Sep 6, 2008

Good Time to Read This?

Before you proceed, stop right now and answer this question - How superstitious are you? 0% - bad, 100% - worse, 50-50 - well, no comments..If unable to answer that direct question, answer these auxilliary pointers - Do you believe that your prayer would be answered the way you want it to be, when a gecko chirps (what do you call that irreproducible sound that geckos make) ? Do you check the Raahu Kaalam of the day when you kick start a new course? Do you wear the same dress that you wore on a successful interview, for every damn interview you attend, even if it is unkempt? Do you believe that the ring of a bell (be it a bicyclist's bell or a telephone bell ) asserts an event that you are discussing then at the precise moment? More generally, do you associate events and happenings in the present with the signs of the past and more importantly, do you predict the future with the signs and superstitions of the present?

My Superstition Quotient (Its a new word I've coined skillfully, dont look it up, Its not there yet..) is a peu pres __ (secret). For quite sometime, dating back to almost quarter of a century, I was raised to be superstitious. Someone, somewhere told me that superstitions are God's own way of sending signals to humans and it was upto to us mortals to decipher those scrambled signals. Well, that was food for thought for the miniscule rational part of my head. The rather overly observant part of my head continued to look-out for encrypted signals from God, I would have deciphered them correctly, just that there was too much of an inter-signal-interference (or simply noise).

So as you may have guessed, nine times out of ten, my signal-reading is incorrect. - Nine events out of ten prove them wrong. And yet that one (out of a ten) event, that I may have predicted correctly (and for which I take undue credit) , makes me continue to infer signals. This signal reading got accentuated after I chanced to read 'The Alchemist'. You are preached to follow your dreams and believe in superstitions to attain the glory you are destined for..

Ok, herez the deal - Let us give it to God - He does send some signals which we term superstitions . Lets assume they are valid...God for some indecipherable reason, chose those signals to be in encrypted form, so when the ordinary mortal , with all his fallacies and limitations tries to interpret them and (assuming he is as intelligent as I am), gets them wrong? Is it glory he is destined for or doom? But what if he does get them right - Does he end up with the treasure as with the shephard in The Alchemist? Or do you have to hire an Alchemist for this?

Another paramater in this analysis that usually causes misinterpretation of signals is wishful thinking. The human head is far more likely to interpret signals in a way it would to please its lady-love - the human heart. Afterall, it can't even interrupt when the heart says something..forget displeasing it..

So the question is - Do we have to interpret signals (and superstitons) and go after glory (while we may be actually treading along doom's way) , or not interpret them at all, go neither to glory nor to doom? If it is 50-50, where do we draw the line?