You recently started dating a guy, you have butterflies in your tummy after your first two dates and you just can’t stop thinking about him and Voila! Whenever you happen to think of him (which is once every 10 seconds btw), he happens to sms a smiley to you or pokes you on facebook. Ah, you sigh *blissfully*, this is a sign I know it. And then you think those not so supposedly formidable words; He is the one.
Your day progresses as you bring your own smiling face to work, you are distracted and busy swooning over the thoughts of having your babies with him when you start wondering if he will even call for your next date or not but you can’t wait for that anxiety to end and since the answer to that question is not in your hands, you play a silly little mind trick with yourself and think if he is going to call for the next date, God is somehow going to drop in a sign on you. The next second, your colleagues phone rings which has a ringtone that you think sounds familiar to “ I just called to say I love you…” <Blech>! That’s your sign from the Lord O Mighty that he is going to call you today for your third date.
But he didn’t call that day and another heartbreak day later; you realize that signs are utter rubbish. He was never the one and those were always just unlucky co incidences and no your colleague’s ringtone did not sound like the Stevie Wonder’s most successful commercially hit song but it was indeed all in your head conjuring up what you wanted to hear at that point in time.
Pseudoscience’s form a part of our lives; admit it or not. I don’t care if you are from the East or the West. I don’t care if you pick up the daily magazine to read your horoscope for the day for fun or to make a life changing decision or if you’re struggling going through a day with a mom who calls your astrologer home to find out when you’re getting married. Even if you just happen to pick your new apartment because you think it’s your lucky number or if you are the one who believes that the last petal standing on that rose means you should definitely marry this guy. Whether we like it or not; whether we believe it or not, its in those weak moments when things are not in our control or when we just don’t want to make that choice we turn to an unexplained theory for a clue to the path of our destiny, something we can’t prove but yet try and identify with. Pseudo sciences give us false hope’s, false reassurances but sometimes may just be in sync with reality and give us the answers we are desperately searching for.
My mother called home an astrologer last week and of course she had only one question for him on her mind. No guesses here. The astrologer asked for my time and date of birth He then pondered, drew up some charts and finally concluded, “yes your daughter has entered the shaadi (marriage) yog (phase)” Oh dear Lord I think to myself, not the shaadi yog again. Apparently I had entered it thrice before with no avail. But my poor clueless mother gets all excited yet again and her heart started thumping. Trust you me because I could hear it at a distance. She probed him further, “When did she enter the shaadi yog?” Oh he said, 2nd November 2011! Ah she is pleased, finally my daughter will get married now she thinks, it just has to be this year. She asked the astrologer, “How soon will she get married?” he responded, “The shaadi yog will last for 16 months”. 16 MONTHS! I could hear myself screaming with joy in my heart with relief while my mother had already collapsed with the thought that her daughter might just remain unmarried until April 2013.
Later that day I swung by my friend, Paige’s house who opened the door with a huge grin on her face. “He called today!” she screamed “and we are going out this Friday Night.” “Oh” I said, “that’s splendid right?” “Hmm I guess so” she replied, “why what’s wrong?” I asked. “No nothing it’s just that you know Aries and Taurus are apparently a doomed relationship, so I am wondering should I bother going through with this in the first place”? Oh God Paige, seriously not her too! Here I was hoping to tell her about my day’s events and laugh about it at my poor mom’s expense and other such pseudo taken in people in the world out there but instead she was just another pseudo bitten victim of horoscopes. She started to frantically wave her Ipad at me getting me to pay attention to her Paid Horoscope App. “Anyhow” she finally said, “I am still going to go out with him because you know all this horoscope stuff can be a bunch of horse shit sometimes”. I agreed and smiled at her.
The truth is, pseudo sciences attack you at your worst possible stage. When you are your most vulnerable and when you don’t know where to turn for answers. When you don’t know if he is the one or when you don’t know whether he will call again. You start googling and land up at name matching software’s and astrology compatibility websites only to get you confused even further.
But more often that not, you already have an answer; even if it isn’t the answer to the question you have been looking for. Pseudo sciences may not have any scientific explanations but they can at least provide you with the comfort and reassurance you need at that fantasy point in time. You start believing that everything will churn out the way it is supposed to be and you don’t have to live with the burden of making such difficult choices in life. You can just sit back and relax. Or you can realize that the reason why your mother calls an astrologer home every 2 weeks is because she really desperately wants you settled and you can realize that you certainly are not ready for that commitment and even if you are you definitely don’t want a stranger coming home and telling you when and if you are ready or not. You can realize that your best friend does really like this boy and that’s why it didn’t matter if her sun sign was compatible with his or not she had already made up her mind about that third date. You can also realize that sometimes you do pick up that newspaper to read the horoscope for fun because you actually don’t believe in all this ‘horse shit’ but sometimes you do it because you are feeling lost and need someone or something out there in the cosmic universe to help you find your way.
So although you know that the word pseudo means false and that false sciences don’t provide you with any definite answers, they do ironically bring you face to face with that single element of your question in the first place