As Joesph Campbell said, all the old myths and rites have been erased by rationalism, the slate wiped clean, so modern man must invent new myths and rituals. A living myth/ritual is always unconscious as myth and ritual, because when it become conscious, it becomes dead. It is the tension between the conscious and unconscious that gives it energy and meaning. The conscious says I’m doing this rational things for entertainment or whatever; the unconscious is doing the opposite of what the conscious thinks it is doing. When the mind and body (world) are separate, myths and rituals unite them in a paradoxical way that keep them separate and united both at the same time.
But the key is repetition. A ritual is a repeated pattern. The formula stays the same, but the content changes. In dead myths and rituals, the tension of the conscious/unconscious is gone and they have no more power. The creative energy the myth/ritual evokes comes from the ambiguity of the myth/ritual; it is this; it is not this. Like a magnet with two poles, this generates electricity.
These myths/rites are both in our individual lives and also in the collective. Nations have myths/rites that integrate its social life around a mysterious center that is always unfolding and recreating itself. We can look at other cultures and see their myths/rite, like the Aztecs, but we can’t see our own. And we can’t see our collective myths/rites unless we see our personal myths/rite. Sleep is sleep; it makes no difference whether it is collective or individual. At the heart of all myths/rite is sacrifice.
Just watched Spotlight. This is about a myth/rite in which innocent children are sacrificed to the Church. The movie is about how the Church/priests covered up the ritual, keeping it alive and unconscious.