Buddha believed that everything that arises has a cause and effect. Nothing happens by chance or fate, and everything that exists is related to everything else that exists.
- These are also known as the law of karma and law of dependent origination.
My rational (Buddha) mind thinks that the laws of karma and dependent origination make logical sense, and are fundamental and essential in governing our worldly experience. They, and the 8 Fold Path, guide my personal ethical thought and behavior.
However, my emotional ego mind is more grounded in illogical social and cultural norms, and takes pleasure in at least some of the rituals of superstition (like burning incense for past and present family members in a temple).
I know that there is a contradiction here, and a dualism (rationality and superstition) that needs to be transcended at some point. This contradiction is also seen in the daily practice of most every Buddhist temple in the world, especially the Mahayana ones. But, like most of the world, I am not yet awakened / enlightened, so I guess I have an excuse...
A variation on the famous Zen saying may give some additional insight on this contradiction:
- Before enlightenment, visit temple, burn incense, bow. After enlightenment, visit temple, burn incense, bow.