- You can’t do things differently or the god(s) will be angry.
- A new person might be a devil or an angel. They might be a scout for an army. They might be carrying a disease.
- Tried, tested and true. At least you know what it involves.
- Curiosity killed the cat.
- Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Superstition is something that has dogged humanity since the beginning of time. It’s gone thru every institution, every human being. There is something you’re afraid of, and there is something you do/don’t do or say/don’t say that mitigates that fear for you. Like ‘step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back’. Avoid black cats. Don’t break a mirror…..
And if it turns out right, it’s because you listened. If it doesn’t, you didn’t do it right or the god(s) were too angry to give you what you needed.
There is always a search for something and there is always a method for how you do things.
In science, you clean your lab, follow the known rules of your field, write your observations down, have a colleague check your work.
In magic and religion you set the scene, light the candles, pray/chant, perform your ceremony and close it out with gratitude.
In technology, you draw what you want to make, test and retest the smaller components, then put it together and test and retest again till you’re sure it works.
And your faith is in what you know, what your teachers have taught you. What you have observed for yourself. What you know someone else can replicate. But not quite closely enough that they can break your patent. Just enough to prove your theory.
The unknown is scary, but so is status quo. Like sharks, you move or die. For a college or university, you publish or perish.
And under it all is this pervasive fear that you aren’t good enough to do this, that you shouldn’t be there. That everything will crash and burn and it’ll be your fault. You’ll lose your membership in your group. You’ll be left destitute.
Yet somehow you keep going in the tracks you stepped in yesterday. Or start over where you last had positive results. There is no new, and you can’t do the same thing too often or you’ll be mocked.
They call it panic now. Peer pressure is a killer. But over all time, it’s been seen as superstition. Because you work very hard to achieve perfection, knowing full well it doesn’t exist.