Webster dictionary defines superstition as a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance or a false conception of causation. In spite of living in an age of logical reasoning, we all, to a varying extent are susceptible to superstitious beliefs and practices. Viewed from a broad point of view, superstition provides the very basis upon which our religious faiths including the faith in God are based. To put it simply, superstition has become an inseparable part of our diurnal existence.

In ancient times when nature and universe all seemed unintelligible, superstitions not only ruled the day but importantly they also bridged the yawning gap between cause and effect for human beings. However, while we have been able to make sense of much of this universe, a significant portion of it still remains unintelligible and beyond human comprehension. The forces of nature though stand explained, are still not necessarily within our control if recent earthquakes and tsunamis are anything to go by. So, as long as there remains a gap between our intellect and comprehension, superstition will always find its way to cling to something else.

However, it is important to note as well as understand that the array of influences that superstitions wield over our life transgresses the so called man-made barrier of reason and logic and establishes a deep affinity with other concepts - equally illusive and arcane. For example, the idea of fate and coincidence do enjoy a strange rapport with a multitude of superstitions that often get enacted- in our public life- in an endeavour to orchestrate a favourable outcome of things. From a specific point of view that in itself is redolent of superstition, the idea of fate and coincidence do seem interconnected since some coincidences are too coincidental to be accepted with a bucolic naivety. However, our refusal to accept the universe and its workings at its face value does challenge on the contrary the idea of free will and the randomness with which the universe selects its options. So the idea of superstition when viewed and dissected from a broader and transcendental standpoint does seem to disturb and shatter some of our preconceived notions about superstitious beliefs and habits.

However, lack of comprehension does not necessarily justify each and every superstition that we happen to practise in our daily routine. In fact, some superstitions are embedded so deeply in our psyche that they have become an extension to our personality. And any sudden attempt to dislodge them or even to neutralize their influences over us may well prove counter-productive. So, at the end of this piece it can safely be concluded that superstitions to a varying extent are important and still irreplaceable. However, the same cannot be said about each and every superstitious habit. So, in a general sense we should learn to rely more on the merits of reason than the unknown charms of some amulets and talismans.


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