RITUAL for kids

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I finally picked Lichtenbergianism for Kids back up and started working on it again. For a couple of weeks I just futzed around with what I had already written in Scrivener, but yesterday I dove into the areas I had not written yet.

This was naturally the chapter on RITUAL, which is hard enough even when you’re not writing for 10–12-year-olds. I had already written an intro explaining the Hero’s Journey, which is easy enough to grok, and now I have to overlay the structure of ritual onto that.

My first decision was to omit the NUMEN/CONNECTION steps and relegate them to a footnote. My AUDIENCE is not developmentally capable of abstract thought, so everything has to be as concrete as possible.

So here’s a sample:


To invoke something means to call upon it [footnote: The word comes from the Latin in- + vocare, “to call in”], so an invocation is literally calling on… what?

In the ritual of a church service, an invocation begins by calling on God to join the congregation. In ancient poetry (like the Iliad and the Odyssey), the poet begins by invoking the Muse to help him tell the story.

For Lichtenbergians, the INVOCATION means calling on our own creativity to Make the Thing That Is Not. Art doesn’t just happen; we have to decide to make it happen.

Sometimes artists make the decision to work at specific times every day, or specific days. That’s an INVOCATION.

When I whip out a new WASTE BOOK and slap a label on it for a project, that’s an INVOCATION.

When you have an idea and can’t wait to get to your art supplies or notebook or musical instrument, that’s an INVOCATION.

The point is: you must decide to Make the Thing That Is Not.

Then it’s time to DRAW THE CIRCLE.

The trick will be to give concrete examples and a lot of illustrations and how-to’s. More as we go along.