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 Copyright © February 2004

Superstitious Thinking...

The New World "Order"....

~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~

by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)

 
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The more I hear what's going on in the world today, the rationales of the politicians and lawyers, the liberal educators and media pundits, and the like, the more I see the telltale hallmark of "superstitious thinking" all over it.

We don't often associate the idea of "superstitions" with the general way in which we go about thinking to day, believing instead that most of our conclusions and understandings have been derived from logical and reasonable analysis.  But the more I hear what's going on in the world today, the rationales of the politicians and lawyers, the liberal educators and media pundits, and the like, the more I see the telltale hallmark of "superstitious thinking" all over it, wherein "certain facts" and their "conclusions" are drawn without plausible foundation or regard to what's real.

  The resurrected Christ told Thomas, "...Because thou has seen me, thou hast believed:  blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)... Here, we are asked to consider that, amongst other things, "seeing" is not necessarily believing of that which leads us to the truth, rather believing is "seeing." 

Copyright © 2003 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.).  All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction,  without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 

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Indeed, "seeing" has never guaranteed that we know what we are looking at.  Many there were that pontificated upon seeing the horizon out at sea that earth was most decidedly flat, or when witnessing the sun and the stars rise and set each day, that one could only conclude that the earth was the center of the universe.  Any who dared to think differently were immediately persecuted and silenced, often by torture and death.

It's true that many may claim to "see" but nonetheless do not believe or cannot understand the truth in front of them, because they come to erroneous conclusions with the facts presented to them, or don't know how to put all the information in front of them together in its proper order or weighted perspective. 

For instance, consider the possibility that many may have actually seen the resurrected Christ, but still didn't believe in Him afterwards, even dismissing the fact that they witnessed and saw Him, convincing themselves that it was someone else----or like Dickens' Scrooge, thought that their seeing was perhaps simply a brooding reflection (indigestion during a dream) of a bit of undigested mutton that they had for dinner.  After all, even during the Christ's ministry and after His many miracles, many still did not believe that He was from God, choosing instead to believe that He was of the Devil.  Again, "seeing" does not guarantee that we will accurately understand what is in front of us.

Indeed, "seeing" has never guaranteed that we know what we are looking at.  Many there were that pontificated upon seeing the horizon out at sea that earth was most decidedly flat, or when witnessing the sun and the stars rise and set each day, that one could only conclude that the earth was the center of the universe.  Any who dared to think differently were immediately persecuted and silenced, often by torture and death.

And this doltish proclivity seems to have remained with us to this day, despite all that we have seen in the last century.  Electric lights, flight, the realities of the microbial world, energy-mass equivalence, the "Big Bang," String Theory, to name just a few, have all been mocked and laughed at by the masses who take their cue from those smug liberal elitists in academia and political life that rely only upon what they can "see".... while never considering nor admitting that what they "see" they haven't possibly understood, resisting the truth because it doesn't comfortably flatter nor fit their world perspective.

It's as if, presented with a puzzle of a thousand pieces, only three pieces are actually used to represent the whole---discarding the rest as if the other pieces didn't really matter because they don't fit with the jaundiced expectations of the few.  Truly, the vast majority of us see only what we want to see, only what we are conditioned to see, only what we are told to see, and only what we will allow ourselves to see.  Our prejudice and ignorance control the acuity of our vision more so then the lens within our eyes.  Myopia is more the condition of the head and heart than it is with our physiology.

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The problem lies in thinking that in order for something to be superstitious it has to clearly defined and obviously foreign to our everyday pattern of life, like some old wives tale.  Commonly, the average person doesn't understand that their way of thinking and coming to conclusions and judgements about things may have its roots in the superstitious.  How we think and reason, or not, is likely because of these unrecognized cognitive habits that have become ingrained within our families and culture. 

And such is the selective perceptual vacuum in which superstitions of all sorts are borne.  Superstitions are unreasonable and illogical "understandings" taken to be "true" when in the absence of critical thinking and decision making----these are not associated with any consistent form of verifiable causality.  Superstitions are beliefs and/or conclusions that generally evolve from the cocktail of ignorance, fear, prejudice, and hatred of that which is unfamiliar, uncommon and unknown.  

Interestingly, the French (who ironically appear more grossly affected by superstitions and seem to be more willingly engaged in superstitious thought than most, and I would suggest are simply a portending as to where we are all headed), even have an idiom about superstition, saying that : "la superstition est fille de l'ignorance," meaning: superstition is born of ignorance. 

Webster's Dictionary defines superstition as "any belief based on fear of ignorance or the unknown, a trust in magic, and that which is inconsistent with the known laws of science or with what is generally considered in the particular society as true and rational..."   The Oxford Dictionary holds that a "superstition" is "a widely held but unjustified belief (especially as in charms, omens, etc.) in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief." 

Most of us don't think that we're superstitious, or hold to superstitions, such as not letting a black cat pass in front of us, or not walking beneath an open ladder,  believing that we're above such things.  Most of us would assert that superstitions don't really play a big role in our lives, either because we think we're far too educated or because of our religious beliefs and values have taught us otherwise.

The problem lies in thinking that in order for something to be superstitious it has to clearly defined and obviously foreign to our everyday pattern of life, like some old wives tale or the belief in Voodoo or Obia.  Commonly, the average person doesn't understand that their way of thinking and coming to conclusions and judgements about things may have its roots in the superstitious.  How we think and reason, or not, is likely because of these unrecognized cognitive habits that have become ingrained within our families and culture. 

To be sure, we don't often think that a way of thinking illogically, or of the unreasonable means whereby we make conclusions and judgments, can be thought of as being superstitious.  But it is....  Indeed, we are often mindlessly engaged in thinking superstitiously, and cognitively rehearse superstitious paradigms from which unreasonable and illogical conclusions are derived, all the time. 

It may surprise us to learn that any time we think and conclude unreasonably, illogically, and irrationally, we are engaging in forms of superstitions thought.  Any time we allow our prejudice and fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar to influence our perceptions, we are becoming superstitious.  Any time we subvert reality testing and parse the truth in front of us so as to see only what we want to see, working to fulfill our personal agendas and expectations, we are behaving superstitiously. 

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Any belief or concoction masquerading as the truth, leading to a conclusion that cannot be substantiated by those things known before us at any one time is superstitious.  In other words, any time that we wastefully dismiss the facts in front of us, or marginalize their influence in our conclusions, preferring our own coveted world view to the exclusion of those things that can be clearly witnessed or understood without prejudice, we are behaving superstitiously, pressing our crippled "seeing" of things into the service of misrepresenting the truth. 

So saying, the roots of superstition do not rest in some form of fantastic out-of-the-world belief system (supernatural causation, paranoia, and old wives tales, etc.), but rather sophistry of the worst sort, wherein prideful ignorance, selective and prejudicial perceptions pass for wisdom. 

Indeed, superstition especially breeds itself without hesitation in the minds and characters that have a predisposition for disregarding the facts so as to serve their own agendas.  These forego reality testing and are thereafter rarely deterred to falsely accuse others, slander, lie, and cheat to further their own cause, covering their tracks as they go.  Keenly aware of their hidden deception, like lawyers, they simply wish to argue and make their case----not on the facts, but from their superstitious rendering of the facts.  Whether their efforts are supportive of the truth or not makes no difference to them. 

Any belief or concoction masquerading as the truth, leading to a conclusion that cannot be substantiated by those things known before us at any one time is superstitious.  In other words, any time that we wastefully dismiss the facts in front of us, or marginalize their influence in our conclusions, preferring our own coveted world view to the exclusion of those things that can be clearly witnessed or understood without prejudice, we are behaving superstitiously, pressing our crippled "seeing" of things into the service of misrepresenting the truth.  Thereinafter, reason, logic, and verifiable causality have been abolished, resulting in the fashioning of opinion and "fact" out of innuendo, hearsay, false rumor, and the like.

Subsequently, without notice to many of us, we have been inundated with superstitious habits and educated with superstitiously derived conclusions.  And to our shame, we have taken it as a matter of course, excusing ourselves because we don't have the time to make our own judgments or test the conclusions of others. 

Yet, such a habit can be to our undoing, as it begins to make our own thinking and decision making increasingly more sloppy and inaccurate.  It's a slippery slope from which few of us can recover, as our own standards begin to suffer, rendering us blind and dumb.  Superstition does that to us, becoming more and more of way of breathing, marginalizing the truth or the need to find it.

Alarmingly, most of us seem content with this narrowing of perspective, and rarely challenge the information given to us....  So comfortable, we may never imagine that our very way of thinking has likely become tainted by any number of superstitious habits without us being any the wiser. 

And I'm sure the elite media, most politicians and lawyers, academics and religious pundits, of whom are some of the worst offenders, would scoff at such accusations.  But this is, in reality, how most of us get our news, educational instruction, and religious understanding, namely through the selective perceptions and agendas of a few others----points of view which for the most part are not based upon reason or tenable logic, but the superstitious thinking and agenda-setting of our culture's elite. 

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As we will now see, this "rational" is based on the pervasive doltish idiom of "only seeing is believing," or quite simply a self-serving superstition, goaded on in part by the silent political agendas of character assassins bent on gaining power and influence over others.  This is the mind-set that demands "if you cannot immediately show me the alleged WMDs, we must be right, and you must be wrong!"  Unfortunately, the cognitive analysis leading to such conclusions is haphazard at best, similar to the same superstitious inclinations that led earlier elitists to declare that the earth was flat and was itself the center of the universe. 

To bring the point more down to earth and demonstrate that superstitious habits and cognitions are now well imbedded within our national dialogues, and as a salient illustration of what I'm talking about, a wonderful but depressingly dysphoric and glaring example of our superstitious inclinations surfaces in the political arena for the hunt for Iraq's WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction).

If I may summarize, it appears that today's "brand of wisdom," supported by media pundits of all sorts, concludes that Iraq's WMDs didn't exist, that the world's intelligence just got it wrong, and furthermore, such is proof that the US and GB were never justified in going to war since the threat was never imminent. 

As we will now see, this "rational" is based on the pervasive doltish idiom of "only seeing is believing," or quite simply a self-serving superstition, goaded on in part by the silent political agendas of character assassins bent on gaining power and influence over others.  This is the mind-set that demands "if you cannot immediately show me the alleged WMDs in my timeframe, we must be right, and you must be wrong!"  Unfortunately, the cognitive analysis leading to such conclusions is haphazard at best, similar to the same superstitious inclinations that led earlier elitists to declare that the earth was flat and was itself the center of the universe. 

Searching for the truth is often a "counter-intuitive" exercise, and as such, remains a foreign experience for many, especially those narcissistic and overly self-involved who find it uncomfortable to think outside the box.  It's easier to carelessly equivocate, parse, or marginalize the data to fit our own preconceptions than coming to a point of view which stretches our world perspective.  And that's exactly what has happened in the world's analysis and resulting conclusions of WMDs.  Pundit's and political analysts are fitting their data into a predefined script, one that does not serve the truth of things, but rather forever forwards their personal highly superstitious agenda. 

First of all, a glaring piece of evidence so sidelined is the improbability of Saddem Hussein's willingness to surrender the governing control of his country over what others now wish us to believe amounts to a "bluff." 

In other words, what has yet to be adequately explained by the media elites, politicians, and other like-minded folks is why Saddem would have gambled all that he had for the sake of lying about his WMDs that he never had, or in obstructing in their investigation.  Surely, any sociopath or like mind-set, if it came down to it, would first cede their WMDs as well as proof of all earlier destructions, rather than give up their total control of all their assets, as did Libya's Moammar Kadafi recently, for example.  But that connection, though reasonable, logical, and historically astute, is not one that serves the superstitions of the elite, self-adoring, media that dispense their news to the world.  

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Would anyone gamble one's entire kingdom over things that never existed?  Why run the risk of giving up all that he had and would have in foreseeable future, (including his life-style, all his palaces, money, etc.) just to further the so-called "mystic" of his WMDs so concluded by the media?  Hussein was too much the self-absorbed narcissist to give up his position over what we are now required to believe was a simply a "bluff."  In the end he simply invited ongoing suspicion and bated those who had the disposition of war. 

Therefore, I for one, find it implausible that Hussein would have gambled his entire Kingdom over WMDs that didn't exist.  Would he otherwise have been so unwilling to offer complete and verifiable evidence of the destruction and/or absence of the WMDs to the point of giving up his lavish set-up?  I think not.  If he didn't have them, why forestall the world in the verification of their eradication?   Moreover, is it probable that every intelligence agency in the world was wrong....every one? 

Again, would anyone gamble one's entire kingdom over things that never existed?  Why run the risk of giving up all that he had and would have in the foreseeable future, (including his life-style, all his palaces, money, etc.) just to further the so-called "mystic" of his WMDs so concluded by the media?  Hussein was too much the self-absorbed narcissist to give up his position over what we are now required to believe was a simply a "bluff."  In the end he simply invited ongoing suspicion and bated those who had the disposition of war. 

And yet, the superstitious amongst us, see no problem in making a leap of judgement to the innocence of Hussein.  Nor do they seem to have any difficulty in dismissing, or at least marginalizing, any of Hussein's past conduct regarding his previous use of WMDs against his own people in the north, the Iranians, as well the mass murders of his own people in the south.

Not to be forgotten is the fact that the U.N. Inspectors only stumbled across Hussein's Nuclear Program only after having been convinced for years by their own efforts that it didn't exist!  These are the same that today "conclude" WMDs "now" don't exist.... 

I ask you, given their track record, are these same U.N. Inspectors (bureaucrats to the one) to be trusted?  Would you also repeatedly take your car to garage mechanic that continually failed to find and solve the problem?  I sure hope not!

The proponents for "no WMDs" also wish to forget the telling history of Hussein and his fantastic abilities of both he and his regime to hide WMDs and evidence of their programs.  Today, Iraq still remains largely unexamined.  Few wish to examine the simplicity that all that one would need is a set of GPS coordinates to successfully hide weapons beneath the thousands of miles desert.  To that end, Dr. Kay never even made a dent in the investigations of the deserts and the surrounding territories, much less proven that Hussein did not ship his WMDs to other Middle East Nations. The only thing we know for sure, is that Hussein's weapons have yet to be found.  

So in the absence of any real evidence (except empty hands and failed investigations), and in their impatience supported by a liberal political agenda in a very political year, they ridicule and diminish any hypothesis that flies in the face of their scripted agenda, superstitiously rushing to conclusions that WMDs didn't exist..., and so saying: so the world remains flat and the earth the center of the universe.       

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Now, I ask you, if such knowledge has been in the hands of the Mullahs of Iran and Kadafi of Libya for years, and both their programs are very robust and active, how can we be so smug (and stupid) as to believe that Hussein, who had more money and inclination then them all, didn't have the same or worse?  Oh....., I'm sorry..., I forgot the party line..., "Because the U.N. Inspectors said they didn't have this weapon technology and there hasn't been any evidence uncovered that suggests otherwise!"  Yea... right! 

Moreover, in support of their "fact-finding," which they wish us to believe is now final, we are now asked to swallow that somehow Hussein somewhere along the line turned over a new leaf, became responsible, and must have destroyed all his weapons, and that furthermore all the previous U.N. proof of the WMD stockpiles remaining unaccounted for over all those years should just be forgotten as well.  The fact that he remained stubborn and resistive to the end means nothing---and should be summarily written off as just a personality quirk.  Again, one of the hallmarks of the superstitious is to dismiss the evidence at hand, "believe only that which you can see," or parse it to death so as to only include the pieces of the puzzle that are self-serving. Talk about hiding something!!! 

But logic and reason say otherwise:  Not having yet found WMDs doesn't mean that they never existed..., or now more importantly, that they still don't exist but now in someone else's hands.  And because WMDs not only existed in the past but were actually used by this very duplicitous man, suggests in all likelihood, that they are in all probability still around. 

Not to be forgotten is the piece of a the puzzle that has recently emerged (although not surprisingly, the elite media pundits have yet to make the obvious connections), namely, the ongoing proliferation of the technology of Nuclear WMDs from Pakistan and China. 

Now, I ask you, if such knowledge has been in the hands of the Mullahs of Iran and Kadafi of Libya for years, and both their programs are very robust and active, how can we be so smug (and stupid) as to believe that Hussein, who had more money and inclination then them all, didn't have the same or worse?  If the Mullahs and Kadafi both had such developed WMD technology, surely Hussein had that and more. 

How can we not connect the dots right in front of us?   Is there any real evidence to the contrary?  What stops us from seeing the evidence of the whole story?  How is it that we are not allowed to see the probable and the obvious?  Oh....., I'm sorry..., I forgot the superstitious and self-serving party line..., "Because the U.N. Inspectors said they didn't have this weapons technology and there hasn't been any evidence uncovered to the contrary!"  Yea... right!  Next time I can't find my car keys, I'll just believe that they no longer exist!  Selective and superstitious perceptions always lead to faulty, albeit irrefutable, conclusions....

Not to be sarcastic, but these U.N. chaps must sideline in selling land in the Everglades!  Talk about being myopic and superstitiously self-serving!  Nobody wants to find anything outside their own comfort level----a U.N. Inspector certainly doesn't want to find anything that would contradict his earlier findings:  he "sees" only what he wants to "see," and subsequently believes and reports in only what his selective perceptual process allows.  Think of the loss of face and claims of earlier incompetence they would then have to endure if and when the findings prove otherwise! 

Superstitious thinking has become such an acceptable part of our common dialogue today.  And, as I hope is now clear, I'm not simply talking about "Psychic-Hot-Lines."  It's difficult to read or hear anything that has not been tainted by superstition.  Next month, I will expand this examination and share with you more examples of superstitious thinking in the academic and religious arenas.... Stay tuned!

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About the Author:  Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. An expert in a number of fields including Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Child and Family/Relationship Psychology, and Neuropsychology.  He has also served as an expert scientific advisor, product innovator and formulator, and professional consultant to the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.

 

 

 

 

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