jfcff^K F I want to influence matter—say I would like to alter a piece of wood—what Ys^&mj would I use? Of course I would not try to make such an alteration with my mind. //7\[\) ml In my mind I could try to change the shape of the wood, but it is improbable O that any change would occur. No, using another material object would be better, a knife maybe; then I could carve the wood to the exact shape I desire.
Now, what if I wish to change your thoughts? Would I use a knife? Yes, by using a knife, I might be able to appear to change your thoughts. Governments have attempted to change the thoughts of their citizens by using such things as knifes, guns, tanks. But did it really change the thoughts of the people? Or did those people just pretend their thoughts had changed while the threat was present? How much easier it is to change someone's thoughts by giving them other thoughts.
Matter and thoughts. To change each of them, you need the right tool. Use the wrong one and you are likely to have little, if any, success.
When we perform magic, what do we change? Is it something that people see or hear or smell, or is it what people believe they see, hear or smell? Are we not painting a picture of another reality, one that does not really exist, but only seems to exist? It is an impression. It is a supposition that people believe. It is a chimera. Magic only exists in their minds; it does not exist in reality.
If it can only exist in their minds, then are we not changing peoples thoughts? And if magic consists of changing thoughts, then the tool we need, as magicians, is obvious. Of course, we could proceed as do those obtuse governments who still haven't learned that one cannot change thoughts with matter. We could try to change our audiences' thoughts with material things, like props and gimmicks. We could be that misguided.
Our movements, too, are fundamentally material, although most of the time they tend to carry meaning and, therefore, are fed by thought and can change thoughts in others. However, gestures such as waving silk handkerchiefs in a presumably elegant fashion are actions that convey little thought. They are essentially material in nature.
To be truly successful as magicians, though, we must understand that magic is an art of the mind, and to achieve a genuine feeling of magic we must use our own minds to affect those of our audiences. There is no better or more efficient tool: thoughts to change thoughts. Psychology, then, is our main and primary method. It is the key pillar on which magic rests.
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