You say “the devil made you do it”. “Watch out for the black cat.”  “Got my rabbit’s foot, I’m safe.” You want to believe in extraordinary forces. You fancied fairies as a child:  Tinker Bell, Santa Claus. You have a predilection for attributing intelligence and power to conjured entities. They protect you, provide for you. You are heir to the imaginings of past millennia. Your ancestors explained much of what they did not know, especially what they feared, by anthropomorphizing. Examples abound: cats in ancient Egypt, stone sculptures in Rome and elsewhere, cattle in India today. There is not much in nature that has not been imbued with magical powers at one time or another:  The stars, moon, planets, trees, rivers, even the air, the wind, rocks, animals and fellow humans. All have been altered by resourceful imaginations. They became real… in the human mind. Some munificent and benign, some threatening even vengeful. No end to what these ‘entities’ were capable of. So you had to remain vigilant. Learn how best to communicate with them, placate them.

The machinations of all that is detrimental to mankind gives rise to imaginings that know no limits. Nature becomes populated with sea monsters and sinister, slivering reptiles. Demons must be vanquished. Deities are called upon. Supplications are ‘ritualized’. Prayers and sacrifices appease the ‘gods’ and hopefully enlist their aid. What better way to deal with threats, the ubiquitous, deadly ‘forces’ that plague mankind?

Knowledge of the true nature of ‘things’ is the answer of course. Science has enlightened us. We are now aware of the sun’s energy, the interplay of forces creating hurricanes and droughts, the causes of diseases and a host of other hostile phenomena. These are no longer ‘in league’ with ‘evil entities’. There are practical ways to deal with them. Though not always successful.

Thanks to a more enlightened humanity many age-old superstitions and rituals have been abandoned. A studied approach to deal with threats has precipitated this. However, some deeply ingrained fears and beliefs still reside in the ‘human’ psyche. Many remain adamant in their devotion to protective ‘Powers’. Why? A continued sense of inadequacy in the face of sickness, tragedy and death. An attempt to explain the why’s of pain and suffering, and life itself. To seek direction and feel confidence in hope and expectation. To persevere with purpose. These are all very compelling reasons for clinging to a creed. 90% of the world’s population adheres to a belief in a god. Most do it in good faith. How ‘bout you?

Yes, there is nastiness in the world: Violence, disease and infirmities. Your belief is necessary to deal with these. Fine. If others do not believe what you do, however, they will not be able to deal with them. NOT FINE! You feel this way either because another belief is a threat to your confidence or you relish feeling superior to others. Adamantly believing and even sharing your beliefs is one thing; being critical of others, being judgmental and condemning them is quite another. Part of loving is accepting with compassion. Most people are trying their best to get along with what they know. Respect this. Avoid the all too common arrogance that is spawned by pride puffed up by conviction.

You will always wonder about the unseen Power. You may have confidence in your beliefs and in your God. Fine. As long as you appreciate and embrace the wonderful realities that make up you and your world. Everything has purpose. And most especially your astounding abilities. Use them!!  For ultimately LOVING IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT … NOT WHAT YOU BELIEVE.