“I am a very rational person” (tosses salt over shoulder)

What is it about superstition that it ingrains itself into our psyche and refuses to leave no matter what we do? You tell yourself, “I’m mature.” or “I’m well educated.” but that thing about the “jumbie bird“, as the owl is fondly dubbed in my country Trinidad and Tobago, bringing death is always at the back of your mind when the poor animal is out there crooning his lament “Who whooo”. I am always surprised at hearing people talking about obeah (black magic apparently, although i admit that obeah did not start off as the science of supernaturally doing harm to others) and the workings of pundits for protection and doing spells to harm others. Spiritual baptists have a particularly bad name where this is concerned. I’ve heard people say not to eat food offered in puja, that it is sacrificial and impure. I’ve heard people claim to have been harmed by black magic, when i will bet their conditions are wholly explicable scientifically. But, in my country, I can’t speak for many others, diagnosis is rarely done properly. Our doctors are mainly sales reps and marketers or merchandisers for pharmaceuticals, so you can’t blame people for thinking that black magic is the problem rather than poor medical treatment or unhealthy lifestyles. We are a religious people, despite the haltingly immoral behaviour of some, so naturally, a lot of us see the spiritual as being very closely tied to this world. What i would love to see is people taking responsibility for their own actions and a little application of common sense. I am not saying that superstition is complete nonsense. I don’t believe it, but i expect that those who do have their own reasons and who am i to say that they are delusional or stupid? All I’m saying is that there are some things that have explanations right in front of your face and if we all think of ill will from someone else first, we may miss the whole point of what we are experiencing.

Jumbie bird– an owl
Puja– prayers in the hindu religion
Spiritual baptist religion– a mix of african, christian and sometimes hindu beliefs that began in the caribbean constituting a deeply
spiritual lifestyle
Obeah– from the Ashanti word for sorcery, is a belief system of invoking spirits and wielding magic that manifests itself physically. Many believe obeah to be malign but obeah practitioners believe their art to be benign or malign depending on the wielder.


~ by louella001 on June 27, 2011.

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