The inner Conflict of a modern superstitious Person – no full Trust in anything – 1 Jul 13


One of my friends told me that he had once been walking in the dark together with two other people. They were walking on a normal Indian road, on the way to a meeting when my friend suddenly felt a sharp pain in his leg and cried out. The others turned around, torches in the hand to check what had happened.

My friend shouted that he had been bitten and seeing that he was grabbing his leg, turned the light of the torches towards his leg and foot. There, next to his left leg, they saw the familiar form of a scorpion and the sharp sting at the end of his small body. My friend had been stung by a scorpion!

The very first thing what he did, although scared about this sting, was to kill that scorpion. Anybody would do that, I think, in order to save another person walking on that way from being stung. The reason my friend had for his action went a bit further. He was convinced that he had to kill the scorpion right away, in this way less poison would spread in his body. Obviously that is superstition as the poison was already in the body and the scorpion away from my friend’s leg but that is even a mild version of superstition.

I realized the real amount of superstition when my friend told me that they straight away went to the next village Sadhu who knew about scorpion bites and spiritually enough elevated that he could remove the poison from the leg by praying.

Yes, they really found a Sadhu who, against a small compensation of course, worked his magic on my friend. He tied a piece of cloth tightly around his thigh, picked up some twigs tied into the shape of a broom and brushed down his leg, murmuring mantras. This drama was supposed to stop the poison from spreading and even remove it from the leg again. And indeed, my friend was convinced that he felt the poison move down in his leg.

Back in the car on the way home however, he faced an inner conflict: he was a studied man and had learned in university, in books and from every knowledgeable man he knew that one has to go and see a doctor after having been stung by a scorpion. He did believe, too, however that this Sadhu had succeeded with his work! Well, what else could he do than going to see the doctor? He went, bought his medicine and I believe even got an injection.

Of course he had no problems following this encounter with the scorpion – in his eyes he was double safe: by religious means and medical science.

I am writing this story just to show once more what superstition can do to an intelligent, studied man! In my eyes he had the feeling that something happened through the treatment of the Sadhu only due to his belief and the psychological effect that this had on him. I believe that the true physical treatment was only done by the medical doctor.

This man is in a very difficult situation because he will always live in the confusion whether he should follow science or superstition. Actually he doesn’t fully believe in any of the both! There is no trust that the Sadhu alone could have saved him and no trust that the doctor alone would have saved him either! He will first go to someone who treats him with divine powers and mantras and afterwards go to the doctor and pay there!

It is a mental problem that will never let this man trust or decide confidently. He will always try to find a middle way by doing both and thus losing more than earning! Someday, I hope, he and everyone else in his situation will see clearly that superstition won’t save anybody.