Sunday, September 18, 2005

Ted says:

“...Yet it is not consciousness that governs the world, nor even ideology, nor religious principle nor national temperament. It is custom that rules the roost."

"In Colombia it was the custom to do murder and violence. In a period of ten years some 200,000 people were said to have been killed by acts of more or less private violence. Yet I found the Colombians at least as hospitable, honourable and humane as the Argentines, whose custom is merely to cheat."

"Arabs have the custom of showing their emotions and hiding their women. Australians show their women and hide their emotions. In Sudan it is customary to be honest. In Thailand dishonesty is virtually a custom, but so is giving gifts to strangers."

"Every possible variation of nudity and prudishness is the custom somewhere as with eating habits, toilet practices, to spit or not to spit; and almost all of these customs have become entirely arbitrary and self perpetuating. Above all it is customary to suspect and despise people in the next valley, or state, or country, particularly if their colour or religion is different."

"And there are places where it is customary to be at war, like Kurdistan or Vietnam. Speaking of the more vicious customs, and of men who should have known better, St. Francis Xavier said a long time ago: `Custom is to them in the place of law, and what they see done before them every day they persuade themselves may be done without sin. For customs bad in themselves seem to these men to acquire authority and prescription from the fact that they are commonly practised.' "

"Custom is the enemy of awareness, in individuals as much as in societies. It regularizes the fears and cravings of everyday life."

—Ted Simon, Jupiter’s Travels
My folklore teacher really disliked this quote. I wonder why?

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