superstitious

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 12, 2009 11:24 PM GMT
    in leu of this Friday 13th, i was just wondering- how many of us have superstitions? obviously, some are far more superstitious than others- usually people who's careers risk their lives by factors of chance- sailors and pilots and soldiers for example- and superstition abounds in third world countries and regions of the world lacking in quality education; but who among us feels more confident in his lucky jeans? who takes his school exams with a lucky #2 pencil every time? who always gets out of bed on the same side every day, for no apparent reason, despite it being a half-conscious decision? just curious what some of your quirks and rituals are.


    and beyond that, why do you think we have them? even the most educated, or non-religious among us may still have some small superstitious observance or two that may only surface in times of crisis.... could it be a nod to the fact that we don't yet know everything, despite the leaps science has taken? could it be a hope that there's something mysterious or divine in chance, in between this and that probability, that can be appealed to? is it a basic human need to have ritual- some comforting touchstone- or to begrudgingly accept the possibility that there's more to all of this than we can intellectualize?


    and at what point does observance of superstition become a belief in magic or the paranormal that the majority would frown upon? does the fact that we all observe superstition to varying degrees mean we all believe in those larger principles too, even if we won't admit it?

    this thread may not take off, but im genuinely curious, and i think hearing some of your quirky superstitions could be fun and humanizing :p
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    Feb 12, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    ha ok, i'll go first :p


    i consider the jewelry i wear every day to be lucky such that if i have to take it off for a period, i feel vulnerable and naked- but if something really bad happens to me, i consider it all used up and switch it all out for different jewelry; i hold my breath when driving by cemeteries till i'm past them; i wear my pj's inside out when i want to increase the chance of a snow day (usually works) lol; i don't shoplift primarily because i feel anything i took would be karmically unlucky, so i'm better off not having it; i always drink five mouthfuls of water from fountains in gyms because its the number of Mars, who governs masculinity and strength- otherwise i drink six mouthfuls as its the number of the sun; there are more but this is good for now ;)
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    Feb 13, 2009 12:08 AM GMT
    When I lived in Asia, I learned from my Chinese friends that it was unlucky to write a person's name using red ink. For some reason that is the one superstition I picked up over there. Over 15 years after moving back to the States, I still avoid red pens if I am going to be writing a name.

    In the other hand, I refused to be bothered by the Chinese superstitions involving the unlucky number 4. In fact I flaunt that one. I'm not sure why I think one superstition is ridiculous and the other one has merit. Seriously though, four is such a common number, couldn't they have picked a less common number like 13?!? (yeah, yeah, I know its based on the sound it shares with their word for death)
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    Feb 13, 2009 12:21 AM GMT
    When superstition begins to delve into medicine.

    I've mentioned this a few times. But when my younger brother got bitten by a snake once, he was taken first to a tandok (folk medicine in which a deer horn is placed over a poisoned bite, supposedly to suck up the venom), rather than a doctor. I was horrified. icon_neutral.gif I was really frantic at the stupidity of my parents, I mean what would fucking happen if he dies because they believed in such shit? Luckily the snake wasn't poisonous it seems, and he was taken to a doctor afterwards.

    My mom and two of my older sisters are the most superstitious in the family, and incidentally, the most religious. Things like covering mirrors during lightning storms, not showing your teeth when there's lightning, not killing flying insects the get inside the house (excluding roaches of course, LOL), dropping utensils means the arrival of a guest, sweeping or whistling at night attracts bad spirits, even the blasted feng shui stuff that's responsible for fully half of the renovations in our house.

    For the most part I find superstitions hilarious. Others have definite bases though. And are quite logical if investigated. Others probably had function back then (like taboo areas) but are now outdated and simply faithful observance of rituals which aren't any more applicable.

    I have caught myself with superstitious quirks once. Like believing faintly in a lucky number (14) or seeing omens in everyday stuff sometimes, things like that. I abandon it as soon as things get serious. It's more a hope for the intervention of something other than through human skills rather than belief in them itself. Maybe we are hardwired for it, or maybe it's just the way we were brought up. All I know is that I do try to avoid doing them myself.
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    Feb 13, 2009 12:30 AM GMT
    yeah, i think empty ritual for the mere sake of it, from habit, is probably not such a good thing, aside from its ability to comfort or lend psychological support in rough times or times of crisis.... but ritual or superstitious practices that are understood- the 'whys' that is- elevate them in my opinion from ignorance into pseudo-science and mysticism.... in my experience, when i know why im doing something, that something usually bears results. could it be the power of human belief/faith/consciousness in a mind-over-matter kinda way that allows for this? what if prayers, for example, are answered because our belief in a higher power allows our subconscious to work its power over the world around us?
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    Feb 13, 2009 12:44 AM GMT
    czarodziej saidyeah, i think empty ritual for the mere sake of it, from habit, is probably not such a good thing, aside from its ability to comfort or lend psychological support in rough times or times of crisis.... but ritual or superstitious practices that are understood- the 'whys' that is- elevate them in my opinion from ignorance into pseudo-science and mysticism.... in my experience, when i know why im doing something, that something usually bears results. could it be the power of human belief/faith/consciousness in a mind-over-matter kinda way that allows for this? what if prayers, for example, are answered because our belief in a higher power allows our subconscious to work its power over the world around us?


    The God in you kind of thing? Or psychosomatic effects kind of thing?

    On the mind over matter thing, I honestly don't know. Our only frames of reference are ourselves. Everything is filtered through our senses, and thus we could theoretically change our surroundings (insanity for example, heh, they dwell in their own version of the world). Maybe we can indeed affect things by our consciousness alone, the Double Slit experiment in quantum physics kinda hints at that.

    Specifically this:

    WikipediaA remarkable result follows from a variation of the double-slit experiment in which detectors are placed in either or both of the two slits in an attempt to determine which slit the photon passes through on its way to the screen. Placing a detector even in just one of the slits will result in the disappearance of the interference pattern. The detection of a photon involves a physical interaction between the photon and the detector of the sort that physically changes the detector. (If nothing changed in the detector, it would not detect anything.)


    Psychosomatic phenomena are kinda well documented, on the other hand. Though it has now been linked to stress, rather than a conscious control of the body functions. For example, if we had a superstition that eating a seven-day old chicken egg would result in you getting stomachache and you just found out that the omelet you ate was a seven-day old egg. You'll naturally be stressed out thinking about the possible consequences, especially if you believe it. Thus, you'd probably have a stomachache nonetheless, LOL, but due to the stress of worrying about it rather than eating a seven day old egg. icon_razz.gif
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    Feb 13, 2009 1:17 AM GMT
    i personally hold more to the 'god in me' idea- that we create our own realities, and that the human consciousness has is a divine power- my foundations are quantum mechanics/ string theory, and eastern mystical ideologies about everything being one, and that unity being energy, both manifest and unmanifest, and that energy being pure consciousness or being.
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    Feb 13, 2009 3:06 AM GMT
    hrm, apparently that was a thread-killer haha

    oh come on, what are some of your superstitions, people? :p
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    Feb 13, 2009 3:15 AM GMT

    Heheh, I used to be pretty superstitious, a Jamaican background of folklore had me going, then after moving out of Mom and Dad's I found this and well,


    -Doug





    Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
    Very superstitious, ladders bout to fall,
    Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin glass
    Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

    When you believe in things that you dont understand,
    Then you suffer,
    Superstition aint the way

    Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
    Rid me of the problem, do all that you can,
    Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin strong,
    You dont wanna save me, sad is my song.

    When you believe in things that you dont understand,
    Then you suffer,
    Superstition aint the way, yeh, yeh.

    Very superstitious, nothin more to say,
    Very superstitious, the devils on his way,
    Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin glass,
    Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past

    When you believe in things that you dont understand,
    Then you suffer,
    Superstition aint the way, no, no, no
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Feb 13, 2009 3:36 AM GMT
    None here.
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    Feb 13, 2009 4:11 AM GMT
    Humm... not really superstitious but I do understand the cycles of my life and what to expect, but that's not the same thing.
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    Feb 13, 2009 4:19 AM GMT
    madtown saidWhen I lived in Asia, I learned from my Chinese friends that it was unlucky to write a person's name using red ink. For some reason that is the one superstition I picked up over there. Over 15 years after moving back to the States, I still avoid red pens if I am going to be writing a name.

    In the other hand, I refused to be bothered by the Chinese superstitions involving the unlucky number 4. In fact I flaunt that one. I'm not sure why I think one superstition is ridiculous and the other one has merit. Seriously though, four is such a common number, couldn't they have picked a less common number like 13?!? (yeah, yeah, I know its based on the sound it shares with their word for death)


    Writing their name, or even TO them in red ink means that you want them to die.

    The vocalization of 4 and death sound exactly the same... hence why 4 is considered an unlucky number... generally it's usage means you are courting death to your family. The part that most people DON'T realize is that it's not an across the board at all times kinda deal. Mainly you don't do things, or give things in multiples of 4 during the Chinese New year Celebration... WHICH reminds me, i always wear red on the first day of Chinese New Year.

    My dad, a Chinese man, also thought $2 bills were unlucky, the second I get one i get rid of it... even so far as to when i get tipped one i'll have the bar tender break it... sometimes infront of the tipper!

    I wear a roite bindele at all times! since 2001 i have never removed a red string from my wrist. Indeed when my video comes out sometime this month, you will see... blaring red string on my wrist.
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    Feb 13, 2009 4:25 AM GMT
    yeah the red string protects the left (receptive) side of the body from incoming negative energy and evil spirits' influence. not an orthodox kabalistic belief but an interesting talismanic tradition, akin to the charms worn to ward against the evil eye in various other cultures

    and see, i think that's an example where, since you're wearing it for a known reason and there's psychological if not spiritual power there geared toward protection from negativity, you'll notice results (even if, arguably, only in one's mind- still, with things like negativity that can be all that's needed); but if someone just wore a red string on their wrist because it was a tradition to, they wouldn't get the same results..
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    Feb 13, 2009 5:05 AM GMT

    I've become a bit mathematically superstitious over the years, although on a pretty simple level. I used to avoid odd numbers in situations where they were blatantly obvious - a good example is how I could never listen to the radio in my car if the volume control was on an odd-numbered setting.

    The reason behind it was that when we were learning about prime numbers way back when, they were all odd (except for 2), and the idea that they were unnatural because of this slowly crept into my mind. Although 3 is a sensible, structurally-sound integer (the first thing I think of as an engineer), even numbers have always offered me more comfort. Intimate couples consist of two people. Most animals have 2 or 4 legs. Even numbers provided me with a sense of symmetry and balance.

    My chagrin with odd numbers was only magnified when combined with sound. Although I'm sure some would say otherwise, the idea of dischord and an unbalance in musical harmonies is incredibly uncomfortable. So, whenever I'd be listening to music in the car and see that my radio was at an odd volume setting, I'd feel like the dischord would bring an onslaught of bad luck.

    More recently, I've been trying to break myself of the habit of switching the volume whenever that happens, but it still lurks in the back of my mind. I've read that odd numbers were (and still are) considered lucky in different forms. My lucky numbers will still remain 12 and 32, though icon_smile.gif
  • calibro

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    Feb 13, 2009 5:13 AM GMT
    I am superstitious whenever it comes to watching my favorite teams play. Never allowed to change the channel during a game and you have you finish your beer before the start of the next inning.
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    Feb 13, 2009 5:21 AM GMT
    I have a good luck/guardian critter. If it appears when I don't expect it, I take it as good omen and a reminder of the practice of continual gratitude.

    They have often appeared in real life, print, sculpture, paint and even once in graffiti on the side of a cargo container during moments of great peace or great crisis. I always acknowledged them for as far back as I can remember, but it wasn't until I found myself suddenly surrounded by them in an unlikely place at the most horrific period in my life that I truly became superstitious about them.

    I have them featured in either a large or small way in about half of the art work around my apartment. I find them very comforting.
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    Feb 13, 2009 7:34 AM GMT
    I do not want to write about this thing. If I were to write about it, it would change, giving it a power that it does not warrant in my life and the lives of the people around me. I must be very careful with and wary of the power of the word.
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    Feb 13, 2009 9:07 AM GMT
    I have no superstitions, zero, nilch, nada. As for Friday the 13th it is a grim day in my family. My paternal grandfather died on Friday April 13th, 1945 (the day after FDR), and his only child, my dad, died on Friday, October 13th, 2006. Ironically my dad's mother died on October 14th, 1974. I always found it kind of weird that such a small family could have their deaths so closely connected in timing.
  • Sayrnas

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    Feb 13, 2009 12:18 PM GMT
    For starters...If everything could be explained with science, life would be boring right?


    For me, I don't go under ladders. I don't even know why. I think it has something to do with the betweens. But it's only with ladders.

  • SanEsteban

    Posts: 454

    Feb 13, 2009 12:31 PM GMT
    I think my biggest superstitions involve karma. I am a firm believer that things you do in life can be returned to you seven fold. If you mistreat others, or do something that is wrong karmawise, it will come back to you seven fold! the same goes for good karma. Pretty much, if you live by the Golden Rule, you will be OK.

    I also believe in the effects of the full moon. It has been my experience that too many weird things happen during and for a few days after a full moon occurs - especially when Mercury is in retrograde! Sounds odd I know but it is something I have come to believe in.


  • Sayrnas

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    Feb 13, 2009 12:35 PM GMT
    KaSaZ saidI think my biggest superstitions involve karma. I am a firm believer that things you do in life can be returned to you seven fold. If you mistreat others, or do something that is wrong karmawise, it will come back to you seven fold! the same goes for good karma. Pretty much, if you live by the Golden Rule, you will be OK.

    I also believe in the effects of the full moon. It has been my experience that too many weird things happen during and for a few days after a full moon occurs - especially when Mercury is in retrograde! Sounds odd I know but it is something I have come to believe in.





    Agreed. However, I don't think Karma is a superstitious thing. I can't prove it other than with random patterns but..i dunno, I feel that kind of energy as I go through the day. Some weird circular something connecting us all.
  • upsguy68

    Posts: 270

    Feb 13, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
    I think my only superstitious "ritual" is to eat greens and black-eyed peas on January 1. This is suppose to bring wisdom and prosperity throughout the year.
    I use to have special underwear when I went clubbing, just in case I got "lucky!" But after more than 2 years of being celibate, I don't think they are all that lucky.icon_rolleyes.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 13, 2009 1:38 PM GMT
    Well since I discussed my "good day" yesterday, its apparent I acknowledge that we all do seem to have days where everything can go right (or wrong).. seemingly.

    Superstition? Nothing directly, but there have been several times in my life where events have made me thing.. can it mean something? And of course
    I read horoscopes occasionally. Its always interesting.
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    Feb 13, 2009 1:48 PM GMT
    No superstitions here
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 13, 2009 2:58 PM GMT
    I have some mild superstitions, but I think the one that sticks with me most is being careful of being too happy about something or looking forward to something too much - it always ends up getting fucked up in some way or another when I do.