Whether we think of the Greek drama, the medieval passion play, or an Indian dance, whether we think of Hindu, Jewish or Christian religious rituals, we are dealing with various forms of dramatization of the fundamental problems of human existence, with an acting out of the very same problems which are thought out in philosophy and theology. ― (1955a: The Sane Society, New York (Rinehart and Winston, Inc.) 1955, p. 145.)

We not only have the need for a frame of orientation which makes some sense of our existence and which we can share with our fellow men; we also have the need to express our devotion to dominant values by actions shared with others. A ritual, broadly speaking, is shared action expressive of common strivings rooted in common values. ― The rational differs from the irrational ritual primarily in its function; it does not ward off repressed impulses but expresses strivings which are recognized as valuable by the individual. Consequently it does not have the obsessional-compulsive quality so characteristic of the irrational ritual. (…) In fact, one can always recognize the irrational ritual by the degree of fear produced by its violation in any manner. ― (1950a: Psychoanalysis and Religion, New Haven (Yale University Press) 1950, p. 108.)