Superstitious Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 56 quotes )
I am a sick man... I am a spiteful man. I am an unpleasant man. I think my liver is diseased. However, I don't know beans about my disease, and I am not sure what is bothering me. I don't treat it and never have, though I respect medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, let's say sufficiently so to respect medicine. (I am educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am.) No, I refuse to treat it out of spite. You probably will not understand that. Well, but I understand it. Of course I can't explain to you just whom I am annoying in this case by my spite. I am perfectly well aware that I cannot "get even" with the doctors by not consulting them. I know better than anyone that I thereby injure only myself and no one else. But still, if I don't treat it, its is out of spite. My liver is bad, well then-- let it get even worse!
The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord.
If the empire had been afflicted by any recent calamity, by a plague, a famine, or an unsuccessful war; if the Tiber had, or if the Nile had not, risen beyond its banks; if the earth had shaken, or if the temperate order of the seasons had been interrupted, the superstitious Pagans were convinced that the crimes and the impiety of the Christians, who were spared by the excessive lenity of the government, had at length provoked the divine justice.
Like the Nazis, the cadres of jihad have a death wish that sets the seal on their nihilism. The goal of a world run by an oligarchy in possession of Teutonic genes, who may kill or enslave other 'races' according to need, is not more unrealizable than the idea that a single state, let alone the globe itself, could be governed according to the dictates of an allegedly holy book. This mad scheme begins by denying itself the talents (and the rights) of half the population, views with superstitious horror the charging of interest, and invokes the right of Muslims to subject nonbelievers to special taxes and confiscations. Not even Afghanistan or Somalia, scenes of the furthest advances yet made by pro-caliphate forces, could be governed for long in this way without setting new standards for beggary and decline.
When...did it become irrational to dislike religion, any religion, even to dislike it vehemently? When did reason get redescribed as unreason? When were the fairy stories of the superstitious placed above criticism, beyond satire? A religion was not a race. It was an idea, and ideas stood (or fell) because they were strong enough (or too weak) to withstand criticism, not because they were shielded from it. Strong ideas welcomed dissent.
This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. (I know of an uncouth region whose librarians repudiate the vain and superstitious custom of finding a meaning in books and equate it with that of finding a meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one's palm . . . They admit that the inventors of this writing imitated the twenty-five natural symbols, but maintain that this application is accidental and that the books signify nothing in themselves. This dictum, we shall see, is not entirely fallacious.)
We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life—they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.
Yet, when these facts are seen side by side with other facts in the case, it is difficult not to become lost in superstitious awe. Their very absurdity seems to prohibit the use of the words 'chance' and 'coincidence.' For the sceptic there remains only one consolation: if there should be such a thing as superhuman Law, it is administered with sub-human inefficiency.
...my beloved Eudosia [a member of Buckley's household staff], who is Cuban, very large, quite old, and altogether superstitious, and speaks only a word or two of English (even though she has been with us for 19 years), is quite certain that the gentleman who raped the 16-year-old girl in New Caanan three years ago and escaped has successfully eluded the police only because of his resourceful determination to ravage Eudosia before he dies. Accordingly she demanded, and I gave her, a shotgun, into which I have inserted two empty shells. Still, Eudosia with blank cartridges is more formidable than Eugene McCarthy with The Bomb.
To ride a bicycle is in itself some protection against superstitious fears, since the bicycle is the product of pure reason applied to motion. Geometry at the service of man! Give me two spheres and a straight line and I will show you how far I can take them. Voltaire himself might have invented the bicycle, since it contributes so much to man’s welfare and nothing at all to his bane. Beneficial to the health, it emits no harmful fumes and permits only the most decorous speeds. How can a bicycle ever be an implement of harm?
The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected.
He said he hoped a lot of us would have careers in science,' she said. She didn't see anything funny in that. She was remembering a lesson that had impressed her. She was repeating it, gropingly, dutifully. 'He said, the trouble with the world was...' 'The trouble with the world was,' she continued hesitatingly, 'that people were still superstitious instead of scientific. He said if everybody would study science more, there wouldn't be all the trouble there was.' 'He said science was going to discover the basic secret of life some day,' the bartender put in. He scratched his head and frowned. 'Didn't I read in the paper the other day where they'd finally found out what it was?' 'I missed that,' I murmured. ' I saw that, said Sandra. "About two days ago.' 'That's right,' said the bartender. 'What is the secret of life?' I asked. 'I forget,' said Sandra. 'Protein,' the bartender declared. 'They found out something about protein.' 'Yeah,' said Sandra, 'that's it.
I may be deemed superstitious, and even egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor. But I should be false to the earlierst sentiments of my soul, if I suppressed the opinion. I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence. From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.
Thingschanging, failing apart, fading, another year, a few moremoves, a hard person who doesn't give a fuck, a boredom somonumental it humbles, arrangements so fleeting made bypeople you don't even know that it requires you to lose anysense of reality you might have once acquired, expectationsso unreasonable you become superstitious about evermatching them.
When my sons told me about what they'd found, I went to the priests of Belar and had them examine the auguries. This is the year to go. The ice up there won't be as thick again for years and years. Then they cast my own auguries, and from what they say, this could be the most fortunate year in my whole life."Do you actually believe that superstitious nonsense?" I demanded. "Are you so gullible that you think that somebody can foretell the future by fondling a pile of sheep guts?"He looked a little injured. "This was important, Belgarath. I certainly wouldn't trust sheep's entrails for something like this."I'm glad to hear that."We used a horse instead. Horse guts never lie.
The world is filled with people who are no longer needed. And who try to make slaves of all of us. And they have their music and we have ours. Theirs, the wasted songs of a superstitious nightmare. And without their music and ideological miscarriages to compare our songs of freedom to, we'd not have any opposite to compare music with --- and like the drifting wind, hitting against no obstacle, we'd never know its speed, its power....
On the plane leaving Tokyo I’m sitting alone in back twisting the knobs on Etch-A-Sketch and Roger is next to me singing “Over the Rainbow” straight into my ear, things changing, falling apart, fading, another year, a few more moves, a hard person who doesn’t give a fuck, a boredom so monumental it humbles, arrangements so fleeting made by people you don’t even know that it requires you to lose any sense of reality you might have once acquired, expectations so unreasonable you become superstitious about ever matching them. Roger offers me a joint and I take a drag and stare out the window and I relax for a moment when the lights of Tokyo, which I never realized is an island, vanish from view but this feeling only lasts a moment because Roger is telling me that other lights in other cities, in other countries, on other planets, are coming into view soon.
We must also remember that in every little village-god and every little superstitious custom is that which we are accustomed to call our religious faith. But local customs are infinite and contradictory. Which are we to obey, and which not to obey? The Brhmin of Southern India, for instance, would shrink in horror at the sight of another Brahmin eating meat; a Brahmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy thing to do—he kills goats by the hundred in sacrifice. If you put forward your custom, they are equally ready with theirs. Various are the customs all over India, but they are local. The greatest mistake made is that ignorant people always think that this local custom is the essence of our religion.