Quotes From Magicians on Magic, Illusions, and Mystery

May 5, 2021

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Magic as a performance art — and a tool of charlatans and con men — has been around for centuries. The classic “cups and balls” illusion, in which balls seem to appear and disappear beneath cups, was performed by Roman conjurors in 3 BCE. For hundreds of years, books have been published that attempt to teach or explain the craft of illusion and stage magic. One of the first such books was Reginald Scot’s The Discoverie of Witchcraft, published in 1584, in which the author tried to explain magic tricks primarily as an exposé of witchcraft.

Modern performance magic exists in a variety of forms, from the dramatic antics of escape artists such as Harry Houdini to the unsettling abilities of mentalists such as Derren Brown. Some magicians, such as David Copperfield, prefer grand theatrics, while others deal in close-up sleight-of-hand. But whether they perform on the stages of Las Vegas or in the streets of their hometown, all these magicians have one thing in common: They like to leave their audience thinking, “How did they do that?” Despite this common end goal, different magicians perceive their art in various ways. For some it is complex trickery, while for others it’s more akin to music, as the following quotes from famous modern-day magicians reveal.

What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.
– Harry Houdini

Magic’s an emotion that someone feels when they witness something amazing. It could be a shared experience, which is what I try to make my magic about. I want it to be an experience that we share together.
– Dynamo

Magic is like Coca-Cola, in the hands of the poorest and richest kids. No matter who you are, magic, like music, speaks to everyone. It’s a passport into any culture or family. My motivation is to elicit other people into the feeling it gives me.
– Drummond Money-Coutts

My object is to mystify and entertain. I wouldn’t deceive you for the world.
– Howard Thurston

Magicians are the most honest people in the world: They tell you they’re going to fool you, and then they do it.
– James Randi

The inspiration for my illusions comes from many places. Most often they come from my dreams, or an everyday occurrence in life. I have always wanted to put another face on Mount. Rushmore or making the moon vanish, so you see I have a lot of work ahead of me.
– David Copperfield

One of the fundamental joys of magic is it’s an intellectual art form at one level, and as a viewer, you’re trying to reconcile what you see with what you know. The joy of it is going, “That’s impossible! No it can’t be. Yes it is! No it can’t be. Yes it is!” And these two things are colliding — what you see is colliding with what you know.
– Teller

One thing you learn doing magic tricks for a living is how close every performance of every magic trick is to disaster. There are no robust magic tricks. They’re all hanging from a thread — sometimes literally.
– Penn Jillette

Magic makes you think about yourself every moment you’re in the theater because you’re asking yourself, “Where does reality leave off and make-believe begin? This guy is screwing with me, this guy is messing with my brain.” It is a fantastically interesting art form.
– Teller

When a magician shows you a trick, he’s guiding how we edit reality to form this story that’s amazing. But we’re doing it all the time. It’s a great analogy for how we interpret the world.
– Derren Brown

Many of the techniques used by magicians were developed by, or in tandem with, grifters and hustlers and con artists. Magic and cons are kindred arts.
– Alex Stone

Magic, all it is, is piano-playing. It’s the exact same thing. The main difference, though, is that in magic, you’re hiding all of your skills.
– Shin Lim

We think we know how everything works, and if we don’t know, Google will tell us. But magic, when done correctly, allows you to connect with a person and show them something impossible they can’t explain. It’s a powerful thing.
– Darcy Oake

The eight trends that will define 2021–and beyond

What’s ahead for McKinsey? A conversation with Bob Sternfels.

A coaching paradox – by Seth Godin

* A coaching paradox [ https://p.feedblitz.com/r3.asp?l=179440071&f=1081591&c=7821567&u=5102652 ]

At the top tier of just about any sort of endeavor, you’ll find that the performers have coaches.

Pianists, orators and athletes all have coaches. In fact, it would be weird if we heard of someone on stage or on the field who didn’t have one.

And yet, in the world of business, they’re seen as the exception.

Part of the reason is that work feels like an extension of something we’ve been doing our whole lives. Figure skating isn’t like school, but showing up at work seems to be. “I’ve got this,” is a badge of honor.

And part of the reason is that a few coaches have made claims that stretch belief, and we’re not actually sure what they do. It doesn’t help that there’s no easy way to identify what sort of coach we need or what we’re going to get…

It turns out that the people with the potential to benefit the most from a coach are often the most hesitant precisely because of what coaching involves.

Talking about our challenges. Setting goals. Acknowledging that we can get better. Eagerly seeking responsibility…

And yet we avert our eyes and hesitate. It might be because having a coach might be interpreted as a sign of weakness. And what if we acknowledge our challenges but fail to overcome them? It could be that we don’t want to cause change to happen, or that we’re worried that we will.

One company I admire believes in coaches so much that they’ve put several on staff, ensuring that their leadership all benefit from one. But mostly, it’s something we have to pay for ourselves.

And so, paying for a coach, for something that’s hard to measure, which might be socially awkward, to get better at something that feels normal—combine that with a hesitancy to ask for help—it’s a wonder anyone has a coach.

The paradox is that the very things that hold us back are the reasons we need a coach in the first place.

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17 Quotes About the Peace and Power of the Ocean | Inspiring Quotes

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.
— John F. Kennedy

To me, the sea is a continual miracle; the fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them. What stranger miracles are there?
— Walt Whitman

The sea, that great library of books one cannot read.
— Ian Fleming

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.
— E.E. Cummings

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
— Jacques Cousteau

But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean.
—  H.P. Lovecraft

No water, no life. No blue, no green.
— Sylvia Earle, American marine biologist and author

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.
— Danish writer Karen Christence Dinesen

And somebody told me this is the place
where everything’s better, and everything’s safe.
Walk on the ocean, step on the stones.
Flesh becomes water, wood becomes bone.
— “Walk on the Ocean,” 1991 song by Toad the Wet Sprocket

Ocean… It is Time perhaps,
or the vessel filled with all motion, pure Oneness,
that death cannot touch, the visceral green of consuming totality…
— Pablo Neruda

Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths.
— Rumi

When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Austro-German poet

A wave in the sea, seen in one way, seems to have a distinct identity, an end and a beginning, a birth and a death. Seen in another way, the wave doesn’t really exist, but is just the behavior of water, ‘empty’ of any separate identity, but ‘full’ of water.
— Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist teacher and author

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells and pebbles and the seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.
— Helen Keller

In one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans.
— Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American writer and artist

He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea.
— George Herbert, English poet and priest

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is the birthday of the Rolling Stones? The Rolling Stones first performed in 1962 at the Marquee Club in London, England. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Elmo Lewis (aka Brian Jones) were the inaugural members of the band. Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined the band later.


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

— Lao Tzu


ValorousV AL-ər-əsPart of speech: adjectiveOrigin: French, late 15th century
1Showing great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.
Examples of Valorous in a sentence “George Washington proved valorous during the Battle of Trenton in 1776. ” “Joan of Arc was considered such a valorous heroine that she was canonized as a saint.”