2014年6月13日星期五

Rational ritual

Erich Fromm, Psychoanalysis and Religion

We not only have the need for a frame of orientation which makes some sense of our existence and which we can share with our fellow men; we also have the need to express our devotion to dominant values by actions shared with others. A ritual, broadly speaking, is shared action expressive of common strivings rooted in common values.

The rational differs from the irrational ritual primarily in its function; it does not ward off repressed impulses but expresses strivings which are recognized as valuable by the individual. Consequently it does not have the obsessional-compulsive quality so characteristic of the irrational ritual; if the latter even once is not performed, the repressed is accompanied by considerable anxiety. No such consequences are attached to any lapse in the performance of the rational ritual; nonperformance many be regretted but it is not feared. In fact, one can always recognized the irrational ritual by the degree of fear produced by its violation in any manner.

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