Spiritual Hunger: Integrating Myth and Ritual Into Daily Life

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Findhorn Press, Dec 30, 2011 - Self-Help - 171 pages
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From daily activities such as work and eating to milestones such as graduation and marriage, this discussion debates the myths that guide lifestyles and questions why they exist in the first place. Each belief is broken down and examined in terms of how it works, exposing its true nature so that its value and necessity in culture as well as the way it operates can be determined. This unique self-help guide demonstrates how to reinvent old, outdated rituals; get rid of those rites that are entirely ineffective; and create new habits that provide a deeper meaning to everyday life. A gateway to finding a better understanding of what contributes to healthier relationships, this guide to rituals paves the way to sustaining a fulfilling and happy life.

  

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Illuminating so many myths, as is shared within the pages of ‘Spiritual Hunger’, allows one to see so many conditioned beliefs, patterns and behaviours of society that may often be subconscious, as though living from ‘automatic pilot’, not questioning the current validity of conditioned responses to life. Once the conditioned behaviours are brought into the light of day, to see clearly what is occurring, one may choose to continue such behaviours, or to release these patterns, enabling liberation to take the place of limitation. The vast freedom one may encompass by releasing restrictive patterns of living, allows a deeper self to emerge. Numerous myths are discussed, including the ‘family dinner’, a time where the family gathers together to eat at the table, and the importance of such gathering for family bonding. The ritual gathering of the family creates a sacred space where the family may bond and relationships flourish. With the busy lives we lead today, this may occur less frequently and all aspects of such are discussed with ‘Spiritual Hunger’.
Unappreciated rituals:- establishing our ritual space, is a fascinating chapter, commencing with the comparison of housework 100 years ago, to the present time where we use so many labour saving devices. The shifts from consuming organic fresh produce, to tinned or packet instant foods through to the potential to return to a healthier lifestyle are elaborated upon by Hunter, offering a potential shift out of complacency.
Hunter leads you through the world of advertising, where an image of unrealistic ideals may seduce you into purchasing a car or a fitted kitchen. The advertisements portray rare experiences such as driving through an empty landscape at high speed, immersed in the manoeuvrability of the vehicle through the landscape, yet not truly experiencing the environment. The adverts beckon you into a world free of restrictions such as traffic, which Hunter compares to flight, as cars are becoming ever more sleek and aerodynamic. I confess to enjoying such advertisements of fantasy myself, imaging the immense freedom as one speeds through the vast landscape unhindered by other cars, accelerating to exhilaration, the beautiful sleek aerodynamic design allowing for ‘the drive of your life’. I believe this ideal allows myself immense enjoyment of driving. Of course, I have experienced driving through barren landscapes, and thus known the pure pleasure of this experience. The truth, however, is that particular car does not buy the experience portrayed, as is true for many other advertisements. Many car owners do not know or maybe care about the mechanics of the car. Coming from a family of car enthusiasts, I have been fortunate enough to witness numerous discussions of such, providing me with an analogy that I may utilise in other situations. The same is true of the adverts of gleaming kitchens, pristine and beautiful with rustic terra cotta tiles (now I began to feel rather self-conscious whilst reading this part, as these are the exact tiles I searched many stores to find for my own kitchen), a ‘far cry’ from the reality of the practical reality of a real cook creating a complex recipe (although personally I find cooking is my new meditation, perhaps especially during creating complex cuisine).
The essence of peace, Hunter concludes, is what we are all searching for, for which no ceremony or temple is required. Having visited many sacred temples, mosques and churches worldwide, amidst burning incense, flickering candles lit for prayer, sacred chanting, mystical mosaics, I finally encounter this truth that such externals are not needed to create such transcendent experiences, as the seed of such is within us all, through a peaceful mind. The key, as Hunter illustrates, is purely creating that time and physical space.
— Sarah Ince
 

Contents

Rituals and Myths at Have Lost eir Power
27
e Nature of Ritual and Myth
33
Myth Doesnt Have to Be True to Reveal Truth
40
How Ritual Can Put Us In Touch With the Present
46
Bogus Myths and How To Identify em
80
e Role of the Unconscious in Ritual Actions
102
PART V
109
What Sorts of Myths Do We Need?
126
Myth Is Everywhere IfYou Look For
146
A Primary Structure of the Psyche
150
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Dr. Allan Hunter is a professor of literature, a counselor, a therapist, and the author of Princes, Frogs and Ugly Sisters; The Six Archetypes of Love; Stories We Need to Know; and Write Your Memoir. He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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