How It Starts...
Why Superstition Isn't Worth It...
The hands used to click click click their way upon this window are more than crucial to the progression of the human race. Staring at them palms up, one might internally decide otherwise. An explanation shall be granted, but it is up to the self whether or not to accept it.
When a father goes fishing with his son for the first time questions are expected. The father will do his best to answer them and the son may or may not remember those words for the rest of his life. There is usually the strong chance of the son simply wanting to hear his own voice and will pay little attention to the answer. Unless beneficial to the task at hand (fishing) the son might not even listen passed his own question. Now consider this particular father and son are fishing on Lake Michigan. The son, with his beginner’s fishing pole, is likely to lose a hook, or perhaps a lure. When he comes to his father with this problem, it is solved by attaching a replacement. Listening to the experience is one thing, but it is the visual that will stay inside the child’s memory.
Verbally instructing the tying of the specifically named knot is more than possible, but when it comes to his child learning something for the first time the father knows he is passing this knowledge onto a blank canvas. A blank canvas that is likely to survive longer than he himself. He is not the inventor of the knot. Not by a century or two or even three. The knot was around before he was, before his father, before his grandfather and is now going to live on further thru his son who will study his hands every move to ensure his attainment of the knot process. The son’s canvas is now painted and on its way to its own evolution where hopefully one day he too will have the opportunity to pass the knot down a generation.
Now imagine another father and son gone fishing, only this time their lines are luring fish from a small tributary outside of a village in New Guinea. The father takes the son to a proven spot to ensure a good trip and everything on the trip is going smoothly, they are pulling fish after fish out of the water and are excited about arriving home with a hearty dinner for the hungry family. Then all of the sudden on their final cast the father pulls out a river monster with spines at the end of the fins and jagged misaligned teeth.
“We cannot eat todays catch for this monster is a curse upon the water.” says the father.
The son (a blank canvas) is now predisposed (painted) to teach his future offspring to throw away a day’s entire catch because of a “curse.”
“It is always better to be hungry than to be cursed.” The father might say, thus justifying the unnecessary loss.
Having learned of this for the first time, the son will be sure to take with him what his father taught on all his future fishing trips, while keeping a subconscious eye open for the cursed fish. The importance to the father and son of following through with the superstition does not take away the hunger of their family. They will now be malnourished until the next catch or kill which is not always assured.
The techniques passed on are essential to the survival of the individual and to the lineage. The vulnerability of a blank canvas (son) to be stained (cursed) with something other than paint (reality) brings with it the importance of doing what the fathers say and not straying away from it. Either son’s adolescent mind cannot survive without the experience of the father to guide it. With such knowledge being passed down the young open mind will not see such a curse as embellishment, or something to throw over a shoulder and forget about. The curse is now real. Real in the sense that the awaiting families will remain hungry, but will respect the curse and accept it for what they assume it is.
Something completely imaginary and detrimental is now sitting atop a pedestal being respected as reality and potential consequences.
The father on Lake Michigan saw his son lose a hook, replaced it, and went about the trip. The father in New Guinea caught a fish he believed to be cursed and disregarded the entire catch. Both scenarios are unfavorable to anyone awaiting the meal, however only one of them will result in perfectly fine eatable food being discarded. Everyone on earth is subject to wanting the supernatural belief to be real, but a mere bad idea does nothing to the world until it is acted upon with the hands.
Before the knot was tied the father had the option of simply telling his son to tie it one way or another, but he did not. Correspondingly, before the entire catch was thrown back in the father had the option of explaining why the cursed fish is not eatable and the rest of the catch is. Since said curse is much much older than the father he assumes it to be truth, because he was once a small boy learning survival skills and his father taught him the story behind the particular cursed fish, not wanting to be cursed himself he listened and learned and saw to it that his offspring became fully aware.
The mind provides the knowledge, but the hands apply it. The knot can be written down or spoken, but the hands will tie it. The curse can be listened to and laughed about, but it is the hands that will oblige it. The decision to tie the knot and keep on fishing will always result in better chances for survival than would the decision to fear the curse and throw the fish away.
It is easy to forget about such superstitions and belittle their meaning but that does not suggest that we should encourage unpainted vulnerable minds to embrace such thought patterns. The choice of one individual to look passed the delusion and apply their hands towards progress could in time grow to be an entire race of people reaching towards the same improvement. It is up to you whether or not throwing the meal back in the water is worth the hunger.