This interview with the filmmaker Marietta Schürholz is on ritual — a topic about which I’ve thought a lot and written very little. We tend to think rituals are vestiges of an earlier, more superstitious time, or perhaps elements of indigenous cultures that we need to learn from. We think we live in a society bereft of meaningful rituals. But in fact, we are immersed in rituals that are invisible to us. Medicine, law, and even technology can be understood as a highly elaborated system of ritual, whose legitimacy and efficacy are based on an underlying mythology that tells us what is real and how the world works. As we transition into a new mythology, our old rituals become unsatisfying, and impotent to address the crises of our time.
This podcast episode originated as an interview for Marietta’s film, Reinventing Rituals. You can watch the trailer at www.reinventing-rituals.de. The depth of understanding embodied in her questions, and her wide open heart and vulnerable listening to my responses, makes me think this will be an extraordinary film. If you resonate with our conversation, you might consider donating to her crowdfunding campaign too.