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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8929 Posts

Profile of funsway
For some magicians now cloistered at safe distance from pesty others,
enjoying a quite Sunday morning with no call to church or mowing of lawn,
still nestled in bed ...

awake! It is time to consider some deeper thoughts about magic and you part in the wonder of it all ..
or not. Skip to the next post if you are wise.

I put down thoughts, new and old because that is my calling.

You do not have to look for magic, my friend;
any more than you have to breathe on a mirror to know that you are alive.
No, you “make your mark”
to prove to others that you are physically alive,
and appreciate mystery to demonstrate that your soul is alive.
You laugh!
If there are definitions on which no two people can agree
they are “soul” and “magic” –
which proves my point intuitively. O
That is a third non-definable term.
How is it that we can utilize concepts we do not understand?
It’s magic!

Neurobiologists have made tremendous advances in recent decades on understanding how the human brain functions. Most of the insight has come from studying persons with disabilities. When a “normal” physical function is lost it is possible to isolate which part of the brain controls that function. Sometimes artificial stimulation of that area can reactivate the function. In other cases a pretended stimulation (psychological) can trick the mind into finding new neural paths to replicate the desired activity by other means. For example, a problem called “phantom limb syndrome” is cured by using a magic trick with mirrors based on the famous effect “Pepper’s Ghost.” Impossible results can be achieved by pretending that the limitation does not exist. It’s magic!

The ability to learn from error is pivotal to human advancement. Instinctively we would react to any stimulus by the “four F’s.” (Fight, Flight, Feed, Procreation) Rationally we can override these impulses through comparison of the event to previous experience and enjoy a wide range of responses. Ideally, we later compare the chosen response with our value orientation and “screen of logic” in an ever more effective loop of human interaction and comprehension. Functionally, our brain is continuously anticipating and predicting outcomes based on our experience, offering us a barrage of option to be eliminated in a “free won’t” process. We all have mirror neurons called “fortune-telling” neurons that allow us to imitate other people’s actions and guess at intentions. It’s magic!

There is a popular fiction that the universe of awareness can be divided between “what we know” and things imagined or conceived but not yet proved. In reality we deal with information about which we have various degrees of certainty, most of which is believed rather than known. We wallow in an “illusion of knowledge” rather than certitude, with a little dogma based conviction thrown in. We make decisions based on perceptions rather than actual facts or self-verified truths. What we consider to be possible and impossible is also more perception than fact. Change the perception and you change the importance of barriers placed in our paths by others – and by ourselves. That’s magic!

By now you should be appreciating that out lives are guided more by magic than science. At least you might accept that our ability to manipulate uncertainty is critical to sanity if not success. Anyone defined by our culture as being “disabled” is forced into uncertainly about viable options in life. Most of these are perceptions and illusions based on believing rather than knowing. The key to becoming “more than able” is found in manipulating perceptions – yours and those of others with whom you must interact. Performance magic pretends at controlling the impossible. i.e. what is perceived to be impossible. You are practicing skills that will also work in solving real problems in life. More importantly, you can serve as a model for others in how to solve impossible problems.

It’s magic!
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Western Wisconsin, USA, Earth
143 Posts

Profile of dustrod
Very enlightening. Thanks funsway.
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