What makes us live for magic and illusion?


People seem to seek out the wonderful, the unexplainable, and the unimaginable. From early on in life when babies begin to play peek-a-boo with their parents, or wonder where Grandpa's thumb has gone, or why Uncle took their nose, humans like to be amazed and surprised. Magicians and illusionists, Bigfoot sightings, Alien Abductions, Ghosts, Creatures of the Deep like Loch Ness, all evoke a sense that there is more to the mundane world just out of sight or just out of reach, and we humans are here for it.

Many of us look at magicians as holders of secrets. Howard Thurston had 3 rules for magic, #1 was Never Reveal The Secret of Your Trick (2 and 3 are practice to perfection and never repeat the same trick to the same audience). Once the secret has been revealed the trick holds no wonder. Many magicians to this day hold the same rule and keep their trade secrets...secret. This allows us, the audience, to believe that there is no trick and that our great performer well and truly understands magical wonders. People the world over are captivated and enthralled with the idea that magic as we believed in it as children, does exist somewhere. We can feel this in other forms of entertainment also. When we watch our favorite television show and cry at the death of a character, or when we pick up a book and are transported into a fantastical world, we know that these things aren't real, but we allow ourselves for at least that moment to believe that they could be real. Magic is the same. We allow ourselves for a moment to believe that these amazing feats could be real. 

One of my favorite things growing up was watching David Copperfield with my dad. After the show I would spend days trying to figure out how he did it. How did he make the statue of liberty disappear? How did he escape from that underwater prison? I was fascinated, as are millions around the world to this day. 

Humans love mystery, they love figuring it out, but even more, they love when they can't figure it out because maybe, somewhere deep in the woods or far into the desert, maybe there isn't anything to figure out, and maybe if we believe enough, magic won't be just an illusion and our imaginations will soar with possibilities. 

So we believe in magic. We get to keep some innocent part of ourselves that craves fantasy over reality, and allows us to exercise our imaginations. Humans aren't designed to crunch numbers and update spreadsheets for their lives, we're designed to innovate and create. Illusionists and magicians help every day to keep our world wonderful.

Believe, Imagine and stay filled with Strangery. 

-Deb


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