Why People Believe in Superstitions, the Supernatural, and the Paranormal
(These beliefs reflect normal brain activity carried to an extreme?)
I was driving along Rte. 66, America’s Main street of the olden days, the road that once went from Illinois to California. Only sections of it remain.
The crumbling ghosts of yesteryear yet called out and waved to us from another era. I stopped as the pavement turned to overgrown grass and weeds. I heard a voice, one of an angel speaking perhaps…
My passenger was reading a Newsweek article aloud on “Why We Believe” for me in her beautiful strong voice—as we considered these many beliefs only important as windows into the workings of the human mind.
How was it that people claim past lives? Of what mental condition was reincarnation claimed? If only all would believe it, then Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites might stop fighting—since they might be killing someone was was once one of them. Oh why does not everyone believe what is so obvious? And so it went.
The emerging consensus, we heard, underneath a willow tree, was that belief in the supernatural seems to arise from the same mental processes that underlie everyday reasoning and perception. But while belief in ghosts, past lives, the ability of the mind to move matter and the like originate in normal mental processes, those processes can get hijacked and exaggerated.
Much like what we saw along the fading and disappearing Rte. 66, the ancient notions of beliefs were much dilapidated, threadbare, decrepit, outworn, misty, nearly unmoving, and should have been mostly abandoned and forgotten, but, the believers still stood for them somehow, propping them up in every imaginable way. Why?
They were, all of them, once sure things if some there ever were, or so back then they thought and wished and swore and thus adored—as the Truth—and still do.
So, we, at ToeQuest, as in the article read, ask why; how could this be? There was no more elfin world, but others just as unseen are held onto.
Some topics to be discussed here in this thread could be:
1. — Why do some cling to the invisible notion that the mind, soul, and consciousness are separate from the brain, even being a total duplicate, it would seem? What further notions does this bring about with more slight assumptions?
Are they willing to have their brains removed as useless because they are not just a bag of chemicals? And yet, all is seen to be biochemical/electrochemical. We don’t exactly look like the chemicals that we know in the lab, do we?
Whence forth cometh that which is made up? From what ancient pathways of the mind?
2. — Alien abductions. Why so many claims, but no spaceships observed? And why are the abductees returned afterwards? Where are the aliens? Not another invisible unknown unseen!
3. — God—the most invisible of all; one who can do anything that is nebulous and indirect, but never anything so obvious as curing an amputee.
How is it that human mammals believe merely by pronouncement of the belief? “There is a Deity”, they say. What are they really wishing for?
Is it for their pride that the sun only shines with them in mind—those mammals of such special creation who are never so humble?
4. — Why is Intent or Agency assigned to Nature? Was this of some use to us long ago?
This thread, then, is the purview of the confining of the inquiring mind, and why, through the noting of the wide expanse of fables, faith, hoaxes, lies, imaginations, fictions, foggy notions, guesses, concoctions, phantasms, fantasies, conceptions, falsehoods, misrepresentations, decrees, fiats, proclamations, dead ideas, magic, revelations, scrap heaps, anecdotes, untruths, revelations, hearsay, wild tales, yarns, and fish stories known as belief in the unseeable supernatural through faith without knowledge. These are all figmentations of the imagination.…
Strewn about this panoramic realm of the “possible” and the “conceivable” are all the unknowable fabrications dreamt up by the oft exaggerating human race of mammals. The realm of such non-things has thus become superposed at the edge of Reality, merely by its scope, by all those who have dreamed, supposed, and wished for such legends to become actualized and real-ized; however, these ideas hadn’t ever quite made it into our observable reality at all, in any way, ever but remaining in the minds of the beholders—as varying viewpoints.
Without so much much as a word, we quickly pass what most no longer believe in, but once did, namely, the graveyard tombstone of Astrology—the God of the Stars, and the eternally marbled monuments of the Moon God, the Sun God (Apollo), Baal, Zeus, Wotan, Aphrodite, Thor, Mithras, Isis, Amon, Poseidon, the Druid Gods, plus more, and we even hurry past the ledger of those many Mythologies that had preceded the formation of the Old Testament—those superstitions whose very and various amalgamations came to form it whole.
But, here we halt, at that Testament, to mark the new and moving lines of the belief in the invisible, the point at which some beliefs still prosper, such as Angels, sitting on top of or next to some of the timeworn memorials, and on the crumbling cemetery gateposts, as well, being the much livelier and near-living representations of the three demigod-like spheres of the heavenly host: Seraphims, Cherubims, Ophanims, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, Archangels, Angels, and last, but probably of the most use to us, the Guardian Angels that are said to protect children.
So, there you have it. The invisible reigns supreme.
Are some humans irrational?
Are decisions made by emotions?
Are some just not able to think scientifically?
Are patterns seen in mere coincidences?
Do ghosts have minds and memories, or do we just wish it?
Comments are welcome on why people believe in superstitions, the supernatural, and the paranormal… as in either falsely or truly…
It doesn’t matter if you are pro or con about the material world—it’s immaterial to me!
Lucky charms, rabbit’s feet, and wishing wells are fun, too…
…and by some other kind of luck from a map, we found where Rte. 66 picked up again…