Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The Power of Positive Thinking

[That I'm blogging about this will surprise no-one.]

For many people, reality is a flexible concept, able to change to fit people's moods. Certainly, people have claimed the day to be very bright for very dark, depending on how cheerful or depressed they are feeling.

Then there are those who expect to see certain things, and see them everywhere. Convince yourself that the number 23 is significant and you will see 23 everywhere. Just another example of pattern recognition. And recognising what you've been taught. If you've been taught that there are spirits and demons and ghosts, then you'll see those as well.

And if you believe there are such things as makutus...

A Wainuiomata woman died during her family's attempt to exorcise a Maori curse, with the mother of two drowning in a lounge as up to 40 relatives watched.

The sad thing is, this isn't as rare as it should be. Given the state of the media, it's no surprise that most examples are from America, but certainly there are plenty of people there who still believe in exorcisms and that they are real things.

From their point of view, there really is a demon. And exorcisms are a proper response. If people die...well, that's sad, but it happens, and it was in the name of...

I don't even know. God? A higher power? Doing the right thing? Tradition?

Yes, I'm just going to say: THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY! And, moreover, deluded. A decent education might have saved that woman... or just might have given her excellent "reasons" (read: "self-rationalisations") for her delusions.

But I'm betting right now there won't be a single dent in the belief of the makutu.


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