Superstition

Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a distinct conception of what poets of strong ages call inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the slightest residue of superstition left in one, one would hardly be able to set aside the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely medium of overwhelming forces. The concept of revelation , in the sense that something suddenly, with unspeakable certainty and subtlety, becomes visible, audible, something that shakes and overturns one to the depths, simply describes the fact. One hears, one does not seek; one takes, one does not ask who gives; a thought flashes up like lightning, with necessity, unfalteringly formed - I have never had any choice... Everything is in the highest degree involuntary but takes place as in a tempest of a feeling of freedom, of absoluteness, of power, of divinity... The involuntary nature of image, of metaphor is the most remarkable thing of all; one no longer has any idea what is image, what metaphor, everything presents itself as the readiest, the truest, the simplest means of expression.

Have faith in your immortal nature. Know that you are Spirit. Those who think they are limited and mortal, that they are born and that they die, are superstitious. Anything that is weakening, anything that is degenerating, anything that tells us that we are limited human beings is a terrible superstition. By all the means in our power we must overcome it. Let us tear aside this veil of superstition, recognize our true nature, and know that we are eternal, imperishable and immortal.

The prayer is an attempt at influencing the divine will. In short, one is back in the realm of superstition. It is true that love of god’s will can be found in whatever happens, but the prayer of petition is best understood, not as an attempt at influencing the ways things go, but as an expression of, and a request for, devotion to God through the way of things.

No itch is more infectious than superstition.

What the world needs is a fusion of the sciences and the humanities. The humanities express the symbolic, poetic and prophetic qualities of the human spirit. Without them we would not be conscious of our history; we would lose our aspirations and the graces of expression that move men's hearts. The sciences express the creative urge in man to construct a universe which is comprehensible in terms of the human intellect. Without them, mankind would find itself bewildered in a world of natural forces beyond comprehension, victims of ignorance, superstition and fear.

Astronomy was born of superstition; eloquence of ambition, hatred, falsehood, and flattery; geometry of avarice; physics of an idle curiosity; and even moral philosophy of human pride. Thus the arts and sciences owe their birth to our vices.

Religion worships God, while superstition profanes that worship.

Funerals are always occasions for pious lying. A deep vein of superstition and a sudden touch of kindness always lead people to give the departed credit for more virtues than he possessed.

A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.

Religion is not removed by removing superstition.

We have a duty to perform, to cultivate the human soul, to adore the incomprehensible and reject the absurd; to purify faith and obliterate superstition from the face of religion, to remove the vermin from the garden of God.

He who sets out in search of Truth must leave Superstition forever and wander down into the land of Absolute Negation and Denial. He must then go… where the mountains of Stern Reality will rise before him. Beyond them lies Truth.

On the grave of faith there blooms the flower of superstition.

Superstition may be defined as constructive religion which has grown incongruous with intelligence.

In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hardheaded clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions.

Our civilization… is not devaluing its awareness of the unknowable; nor is it deifying it. It is the first civilization that has severed it from religion and superstition in order to question it.

Faith without reason leads to superstition: Reason without faith leads to cynicism.

How blest would our age be if it could witness a religion freed from all the trammels of superstition!

Conscience without judgment is superstition.

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavor after a worthy manner of life.