an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

. . .


"Superstition": slippery slippery territory. One person's belief's are another person's balk, and so to attempt to define it as a term in use is to step into that place where subjective utility ends and the sucking muck (of me) begins.

And I think this far removed from the heyday and crisis of agnosticism, the term is less commonly charged with its political one-sidedness--its 19th century pejorative intolerant prejudice against other people's religions--and is more often now cast into the inertia of obsessive compulsive disorders or an affection for the well-established, long-respected church of baseball.

So no need to agree with me. I freely admit I'm only interested in that aspect of superstition that serves my own purposes: where religion meets poetry and cannot look back.


David Hume, from "Of Superstition and Enthusiasm," where (religious) enthusiasm is rooted in a "violent" psychological mania, and where superstition, on the flip side of the same coin, stems from anxiety and depression:
The mind of man is subject to certain unaccountable terrors and apprehensions, proceeding either from the unhappy situation of private or public affairs, from ill health, from a gloomy and melancholy disposition, or from the concurrence of all these circumstances. In such a state of mind, infinite unknown evils are dreaded from unknown agents; and where real objects of terror are wanting, the soul, active to its own prejudice, and fostering its predominant inclination, finds imaginary ones, to whose power and malevolence it sets no limits. As these enemies are entirely invisible and unknown, the methods taken to appease them are equally unaccountable, and consist in ceremonies, observances, mortifications, sacrifices, presents, or in any practice, however absurd or frivolous, which either folly or knavery recommends to a blind and terrified credulity. Weakness, fear, melancholy, together with ignorance, are, therefore, the true sources of SUPERSTITION.


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