HOW I BECAME INTERESTED IN SUPERNATURAL IDEAS ABOUT CAUSE AND EFFECT.

I am now 79 but well remember my very first job - in Barotseland (Zambia) in1956. It was a time when traditional witchcraft was being beefed up by European technology as migrant workers brought back new knowledge. A pointed stick that killed by magic alone became a hollow tube and an inefficient firearm. (The Kalilozi Gun). The adaptations were imaginative and often amusing and sometimes terrifying. The picture below is an aerial that one witchdoctor  mounted on a container of magical herbs to convinced the people that he had direct radio communication with the spirits. Note the doll tied into the wiring.

I am fascinated by the link between what people believe, and the actions those beliefs inspire, and the explanations offered if the thing expected never happens. Where does belief come from? Why is it held? Why does it sometimes ignore observeable facts? If the expected thing happens as planned, is that evidence? Will we ever understand cause and effect? Some of the beliefs promulgated by the great religions of the world are pretty weird.

 

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