As many of you know I suffer from insomnia. I watch horrible television while I am awake. This is not conducive to going back to sleep. Last night's fare was an educational program based on the rituals people participate in to gain "manhood" or spiritual nirvana or an adrenaline rush. I apparently have a ridiculous urge to look at programs that repulse me but I have to watch anyway. I am thinking I need a television diet. I digress. We begin with a trip to Australia where a group of individuals participate in being suspended by numerous game fish hooks. Yes, you read that correctly. These hooks are enormous and are inserted either through the upper back, arms, or chest and then attached to a suspension apparatus. Lest you think just the male population participates, oh no, women were suspended as well. I * DON'T * GET * IT * I tolerate pain fairly well, however do not deliberately seek to induce it upon myself. I have never understood self flagellation for spiritual purposes. I support an individual's right to participate in whatever that person chooses provided it does not interfere with someone else's rights...I JUST DON"T GET IT!!! On to a tribe in the Amazon whereby the young boys wishing to attain "manhood" to be allowed to hunt, fish, and marry must place their hands in specially woven gloves filled with bullet ants for 10 minutes. This must be done twenty times for them to officially be warriors. This is so painful it can often take several years for the process to be completed with the youngest boys starting around age 12. The bullet ant stings are about twenty times stronger than a bee sting. Paralysis of hands, legs, organs can occur. Nausea and the shakes are common. These boys can die. It is their culture and they grow up knowing they must endure this right of passage. Were the tribal elders all sitting around one day and saying you know those boys need to sow some wild oats so why don't we devise a heinous torture for them? Thirty minutes of watching the various rituals was my limit. I did not stayed tuned for the crucifixions and various other forms of "worship" Makes getting on your knees to pray not too uncomfortable...huh? I also know for a fact I will get in touch with Heavenly Father through prayer, contemplation, meditation and church attendance. I will not be suspended by fish hooks or whipping myself silly. I think he will hear me! Passage of womanhood...I have given birth to children...had menstrual cycles and am currently experiencing the joy that is perimenopause...that is ritual enough for me.