Ritual: Power, Healing and Community ( Compass ), paperback

Ritual: Power, Healing and Community ( Compass ), paperback

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In this remarkable book, Malidoma Some explores the essential role ritual plays in maintaining community and examines the structure common to all ritual. By telling stories of the rituals of his native West African Dagara culture, and of his own experiences in the tribal community, he makes a convincing case that the lack of ritual in the Western world is a fundamental reason that the fabric of society is unravelling. "The hurt that a person feels in the midst of this modern culture should be taken as a language spoken by the body, " writes Some. "Our soul communicates things to us that the body translates as need, or want, or absence. So we enter into ritual in order to respond to the call of the soul." The name Malidoma means "he who is to be friends with the stranger/enemy, " and Some, who has doctorates from the Sorbonne and Brandeis, abandoned his teaching career at Brandeis at the instruction of village elders to devote himself completely to speaking and, with his wife Sobonfu, conducting workshops o ritual.


?The stories within these books have the poignancy of new discoveries as well as the unworn imagination of the ancestors. The commentary has the sharp edge of modern thought and the intricacy which results from the intellect being woven through the ritual complexities of tribal life. The purpose of constructing thresholds that bring this world together is to find the powers that can heal the rends in tribal as well as modern communities.? -- Michael Meade, from the IntroductionVersed in the languages of psychology, comparative literature, as well as ancient mythology, healing, and divination, Malidoma Patrice Some bridges paths between the ancient tribal world of the West African Dagara culture and modern Western society. Ritual is written with wild imagination, careful critical reflection, and intuitive insights that will force the reader to encounter the world anew.
AUTHOR: Malidoma Patrice Some
Binding: Paperback, 128 pages
Pub Date: December 01, 1997
Physical Info: 0.34" H x 8.47" L x 5.5" W (0.24 lbs)
ISBN: 0140195580 
EAN: 9780140195583
Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition
Biographical Note:
Malidoma Patrice Somé, born in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) West Africa, is initiated in the ancestral traditions of his tribe, and is a medicine man and diviner in the Dagra culture. He holds three master's degrees and two doctorates from Sorbonne and Brandeis University, and has taught at the University of Michigan. He currently devotes himself to speaking and, with his wife, Sobonfu, conducting intensive workshops throughout the United States.
Table of Contents: 

Introduction: by Michael Meade 
My Beginnings in Ritual 
The Dimensions of Ritual 
Ritual: The Anti-Machine 
Pain and Ritual 
Ritual, Ceremony and Us 
Our Role in Ritual 
The Hidden Space of Ritual 
Ritual as Show 
Power on Display 
Sabotaging Ritual Space 
Ritual and Community 
Models of Ritual and Constraints of the Modern World 
Money and Spirit 
Power and Corruption 
The Structure of Ritual 
A Ritual Sampler: The Funeral and the Language of Grief 
Invocation and the Funeral Ritual 
The Re-enactment 
Speeches and the Pyre 
Modernity and Death 
The Farewell 
How to Ritualize Life