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Traveler
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We all know about magic, the methods, the presentations... and we LOVE it, however...
How many of us do sometimes feel some kind of disapointment because it gets so much harder to believe in real magic. Wouldn't it be awesome to believe that the spirit of your beloved granny pushes around the glass on the table. Doesn't it spoil the fun to see the IT involved ?
Wouldn't it be grand to see a mindreader stare in the flames and announce the name of a loved one without thinking "center tear" for even one split second ?
Yes, we've gained a lot. But sometimes I wonder if it isn't yin and yang in reverse : haven't we lost as much as we have won ?
Don't get me wrong, I don't long to be a shut eye and I enjoy life from our side of the fence very much. But now and then, I do wish I could believe in Santa Claus.
What do you think ?
Josh Riel
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I never believed in "real magic" or Santa Clause, so I've lost nothing. I enjoy magic because of the reactions of others who watch. My problem is poor performances drive me nuts. I might not have noticed how poorly some magicians perform if I wasn't a magician.

And before we have the whole "What is real magic" discussion I meant Harry Potter book-world-flying-dragons-killing curse-magic.

Of course there is always some moron who will still argue the point...
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
gsidhe
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I'm with you Traveler. I miss the wonder sometimes. Nowadays, I find myself always looking for the method, not sitting back and just enjoying the show.
Something was lost.
Gwyd
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-28 15:04, Traveler wrote:

Wouldn't it be awesome to believe that the spirit of your beloved granny pushes around the glass on the table.



If you ever had the misfortune to meet either of my granny's you'd realize how horroendous a feat ths would be.
You'd be praying it was IT instead of the invisiblre hand of a witch.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Traveler
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Lol
Freak Prodigy
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I wasn't raised to believe anything like that.

My grandfather was a penticostal preacher and a con-man.

No santa, no religion, no tooth fairy.
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Energizer
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Somebody somewhere said something like: The world is a wonderous enough place without having to invoke fairies at the bottom of the garden.

I agree - there's plenty of mystery, wonder and weirdness to be found by investigating the world scientifically.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
Traveler
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Hmmm... interesting, all very scientifically minded people over here. Nobody who has the "yes, virginia" attitude ?
Only gsidhe misses the wonder sometimes, like I do ? In the case of freak prodigy it obviously has to do with how he was raised. How about the rest ? Has it anything to do with being a magician or were you all born under sceptical starsigns...er... Smile
Pakar Ilusi
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Depends on what you mean by "Real Magic" now, don't it?

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Energizer
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What I really miss is being fooled by magicians! Now my eye is trained better, it is much harder for me to figure out what is a great piece of magic (far the lay person) and which wouldn't fool a 4 year old.

That's why it is so great to see Lennart Green's DVDs or Derren. They remind me of why I study magic.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
Jonathan Townsend
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Puzzled by the question.

Obviously theres lots of magic around.
Have you ever stopped to notice that when you let go of something it moves all by itself toward the floor... no strings, threads or even magnets involved.

Or look at how easily folks fool themselves or permit themselves to be misguided by others.

Or was that question just a half hearted whine that after learning it was mommy and daddy managing the presents under the tree you wished it was not and want to somehow regain that fantasy of a guy who lives at the north pole?

The start of magic is holding oneself accountable and responsible for what one believes. Do you want to start into magic?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Traveler
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Lol !
I'm not a beginner anymore, Jonathan. I meant the question just as I posed it, but perhaps in other words : do you believe that knowledge of magical methods stimulates a sceptical worldview rather than the feeling being part of a tradition of shaman's, seers and wizards. For once there was a magical worldview, which, I believe is feared / dispised / ridiculed by so-called magicians. Isn't this irony in a way ?
And, dear Jonathan, the Santa thing is just a metaphor I used. Sorry if I confused you.
Freak Prodigy
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I like the wonder of the natural world.

Crazy stuff out there!

Don't need Santa for that.



Brett.
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Traveler
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Sure, but that's science, not magic. Although those two branches were closely related - if not the same - once.
The reactions I'm getting confirm my feeling that many magicians are rationalists "pur sang". As a teacher I realise the importance of thinking in the real world, BUT I also deplore the fact that the feeling for poetry, metaphor, etc. is going down in our society.
Especially in a community of magicians we could expect that some people long to bring a sense of mystery and enchantment instead of only entertainment and fooling. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I do it also, but still...
There were initiatives like "mystery school" in the past, so there were people who understood this "missing" . To bad it had to end.

BTW, Santa is a metaphor in the "yes, virginia" sense, not a chubby guy living in Lapland. Considered that way, I do believe there's a need for Santa. My children love the chubby one, I love the metaphor. I also believe that it's a good thing to keep something of the child you once were alive, deep inside you. But that's another controversial opinion, of course.
Josh the Superfluous
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Two days ago, I was playing with my 4 year old daughter. I kept turning one coin into another as I have done as long as she can remember. Then she asked me "Daddy is that real magic, or are you just switching two coins?". I was proud and disappointed at the same time.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
elmago
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Magic and science are not the same. Magic contraticts science. Magic gets its mystique from the unexplained. Whenever there is a logical scienctific explanation for something, people then accept it and not believe it is magic. People may believe something is magic up until the point it can be explained. And then there as those who still believe the world is flat, but that is another topic.

For instance, in Transcidental Meditation, you are supposed to be able to levitate your body off the ground by scientific means. They claim they can prove it from a scientific perspective. Lets imagine that they master a method and achieve the third stage which is the ability to fly. Would people still pay to see David Copperfield's Flying illusion? (Iknow he no longer performs it but you see my point.)

MR.
"Excellence is not a single act; it's a habit" Shaq quoting Aristotle after winning NBA MVP.
Traveler
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Josh, your daughter was amazed and critical at the same time. You should be proud !
Elmago, magic and science are different things indeed. There was a time however that the boundaries between the two weren't as clear as today. Mnemonics, for instance, were once seen as very, very bad, almost in the "evil" sense of the word.
Energizer
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Josh - I LOLed at that post. Very funny. But what did you tell her?

I think magic definitley breeds critical thinking and scepticism. There's plenty of scientists out there who are not especially sceptical or critical - I'm sure there's plenty of magicians as well with some rather strange beliefs. But on the whole I think magic encourages its practitioners to think logically and in a down to earth fashion in a way that science also does, but sometimes cannot.

I have been studying psychology (part time) and magic simultaneously for 7 or 8 years now. The magic has been of enormous benefit in sharpening up the science and straight thinking - although occasionaly I get weirded out.
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
sibbie
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I have been in doing magic for 12 years and there is plenty I still don't know. I just have to look hard to find it is the issue; but what a fun issue to address!
rossmacrae
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I believed in all sorts of stuff. Once.

I actually thought it might ... just MIGHT ... work if I did what George Reeves did on TV: tie a towel around my neck, assume a "flying" posture and jump off something a few feet high (not a building, I'm not crazy). I mean, it was 1958 and stranger things were happening all the time (how else do you explain the rise to #1-hit-with-a-bullet of "The Witch Doctor" ['Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang']?).

Just in case it needs mentioning, I was wrong. Gigantic-gauze-bandage-covering-an-immense-scrape-down-my-side wrong.
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