January 11, 2014

On Superstition and Paranoia

By St. Nektarios of Aegina

Superstition is an unreasonable fear of God. It is an exaggeration and extremism, since balance is only retained by devout piety. The superstitious have a phobic consciousness, because they have not matured and they stand before the divine full of fear in a way that does not fit with God. Their knowledge is imperfect regarding divine phrases and they believe things about God that are unworthy of Him. The superstitious have a darkened mind and troubled intellect. Plutarch says about superstition: "Frightful is the darkness of superstition falling upon man, and confounding and blinding his power to reason in circumstances that most loudly demand the power to reason" (On Superstition).

The superstitious fear where no fear should exist and are troubled where peace should be found. They always imagine that God is pursuing after them and seek salvation in necklaces, which they hang around their neck. They believe in delusions and accept as truth pure nonsense. Everywhere they see and discern the victory of dark powers and ascribe greater power to them than God.

The superstitious are morally in bondage and intellectually humiliated. They suffer from religious persecution and their soul is ill. The superstitious person is unhappy and lives a miserable life.

Source: From the book Know Thyself. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.