Human beings are such creatures of habit. Most of us have a daily routine we follow religiously – we wake at a certain time, have a specific morning ritual, go to work by a specific route, come home by a specific route and usually try to follow a comfortable evening schedule.
Even within our days we have mini-routines. For instance, at work we may have a very clear approach to how we handle a specific task, organize a project or run a meeting. As a species we tend to gravitate toward the familiar and shy away from change.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I am willing to bet this habit was learned via thousands – possibly millions – of years of evolution. You stick with what you know and with what works. As a result, you survive.
Our attachment to the familiar has also created an enriched environment where celebrations and milestones distract us from some of the more turbulent episodes that mark our life journeys. We have baby showers, baptisms, birthday parties, proms, graduations, weddings, anniversaries and vacations. We even celebrate the completion of a life well-live through the ceremony of a funeral.
We have gone so far as to structure our society in a way that encourages the honoring of these rituals. We have governments created to maintain order and protect the people from potential dangers. This keeps the physical body safe. We have schools set up to educate the youth about important concepts that will help them be successful in this well-ordered society. This cultivates the mental faculties of the individual. Finally, we have churches. These institutions are here to guide the soul in its earth-bound journey until it is able to reunite with its original source.
Yes, ritual has been a natural part of life for much of human existence and we often cling to them. While these structures were set up for noble reasons, there can be a very dark side to their existence.
We must be careful not to use these rituals, and the organizations that support them, as a place in which to hide from our true life purpose. We must remember that we did not come to this earth simply to physically exist, regurgitate memorized facts, and proselytize beliefs that don’t truly resonate with the core of our being.
The sad fact is that too many of us are doing this. We are afraid to stand up for what we know at our soul levels to be true. We are afraid of criticism and ostracism, and the consequences these types of punishment bring. We forget why we came to this earth and abandon our true gifts. As a result, we hide our inner light from the world and lose connection with our higher selves. We must realize that this type of follow-the-herd existence is far more empty than any life where one chooses to blaze his or her own path.
In this month’s A Fool’s Paradise, we discuss The Hierophant. His is a role of teaching and guidance. He reminds us that there is a time in everyone’s life where it is important to be the student; to learn from those who came before you.
But, The Hierophant also reminds us that there is a time for every one of us to lead; to bring forth our gifts and make this world a better place because we were alive in it. Yes, we do have rules that must be followed, and we do have organizations within our world that help us maintain order and structure. However, we must remember these structures are here to make our experience on this earth easier so that we can do what we really came here to do – share our inner light and make this earth-plane a bit more like heaven simply because of our existence.