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What is superstition? It is any belief which has no basis in fact. The belief usually pertains to a supposed cause-and-effect relationship, e.g., the belief that the spilling of salt will cause bad luck.
- A synchronous event (or a coincidence). For example, in the chapter regarding synchronicity, there is a story in which one of Carl Jung's patients was describing a dream regarding a scarab; suddenly a scarab-like beetle flew into the room. The synchronicity was so startling that the patient experienced a breakthrough in her therapy. However, there was nothing special about the beetle itself; it was merely a trigger for a realization at that particular moment. If the patient had been "superstitious," she might then have believed that scarabs (as a species) are messengers from spirit, and that every appearance of a scarab is important.
- A fetish. We tend to create religious fetishes and superstitions on the basis of a spiritual teacher's attire, mannerisms, hometown, diet, possessions, and other aspects of his or her personal lifestyle, as though we can acquire the teacher's wisdom by copying the outer characteristics, although those characteristics are generally only coincidental.