June 24, 2015

Of superstitions, customs, rituals, doctrines and be totally free


Please read with an open mind … this article touches on subjects that may be sensitive for some people. You don’t have to agree … if people want to live their lives different from what I may have suggested … it is absolutely OK with me. I understand and respect their choices.

Here it goes …

We live our daily lives with all sorts of restrictions. While some are natural and necessary parts of our lives, some are just fallacies … like superstitions. Yes, many still willingly let superstitions and silly beliefs dictate their livelihood. I have seen someone who refuses to get out of the house because he believed that he must not make a left turn on the road that particular day to avoid the unfortunate … strange but people believe it.

And then there are customs and rituals … many are compelled to these practices handed down by tradition. I think the Chinese have more than others and the Chinese here observe twice as much customs and rituals than those practiced in China today. Whether in birth, matrimony or death … people remain oblivious and continue to submit diligently to these outdated thoughts. While many customs are simple enough to perform, some rituals are quite a hassle.

I was put through a few absurd rituals when my father passed away … one of them was to ‘tearfully’ (if not genuine, at least pretend to be) call out really loud to him when his coffin was being carried away to be cremated. Strange … “what is it for? I asked”. They told me it was to display filial piety. What? I was really puzzled … what filial piety can I show to my dead father while he is about to be cremated? Whatever I need to show (filial or what not), I have already shown while he was still alive.

Come to think about it … maybe some of the customs and rituals suggested by the bereavement trade are just to increase the earnings of the business. Yes, I am going to get whacked by people from Nirvana and the likes.

I am sure there are other practices in different religions but I don’t really know what customs and rituals they adopt. I am not a religious person, I will not delve into others' faiths and beliefs.

So when a group asked me to join them and told me that by embracing their teachings and their revered rituals, they can (in their exact words) … “enlighten me and set me totally free from the world’s problems” ... I politely decline their offer. I told them I am also trying to be totally free … from strange superstitions, obsolete customs, absurd rituals and outdated doctrines.

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