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

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tommy
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What do you think of Whit's dilemma model for the magical experience?
Well I think it helps me understand what a Jury feels like when it feels it must acquit because of a reasonable doubt despite almost being sure of guilt.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Tommy, that seems more social problem, than a model for what magic is or how to elicit that state within an audience. Perhaps that could be interpreted as bad magic in society where the best efforts of some are thwarted by a policy agreed to yet established others. Sort of the idea behind the adage "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
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tommy
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Magic is the accused that stands indicted of being unreal. The magician is it’s defence advocate, who puts before the jury dramatic evidence that persuades them that there is a reasonable doubt about its guilt and they therefore must acquit.
The accused does not have to prove anything but it does to raise a reasonable doubt when there is case to be answered. The case against magic is the evidence of science.
After the defence has rested it’s case the jury despite being pretty sure that magic is guilty can not dismiss the doubt raised by explaining it away with reason. They have seen the defence put evidence before the court and seen it tested step by step in the process and accepted, i.e.

“"Ladies and gentlemen [of the jury], I shall endeavour to illustrate, with the aid of this ordinary deck of cards,…” [Mark this; D/Exhibit 1] how futile are the efforts of plebeians to break into that select circle of society known as the Beau-monde, and especially how such entree is prevented by the polite but frigid exclusiveness of its gentler members.
"We shall assume that it is the occasion of a public reception, our table the hall, our deck the common herd, and we may fittingly select the four Queens as representing the feminine portion of the Smart Set." (Lay four Queens face down on table.) [Mark these Four Queens D/Exhibit 2 a,b,c,d] "Will some one now kindly see that there are no more Queens in the deck." (Hand deck for inspection.) [Tested evidence] "There are no more Queens in the deck? Thanks!" [The evidence accepted].

And so on until all the information, which is the evidence that tends to persuade, has been placed before the jury. The information, may take the form of being; subtle, sophisticated, simple and direct or whatever. But whatever form it takes, the overall purpose of it is to establish a defence by way of raising a reasonable doubt to the charge of magic being unreal. If the magician does not on perform this task well he losses the case as the jury conclude that magic is unreal as have no reasonable doubt about it. When the succeeds however they not conclude that is real but science has not proven it’s case. In other words magic is not claiming to be real but merely claiming that the prosecution can offer the jury no scientific answer for what it has been presented with.


It does not matter if you agree with that analogy or not but if you study the law of evidence it helps you understand the nature of evidence. That in turn helps in the understanding of why some things we do are strong and others not so. It helps in understanding why some things are accepted while others are rejected by the audience and why and how a good trick is constructed the way it is.
Note:
Magic: (Antonym) Science.

That is just my opinion but I will let you have last the word as I am off to watch the football or is it the players or the game, what ever it is, I am off to watch it .

Later

Tommy
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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I suspect that rational argument only works when they care.

We are playing the part of magicians, and able to do magic.

The rest is entertainment.

If the proof/reality case were germain magicians would be asked to cure the sick ...
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tommy
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I suspect that it is irrational to construe what I said as being a charlatan.

“A charlatan is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money or advantage by false pretenses. If the ascription is false, then "charlatan" is pejorative; if it is true, then the description "charlatan" is not defamation.

The word comes from French charlatan, a version of "Charley," a seller of medicines who might advertise his presence with music and an outdoor stage show. The greatest of the Parisian charlatans was Tabarin who set up a stage in the Place Dauphin, Paris from 1618, and whose commedia dell'arte-inspired skits and farces inspired Molière. Ultimately, etymologists trace "charlatan" from either the Italian ciarlare, to prattle; or from Cerretano, a resident of Cerreto, a town that was apparently notorious for producing quacks.

A famous American charlatan was John R. Brinkley, the "goat-gland doctor" who implanted goat glands as a means of curing male impotence, helped pioneer both American and Mexican radio broadcasting, and twice ran unsuccessfully for governor of Kansas.

In usage, a subtle difference is drawn between the charlatan and other kinds of confidence people. The charlatan is usually a salesperson. He does not try to create a personal relationship with his marks, or set up an elaborate hoax using roleplaying. Rather, the person called a charlatan is being accused of resorting to quackery, pseudoscience, or some knowingly employed bogus means of impressing people in order to swindle his victims by selling them worthless nostrums and similar goods or services that will not deliver on the promises made for them. The word calls forth the image of an old-time medicine show operator, who has long left town by the time the people who bought his snake oil tonic realize that it does not perform as advertised.”
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Bill Palmer
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My, my, my. I have been in Germany for the past 18 days. I figured that the discussion would get further along than this. Interesting to see that it hasn't changed all that much.
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tommy
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That's because Jon knows nothing about football.

The Germans scored two magic goals last night it must said Bill. But wait til they get a load of us. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
David Parr
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Quote:
On 2006-06-09 07:55, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Jumping into a twenty six page discussion with a citation to a work which was explored earlier is ... less than exciting.


I actually waded through this entire thread -- admittedly in two sessions because my eyes began to glaze over somewhere around page fifteen -- and I didn't notice any reference to Bob Neale, The Magic Mirror, or specifically to his complex definition of magic. And I found that a bit surprising. Perhaps I missed it. Would you point out the page in this thread where Bob's definition was explored?
Jonathan Townsend
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Here is Whit's basic argument: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......=4565718

To me this looks pretty good as a rational inspection of an emotional moment.

You mentioned Bob's definition. I found a long discussion though no concise "you know magic happens when..." followed by some clear cognitive or physiological criteria. Perhaps I missed it. When looking for Bob's definition, I found "play with mastery" and a claim at the front of the book that to define magic is both important and impossible to define (PP xii and page 54. Where is Bob's definition made compact and concise so we can compare?
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kregg
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I agree with Jonathan on this one David. You entered a discussion siting that Robert Neale has an open ended, but, complex definition of magic, in a book that you cowrote.
During this thread we've pretty much tried to avoid wrote definitions or quotes from third parties. Whit challenged me early on this and I never looked back. This has raised the bar to a standard which so many in our have been decrying for years; thinking magicians.
Mr Neale's definitions may be well put and pertinent to this discussion. Please invite him to join us in our goal to better understanding. Though our secrets should be guarded, our meaning should be concise.
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kregg
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Correction: This has raised the bar to a standard which so many in our community...
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Jonathan Townsend
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Folks,

Doing myself as I've asked David to do... reviewing this thread to see where the discussin has been...my posts may come across as less than supportive to his book. I recommend the book The Magic Mirror and suggest it would be useful to most who wish to explore this craft.

I likewise recommend we get comfortable with the language skills taught in Bandler's The Structure of Magic Volume 1 and take the meta-model as a working resource for our explorations.

Where one book offers examples of where magic can be found, the other book offers tools to refine our thinking and discussion of the matter central to magic, it's very nature as a subjective experience.

I look forward to hearing more from David Parr and Robert Neale on this subject.

:)
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kregg
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I ordered The Magic Mirror after I looked for it in my library and realized I didn't have it.

This brought me to an idea for those of us who care to engage in this type of discussion. We could form a book of the month club in which Café sponsor's sell books on our list of must reads; magic theory, stage craft and such. Guidelines would need to be set to keep us on track. When appropriate, we might even get the chance to speak to the authors.
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David Parr
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Quote:
When looking for Bob's definition, I found "play with mastery" and a claim at the front of the book that to define magic is both important and impossible to define (PP xii and page 54. Where is Bob's definition made compact and concise so we can compare?


Bob's expanded or complex definition of magic can be found in the third paragraph on page 55 of The Magic Mirror. The remainder of the chapter, "A Definition of Magic," is devoted to examining the four phrases that comprise the complex definition. It may be difficult to puzzle out without having read the book, so, as has been suggested, it is probably irrelevant to this thread. But now that there is a reference to the book here, those interested in this subject can seek out Bob's thinking on it.
Jonathan Townsend
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I hope folks are taking this time to read Bob's book and also to get comfortable with the language/communications ideas in basic NLP studies which can be found in Bandler's The Structure of Magic volumes 1 and 2. These are almost seminar transcripts which are pretty easy reading.

Let's pick up where Bandler and Neale and Parr (above) all look at the same subject from their perspectives and see what we can do to help our condition in magicdom.

:)

In the mean time, I ask a simpler question:

What specifically tells you that magic has happened when you are an audience member at a performance?
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tommy
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Seeing something that the magician has shown us that defies nature.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
kregg
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Having read The Magic Mirror, Mr. Neale hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "...a simple definition of magic was impossible."
Here we are twenty-six pages later and somewhere in between Whit shared his wonderfully detailed definition. The problem with both definitions lands us on opposite ends of the ideal.
Whit's is a lengthy monologue, whereas, Neale's is a concise definition which needs to expanded on using a lengthy monologue.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Kregg, rather than look outside to Neale's work for now, since not enough folks have read the book (yet), would you offer some direct feedback about magic?

I know magic happened when _______________________

so we can get to a definition that has both perspective and objective (sensory) componants.

:)
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kregg
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I asked before, how many of you watched the David Blaine show when he performed a card trick for a primitive tribe in a rain forest near you? The tribesman didn't get it, they couldn't relate to a deck of cards. (Talk about a wake up call- missed by so many magicians!) A thumb tip might have been too strong; for them magic was a ritual, a medicine man or a witch doctor warding off evil spirits.
Communication is the key to magic. I know I've made the connection of persuading ones thoughts to "know" (think) magic has happened when I see a certain look on a persons face. The look most left with childhood. The look a baby gives when wind blows in their face.
They get it, they got it, they want to know how and they can relate to my entertaining distraction in our fast moving world. To them, I am a magician.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Good description Kregg.

How would you compare that to the effect of a pattern interrupt induction?

( folks tend to go blank and open up if you interrupt an entrained behavior pattern )

??
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