Some time back, I wrote about the phenomenon, pareidolia (link here): Our brains, it seems, harbors the odd tendency to view everyday, mundane objects as anthropomorphic beings. Charlatans of all shapes and sizes have seized this weakness in our human perception to exploit the gullible masses to the fullest: From Mother Mary sandwiches to the "Nun Buns", enterprising folks have been making a killing selling their half-eaten (and in certain cases, half-baked and half-cooked) chicaneries to the pious fools who fork out exorbitant sums of money just to have a piece of the deity for keepsake.
The sheer ludicrousness and pious stupidity of such deals aside, such delusional claims can sometimes lead to serious ramifications, as a bunch of pious morons in India would attest:
50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At least 50 people in Kottayam district have reportedly lost their vision after gazing at the sun looking for an image of Virgin Mary.
Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’.
St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina. “All our patients have similar history and symptoms. The damage is to the macula, the most sensitive part of retina. They have developed photochemical, not thermal, burns after continuously gazing at the sun,” Dr Annamma James Isaac, the hospital’s ophthalmologist, said.Breath-taking Stupidity Amongst the Faithful
Like the snake-diddling Christians in America, pious Christians in India have the tendency to ignore all manner of danger in their hot-headed pursuit for the divine. To them, faith serves as an impregnable shield against damage from the elements.
And just like the Jebus lover who died from a viper's bite (link here), these Christians who so nonchalantly ignore the good doctor's advice suffered from varying degrees of damage to their retinas, and there is a chance that their eyesights may become permanently damaged from this ill-advised Mary-mania.
It is difficult for me, or any rational person for the matter, to fathom why Mother Mary had chosen the most inhospitable spot to show her true colours: Harmful UV rays aside, the good ole mother must have been suffering from a tinge of sadistic, maniacal urge: By appearing as a peripheral figure in the Sun, surely she ought to know better than injure the eyes of the "ye oh faithful"?
Mother Mary buns, pastries, solar images and all: These are depraved images of virgins that have never ceased to cloud the male ego since the advent of mankind.
As for myself, I will leave the god-sightings to the faithful. Pass me a glass of Bloody Mary, please. And don't forget the Havana cigar as well.
"There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good- will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us."