We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Definition of "Magic" (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3..9..15..21..27..29~30~31~32~33..40~41~42 [Next]
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Bilwonder says:

"I see magic as a subset of most anything, but as a subset it distinguishes itself."

How does it distinguish itself?

How is the performance of magic say, different from a play about magic?

How is the performance of magic different from a short con game?

How is the performance of magic different from the faked seance of a charlatan medium?

How is the performance of magic different from a mentalist who uses trickery to convince people he actually has telepathic powers?

How is the performance of magic different from a mentalist who uses trickery to entertain people and make them think, but does not try to convince them that his skills are real?

How is the performance of magic different from tricking someone with fake plastic dog poop?

You say magic distinguishes itself, but can be combined with other arts to produce something new.

How do we distinguish magic from other arts before we combine them?
kregg
View Profile
Inner circle
1958 Posts

Profile of kregg
How can magic be distinguished until the effect has been achieved? You would have to tell the audience what you are and plan to do by action, words or known cliche',
POOF!
cinemagician
View Profile
Inner circle
Phila Metro Area
1094 Posts

Profile of cinemagician
Quote:
On 2006-05-17 14:30, Whit Haydn wrote:

How is the performance of magic different from tricking someone with fake plastic dog poop?



I can't believe I'm doing this but...

I.

1.) A prankster named Fred places some fake dog poop in an area where it would be unwelcome.

2.) You see the fake dog poop, and for at least a moment, assume that the fake dog poop is real.

3.) Upon closer observation, you realize the dog poop is fake.

4.) Although you were deceived momentarily, the deception is nullified by the realization that the poop was in fact fake. There is no delima of any kind; at one moment the poop was thought to be real, in the next moment you discover that it was fake.

"That Fred, what will he think of next", you think.

II.

1.) You see Fred the next day. Fred displays a small red silk hankercheif.

2.) He is wearing short sleves and his hands are otherwise empty.

3.) He slowly tucks the hanky into his closed left fist and it vanishes, then both hands are shown to be unmistakenly empty.

4.) Although Fred does not posses any powers beyond the norm, you saw that his hands were empty before and after the vanish of the hankercheif.

5.) You know it's not real (because Fred pumps Gas for a living and performs for children on the weekend) yet you have no explanation as to how what you whitnessed could have been possible.

6.) You know it must be a trick of some kind but how?

7.) So you ask Fred, "How was it done" He says, "Magicians never tell."

"That Fred, really fooled me, BUT in a different way than he fooled me with the dog poop."

Deception deliberately occurs in both senarios. But in the second senario, you are left to ponder how it could have been achieved, while in the first example, the question of how does not even enter your mind.

I would like to credit my friend "Fred Craps" for his assistance with this post.
...
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Yes, but Bilwonder does not believe there is deception involved in either case. Perception is reality.

The dog poop is real, because it is perceived as real.

There isn't any trick involved in the silk vanishing, there is no deception--it is real. Because that is how you perceived it.

There is no deception, no lie, no intentional misleading. What is seen is reality.

At least that is how Bilwonder has been stating it.
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27166 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
A quick scan of of the fred crap's thead suggested a really strange trick where you use a hank to apparently vanish a dog's leftovers and later have it reappear...
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Josh Riel
View Profile
Inner circle
of hell
1999 Posts

Profile of Josh Riel
When has belief been a guarantee of reality? The whole perception thing reminds me of my mother's warning that came with my first gun: "Do you know how many people get shot with unloaded guns". It was a warning against perception wasn't it?
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
cinemagician
View Profile
Inner circle
Phila Metro Area
1094 Posts

Profile of cinemagician
LOL- Jon, I should have spelled it with a "K" though

There are more differences that could be stated but for the sake of brevity?....
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Bilwonder
View Profile
Veteran user
Oroville CA
327 Posts

Profile of Bilwonder
Quote:
On 2006-05-17 20:09, Whit Haydn wrote:
Yes, but Bilwonder does not believe there is deception involved in either case. Perception is reality.

The dog poop is real, because it is perceived as real.

There isn't any trick involved in the silk vanishing, there is no deception--it is real. Because that is how you perceived it.

There is no deception, no lie, no intentional misleading. What is seen is reality.

At least that is how Bilwonder has been stating it.


Whit,
You confuse me with someone else. I never said any of those things.
I believe magic occurs in the dilemma (the "ping pong" against perceived limitations). Any thing that induces this state of mind in the spectator would be labeled "magic" by him. It is the mind in flight. It is as real and insubstantial as a flame (with all of it's magical metaphor). It exists between two states. This is our goal, to ignite this state of mind in the observer. This is why I said magic is not in the deception (fake poop). I know it’s easy to group my statements along with others.

After discovering that this is this state of mind is my goal (and is what separates it from other arts), the next question is HOW to create it. I know Jonathan prefers us not to use the phrase “state of mind,” but it’s just easier for now.

I say lets look at everything that induces this framework, and I notice it does not always need an instigator because the spectator contributes to his own illusions. Any of us, at any time can perceive an act of nature in a “magical way” that we view as doing the impossible. I’ve seen water run uphill, or vanish before my eyes, spirits seem to rise from the ground. It doesn’t matter that some may learn the secret. Some do not and remain perplexed forever.

As magicians, we should take notice of what creates these moments and learn from them no matter the arena we find them. This doesn’t mean we should not ferret out to the fullest extent an avenue such as Whit’s formula. I just suggest that when we map out the territory we fully acknowledge what may be magic.

There is no difference to me between “fake magic” or “real magic.” These are just terms referring to some perceived means of achieving the desired resulting state of mind in the observer. There is no difference to me if I use strings or spirits to induce the dilemma. To some invisible string is as impossible as invisible spirits. You choose your audience accordingly. To some I construct a lie. To others I tell the plain truth. What ever I think will boggle them the most.
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
[quote]On 2006-05-17 23:18, Bilwonder wrote:
Quote:
I believe magic occurs in the dilemma (the "ping pong" against perceived limitations). Any thing that induces this state of mind in the spectator would be labeled "magic" by him. It is the mind in flight. It is as real and insubstantial as a flame (with all of it's magical metaphor). It exists between two states. This is our goal, to ignite this state of mind in the observer. This is why I said magic is not in the deception (fake poop). I know it’s easy to group my statements along with others.



Are you saying any dilemma produces the experience of magic?

Is any experience of cognitive dissonance magic?

Are you suggesting that a dilemma discovered in nature by a scientist creates the same feelings in him as magic does in a spectator?

Does the feeling identified as "magic" by the individual experiencing it mean the same thing as the work we do called "magic"--is there a difference between the art and the feeling? How do you distinguish these two uses of the word magic?

Describe the dilemma you are talking about.

You said "magic" is a subset of anything, but that it "distinguishes itself."

If "magic" can be a subset of anything, then it must be a very debased and meaningless term.

How does magic distinguish itself from say a short story like "Labyrinth" by Jorge Luis Borges? The story creates a dilemma for the reader and should force him into a reverie of wonder.

How is that different from what we do?

How is magic distinguished from other art forms?

You said:

"There is no difference to me between “fake magic” or “real magic.” These are just terms referring to some perceived means of achieving the desired resulting state of mind in the observer. There is no difference to me if I use strings or spirits to induce the dilemma. To some invisible string is as impossible as invisible spirits. You choose your audience accordingly. To some I construct a lie. To others I tell the plain truth. What ever I think will boggle them the most."

Does an experience of "real magic" effect the mind the same way "fake magic?"

Would experiencing "real magic" not have a much more profound and different effect on the mind than the experience of a "fake magic" trick?

Give me a concrete example of how you use "real magic" in your performance.
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16276 Posts

Profile of tommy
A fake tells a lie about itself.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Bilwonder
View Profile
Veteran user
Oroville CA
327 Posts

Profile of Bilwonder
Quote:
Are you saying any dilemma produces the experience of magic?

No. Not ANY dilemma. Only the kind that rattles the individuals perception of limitations (boundaries of what is possible).

Quote:
Is any experience of cognitive dissonance magic?


To say magic lies in the cognitive dissonance of course is not to say they are the same. The dilemma must involve limitations NOT perceived as self imposed (such as Ethics or friendship). One reason I wanted more focus in this area is so further distinctions could be made in our definitions. I don't claim to have it mapped out, but see this as where the event takes place. The essence of "magic Thinking" is it comes out of "no where."
Quote:
Are you suggesting that a dilemma discovered in nature by a scientist creates the same feelings in him as magic does in a spectator?


Not just "a dilemma," but one that challenged what he believes possible. Perhaps his reliance on the scientific method . That is kind of dilemma we are talking about. I have always stated it was about challenging a set of limitations. I have merely agreed with you to call this a "dilemma."
Quote:
Does the feeling identified as "magic" by the individual experiencing it mean the same thing as the work we do called "magic"--is there a difference between the art and the feeling? How do you distinguish these two uses of the word magic?

I have never said we are talking about a feeling. There is emotion that goes with this experience (one of alienation), but the experience is in is largely in the mind. There is the feeling of Numinous. There is also a conflicting feeling or reverting to infantile perceptions before we acknowledged certain boundaries of limitations and the whole world was magic. This is the "safety zone"(DMZ) we default to so we can escape the feeling of being alienated from our world. That is why I don't think "magic" has to point to any type of world view explanation (i.e. Witchcraft).
Quote:
Describe the dilemma you are talking about.

You said "magic" is a subset of anything, but that it "distinguishes itself."

If "magic" can be a subset of anything, then it must be a very debased and meaningless term.

How does magic distinguish itself from say a short story like "Labyrinth" by Jorge Luis Borges? The story creates a dilemma for the reader and should force him into a reverie of wonder. How is that different from what we do?



As a subset, I only meant it is found to coexist in that rhelm (as I suggested int the listing of the "nine arts."

To the story, however, as I clarified before, this is not the kind of dilemma we are talking about. "Labyrinth" is essentially symbolic and not directly confrontational to the observer's map of what is possible. If the story however induced some kind of trance in the reader whereby he actually experience a form transcending beyond the limits of what he believed possible..then it would be the same. I think "Kentonism" tries to toy with this idea.


Quote:
How is magic distinguished from other art forms?

Magic is distinguished by the "state of mind" it induces. What may be shared is the coexisting emotions. Also, I would also not use the term "reverie of wonder" quite as loosely as you do.
My understanding of this word has been heavily influenced by the writings of Abraham Heschel on the subject and is tied closely with the "sublime." Below are a few selected "remixed quotes" of Heshel that may help a little.

Quote:
There are aspects of given reality which are congruous with the categories of scientific logic, while there are aspects of reality which are inaccessible to this logic..To surrender to the mystery is fatalism, to withdraw into reason is solipsism. Man is driven to commune with that which is beyond the mystery. Modern man fell into the trap of believing...all wonder is nothing more but the effect of novelty upon ignorance...and there is no necessity to go beyond the world in order to account for the existence of the world. This lack of wonder, this exaggeration of the claim of scientific inquiry, is more characteristic of popular science books...than of the creative scientists themselves...

...the sublime is that which we see and are unable to convey. It is the silent allusion of things to a meaning greater than themselves...it is that which our words, our forms, our categories can never reach. This is why the sense of the sublime must be regarded as the root of man's creative activities in art, thought, and noble living.

To the modern man everything seems calculable...He has supreme faith in statistics and abhors the idea of mystery. Obstinately he ignores the fact that we are all surrounded by things which we apprehend but cannot comprehend; that even reason is a mystery to itself.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Which leads me to the quote I gave in an earlier post:
"Wonder is not a Pollyanna stance,
not a denial of reality;
wonder is an acknowledgment
of the power of the mind to transform."  
santiz Christina Baldwin


Quote:
Does an experience of "real magic" effect the mind the same way "fake magic?"
Quote:
I don't believe the mind perceives a difference in the experience. However, any experience will change as it is linked or associated with other ideas (i.e. science, witchcraft, art...).

Would experiencing "real magic" not have a much more profound and



"There is no difference to me between 'fake magic' or 'real magic.' These are just terms referring to some perceived means of achieving the desired resulting state of mind in the observer."

Give me a concrete example of how you use "real magic" in your performance.
"There is no difference to me between 'fake magic' or 'real magic.' These are just terms referring to some perceived means of achieving the desired resulting state of mind in the observer." However, I suppose fake magic could be construed as donning the the symbols historically associated with magic without creating any dilemma.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Bilwonder said:

"To say magic lies in the cognitive dissonance of course is not to say they are the same. The dilemma must involve limitations NOT perceived as self imposed (such as Ethics or friendship). One reason I wanted more focus in this area is so further distinctions could be made in our definitions. I don't claim to have it mapped out, but see this as where the event takes place. The essence of "magic Thinking" is it comes out of "no where.""

"Cognitive Dissonance" is, in fact, a feeling. It is the "feeling" of discomfort that comes from attempting to hold two contradicting thoughts in the mind at the same time. The "reverie" of wonder is the attempt of the mind to resolve the conflict (the dilemma) through creative thought, a series of "what-ifs," and thereby escape the discomfort--the burr under the saddle. Any dilemma produces cognitive dissonance. What separates magic from nature is the knowledge that the dilemma was caused to happen by the performer. We know that it is a construct. We just don't have the technology to re-invent the effect. The element of fraud in a magic effect should not be taken out of your account.

"There is no difference to me between 'fake magic' or 'real magic.' These are just terms referring to some perceived means of achieving the desired resulting state of mind in the observer. However, I suppose fake magic could be construed as donning the the symbols historically associated with magic without creating any dilemma."

I don't follow you. Can you give some concrete illustrations of the dillemas you are proposing, both natural and man-made? Can you give me an example using a classic magic trick and one using your "real" magic?
Bilwonder
View Profile
Veteran user
Oroville CA
327 Posts

Profile of Bilwonder
Whit,
You keep asking me to distiguish what I don't see as different.
I have given examples all along the way.
As a child I passed by a sream that seemed to run uphill. This was magic. I went to Colon Michigan and saw a coin fall upwards. This was magic.
What are you trying to get me to say?
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
I would like for you to make a distinction. Are you saying there are no differences between the two events?

Write out the dilemma for the stream and one for the coin.
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
"Snicker". He wants you to say that you were wrong and he was right.
Bilwonder
View Profile
Veteran user
Oroville CA
327 Posts

Profile of Bilwonder
We are cross posting.
Posts are changing during responses...
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
No. I want him to explain the theory he is proposing. It sounds as if he is saying that anything that produces "wonder" is magic.
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
In many respects it certainly is. What we do is magic, what we do creates wonder, not all things that create wonder are what we do, but all things that create wonder are magic.
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Why do you say that all things that create wonder are magic?

Is anything that creates wonder magic?

If so, what do you mean by magic?

What is the difference between "what we do" and magic? (you said that not all things that create wonder are what we do, but all things that create wonder are magic)
Bilwonder
View Profile
Veteran user
Oroville CA
327 Posts

Profile of Bilwonder
Quote:
On 2006-05-18 15:09, Whit Haydn wrote:

"Cognitive Dissonance" is, in fact, a feeling. It is the "feeling" of discomfort that comes from attempting to hold two contradicting thoughts in the mind at the same time. The "reverie" of wonder is the attempt of the mind to resolve the conflict (the dilemma) through creative thought, a series of "what-ifs," and thereby escape the discomfort--the burr under the saddle. Any dilemma produces cognitive dissonance. What separates magic from nature is the knowledge that the dilemma was caused to happen by the performer. We know that it is a construct. We just don't have the technology to re-invent the effect. The element of fraud in a magic effect should not be taken out of your account.

I don't follow you. Can you give some concrete illustrations of the dillemas you are proposing, both natural and man-made? Can you give me an example using a classic magic trick and one using your "real" magic?


I don't want to split hairs about terms such as ""Cognitive Dissonance." My focus it on the "attempting to hold two contradicting thoughts" dispite the varied emotions that may accompany it. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I laugh.Sometimes I cry laughing. Do I need to add, I'm feeling "Cognitive Dissonance today" to my feeling chart?

I understand you limiting your definition of wonder for your purposes. And I can accept those terms in order to learn more of what you are saying. I am just stating that my framework on the concept is a bit different and tried to expand on that with quotes of Heschel.

And yes, I did say there was no difference for me between the stream and the coin.

No. Again, not anything that produces "wonder" is magic. However, magic consits of a wonder without explaination.

The element of "fraud" is only valuable to be in order to set a wall of limitation with the audience so I can create a reliable dillema. I don't want to short circut the "magic" by establishing (proving) another worldveiw. I don't want to prove god or witchcraft. My job is purely iconoclastic. I want to crack walls, not establish them.
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Definition of "Magic" (9 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3..9..15..21..27..29~30~31~32~33..40~41~42 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.38 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL