Monday, September 18, 2006

Illusions and Magic

When I was about ten years old, I saw a magician perform at a company party hosted by my father’s work. I was mesmerized from the get go and spent the entire evening following this magician around from table to table, hell bent of learning a few things. From that day forward I wanted to be a magician. This guy was very enamored by me that he even spent a bit of time teaching me a few tricks.

I was in utter awe. It was all an illusion. Subtle trickery that, even though any adult knew it was not real, could still cause them to become wide eyed little children, amazed at what their eyes were seeing.

In the few years that followed, I spent countless hours studying the craft. I went to magic shops. I got books on the craft. I practiced in my room and on my family. I “performed” for anyone I could get to sit down for a minute. I actually became quite good for a teeny tiny tot.

Today, though not a professional magician, I still love the idea of magic. We know it is an illusion. We know it is not real. And yet, we sit in front of our TVs, pay hundreds of dollars for Copperfield tickets, watch documentaries on Houdini and still can’t get enough.

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the movie, The Illusionist. The movie had its flaws, but the effect it set out to achieve worked beautifully. The movie, in of itself, is an illusion and yet it remains magical at the same time.

Is magic an illusion? Is it real? Do we rely on it as a source for entertainment or is there a way, if we take away all of our adult cynicism that we can remain starry eyed kids where magic IS real and the laws of nature don’t apply?

What about the mix of magic and law…metaphysics. Is that not magic? Is mind dynamics magic or an illusion? What about hypnosis? Is that not magic? NLP? Law of Attraction?

Is everything just an illusion? Do we only see what we want to see? Ignoring the trickery and slight of hand that goes on behind the curtains.

My love for magic never turned into a career (thank goodness for that because seriously they make bupkiss), but one thing it did teach me is to never only trust what only the eyes can see.

So…tell me…

Do you believe in magic?


twobuyfour said...

I believe in the small of a woman's back. The hanging curveball. High fiber. Good scotch.

I believe in rock and roll, that music can save your mortal soul.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

I believe, yes I believe it would be translated as, "ch-choo-chee-cho-choo."

Personally, I believe there's a lot more going on than meets the eye. That being said, I do not believe in organized religion. Does that help at all?

Rachel said...

I believe that magic is all around us. In the small moments or the big epic occasions that mark our life in this world.
Truly connecting at a soul deep level is truly magical.
Some call it divine, others brain chemicals. It doesn't really matter to me what the explanation is.
All I know is that I believe in some things I can see and many, many things that I will NEVER see or understand.

Rachel Heather said...

2x4 - you are back! I missed ya and yes you always help :)

Rachel - I like the sound of divine better than the sound of "brain chemicals" ...its sexier huh>?


Scott said...

I don't know that I would say i believe in magic, but I love seeing it performed. I know that there is always a trick and I love that I can't figure it out.. it is brilliant.


Grumpy O. Selznick said...

i know some top magicians in ny who actually make quite a decent living, doing corporate shows etc. of course, its a small group of the truly successful. I think they have very long fingers, all of them. I imagine you don't, which prolly makes it difficult to do some kinds of tricks.

Def thought Illusionist was alot better than the normal hollywood crap.

Rachel Heather said...

Scott - I love seeing it too,. I try to see a show whenever I go to Vegas.

Grumpy - yeah my fingers are tiny lil things. But I did get pretty good at card tricks :)

-Sub J said...

I didn't like the fact that I could predict how the moie would turn out a quarter of the way through it, but it was nice.

It's all illusions, of course.

Lydia said...

I enjoy seeing magic shows, though it's been quite a while. I don't believe in that kind of magic. I do believe in magic in the real world though. All the things I can't see, but know are there anyway. Magic is everywhere.

Rachel Heather said...

Sub J - you predicted it? Man I suck. I was totally surprised. But then again I am also gullible. humph

Lydia - yeah someone else that belives in magic! woo hooo! :)

deepsat said...

life shows some of the best magic!! and i believe in that!!

as for magicians, i think they are mostly tricks!! some way to cause illusion to the eyes and mind!!! but i wudn't be thrilled if a diagon alley or hogwart exists!!


jibber.jabber said...

magic? hmmmm... everything i have learned tells me it is an illusion.

i think i'd rather see someone push through the magic and show me their true colours...

that would make me clap intensely.


Jenna said...

I beleve....
yeah I beleve in magic, of the first kiss, first look, infatuation and the magic of the first love. But most off all I beleve that some things are magical, like how the rainbow appears in the the sky turns purple at times when the sun is going down...Not so much in tghe actual magicians, those are just tricks, but a lot of fun.
Yeah so enough blabering from me...

Thomas said...

Have you read "Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell" by Susannah Clarke?

White Magpie said...

Oh yes. Magic is very much true. A science made up of different elements. And the human part plays a big role in it too. Only the levels differ. We have the street magician who are smart, the professional ones who are involved and then the real ones for whom magic is life. They fall in the good and the bad category - both.