilize most of the products associated with these rituals. For example, most toothpastes contain toxins, most toothbrushes soon become homes for microbe growth and transmission, most toothbrushes near toilets and showers and sinks become contaminated, diet is a crucial factor in oral health, kissing introduces and transmits a new genome into one’s mouth that may not be friendly, flossing and removing scale from the teeth is important, we all swallow toothpaste but never call poison control, we all get shampoo and cosmetics and soap in our mouth and eyes despite their unproven chemicals, and our entire mouth must be maintained – not just teeth – but beneath the tongue, inside the cheeks, gums etc.
You will not be trapped in the non-system if you can see yourself both as an unwilling cog in the non-system and as a vital part of a consciousness-raised cooperative mass action system designed to function for NETS.
Nurture. Equality. Truth. Systems. What’s not to like.