Superstitions have long been one of the strange phenomena, which are commonly observed, well accepted and yet hardly understood. To some, they are just crazy beliefs, to others, matters of faith and tradition. What are they? Are they rational? Are they based on reason? Or, are they just a creation of wandering minds? What are superstitions?
What are Superstitions?
Superstitions primarily represent the underlying inherent fear of mankind, caused by the uncertainties of this world. In a way, it is a sign of acceptance of our ignorance and limitations of our power. In another way, it is a sign of accepting thegrandness of this universe and its scheme of operation, which is still largely beyond our comprehension and understanding.
Superstitions, Ignorance & Fear of the Unknown
Humans, when unable to rule out a theory, how so ever irrational it might appear, prefer to take the safer route and make sure that do not do something which can later lead to some adversity, harm or injury. This is why most superstitions are associated with a fear of some harm that may befall the person if he or she does or fails to do a particular thing.
Those who know, and know that they know are always less likely to be superstitious about the things they do know. This does not mean that all learned or educated people are absolutely free of superstition. In fact, the more you learn about this universe and its systems and events, the more comes the realization of our own ignorance. This ignorance is what makes us believe in many supernatural phenomenon, god and religion included. The same ignorance, and the very awareness of this ignorance also makes one believe in superstition.
Superstitions & Past Experiences or Anecdotes
Many a time, we know that a particular belief is superstitious, irrational and hence illogical,
Superstitions are occasionally reinforced by random occurrences. For example, if someday I am unable to avoid the 13th, and the deal does end in a loss, my partner's superstition will be strongly reinforced, even if ten other deals in the same way had also resulted in losses because the market is in recession. On the other hand, if a deal done on 13th become highly successful, it is possible that my partner also comes to realize that superstition is just superstition and nothing more.
There are many reasons of superstitions. Many of them are age-old and inherited as part of our cultural heritage. These are changing fast with time, and their death has been hastened by mixing of cultures, modern scientific education, urbanization and changing life styles. On the other hand, superstitions that have a basis in our own experiences and psyche are growing and will be more difficult to remove.