2 October 2009

superstition

I'm a superstitious man. There, I've admitted it. I touch wood. I listen to my dreams. I think my dreams must mean something. I'm aware of portents, of coincidences. I lead my life as if these things make a difference.

Well they might not make any difference. We live in a material world, a world ruled by the commands of science and of scientific law. There's no doubt that scientific law matters. Gravity will not go away because I don’t believe in it. But the creed of science is a new thing, barely a few centuries old, whereas the world of magic is as old as the human race. For several hundred thousand years we humans have paid attention to our dreams, and even in this age of enlightenment, we continue to pay attention. Freud merely gives a scientific spin to this ancient habit. Dreams still mean something.

Dreams are mysteries. They are the whisperings of the unknown. They come to us from the depths and speak to us in the language of symbols. They are the source of fairy tales, containing echoes of our most ancient myths. They resonate with strange beauty, and remind us that we are not alone. Dreams are where our gods and demons reside, unflustered by the shoddy drama that we call reality. Gravity is real. And so, too, are our dreams.
Scientific laws are indisputably true. But the scientific creed is itself a superstition. The belief that this is merely a material universe, the product of some vast cosmic accident, is simply dogma. It is not provable, nor testable by logic. It is a statement of faith. Is Light made up of waves or particles? It is both. Is the Universe mind or matter? It is both.

We would be fools if, under the influence of a recently promoted dogma, we were to ignore the vast riches of a universe which, for all its orderliness, remains a mystery. Dreams, portents - the mysteries of a mind in its relation to the universe - remain a central issue, And I, personally, will continue to pay attention.

cj stone

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