Ritual, like imagination, transforms the world as we know it, re-ordering it in new and ideal ways. In the process it stimulates a vital sense of self and community among its participants. The imagination of the community comes to life in its rituals.
Ritual is like imagination, as Coleridge defined it: It is the living power and prime agent of all human perception. Imagination (and ritual!) dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create; or where this process is rendered impossible…it struggles to idealize and unify. It is essentially vital…imagination (like ritual!) is a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
Never mind that Coleridge sounds like a character from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; what this gobbledygook means for us is simple enough: RITUAL IS TO THE COMMUNITY WHAT IMAGINATION IS TO THE INDIVIDUAL.