It’s important to understand my background to understand what I would consider psychic universals. I’m mixed race, therefore influenced by several cultures.
My mother believed in several religions and practices when I was younger, When I was a child she was a staunch Christian, however when I was about eight she decided Christianity was a farce, a man made religion and decided to practice Yoga instead. She did this for several years until she got that ‘itch’ again and added Buddhism to the Yoga, for that je ne sais quai. Much to my chargin, my teens were spent in Buddhist halls chanting ’namyohorengekyo’ endlessly. Somewhere in the middle of all of this she started growing her dreadlocks and many people thought she was a Rastafarian… I finished school went to the states worked came back and my mother was right where she had started, a saved Christian again. Until the vicious cycle begins again.
During all of this my mother believed, (and still does) that she was psychic. My mother had books on psychology, could read tarot cards, tea leaves, was telepathic as well and was into all sorts of holistic treatment based approaches to life; she also believed in astrology and the meaning of dreams, and swore by The Secret. A lot of this still remains true about my mother apart from the fact that now her favorite self-help book is A New Earth and she somehow isn’t as ‘saved’ anymore.
When I was a child my mother insisted that everything and everyone was connected through some sort of psychic way; that we were telepathic in some way, creating and maintaining order by doing things in waves. This, created balance she insisted. The’ balance’ she meant was a war creating jobs and economic opportunities for another nation thus sustaining it and creating balance for it or, a simpler example, Mother Nature and the idea that everything worked together to create a semblance of order, balance, everything/one needed other things to die or be born to keep the cycle going. Destruction and war were always imminent and a constant undeniably necessary evil.
Needless to say I was advised to find my own way through this religious maze that she seemed lost in.
The one thing I gathered from all of this was distaste for religion and a firm belief in me because believing in everything else seemed like an excuse to depend on something other than oneself. This also made me completely against heresay, self-help books and everything holistic. For a while this was enough and it stuck with me through the years and helped me get through the hard times. Of course like many things my unwavering dedication to me soon needed to be combined with more because of course, life got tough, so I started searching for more… more what? I eventually found my own way. Confused, I decided that my religion should be based on facts, or at least that’s what I thought they were at that time, and I went for the most ritualistic religion of the book; Islam. I’m still Muslim and haven’t wavered since but I have become lazy like most people, because with time one realizes, that religion can be used as a tool and a very powerful one at that and nobody is exempt from this tools’ chips and so I slacked.
Psychic universals are based on the premise of the burden of proof fallacy, in which the argument affirms that nothing has been proved about something and so therefore the conclusion is a definite assertion to that thing. For example, nothing is known about God therefore he is Omnipotent and religion needs you to believe blindly in Him. This example is the most common psychic universal by far. Humanity’s need to believe in a greater being has not only made many a man rich but it has also fuelled many wars created jobs and is by far the most exhilaratingly (for preachers and the rest) cash cow yet!
Now this is where it gets all confusing… If Psychic universals are myths that communities create that have uncanny similarities, and if myths are stories created by cultures to mirror their fears, aspirations, beliefs, goals and so on, and if these communities create these myths to explain the inexplicable, then where is the truth in all of this and how long would it take humanity to unravel themselves from all the myth ritual and archetypes they have created? Better yet is it even possible? Is it even possible to know for oneself how much myth one is shrouded in?
It can be argued that perhaps what people need to do is just stop trying to explain things and start focusing on creating a logical future rather that a myth marred non progressive one. However is this even possible? Considering how myth is interwoven into our cultures, histories and even our very beings is it even possible to see through the huge dust cloud referred to here as myth and be logical? After all, as an example, Logic is only a word, a word used to explain a way of thinking a way of thinking that I think is right but why do I think this is right? Is it possible that my ultra-urban culture has some sort of myth that suggests that logical thinking is key? Like every other phrase, primitive thinking will probably be changed (if it hasn’t already) to something more retro sounding to make it more modern, or postmodern, like for instance logical thinking!
This argument frankly makes my head hurt…
One has to note that, although they may not know why they chose to follow psychic universals, leaders worldwide know that they help them combat crimes. For instance in my religion Sharia law plays a huge role in controlling the community. In an urban society one could argue that capitalism as an urban myth also does the same thing. It seems we are all in agreement about one thing. The people need to be policed, whether it’s by religion or by the idea of freedom, one way or another, the goal, policing the people, has to be realized. People need to be bred with a concept of right and wrong, what is right or wrong however is dictated by the leaders of the communities and the myths that surround them.
That being the case, here is an example of a myth that transcends culture that stands today and has been scientifically proven. Incest in most cultures around the world is frowned upon. Until the early 20th century scientists knew but couldn’t prove that it caused birth defects and sometimes even madness in the children borne from such sexual travesties. It has now been scientifically proven that incest when conceived not only waters down the blood line but produces harmful and often emotionally defective humans or animals. Only just recently there was a feature on one of our local television stations here in Kenya, explaining how the cheetahs in Nakuru national park had had so many incestuous relations that they needed to bring in cheetahs from Tanzania to reinforce their bloodline, save their DNA. Some Cheetahs were presenting with strange symptoms while others had congenital anomalies.
Using this example it is possible to argue that although some of these psychic universals have no explanation they add value to our communities and protect them from things that could possibly have adverse effects on the communities combined longevity.
It has been said that myths are packaged ways to guide our interactions. This being said, some of these myths are created to protect our communities from self-destruction and although we can’t explain how we know that, for instance, incest is wrong we can tell from trial and error that the birth defects, emotional instability and other symptoms are caused by such interactions and therefore we then create myths to protect ourselves.
Like for instance, Global warming can be argued to be our urban myth. It can’t be proven or disproven that we are destroying our planet; however this myth has the qualities present in creation myths…and just myths in general and it is an endless well for prospective investors (that being us, humans, investing in our planet) and it’s also a fantastic cash cow and will remain that way for as long as there’s doubt…
Where does all of this thinking end? Well I am not sure it does… It would be impossible to tell what positive or negative impact psychic universals have on our thoughts because it’s impossible to even tell how many psychic universals exist and how many, we are so submersed in that we can’t even tell that they’re influencing us. This being said perhaps we should just relax after we shall soon be history and someone else’s study.
I wrote the above for USIU as an assignment on psychic universals