This is going to be a very interesting study for me to see how the material in this chapter is received. I am hoping beyond hope that you, the reader, will actually try what I am about to suggest in real life. Please read what follows with an open mind.
Wfe live in a physical world. I have already given my understanding of how we fit into this world as magicians and what I believe we should try to accomplish. I have talked about Tom Bombadil and how this literary example can lead us to be masters of our physical surroundings. But how many of us are not masters at all? How many of us are actually at odds with our physical universe? Are you wondering what I am talking about? Let me explain.
How often do you grab something with twice the force necessary? How often do you bump into things or knock things over? How often do you break things because you tried to make it turn in the wrong way or forced something to go where it wasn't meant to go? Have you ever put something down where it didn't fit and it fell off the table? Are you starting to understand? Have you ever noticed that some people manhandle everything they touch and are extremely clumsy while others have a delicacy of movement? Do you ever walk into someone's home where everything is bruised and broken while others have the nicest possessions in perfect condition? Are you in harmony with nature or constantly fighting against it?
Being a master of the physical universe, we, as magicians, ought to have this gentleness of touch. I am not referring to constantly waving your hands around in delicate gestures, but we ought to be able to pick up articles and handle them in a smooth and refined manner. We ought to be in harmony with our surroundings. I have studied how certain television programs and motion pictures use close-up shots of an actor's hands to arrest your attention and imply the expertise of the person making the motions.
One of the most remarkable uses of this kind of editing was common in the old television series, Mission Impossible. Close-up shots of Barney's hands while he altered some electronic piece of equipment or built an ingenious device were spellbinding. The producers were able to impart a feeling of great skill by the simple motion of a hand turning a screwdriver or securing an electronic contact. Each movement was precise and perfect with no wasted effort or undo force.
Not only can a feeling of expertise be projected through ones hands, but other emotions as well. I first noticed this phenomenon in my dear wife, Lisa. She loves to decorate our home and is constantly adding and changing the look of rooms.
One day I watched her carefully lay out a new configuration of figurines and candles on a table. As she placed each item delicately down, she actually caressed them as if to show her love of their beauty and her fondness for them. I remember thinking how sweet to be able to love elegance in that way and what a wonderful quality that was.
On the other hand, contrast that with a person who is obviously having a bad day and is throwing everything around! Perhaps you have been guilty yourself of steaming over some matter of concern and letting your anger flow through your hands taking its revenge on the innocent matter you came into contact with. Many of us don't even require a mood swing to be guilty of maligning our physical universe.
Before I offer my remedy, let me ask you a final question. Do you have good and bad days for your magic? Do you find that sometimes moves and sleights just seem to flow effortlessly, while other days everything seems to get hung up and caught on the edges? Do you have days where you really have to work hard to make everything go right?
I have pondered this problem for a long time. I have watched myself in a mirror for hours, trying to evaluate what I am doing, either right or wrong. I have practiced moving slower, smoother, lighter and a hundred other ways. They are artificial. They fail the second you take your mind off them and they require conscious effort that you lose the moment you apply your thinking to what you are saying and your spectators.
In Making Magic Real, I discussed an automatic way to have your subconscious take over the conscious work of hiding sleights and angles. By making your magic real for yourself, you are able to concentrate solely on that belief and let your inner self take over the work on the other end. What I'm about to propose works in a similar way. Once you practice it for a while, you will see a profound change in the way you move and act. You will also see an increased sureness in your sleight of hand and a noticeable increase in the ease of learning new moves. Most importantly, you will see a change in how your audience accepts your magic!
My simple discovery is to go through your life each day doing your daily routine, trying to make as little noise as possible. That's right. Try to make no noise (or as little as possible) as you walk, pick up articles, cook, drive, etc. Before you throw something at your computer screen and demand your money back, first hear me out.
The outward result of a person's incompatibility with nature is noise! It is only when you are using too much force and bumping into things that you make a lot of noise. Look at wild animals. Even the largest and bulkiest walk and move more silently than most humans.
If you constantly try to be less noisy, you will find yourself altering your life in a lot of subtle and different ways. You will look at what you are doing. You will handle items in a slower and more deliberate way. You will think ahead before making actions. You will grip items with a lighter but surer touch. You will be, in overall movement, more deliberate and accurate. There will develop a certain calmness about your style.
You will be aware of how things lie and where you need to grip them to pick them up cleanly. You will put delicate items in your hands in such a way as to not risk injury to them. You will notice where you are about to put something down and whether there is enough room for it to fit. You will plan your actions a split second before you make them.
At first, doing this will be a conscious effort. You might only try it for a limited time (perhaps an hour or so) for the first few days. As you practice, you will find it becoming more automatic. Whenever you do break your stride and make too much noise, you will become instantly aware of it. After awhile, as you become more proficient, you will find yourself moving in a new way!
Allow me to reverse examine what I am talking about. Look and notice people around you. ^Vho are the ones who make the most noise? Aren't they the insecure, the impatient and the nervous? It is the people who really seem to have their act together who are the most deliberate and quiet.
There are secondary benefits to this exercise. Your body is a whole and it is almost impossible to have a temperamental disposition if your movements are calm. It becomes almost mandatory to do other things in life with a similar attitude. If you find yourself moving in a more orderly and calm manner, you may just start to speak that way, too! Speech patterns depend on our disposition and a calm one will be reflected.
You may also lose your temper less often. Not only our speech patterns, but also the manner in which we handle objects, can be determined by our tempers. ^Vhen we are mad, it usually results in noise, either verbal or physical. Making a conscious effort to reduce the noise we make has the reverse effect of deflating our built-up emotions before they can explode.
Other secondary benefits will also become automatic. If you make noise in the morning because you are too lazy to put your slippers fully on your feet and trip over the slackness, you will take the time to lean over and slip them on correctly. Since sloppiness promotes noise because of things getting in your way and your impatience trying to find something you are looking for, you might find yourself tidying up a bit. It is incredible what will happen if you follow my advice.
If you are thinking this is all nonsense, just try it! I never read of this concept anywhere nor did anyone tell me about it. I came up with the idea myself just out of common sense. You will see after only a short time that it works, but you have to do your part. You have to actually practice what I have said. The wonderful thing is no one will know you are doing it! You can go about your life developing this skill without drawing any attention to yourself. ^Vhat attention you may draw will be a noticeable difference in the attitude people have toward you. You may suddenly find them more attentive and respectful.
What are the magic benefits? You will see, once you get into your silent/calm mode and begin to perform. Your fingers will be surer of their grip. You won't brush over half-mastered sleights done clumsily. Instead, you will take the time to learn them properly and the learning process will come easier. You will look at what you are doing thereby directing your spectators to look also! They will follow your hands with a new respect and you will appear to be a master of your craft.
The effectiveness of your misdirection will also increase a thousand per cent. Coupled with the magic state of mind, you will automatically draw attention to where you want it (since the magic is real for you) and your movements will be more convincing than ever! There is no down side. You can only win if you follow my advice.
I am profoundly certain of this concept and I pray you will at least give it a try.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.