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Topic: Magic as a gateway to occultism
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (Oct 26, 2017 10:22AM)
I started in magic 50+ years ago. I read all the classics and was a decent performer. As I explored the idea of magic, I became interested on occult phenomena (nowadays metaphysical). It became a lifelong passion that lead to me becoming an astrologer and well versed in many areas of arcane wisdom. Also, maybe it was the times 60s and 70s. Did any of you do the same - begin to explore ideas about nature from an occult perspective because of your interest in magic? I feel much of magic today is strongly influenced by the skeptics (probably a Randi thing). Not saying it's good or bad. Just wondering how many others moved to a more metaphysical worldview from childhood magic.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 26, 2017 12:14PM)
Personally I went the other way. Metaphysical to magic.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 26, 2017 02:53PM)
For me they have always been intertwined. I moved away from a limiting religious bias to a more expansive metaphysical one, but can't say it was "because of magic"
over many other factors. Reading a book like "To a God Unknown" probably had a greater say, but one might say that isi about magic too.

In a novel I wrote (Two Cabins) two of the main characters are performing magicians with their experiences effecting how they make life decisions including metaphysical ones.

So, I do feel that "pretending at magic" must prompt questions about "what are you pretending at," but not that there is any preferred path to exploring life's mysteries and "awe and wonder."

Coincidentally, just yesterday I changed my by-line
Message: Posted by: jstreiff (Oct 27, 2017 08:37AM)
In the late 50's magic instilled in me a skepticism and my upbringing a penchant for objective rational logical critical evidence-based thinking. In the early 1970s I conducted controlled psi experiments which persuaded me reluctantly that psi should be taken seriously. That led to inquiries into the nature of reality over 35 years ago which today has produced deep insights explaining the natural world for me.
Message: Posted by: thatmichaelguy (Oct 27, 2017 11:49AM)
I am a skeptic independent of my experiences with magic and mentalism, but I feel like they serve as really great reminders that your logic, intuition, and senses can all be deceived rather easily and readily. So, it's important to constantly question what you think you know. This sort of introspection does lead different people down different paths though.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 27, 2017 11:55AM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2017, thatmichaelguy wrote:
I am a skeptic independent of my experiences with magic and mentalism, but I feel like they serve as really great reminders that your logic, intuition, and senses can all be deceived rather easily and readily. So, it's important to constantly question what you think you know. This sort of introspection does lead different people down different paths though. [/quote]

Excellent points.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 29, 2017 11:19PM)
Yes, I think perhaps through our magic I became interested in hermetic teachings and Egypt etcetera although it might have been the other way around.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 1, 2017 06:08PM)
I always felt that "magic" was just one theme for our artform. Alien Technology, Time Travel, Alchemy, Spirits, ESP, and many other types of impossibilities work just as well. Since the occult was very rarely one of the themes I have used as a performer, performance and study of the art didn't have much of an effect on my interest in the arcane and mystical.
Message: Posted by: Stellan (Nov 2, 2017 10:13AM)
Our magic of today and the magicians role of today must have evolved from the magicians of yesterday, that is from a role in an earlier culture. The difference is that they aimed at influence people in another way, wanting to protect or heal their subjects or to harm them. We don't want to do that but we still want to make an impact. I have grown interested in that common land related to the performance aspect. What they said and did had to do with drama and to touch people emotionally so they remembered the event and told stories about it. :bat:
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 2, 2017 03:38PM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2017, Stellan wrote:
Our magic of today and the magicians role of today must have evolved from the magicians of yesterday, that is from a role in an earlier culture. The difference is that they aimed at influence people in another way, wanting to protect or heal their subjects or to harm them. We don't want to do that but we still want to make an impact. I have grown interested in that common land related to the performance aspect. What they said and did had to do with drama and to touch people emotionally so they remembered the event and told stories about it. :bat: [/quote]

I don't believe this is true. There have always been charlatans, priests and conmen who have used the technology of deception to take advantage of people. Magicians who perform for entertainment are basically a burlesque of charlatanry. We are not the descendants of priests and shamans. We are the descendents of those who mocked them.

Seneca, 100 AD: "I love to watch the street performers with their tricks, but once I find out how it is done, I lose all interest." How is this different from a modern audience member?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 2, 2017 08:20PM)
Not say all occultists are charlatans.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 3, 2017 04:22AM)
It sure would be great if magicians could perform daily before the US Congress and Administration. Maybe it could reduce the charlatanry there.
On the other side, many political discussions do resemble a Slide Box Routine, including someone holding up applause cards.

Our "leaders" are now entertainers and entertainers viewed as legitimate authorities Perhaps there will be staff positions for magicians - a Cabinet Post?

Joking aside, I see value in the contributions of both Whit and Stellan. Another factor being that what a performer expects from a demonstration
may not be what the audience expects or perceives. Any demonstration of the impossible being defeated or controlled can bring observers to consider reality.
What they do with this revelation is uncertain.

I would certainly support Pop if he ran for high office. His machinations would be more real than what many elected officials are offering now.

On the occult side, what would be the impact of Energized Water on the Trickle Down Theory? Could it remove the rust belt?
Message: Posted by: Stellan (Nov 3, 2017 04:34AM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2017, Pop Haydn wrote:

I don't believe this is true. There have always been charlatans, priests and conmen who have used the technology of deception to take advantage of people. Magicians who perform for entertainment are basically a burlesque of charlatanry. We are not the descendants of priests and shamans. We are the descendents of those who mocked them. [/quote]

Maybe you are right, but does not that reasoning also house a contradiction? If we are descendants from those who mocked the priests and shamans that is a reaction to or a reflection of the latter, and they are the original source.

I do not know so much about shamanism and magic in different cultures, but I know a little bit about Norse magic. In that society, let say from early iron age to viking age, it seems that magic cult was performed by the ruling class and those close to them, that is far from street performers. (I don’t think magic for pure entertainment was performed at this time in this society.)

This is consistent with the Islandic sagas where the ruler Oden is the keeper of magic secrets. I like the expression "burlesque of charlatanry" and I have read some of your thoughts about the role of the trickster, who is represented in the sagas by Loke, the god that can’t be trusted. (So the trickster was born before magic as entertainment.) The oral tradition of the sagas was however entertainment that contained magic, though it was not performed!

In that tradition we have the magician and we have the trickster (and of course the charlatan, though it is not explicit) and we have descriptions of their magic feets. We also have fairly much description of the technology of deception used at the time, and some of those principles we use today.

The kernel of our craft, the technology of deception, we share with conmen, frauds, military strategists, marketing managers, politicians (as funsway points out) and businessmen. What sets us aside is that we use the advantage created to prove us as magicians juggling the roles of tricksters and magicians (charlatans). Roles that are very old, much older than the performance of magic as entertainment.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 3, 2017 01:23PM)
One of the early famous magic tricks created for entertainment was the Chess Playing Turk. How does that fit into the idea that "our magic" is about the occult or "real" magicians?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 3, 2017 03:03PM)
I think it depends on how it is presented. Magic is essentially evocation. The Chess Playing Turk, for example, could be presented as magic by calling upon the spirit of a dead chess player to possess its body and play. Or it could be presented as advanced science. Either way, it would be marvelous but it would not be the same idea of what it is that is going on.
Message: Posted by: Stellan (Nov 3, 2017 03:25PM)
What do you mean? The Turk was not the magician. It was the trick. It was presented mostly by it’s creator Kempelen. Who says ”Our magic” is about the occult or ”real” magicians? It can be if you chose a bizarre theme. What I am saying is that the magicians role, the concept of a magician and the archetype ”magician” has it’s root somewhere long before ”Our magic” existed.
Message: Posted by: Stellan (Nov 3, 2017 04:29PM)
When it comes to the trick I agree with Tommy. Bringing life into a dead object must be the ultimate occult effect.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 3, 2017 06:20PM)
In this effect the machine was driven by clockwork. It was presented as a machine that could think. "Magic" is just one possible theme of the Art of the Impossible.
Message: Posted by: Stellan (Nov 4, 2017 02:47AM)
This is exactly the same trick as The Turk - to the squirrel.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 4, 2017 02:53AM)
Computers are machines which can play chess but are they magic?
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 5, 2017 11:42AM)
[quote]On Nov 4, 2017, tommy wrote:
Computers are machines which can play chess but are they magic? [/quote]

No. But they would have seemed so to people in the 18th Century.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 5, 2017 05:04PM)
Isn’t the Chess Playing Turk still magic today?

What century are you from?
Message: Posted by: thatmichaelguy (Nov 6, 2017 03:20PM)
[quote]On Nov 5, 2017, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Nov 4, 2017, tommy wrote:
Computers are machines which can play chess but are they magic? [/quote]

No. But they would have seemed so to people in the 18th Century. [/quote]

Precisely. It depends on your frame of reference. As Arthur C. Clarke put it, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 7, 2017 06:39AM)
If as Arthur C. Clarke put it "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," was true then-then the opposite would also to be true. Chess Playing Turk would not be magic anymore now that machines can think and play chess but despite this fact it is. Why is Chess Playing Turk? Why because the Chess Playing Turk cannot think and play but does anyway whereas can computes can think and play chess and therefore not magic. Computers would not have been 18th Century they would have been science, just as they were when they came to be and are today. Magic is that which cannot be but is anyhow, thus it creates a dilemma.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 7, 2017 12:29PM)
[quote]On Nov 7, 2017, tommy wrote:
If as Arthur C. Clarke put it "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," was true then-then the opposite would also to be true. Chess Playing Turk would not be magic anymore now that machines can think and play chess but despite this fact it is. Why is Chess Playing Turk? Why because the Chess Playing Turk cannot think and play but does anyway whereas can computes can think and play chess and therefore not magic. Computers would not have been 18th Century they would have been science, just as they were when they came to be and are today. Magic is that which cannot be but is anyhow, thus it creates a dilemma. [/quote]

A machine that can think is no longer considered "Impossible!" In the 1780's, it was impossible.
Message: Posted by: thatmichaelguy (Nov 7, 2017 01:45PM)
[quote]On Nov 7, 2017, tommy wrote:
If as Arthur C. Clarke put it "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," was true then-then the opposite would also to be true. Chess Playing Turk would not be magic anymore now that machines can think and play chess but despite this fact it is. Why is Chess Playing Turk? Why because the Chess Playing Turk cannot think and play but does anyway whereas can computes can think and play chess and therefore not magic. Computers would not have been 18th Century they would have been science, just as they were when they came to be and are today. Magic is that which cannot be but is anyhow, thus it creates a dilemma. [/quote]

There is a bit of flawed logic in your first sentence. The inverse of a conditional statement is not necessarily true even if the conditional statement is true. It would be like saying, "If it is true that 'Any red ball is a primary color' then it is also true that 'Any non-red ball is not a primary color.'" I think it's easy to understand why that is faulty reasoning. So, it does not necessarily follow that if we accept Arthur C. Clarke's position that we must also accept the "opposite" position that any non-sufficiently advanced technology would be distinguishable from magic.

With that out of the way, I think you're also falsely equivocating the word machine. An automaton and a computer are not both machines in the same sense of the word. An automaton is ostensibly purely mechanical (except in instances where the actual work is being hidden) and a computer is not.

The differentiation, as Pop Haydn has pointed out, is in what we understand to be technologically possible. In the 1780s, both the Chess Playing Turk and a modern computer would have been seen as not possible - their inner workings viewed as magical or without comprehensible explanation. Today though we understand the how and why of computers "thinking" (they don't really think, but that's another discussion entirely) so it isn't magic; however, we would still view a purely mechanical machine that somehow possesses the ability to "think" as not possible, and that falls squarely within your definition of magic - that which cannot be yet somehow still is.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 7, 2017 05:07PM)
If a machine that can think is no longer considered "Impossible!" then the Chess Playing Turk would not be magic today but I put to you that the Chess Playing Turk is still magic today. That is to people who have not been told the secret of course.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Nov 8, 2017 11:18AM)
[quote]On Nov 5, 2017, tommy wrote:
Isn’t the Chess Playing Turk still magic today?

What century are you from? [/quote]

It didn't just play chess - it won the games.

Cut the electrical power and watch the "magic" [i]not[/i] happen for audiences. Context. There's a century of infrastructure behind our power/light/communications/computing - more than just a man behind the curtain.

A. C. Clarke did not write so much about magic. He stumbled around the notions a few times in his "Profiles of the Future" though.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Nov 8, 2017 11:28AM)
[quote]On Nov 7, 2017, thatmichaelguy wrote:
...In the 1780s, both the Chess Playing Turk [snip] a purely mechanical machine that somehow possesses the ability to [/quote] ... play and often win chess games.

Was wondrous. Not magical. More impressive than Robert-Houdin's [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmGNkYWXGmk]"Antonio" acrobat item[/url].
Pop posted elsewhere about a guy who carried a tiny optical calculator that figured out the day of the week... that's closer to what the Turk was in effect.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Nov 8, 2017 05:10PM)
The Chess Playing Turk today would not seem nearly so impossible. We would have to "prove" the clockwork was not being operated by a small hidden computer. It isn't just the method, it is the seeming "impossibility" that has changed. "No possible explanation" goes to "could be some kind of computer involved..."

To build a chess playing machine out of clockwork would be so big and complex as to be nonsensical. But the idea of a machine that could think became an intriguing possibility for the intelligentsia.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 9, 2017 03:39AM)
Two memorable statements back-to-back ...

"Was wondrous. Not magical." and "It is the seemingly 'impossible' that has changed."

Is being wondrous today enough to astonish and beguile?

Is even a simple magic effect performed "live" enough to seem wondrous for those spectators with mostly vicarious experience?

Are efforts to provide "strong magic" wasted - the distinction unrecognizable?


...

many computer based gizmos' are now claimed to have "artificial intelligence" with AI a marketing label.
This is mostly because the definition of AI has changed since the late 80's when the excitement began.

It may well be that a computer can reason better than most human's today, but that is not because computers have advanced ;)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 9, 2017 10:39AM)
[quote]On Nov 7, 2017, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Nov 7, 2017, tommy wrote:
If as Arthur C. Clarke put it "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," was true then-then the opposite would also to be true. Chess Playing Turk would not be magic anymore now that machines can think and play chess but despite this fact it is. Why is Chess Playing Turk? Why because the Chess Playing Turk cannot think and play but does anyway whereas can computes can think and play chess and therefore not magic. Computers would not have been 18th Century they would have been science, just as they were when they came to be and are today. Magic is that which cannot be but is anyhow, thus it creates a dilemma. [/quote]

A machine that can think is no longer considered "Impossible!" In the 1780's, it was impossible. [/quote]

Today the difficulty seems to lie in finding people who can think! THAT is seeming more and more impossible.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 11, 2017 06:22AM)
If a scientist, an engineer, a mechanic, examined the Chess Playing Turk, without knowing the secret, he would have to conclude that, it cannot play chess, yet it plays! Likewise, Pop's teleport machine will always be magic even if in the future somebody invents one because everyone knows Pops machine cannot work but does anyway. Magic is that which cannot be but is: such is the dilemma.
Message: Posted by: Doc Willie (Nov 11, 2017 12:23PM)
To go 180 degrees on this, Bill Nye suggested that teaching magic to children was a good way to introduce them to skeptical thinking. I am still trying to retrace his thinking on this.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 11, 2017 01:05PM)
It is tough for me to think of magic as anything but entertainment.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 11, 2017 05:41PM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
It is tough for me to think of magic as anything but entertainment. [/quote]


at the other end of the dialectic is "if it is only for entertainment, it isn't magic."

Somewhere in between is a place of balance where most performers can sit.

Exciting!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 11, 2017 06:25PM)
I have as of yet to see something that would be defined as "magic". Magic meaning a supernatural explanation as opposed to a method.

Tricks have indeed fooled me, but that in no way makes them supernatural.

I have not said that such a thing does NOT exist, only that I have yet to see it. So for most people all magic is entertainment.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 12, 2017 03:00AM)
The Egyptians figured that a spirit gave birth to physical universe which had inherited a spiritual aspect. The Egyptians figured that the physical could be controlled by the spirit and vice versa. Out of this you have the idea of what magic is all about, which in a word is evocation. i.e. Creating a building which has the effect of cheering people up, lifting their spirit, would be magic to the Egyptians. It is a sort of spiritual science. The modern word for it might be psychology. The secret knowledge of how to do it is occult. Art, including our magic, is essentially about lifting the spirit: we build an act that which they enjoy. It is not called Art for nothing, it is to do with the heart, the soul, the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments, as much as the mind. The soul is the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part. Is the soul supernatural? Whether we have a soul or not, does not matter, because the idea of it exists in the minds of men. Magicians essentially play with such mysterious notions for amusement, whereas the charlatans make believe it is a real ability. Thinking along these spiritual lines only however can restrict the creative mind. When it comes to performing magic we want to able to do all sorts of things, such as things which appear to be advance science as Pop indicates. A magician must not only do magic to satisfy the mind but also make it entertaining to satisfy the heart equally, which brings us back to what the Egyptians figured out long ago. As above
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 12, 2017 10:18AM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:

Magic meaning a supernatural explanation as opposed to a method.

[/quote]

Ah -- I don't accept that definition. If that is what you think magic means, then I can understand why you never see it.

Actually, I do no think it is possible to define magic for someone else. It is enough to know that others do find magic in life, and even in what you do.

You can choose to define magic in a way that you will never experience it, or define it in a way that it happens every day. Possibly,
"magic is 'inexplicable phenomena' - either it has NO explanation or needs no explanation."

I folks observing me "pretend at magic" start looking for supernatural cause, I have failed to create a setting where magic can happen in their mind.
They do not "see magic" in what I do - they find it within themselves as a defiance of the trained concept of "must be an answer."

In a similar fashion, one can entertain themselves or look to others to do it for them. More money in the latter view, so go for it!
If you definition allows you to make a living out of entertaining others, then it is the right one for you.

My view of magic allowed me to make a living for decades by demonstrations not for entertainment.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 12, 2017 03:48PM)
You can accept or not accept anything you like. But you also can't define things for anyone else
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 12, 2017 05:17PM)
[quote]On Nov 12, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
You can accept or not accept anything you like. But you also can't define things for anyone else [/quote]

and, I didn't. I offered a possible alternative for comparison. Not exactly my personal view --
just helping other explore their own, personal definition.

but, I would suggest that each performer's definition might influence how they engage an audience or choose a routine.
Message: Posted by: thatmichaelguy (Nov 12, 2017 10:35PM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2017, Doc Willie wrote:
To go 180 degrees on this, Bill Nye suggested that teaching magic to children was a good way to introduce them to skeptical thinking. I am still trying to retrace his thinking on this. [/quote]

I said this before on another thread, but magic often serves as a very good reminder that your logic, intuition, and senses can be fooled rather easily and readily. With an understanding of that, it's a good lesson in avoiding acceptance of new experiences and information at face value (to be skeptical), and instead use critical thinking skills to test the truth of any claim.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 12, 2017 11:24PM)
Maskelyne said it in 1912 in this book when exposing charlatan occultists like Madame Blavatsky

https://archive.org/details/1912MaskelyneFraudOfModernTheosophy

It is a good book which helps in understanding the nature of such people and their believers.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 14, 2017 09:51AM)
[quote]On Nov 12, 2017, tommy wrote:

It is a good book which helps in understanding the nature of such people and their believers. [/quote]


for something more current, several books on neuroscience are very readable for the lay person, and provide new findings about how people think and handle beliefs.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 15, 2017 07:36PM)
97% of neuroscientists agree that characters who pretend to perform impossible feats for anything but entrainment are charlatans.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 16, 2017 01:03PM)
The other 3% write books contain facts.

Not sure what "entrainment" means anyway. Quick - make something up ;)

Strange, I just scanned my five books on neuroscience and the word "charlatan" does not appear anywhere. Must be magic.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 17, 2017 01:12AM)
Non-materialist neuroscience is something of a cult: a cheesy anti-science movement if you will and there are plenty of charlatans into it. Legit magicians might want to look into it, with a view to creating some parody of its mystery for amusement, a deliberate exaggeration for comic effect, an illusion.

"What would it take for consciousness to defeat materialism or physicalism? This is the worldview that only the physical is real, which is the dominant view of scientists and philosophers. Here's what it would take: our inner awareness, our experience of what things feel like, could not be explained by physical brain alone That's it. A tall order, though."

https://www.closertotruth.com/series/does-consciousness-defeat-materialism
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 17, 2017 07:27AM)
What you say about "non-materialistic neuroscience" is true - it is like cult - based on the theories of one man.

and there certainly seems some fraudulent activity there. But, it can't be charlatanry since there is no claim of pretending at the impossible. Just fraud.

But, this has little to do with legitimate neuroscience and neurobiology and their discoveries about how the brain functions and makes decisions.

One might guess you have never actually read a book on neuroscience - only quick internet searches on wing-dings.

It is a fact that theories such as "cognitive dissonance" are incorrect and do not represent how the brain works. This, can and has been tested under laboratory conditions.
naturally, some people do like their favorite theories debased, so they set up a new religion worshiping a different god. Wierd, but not charlatanry either.

One can also ponder if there is more to the function of a brain than that physical chemical shifting. That is philosophy.
Some feel that everything we perceive is an illusion - a product of perceptions rather than factual data. But that doesn't make it magic.

and, your attempt to attach the term "charlatan" to any idea not fitting into your theory box of the moment is also an illusion. Not magic though, just silly.

I keep reading your posts because occasionally you offer a glimmer of reason or humor. Not here, though.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 17, 2017 10:48AM)
Charlatans, more often than not, prepend what they do is possible, when in fact what they seem to do is impossible and of course they are frauds. But, according to Ken's nonsense, that can't be charlatanry since there is no claim of pretending at the impossible.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Nov 17, 2017 11:33AM)
[quote]On Nov 15, 2017, tommy wrote:
97% of neuroscientists agree that characters who pretend to perform impossible feats for anything but entrainment are charlatans. [/quote]

[img]http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/facebook/000/001/865/wikipedian_protester.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 17, 2017 11:42AM)
Said the Witch Doctor while feeding his friend a toad.

The neuroscientist Mario Beauregard's quantum mind theory is funny. Beauregard's arguments owe a lot to intelligent design and creationism, since he has basically co-opted their successful two-tier strategy. First, create a false dichotomy and then second, find something interesting and proclaim that you don't see how that could happen without a God/soul/alien interfering so therefore a God/soul/alien must have done it. That is more or less that which we do in our magic for amusement. Unlike Michael Egnor who is the main proponent of the non-materialist neuroscience cult, Beauregard has published some of his ideas in peer-reviewed journals.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non-materialist_neuroscience
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Nov 17, 2017 12:07PM)
I'm 100% honest in my non-performance Witch Doctoring. I'm just wondering if you have a source for that 97% statistic.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 17, 2017 02:00PM)
We wonder what % of Witch Doctors claim they are 100% honest in their non-performance Witch Doctoring.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 17, 2017 04:13PM)
[quote]On Nov 17, 2017, tommy wrote:
Charlatans, more often than not, prepend what they do is possible, when in fact what they seem to do is impossible and of course they are frauds. But, according to Ken's nonsense, that can't be charlatanry since there is no claim of pretending at the impossible. [/quote]


What a misquotation! I was only referring your claim about neuroscience above in which you did not show any demonstration of the impossible, pretend or otherwise.

But even then, you contradict yourself. Charlatans do not "pretend" at doing anything - they claim they are doing it for real in order to bilk people.
Yes, they fake the demonstration as fraud, but charlatanry comes in only when they claim to have real power or ability - and have the intent to get money or power.

If they do, in fact, have the "more than normal" ability, then it is not fraudulent and can't be charlatanry.

But this thread is about whether performance magic can lead to an interest in the occult or even metaphysics.
A study or discussion of anything can't be charlatanry, while your making up statistics and misquoting folks probably is.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 17, 2017 05:18PM)
Charlatans do "pretend" and if they were not pretending then they would not be charlatans for then they would actually be doing what they seem to be doing for real, so kindly stop talking utter nonsense. Also, will you please stop twisting like a worm on the hook now that I have proved that your statement “But, it can't be charlatanry since there is no claim of pretending at the impossible” was false.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 17, 2017 06:29PM)
[quote]On Nov 17, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
[quote]On Nov 15, 2017, tommy wrote:
97% of neuroscientists agree that characters who pretend to perform impossible feats for anything but entrainment are charlatans. [/quote]

[img]http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/facebook/000/001/865/wikipedian_protester.jpg[/img] [/quote]

He is trolling from the global warming thread.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 17, 2017 06:47PM)
That is true, although rather obvious to anyone with a brain. It is also true that the charlatans pretend to do magic, much like legit magician do but sometimes the charlatans leave their audience wondering if the magic is real, just like Ken and witch doctors do. That is why Ken tries to tell us that magic is a personal definition and that a fellow leaving people to think his magic, could be real, is not a charlatan when he is.
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (Nov 22, 2017 08:25PM)
Orson Welles tells--on this familiar clip on cold reading--how he was drawn into fortunetelling for day and had a near brush with psychic powers:

[youtube]IjPsnfysrp8[/youtube]

Still performing my set of 30 tricks each semester for every class and cycling through about 5 mental magic shows for psychology classes every semester, I recently added demonstrations with pendulums, rune stones, and tarot cards. I was advised by one successful and well-known mentalist-turned-reader that I should avoid all material by mentalists and magicians and study material by shut-eyes, which I did after a few false starts with over-priced e-books and such.

The biography of David Hoy might illuminate this topic as I believe he went into doing real readings in later years.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Nov 22, 2017 08:30PM)
[quote]On Oct 26, 2017, The Hermit wrote:
... Just wondering how many others moved to a more metaphysical worldview from childhood magic. [/quote]

It's a safe reminder that narrative and personal experience are significant in how one moves in the world... after one chooses how examined a life one wishes to live.
Message: Posted by: Cauan (Nov 27, 2017 05:29PM)
Our senses can lie
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 27, 2017 06:28PM)
No they can not. But they can be mislead.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Nov 28, 2017 05:47AM)
I always like it when Danny posts something I can completely agree with ;)