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If you cut a lady in half to prove you can read minds, you probably won't be too "successful," ie; you will in most cases "fail" to prove. To prove you can read minds and "succeed" at doing it, you have to follow certain rules. The space between success and failure is where you'll find disagreement. When you superimpose that space over the variety of belief systems you're likely to encounter, there's lots of room for false rules. One indication of whether you are on to something is to check to see if you are achieving what it is you wish to achieve.

Here's a very simple example of how a rule might be formed and broken...

A mindreader performs at several "Black-Tie" events and shows up in jeans and a leather jacket. He doesn't get hired back. He decides to dress "Black-Tie" and gets hired back. He learns about the rule of dressing as good or slightly better than those where he's performing. Rules are made to "model" success.

Now someone comes along and dresses completely inappropriately but has a show that supports the dress... he becomes successful... and he broke the rule. He's labeled an "innovator." Well just because "he" does it and is successful with "his" show, doesn't mean you can do it and be successful with yours.

You shouldn't deduce from this that dressing up or down is written in stone. It's only appropriate as it applies to you. Rules can intersect and overlap and create a lot of confusion in the process. But, rules are good if they help you get where you want to go.
Mortimer Graves
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Dr Spektor, that was a truly insightful post, in my opinion.

Having begun with magic, and having had to unlearn and re-learn many aspects of what I thought the arts were about in order to enter into an entirely different art form using similar techniques, I have a great appreciation for that kind of thinking.

In that context, even an otherwise standard magic trick can be made into something entirely other. As long as they don't think you're simply doing a magic trick but are instead doing something entirely within their minds (like causing them to hallucinate or otherwise controlling their sensory impressions through the use of mental influence), and as long as it has the intended effect on the audience (and they are entertained by it), then I believe it's valid. As long as by the time you're done they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it wasn't a magic trick.

There are rules that make things work and parameters that clarify what we're doing, and then there are imaginary limitations and restrictions which true artists transcend. This transcendence is literally "thinking outside the box", and that's true art, too.

At least that's what I believe.

I also think sandsjr makes a valid point; it's not simply breaking rules that makes for transcendence of limitations, it's how and when we do it. A true artist knows when to bend or break the rules, and how to use it to the greatest effect. History bears witness to this as well.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
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