January 16, 2007

How superstitious are you?

I am not a very superstitious man, but I am not immune to being a little superstitious every now and then. A superstition, loosely defined, is the belief that something good or bad might happen, if another thing, logically unrelated to the first thing, happens before it.

Every culture has its own set of superstitions, that have usually been passed down the generations. These are passed on to us when we are young and sometimes these get so deeply set in our minds that as grown-ups we can’t get rid of them, even after realizing that our beliefs are irrational. Our brain throws up a,” There must be some truth in this, after all our ancestors believed in it.”

As a child, I was very gullible and used to believe everything I was told and thus ended up having a pretty long list of superstitions. As I grew up, one after the other, items got dropped off the list and the list got shorter but the list still exists and, I fear, it always will.

One of the superstitions I strongly believe in is this: “If you see a vessel filled up to the brim with water as you are leaving the house, you will most likely achieve success and will have a great day. If on the other hand you see an empty vessel you will fail and will have a lousy day.”

Why do I believe in this?

First, the person who told me about it was emphatically said that this had always worked for him. Second, to appease my curiosity I decided to test the belief myself, and it does indeed work! In the least, seeing a filled-up-to-the-brim vessel has meant a nice, free from any tensions day and an empty vessel has meant that the day has been a bit depressing, sometimes for no apparent reason.

So, do you believe in superstitions or do you think that they are nothing but hocus-pocus?


Cat said...

I think there is a ton of "mind over matter" involved in beliefs of this nature.

I tend to do the same and believe them but I do realize that we only use a portion of our minds and it's important to realize that there are things we don't know we can accomplish. (like making things happen around us)

I haven't heard this specific one but I like the idea of it. Full is positive.

Perky said...

We have so many superstitions in Asia. Now where do I begin...

My grandma used to tell me that when there's lightning, we have to cover all the mirrors with cloth. She mentioned something 'bout seeing spirits in the mirror. That spooked me out. I don't cover the mirrors with cloth, though. I simply choose to not look into them when there's lightning. Hehe!

There are others too, such as don't sleep with your feet facing the door, if you don't finish eating your rice you'll end up with an ugly spouse, etc etc. Yeah, it does sound a bit crazy but there are some truth/meaning behind each superstition.

Blue Panther said...

Cat: I think most people do believe them, and as it is said most of us use less than 10% of our brains. I dont know how true that is but I do know that most of us use less than what we have.

Perky: There is indeed a reason for most superstitions, and whether we want or not we do tend to believe in some of the things we hear.

Roshan R said...

i tend to challenge blind faith wherever I can, but of recent times, I must say, I am reverting back to the old ways of really 'believeing'.. one of those beliefs is that if someone is deliberately trying to harm you, the effect may first be seen on your otherwise healthy pet..or that we should never recieve money in the house after dusk. I believe in lucky pens, shirts etc. yeeesh. I guess, if i start, it would get really ridiculous..so lets just put me in the category of SUPERSTITIOUS kook :)

CyberCelt said...

I am not superstitious, but I see how many superstitions get started.

Do not walk under a ladder - guess what happens? Something falls on you: paint, bricks, etc.

Break a mirror and get 7 years bad luck. One, mirrors were quite costly. Second, it is impossible to pick up all the glass, so you will be finding pieces of mirror for quote a while.

Do not let a black cat cross your path - in the middle ages, a black cat was associated with witches. You did not want to be anywhere near one.

If an owl hoots twice someone dies - the hoot gives us goose bumps and we associate that with the grave.

Friday the 13th is the day that all the Templars were killed by the Catholic church. Bad luck day.

Great post as usual, Neo.

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