In 200x a Swiss film-team tried to get footage of a Sundance ceremony in North Dakota. The attempt itself bespeaks a very specific understanding of rituality. In the context of the Sundance ritual, a profound misunderstanding, I must say.
Used to and further trained in our practice of realism, we certainly lead longer and safer lives. It is impossible to give that up without encountering profound resistance.
It is, however, possible to find acute awareness by climbing a mountain, or crossing a desert, or having an aesthetic experience with what we call nature.
Borderline- and aesthetic- experience are to experience what ‘wishful thinking’ is to ‘the utopian’. The present notion of utopian means to say: utopistic. We manage to discredit political thought as efforts of dreamers. We privatize and contain the practice.
Images of dreamers can be shown. The proper form of our own distance is the product. It is the precondition to ‘consumption’ and it translates into our secularized rituality. Concerts and the Christian mass are contained by stadiums and churches. Also, you can get them on DVD.
There is a very basic difference between a buffalo heart buried under the stomp of a tree and the relic in a monstrance. They are not symbols of a kind. Neither does a cemetery have much in common with a burial ground.