There are a couple of things that I’ve noticed I enjoy doing roughly once a year. I’m not sure yet why I engage in these “secular rituals”. So far they include only:
- Watching the entire series of Cowboy Bebop
- Reading (or attempting to read) Gödel, Escher, Bach
- Watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (and the original movie)
The (plausible) reasons for reviewing these works that I have come up with so far are:
- To mark the passage of time internally.
- Because the experience is enjoyable, and after a year it’s not too repetitive.
- To remind myself of the feelings and thoughts that these media have evoked in me.
When at Tulane, especially when I was a freshman searching for meaning, I would do some other things periodically, mostly wandering around campus. In particular:
- Visiting the Nydia, typically at night, when it was still in its glass enclosure.
- Talking with Louis Rothbard, before they tore down the University Center and tore up the benches where he sat.
- Sitting in the Jones Hall courtyard under the vines. Here’s a drawing I did of one part of it years ago:
Like the more recent activities mentioned first, periodically I would feel compelled to do these things. Having done them, the need was sated for a few weeks or months, and would then come back again.
Have you felt like this? Do you have any secular rituals?