Bucko and Fox on the Cosmic Mass – Cont.

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We continue our meditations on Ritual and Ceremony…

Adam Bucko: It seems to me that a lot of youth scenes, such as the rave scene, hip hop scene, Deadhead scene, punk scene, Burning Man scene, or Phish scene, are all about global experience of community and ritual.  

Footage from a Cosmic Mass featuring Matthew Fox greeting the gathered. Originally posted to The Cosmic Mass (TCM) YouTube Channel.

Fox: Just as the Grateful Dead scene was several decades ago.  Now, of course, the shadow side is that in many cases those scenes become hijacked by drug dealers—not everywhere, but in many places.  But that’s not its real purpose.  

I always said, if you can plug rave and what happens at those other scenes into a liturgical tradition, you’re not going to need drugs, because you’re going to get high on ceremony or ritual alone.  In twenty-five years of doing the Cosmic Mass, we have proven this, where we made explicit from the start that no drugs are welcome.

Art piece entitled, “Ex Nihilo” (Out of Nothing) by Richard Reich -Kuykendall who is an Author, Artist, and graduate of Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spirituality.

One woman, who is a drug counselor with youth, brought a van full of her clients to one of our Masses in Oakland.  On the way home they said to her, “this is the first time in our lives that we’ve gotten high without drugs.”  

And that’s the whole point—that ritual and worship are about getting high (or ought to be).  And what does that really mean?  It means moving to another realm, it means transfiguration.  

This is what happens at a sun dance and in a sweat lodge and on a vision quest.  You’re in a sacred space that is nowhere like your daily routine.  And it’s shamanistic.  It takes you into another world, but then it puts you back into your world changed; it transforms you and transfigures you.  And I think your homeless kids experience it during your retreats.

We have not only the right but we have the need–and elders have the responsibility–to invite the younger generation into realms of transcendence.  Other tribes have always known this.  Our ancestors knew it.  It’s just taken for granted in indigenous people that you have these dances that put the whole tribe, all generations, into altered states.

Video on the re-creating of ritual originally posted to The Cosmic Mass (TCM) YouTube Channel.

Bucko: Yes, but the problem is that very few of our elders actually know what those states are about or how to get there.  As I mentioned before, the mark of eldership in our culture is being in Florida and playing golf.  That’s not much of an accomplishment, if you ask me.

Fox: Well, those are not elders.  Those are just old people.  It’s not the same thing.  An elder is not just an old person.  An elder has a spiritual life, an inner life.  And I’m afraid that, unfortunately, a lot of our older people, including our so-called ordained ones, do not have spiritual lives.  (Though it’s never too late to begin!)  Our seminaries have failed to turn out mystics, prophets, or therefore ritual leaders, for the most part.

Bucko: Perhaps that’s why most of our organized religions are becoming so irrelevant.

Adapted from Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation, pp. 140-142.

Banner Image: Photo from the 2018 CSC Gathering. Originally posted to the website of Creation Spirituality Communities.

If you are young, are you finding the elders you need?  If you are older, are you taking on the vocation of elder in a conscious way?

Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation

Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems–economic, political, educational, and religious–discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world. Incorporating the words of young activist leaders culled from interviews and surveys, the book provides a framework that is deliberately interfaith and speaks to our profound yearning for a life with spiritual purpose and for a better world.
Occupy Spirituality is a powerful, inspiring, and vital call to embodied awareness and enlightened actions.”
~~ Julia Butterfly Hill, environmental activist and author of The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods

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1 thought on “Bucko and Fox on the Cosmic Mass – Cont.”

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    This is a great daily mediatation. I particularly like the question posed
    “If you are young, are you finding the elders you need? If you are older, are you taking on the vocation of elder in a conscious way?”
    My initial response would be agreeing with Matt – there aren,t many elders but a hell of a lot of old people. For me as I get older I try to ask and challenge myself not to dry up and wither – the trouble with most of our cultures and systems in the West is we often think the old way is the best way and don’t give young people the chance to breathe their ideas and creativity- to try things out – to explore to make mistakes to learn – we,re very much ” well you do it like this” we tell youth this is the way you progress”.
    Of course if you look at the world we are in now and the adultism that drives it we shouldn,t find it surprising when the young view adults ideas of progress with some cynicism to say the least.. ( Greta Thunberg being a great example)
    So into that what to do as we get older?
    I think a few things for myself
    1 – let the young lead – in that way what Adam eludes to happens – it becomes cultural relevant in forms the young understand – it becomes global experiences of communities and rituals- it becomes something bigger than individual experience but a community experience- which of course includes not excludes!
    2 – trust the young – with youth comes a bravado , a kind of anything is possible attitude, and with that comes a real magic of possibility ( not impossibility ) also a type of doing things without a why approach.
    3 – educate the young – in real ways ! I was listening to Matt yesterday on a webinar and he made the point that we have lots of schools of knowledge but how many schools of wisdom do we have?! – what are we doing to educate our young in wisdom? Surely Descartes assertion that Knowledge is power has led us down an obedience model that does not and cannot inspire- real education comes from delight, awe, sinking,rising ,changing ,transforming
    Our elders should be studying the scriptures of nature not just the bible ..( Thomas Berry) and then passing that on to the young..
    4 – Artists – let go of your power bases and collaborate – its not good , its not healthy and its certainly not cool..
    Having worked in the music industry for many years I am constantly staggered how many musical artists have no concept or desire whatsoever of how powerful , creative and lifechanging things can be if you engage with your inner work. The creativity that comes from that is explosive and life changing. But for many who refuse to do this journey -their technical forms of art are in danger of becoming the message and so it ultimatly can have no real substance , no wisdom – just technical data..machine data – Style becomes the content
    (Hence the need for so many listening to rave music to need drugs to give them a sense of a spiritual experience.how much more powerful would this be if artists did their innerwork)
    So….. into this The Techno Cosmic Mass is both a lifeboat for those who seek transfiguration, transcendence in a real way, not drug induced way – that feeds them for their lives but also on the question above a real challenge to all artists about what work they are doing -it should be new paradigm model for artists ( and the institutions behind them) . Metanoia is needed…
    ” Hard Times Require Furious ( not shallow) Dancing ”

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