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Superstations Essay

4373 words - 17 pages

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Superstitions

Introduction

The occult and mystic arts are flourishing again. However, it is difficult to differentiate between the superstition, the irrational misbelief, the supernatural phenomena or the occult doctrines. One that is superstition for a person, it can be religion or science according to others.

In many countries of Europe people still believe in witchcraft and magic. According to statistics, one out of six English people believes in ghosts, one out of 14 has already seen a ghost. Still in England every tenth people believe in the lucky days, in Germany this ratio is even higher. Two third of the Germans read their horoscope every day, one out of three admittedly believes in it. Nowadays, astrology is a well-tried service and because of this, different magazines and newspapers have horoscope-columns. Researchers show that the social background is not a decisive factor of being superstitious, since we can find many students and intellectuals who believe in astrology or palmistry.

The horrible 13

In the 3rd book of Erzsébet Rosta she wrote about the mysterious numbers which influence our lives. This literary work titled: Mystical numbers - Numerology. In the 21st century, many people keep out the number 13. For example, in the USA buildings do not have 13th floor, in many hospitals there are not 13th wards. No one was surprised when the launch of the Apollo 13 at 13:13 CST from the 39th (three times 13) launch had failed. Of course, Europe is not an exception either: in 1965 when the Queen of the United Kingdom visited West-Germany, the number of platform from where the Queen's train would have started was changed from 13 to 12.

It seems that superstitions not only affect individual lives but the economy as well. In 1978 a survey was made in the USA that had an interesting result. According to this survey, the 13th days can cause a one billion deficit, because - on this day - a lot of people simply do not work, do not book a seat and reluctantly buy anything. A number of people still fear of sitting at a table where the total number is 13 (for example Napoleon or F. D. Roosevelt). In Paris the institution of the so called quatroziéme was established by the help of who could have ordered a 14th guest.

The fear of the number 13, which is called triskaidekaphobia in Greek, is an antique superstition. We inherited the way of thinking, which attributes special importance, positive or negative properties to the numbers from the Pythagoreans (students of Pythagoras) and the Kabbalists. The Kabbalists thought that the number is the essence of everything and numbers can be attributed to the virtues, geometrical configurations and to the elements of nature as well. Numbers 3, 7 and 12 were of great importance for them. Number 12, for example, means perfection, number 13 is beyond this, so it carries an evil thing. One is added to the perfect 12, which breaks up unity and harmony that is why it brings...

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