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I've always been struck by how it seems like you never really know somebody until you've been in a serious conflict with them, or gone through an emergency or crisis time with them. You get to see the real values underneath the rhetoric. Under pressure, it's a lot harder to present an idealized, fictional self. The mask cracks.

So I tend to think of ritual this way too? Intentionally creating or taking advantage of a crisis setting to see how people will cope. How they instinctively treat others, when pressed. Or maybe turn out to be sniveling cowards or completely unprincipled scumbags who fuck over their friends or whatever the case may be.

Point is, you can't trust people until you really know them but sometimes, you've known people a long time but never seen them under fire, so a "ritual" can be a shortcut for that.