Sunday, March 21, 2010

magic and illusion

I watched about a third of a movie about magic and magicians today. Part of what stopped me from watching the whole of it was that I had never heard a "magician" refer to him- or herself that way. "Illusionist" was the term I thought all serious magicians used, pointing out implicitly that just because I was credulous didn't mean something was factually credible.

About the most interesting part of what I did watch came when the central character referred to the role deception played in the human and animal spectrum. On the one hand, deception is often scorned as unkind and duplicitous. On the other, there is a need and longing and usefulness to deception.

The example given was of a mother bird that sees the fox getting too near to her nest and the eggs within it. She flies away, flopping along the ground as if she had a broken wing. The fox follows, looking for a quick lunch, but as soon as the fox gets far enough from the nest and near enough to the mother, she simply flies away.

And human beings have similar diversions ... both for protection and gain.

"I will tell you the truth," says the deceiver. And the listening mind, when it longs for the truth, is open and receptive. At this point the deceiver can take the route of bilking the believer or the route of, in fact, offering what the deceiver imagines to be the truth...and it may in fact benefit the believer.

On the one hand, please don't deceive me.

On the other, deceive and delight me.

Show me the truth.

Show me the magic.

Show me the illusion.

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