Believing in fortune telling

Believing in fortune telling… In the Oedipus complex the king asks the fortune-teller: Is the child to be born a girl or a boy? The fortune-teller answers: “it is a boy”, but adds: “unfortunately one day he will kill you and marry his mother!”

When the boy is born the king does not kill him but hands him to a shepherd. The shepherd ties the boy to an iron ring on his leg and raises him like this. When the boy is grown up the shepherd removes the iron ring. Of course the leg is swollen. The child is known as Oedipus which means swollen foot… Oedi means oedema, pus means foot… He has turned into a brave young man. One day whilst walking in the woods a carriage passes by and an argument erupts. During the argument Oedipus kills a man. The man he kills is in fact the king, his father. Later a contest is organised and the best archer shall marry the queen. Oedipus wins the contest and marries the queen. He becomes king. In the end he is the one who has won. What the fortune-teller foresaw has come to pass. The boy child killed his father and married his mother! Finally the fortune-teller, who was still alive, tells Oedipus the situation. The young man who cannot bare the painful knowledge, blinds himself and goes into retreat where he remains until the day he dies. When fortune-telling is mentioned I think of this story. Another story is something I have experienced. It was the start of the 1990’s. Closure of the gambling houses was on the agenda. I was invited to a TV broadcast. There was a live telephone link. The presenter asked why people are so interested in gambling. After passing on some theoretical information like that it can be a means to escape depression etc., I expressed my personal view and said “Maybe people want to determine their own destiny”. I added that “for some people winning large amounts of money with very little input is even beyond attractive “. At that moment a call came in from the owner of a gambling house who said: “Honey is dripping from the master’s mouth! (a Turkish saying which means he is talking very sweetly)“. The caller said that he won’t say any more and ended the call. Gambling is another matter, but after many years had passed and I had gained experience I saw that there really are people who are motivated to determine their own destiny… However, this excessive motivation can lead to foolish errors. Betting on horses that were named in fortune-telling, lotteries that consist of lucky numbers etc. cannot go much further than being beginning of a disaster. There is a program called SPSS which statisticians know well. In it’s user guide there is mention of a research on whether or not astrological information is scientific. The conclusion is a big nothing. In brief, it can’t be very difficult to deduct from what I mentioned so far that the personality traits of those who have their fortunes read and believe in it are not very solid. And if they really do believe, it is not difficult to guess that it can have tragic consequences. What is your opinion? I am curious…

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan