#cursing

Voodoo Death is a real thing. I’m not saying this out of superstition either – at least not out of my own superstition.

Screenshot (210)I took a sociology class on the occult in college in Louisiana. In that class we read studies in which coroners or medical examiners found some causes of death to be the physical manifestations of a person’s psychological determination that death was imminent. In other words, a voodoo believer, upon finding himself on the receiving end of a death curse from a priest or priestess, would so strongly believe in his imminent death, that his body would give up the ghost, so to speak.

In this sense, a curse is a real thing. If we apply this same pattern to less occult and more common occurrences, we discover a problem. I’ve heard it said many times by young and old alike, on the receiving end of the curse: “Well if they already think that of me, I guess it doesn’t matter if I do . . .” This is a sad situation indeed. The first grader is convinced that he is a bad child, so he becomes one. A self-fulfilled prophecy by an elementary teacher. A politician is accused of self-dealing by the opposing party until his reputation is so tarnished that he might as well engage in corruption because it can’t get worse. Just as effective as voodoo.

So who’s to say voodoo and hexes and curses aren’t real? They are if we allow them to be, and some people lack the stamina to withstand the societal pressure to fall in line. If a child is raised in Santeria, he will have no reason to doubt the authority of the priest and the hex. If an ambitious young public servant wants to go places in politics, he grants psychological authority to certain leaders, and they end up having the power of political life and death over him.

If a student respects or admires a teacher or coach, and that mentor scolds or criticizes  too harshly, it may change the life of that student.

It seems that curses, whether occult or not, and even whether intentional or not, may be as common as blessings. Especially with the permeation of social media in our culture. To follow the analogy, social media platforms are the voodoo dolls of the modern technological world. You don’t even have to have a relationship with the victim. Simply create an artificial version of your victim online, and begin stabbing it, and others will ignorantly join in.

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Soon we have an occultish frenzy, all centered around someone whose real innocence or culpability is no longer the focus, so much as the easy act of stabbing a doll. Yet it has effects in real life. It can be devastating to the victim, because the psychological effects of “cyberbullying” are similar to the psychological effect of the voodoo death hex if you are indoctrinated in the culture.

But we are a civilized nation, right? Maybe we should re-examine that idea and curb our savage ways.

 

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