The following is my own true story of an event that changed my life forever. I want to share it with all of you because it liberated me from many negative thoughts, and shed light on how to critically think and perceive ideas moving forward. Essentially it woke up my mind. That's not to say that I have it all figured out, so to speak -- quite the contrary actually. What I did learn however was a system to dissect a thought, stand it up to reason and logic based on my current knowledge, and proceed to alter my perception accordingly. When it comes to superstition, I know we can all relate. I hope you find this useful.
*Craps Table 2002*
We were a brand new crew of craps dealers in a small town casino (for those unfamiliar, Craps is the game where the player rolls two dice). We were excited to deal the game and improve our skill set. Fresh from class we learned about all the superstition involved for fun and etiquette purposes. You should know that craps is considered to be the most superstitious game in the casino. Therefore, in order to serve our guests properly, it was imperative that we learned the proper etiquette. For example, we were taught about how the eleven (allegedly) rolls more often after you roll a nine, to turn your bets off for the next roll if the dice went off the table because it's bad luck, and of course the golden rule -- never say "seven" out loud. Why is that you ask? Generally speaking, if you roll a seven you lose all your money.
It sounded crazy at first, but for the most part we began to believe it! We saw it happen with our own eyes over and over again, and it certainly seemed like there was something to it all. It was mysterious and we had a lot of fun with it. Naturally we enjoyed teaching new customers the many "spooky rules" of the game.
On one particular night, we had an experienced player making a lot of money and rolling a lot of numbers. As he picked up the dice and began to make his next throw, a cute young waitress approached him and asked him if he would like anything to drink. The dice hit the table and landed on a seven. He lost.
This seemingly nice gentlemen then proceeded to berate and verbally attack this young girl. "Everyone knows you don't ask a guy in the middle of his roll if he wants a drink!", he spat. "What the fuck!? You just cost me a lot of money!" Completely blindsided and confused, the young waitress apologized and left the table in tears.
Wait a minute. This wasn't fun anymore. This grown man just made a young girl cry because he was so sure that she made him roll a seven. She was new and had no way of knowing she was doing anything wrong per se.
That's when it hit me. This superstition that seemed so harmless before, that we all enjoyed a lot, wasn't all nice and fluffy after all. I saw the anxiety it caused people and their negative reactions to others around them. I began to think about it and really explore what it meant to believe in this stuff.
If I am going to be prepared to allow myself to feel anxiety, anger, or perhaps even make an innocent young girl cry, then I HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY to be sure of my belief. I have a responsibility to explore this idea that is guiding my negative actions. Otherwise, I'm basically just being a dick to myself and others for literally no good reason. So I asked myself, "If I believe that asking me if I want a drink while I shoot the dice is going to change my roll into a seven, then what is it exactly that I'm claiming?
I suppose that what I'm claiming is some kind of invisible and conscious energy, was aware of this waitress' question, and took that moment to swoop in and alter the roll so that the shooter would lose. Since Craps players everywhere believe this stuff, I can then presume that clearly this energy at best is a prankster type of energy that either visits every Craps table in the world with supernatural speed, or oversees all tables simultaneously...
"This is the type of thinking you need to do with an unbiased mind to really explore whether or not you actually have faith in anything."
I thought to myself "Hmm... You know, now that I said that out loud, it kind of sounds like fucking madness!...I paused...it was as if a veil was just pulled off my head and for the first time I could think clearly. What the fuck? How did this ever happen to me?"
You see, this is called INTELLECTUAL HONESTY. This is the type of thinking you need to do with an unbiased mind to really explore whether or not you actually have faith in anything. I always considered myself a logical and reasonable person, and yet here I was, essentially believing in something that is completely fucking insane. Sprinkle a little bit of influence, add a little lack of thought, and all of a sudden you have a mental Molotov cocktail ready to explode on an unsuspecting passerby.
If I didn't apply this kind of logic and just ignored whether or not I really believed in this, but decided to continue to practice it anyway, then I would be doing myself and other people a disservice. I would make young girls cry. I would promote anxiety in players by shouting "Turn your bets off!" I would also help enable people's poor gambling decisions by giving them excuses for their losses. "It wasn't my fault we're late on the mortgage honey. This waitress walked right up in the middle of this guy's roll. Everyone knows you don't do that!"
Here we're talking about anxiety, poor fiscal decisions and crying waitresses. Just imagine if the stakes were much higher. Imagine if people were being murdered over the frequency of seven rolling on the dice. Imagine if parents were disowning their children because they thought they made them unlucky. Imagine if society collectively discriminated and harmed everyone who didn't request "same dice" when they went off the table. Would you find it important to make sure that you didn't land into these same pitfalls? If you were a like-minded player, would you then have an intellectually honest discussion with yourself and truly analyze your belief?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I felt like sharing the point in time where my mind began to change and I perceived things differently. Coincidentally it is also the same point in time that God decided I deserve to be tortured for all of eternity.