Superstition is Cowardice
Superstition is cowardice in the face of the Divine, wrote an ancient savant Theophrastus, who lived during the founding of the Library of Alexandria.
Theophrastus was right! How pallid by comparison are the pretensions of superstition and pseudoscience, such as astrology or tarot. How important it is for us to pursue and understand the real science in order to understand the human endeavour.
If the inclinations toward slavery and racism, misogyny, violence and superstition are connected through human history (as cross-cultural studies suggest), then there is room for some optimism. Indeed, we are surrounded by recent fundamental changes in society.
In less than a century, sweeping global changes have begun to move in precisely the directions needed for human survival. A new consciousness is developing which recognizes that we are one species. One and unique.
For instance, for the last two centuries, abject slavery which coexisted with us for thousands of years or more has been almost eliminated in a stirring planet-wide revolution.
Here come some other examples: Women, patronized for millennia and denied real power, are gradually becoming, even in the most backward societies, equal partners with men (for better and for worst, let’s say).
For the first time in modern history, major wars of aggression are being stopped partly because of the revulsion felt by the citizens of the aggressor nations.
Besides the old exhortations to nationalist fervour and jingoist pride begin to lose their appeal almost everywhere.
Children are being treated better worldwide (perhaps of better living standards), and so on.
So let’s repeat: Theophrastus was right.
Those afraid of the real universe, of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition, the ridiculous tarot games and astrology, one of the most absurd phenomena of human mind.
Those who choose tarot instead of the real science - they avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the wave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries.
Every aspect of Nature reveals a deep mystery and touches our sense of wonder and awe. Image: © Megan Jorgensen