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Main page » Dictionaries and Encyclopedias » A Dictionary of Superstitions and Mythology

A Dictionary of Superstitions and Mythology


A complete understanding of the gradual development of the human mind can be arrived at only by means of a study of the superstitions of the various nations. It is a well-known fact, that the more advanced a nation is, the less superstitious are the people.
The moment anything can be logically answered, superstition comes to an end; but as long as we cannot understand the causes and effects, we are groping in the dark, and our imagination is given full play. It is also a well-known fact that advancement influences our imagination to a very great extent. There are several very important factors in the making of superstitions, the foremost of which is our environment. We can dream our day-dreams amidst green fields with the birds singing above us, or beside the rippling stream under the clear moonlit sky, but it would be difficult, if not impossible, to indulge ourselves in those same dreams amidst the noise and bustle of a busy city life, or while rushing through the Continent of Europe in the wagon-lit of the Nord Express. Every man is born primitive, but the conditions of his living tend to form his ideas. A villager living his primitive semi-savage life is naturally more prone to be imaginative than his town-bred cousin; hence imagination is to be found more in villages than in towns, more amongst savages than among civilized races—and in Imagination is the seed of Superstition. Imagination combined with Ignorance is Superstition fullborn.

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