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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Definition of "Magic" (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kenn Capman
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Quote:
On 2006-05-06 10:34, tommy wrote:
There are none so blind as them that follow them that will not see sunshine, rainbows, and subatomic particles.


It's not a matter of 'seeing.' It's a matter of perspective, experience, and reasoning.

I don't have all the answers; but I know a bogus answer and/or proverb when I see one.
"The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents."
- Salvador Dali -
tommy
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Kenn

Whit puts his idea up and invites his pals here to attack it, to see if it stands up. He wants us to test it. Then you come along and say we throw sunshine, rainbows, and subatomic particles in his face. Whit loves it, it will not hurt him he is laying there catching a bit of sun.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
kregg
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Now that we are armed with a deeper sense of purpose and understanding -how do we most tactfully answer the question asked by the child and/or adult; "Is magic real?"
POOF!
JackScratch
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What if I told you that reality is completely fluid? What if I told you that empirical evidence solidifies reality? What if magic were like smoke, visible but intangable? Anything your mind can imagine is real, but the moment you seek to prove it, it's gone. I know it's a leap of faith, but unless you want to be some hack on stage with a hat and a rabbit, you need to make that leap. As magicians, we live in a world of opposing forces. We exist to show people a world that it is almost impossible for us to know. We present people with the impossible, but at the cost of our ability to enjoy what we give. Try believing in what you do for a change. Try letting go of your deathgrip on what you know to be. Reality only has the boundries you give it.
Bilwonder
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Whit,
I don't believe I'm using "magic" in different ways. I believe there is a unity to all of these in the cognative experience that "defines magic." I thought that was the "topic at hand" not a particular device used in our artform. I am puzzled when what I'm saying seems to be interpreted as "the magic of sunsets" or "magick" or perhaps some feeling of marvel. I am pointing to locating what defines "magic" in every case is when the mind of spectator has it's boundaries assaulted. It is a synergistic and transcending experience that defines "magic." When I speak of "natural magic," I'm not referring to some sentimentality, but more of the experience of personifying nature as "playing a prank" on us. We learn from those pranks.

In the magic of unexpected phenomena for example there my be no deception. To many flash paper is magic because it seems to vanish without a trace. It doesn't matter if you tell them it special paper. Their sense of limitation has been challenge because it is gone with out a trace. Again, when the magician demonstrate "invulverabilty" by pounding a nail into his face...the is really no deception, but this is no less magic to those who have considered such things impossible. I have said your focus on Intention and veracity (or "verifiabity") is of great value to our art (I'm not saying you have not been clear in this), but that it's not central to a unifying "definition of magic."

I feel I'm about to get ganged up on again for being a fruit.
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Patrick Differ
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Whit Haydn writes:
Quote:
Dilemma/Cognitive Dissonance Cognative Dissonance/Wonder Wonder/Magic.

This says that magic isn't inherently anything.. Instead, it defines the experience of magic as a mental process. That means that something starts the process, and magic is felt at the end of the process. Like a snowflake that falls on a snow-covered mountain side, its weight moves a bit more snow. That bit more moves a lot more snow, with the whole thing eventually resulting in an avalanche. It's the snowball effect, and the snowflake isn't the avalanche!

Ok... I can dig it.

My main concern, which I'll get back to, is for the beginning of the process; the Dilemma. The Dilemma is set up as "There is no such thing as magic/There isn't any other way that could've been done." The performer's goal is to get these two sides juxtaposed in the spectator's mind, and get them to ping-pong back and forth between the two, thus creating the dilemma. Without this ping-ponging, there won't be any cognitive dissonance, nor the rest of the 'avalanche.'

It seems to me that most magicians, including myself, have spent collective eons supporting and developing the second part of the dilemma so that we can get it into spectators' minds. We have concentrated so much on perfect techniques, perfect handlings, naturalness, logical moves, etc. to insure that they know that there's no other way that could've been done. Despite all that collective effort, we've neglected to support the first part; there's no such thing as magic.

...which leads me back to my earlier concern... Without blatantly saying that there is no such thing as magic, how do we get that half of the dilemma firmly planted in the spectators' heads? If they don't have the dilemma, there isn't any process. We don't want to just say that there isn't any such thing as magic because that would be just plain dopey, but without it, the process never starts and our work is relegated to being all just tricks and conundrums to be puzzled out later!!! Somehow, we must get the spectators to arrive at this conclusion during the performance, despite their pre-existing tenets. If they already believe that there's no such thing as magic... all the better. All we do is reinforce that belief. If they do already beleive in magic, we're in trouble.

My gut is telling me that it will all done through performing personna. Describing the logistics would make the premise of a very good book.

Believe me, this topic has been an eye-opener for me. I'm glad I bumped it. Thinking all this out helps me keep my goals in the front of my mind when I perform. My thanks to all who have and will continue to contribute.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-06 18:46, Patrick Differ wrote:
...defines the experience of magic as a mental process. ...


Please, not a process but a meta-experience. Not a mere feeling but a sentiment about what we are feeling about what we are seeing. It is in watching ourselves bounce between what we expect to be true and what we observe as true that we find magic. More simply, we are collapsing an anchor of conviction against an anchor of perception. Smile

The dilema that starts the feedback/transderivational search/cognitive dissonance is how we elicit that meta-experience.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Patrick Differ
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I think I get it.
"Meta-experience" to describe what happens later on or in succession to or is more specialized.
"Process" to describe the way to make vulcanized rubber for tires or ethanol from corn husks.
:idea:
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
saxmangeoff
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Quote:
On 2006-05-06 08:10, tommy wrote:
If I show the company that I put the four queens on table (lie) but they believe that lie then to them it is the truth. The four queens then magically change into Aces! Where is the lie from their point of view?


They are wrong. You lied to them when you led them to believe (either verbally or through your actions) that those were the 4 queens. Since the cards are NOT the 4 queens, how can that be anything other than a lie?

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Jonathan Townsend
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Actually we could argue that the lie began when the cards were turned face down after being shown. What specifically compels one to turn the cards face down?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-05-06 22:57, saxmangeoff wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-05-06 08:10, tommy wrote:
If I show the company that I put the four queens on table (lie) but they believe that lie then to them it is the truth. The four queens then magically change into Aces! Where is the lie from their point of view?


They are wrong. You lied to them when you led them to believe (either verbally or through your actions) that those were the 4 queens. Since the cards are NOT the 4 queens, how can that be anything other than a lie?

Geoff


Have you declared yourself a magician? Must Hamlet stand up and say "I'm not realy dead"? If you state you are about to tell a lie, then do so, is it, in fact, a lie? Is it your intention to, by doing what you do, entertain, or mislead? Magic is not a lie. It is not a lie, because we are magicians, and as magicians, it is understood in great detail, what it is we do, and why it is we do it. A lie serves an ulterior motive. As magicians, our motive is both pure, and clear. We are entertainers, not thieves and confidence men. There is no lie in magic, because it is magic.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-07 00:03, JackScratch wrote:...
Have you declared yourself a magician? Must Hamlet stand up and say "I'm not realy dead"? If you state you are about to tell a lie, then do so, is it, in fact, a lie? Is it your intention to, by doing what you do, entertain, or mislead? Magic is not a lie. It is not a lie, because we are magicians, and as magicians, it is understood in great detail, what it is we do, and why it is we do it. A lie serves an ulterior motive. As magicians, our motive is both pure, and clear. We are entertainers, not thieves and confidence men. There is no lie in magic, because it is magic.


because means?

are these mutually exclusive?

what specifically is it?

but what then is magic?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JackScratch
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"because" means everything I said before I said "because it is magic".
Jonathan Townsend
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Ya still gotta decide how to be and how much responsibility you want for being the cause.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
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Quote:
On 2006-05-06 22:57, saxmangeoff wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-05-06 08:10, tommy wrote:
If I show the company that I put the four queens on table (lie) but they believe that lie then to them it is the truth. The four queens then magically change into Aces! Where is the lie from their point of view?


They are wrong. You lied to them when you led them to believe (either verbally or through your actions) that those were the 4 queens. Since the cards are NOT the 4 queens, how can that be anything other than a lie?

Geoff


I know they are wrong. The point is they do not "know" it is a lie and so saying everyone “knows” that lies are being told is not true.
To say “But there is no such thing as magic“ as if to say therefore everyone knows the whole thing is a lie, is a point in the Whit argument that I do not agree with. His whole argument revolves around the assertion that “Everyone” knows that there is no such thing as magic. Contrary to that I say that no one knows that there is no such thing as magic. I say it is the possibility that magic might exist that is at the root and at the heart of magic. The art of magic would never have evolved if was not for that possibility.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
kregg
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Not everyone knows there is no such thing as magic, some know and other's suspect. Otherwise, this topic wouldn't be stuck in a figure eight.
Believing in magic and having a magical experience are two different things altogether.
POOF!
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-07 08:11, kregg wrote:
Not everyone knows there is no such thing as magic, some know and other's suspect. Otherwise, this topic wouldn't be stuck in a figure eight.
Believing in magic and having a magical experience are two different things altogether.


From experience, most people act as if they believe in magic. Whether or not they know what they believe is another issue.

Good... though I believe that figure eight has a couple of twists in it. What does that make it?

What distinguishes belief from experience? This brings us back to knowing, no?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jaz
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There are millions of people who believe in miracles.
There are others who are wary of black cats, broken mirrors and other superstitions.
How about ghosts, deja-vu, spiritualism, etc.
Children are raised with the magic of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy and what have you.
There are things deeply ingrained in human make up. Some are with people their whole lives.

When they see a magic performance it's not so difficult for them to believe.
Even if just for a while.
kregg
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In my early teens I entered a talent show. I had no idea that people actually believed in magic and mysticism. Until a woman, made a bee line for me after I left the stage. I thought she was going to ask me to do a birthday show or how I did a particular effect. Instead, she railed on me telling me that magic was the devil's work. I told her that I didn't believe in the devil, but, the character sold movie tickets. She cursed me for not believing in the devil.
I was upset and confused that an appearing cane, square circle and twentieth century silks could cause such a reaction.
Later, a friend asked me, "Did you watch the Omen? Well you look just like the kid in the movie."
POOF!
tommy
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And some people believe in the existence of electricity, magnetism, gravitation and do you know why? Because they observe it indirectly through their effects. - the very same way they observe magic, indirectly through the effects that we show them- When they see a magic performance it's not so difficult for them to believe.
Even if just for a while.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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