|Stories - Part Four: Decisions and Problems
Some of our problems relate to our beliefs. If we believe we are ugly, then we will act on the assumption that others think we are ugly. This in turn will affect our behaviour with others. The Beast, in 'Beauty and the Beast' thought he was so ugly no one would ever love him, so he lived a secluded life. By leading a secluded life, he didn't meet anyone, and so created a situation where no one could love him. His problem was of his own creation. Another character 'Cyrano de Bergerac' had a very long nose, and also thought no one could love him. He later discovered that it did not matter that he had a long nose.
Most people have some superstitions. In some cases it is the trivial 'touch wood' when you hope something good will happen. In other cases it can extend to regular reading of horoscopes, fortune telling, and buying lucky charms. In extreme cases superstition can even dominate one's life.
Religion: Beliefs in the various gods who control our lives.
Voodoo: Belief in the dead coming back to life.
Supernatural: Belief in ghosts, evil spirits, and things that go bump in the night.
Psychic powers: Belief that people can do things beyond our understanding.
Clairvoyants: Belief in people who can communicate with the dead, and foretell the future.
Astrologers: Belief that our fate is governed by the stars.
Mysticism: Belief in the hidden knowledge of religions.
Divination: Belief in God-given knowledge.
Fortune telling: Belief in Palmistry, Crystal gazing, Numerology, I Ching, Tarot cards, lucky charms, and similar ideas.
Even if we are not superstitious outwardly, we may still make comments like "Good luck, touch wood, and keep your fingers crossed" to people we wish well. We may also associate items with good luck, like the chess player who always wore the same 'lucky tie' when playing.
There is also a grey area where belief and knowledge overlap. Alternative medicine might be successful where normal medicine fails, but it might also depend on the patient believing that they will be cured.
Stage magic depends on people believing that what they see is really happening. Politics works because people believe that Politicians will do what they say they will do. Money works because people believe that pieces of paper actually have a value. Society works because people believe that others will carry out their duties as they are supposed to do.
Our lives are based on beliefs of one sort or another. Our problems are often the result of our beliefs not having a good foundation, or other people not doing what they have led us to believe they would.
Fairy tales cease to entertain us as we grow up because we stop believing in fairies. On the other hand, even as adults we might be scared by ghost stories and hostile paranormal happenings. We still are disturbed by nightmares, or uneasy feelings about the future. Our subconscious fears are brought to the surface when unexplainable things happen. Stories thrive on such fears.
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