Skepticism or Spirituality, Automaton or Magician?

Magician Automation

Magician Automation

I like stage and street magic, from Harry Houdini to David Blaine.  Part of it is intellectual.  Can we solve the puzzle how somebody created the illusion?  We know it’s a trick.   Sometimes we can’t solve the trick with logic.  Then it creates an interesting response.  If only for a brief second, it feels as if the supernatural actually happened.  Like wow!

Carter The Magician

Carter The Magician

There is a small connection between the stage magician and the mystical ceremonial magician of  “Key of Solomon” fame.  Old magic posters of great magicians offer some interesting symbolism.  They often include motifs of the genuine supernatural, such as infernal spirits conferring with or aiding the magician.  The symbolism is obvious…to hint that maybe the magician is something more then only stage magic.  That suggestion is only show business.  However behind the symbolism is the recognition that stage magic plays off the real thing…ceremonial magic.  

Considering the traditions of real magic, in the past people would use magic tricks to pretend they had supernatural powers.  Fake spiritualists used  seances and “spirit cabinets” to commit fraud and fleece the public.  Houdini was famous for his work debunking the frauds.  Today we have famous skeptics like the Amazing James Randi doing the same thing.  Randi is involved with a magazine devoted to skepticism aptly named…The Skeptic.

I blog about the occult and I endorse a magazine dedicated to skepticism?  Yes!  It really is a great magazine.  I understand the importance of hearing all sides of a viewpoint.  The Skeptic magazine takes a strictly materialistic, atheist worldview that I personally reject.  Are we all only Automatons? 

The skeptical viewpoint is important because they are correct more often then not.  They debunk a lot of nonsense.  Beware they have an agenda, a philosophical opposition to ANYTHING spiritual.  To their credit have debates with spiritual types such as Deepak Chopra.  The Chopra articles are especially good…they alone worth reading the magazine.  Thumbs up!

Another magazine I like with a spiritual viewpoint was recently renamed, EnlightenNext founded by Andrew Cohen.

This magazine offers an eclectic mix of spiritual viewpoints.  I really appreciate that their views are not at odds with science but accept scientific reality as a part of spiritually. Again, not everything they write about I would personally agree with.   But reading only what we believe in is not the approach to enlightenment.   An open mind should not believe in everything, or in nothing.

Below is a video I took at the ‘House On The Rock’ in Wisconsin.  It is an Automaton of a Magician.   A wonderful mechanism!  People who visited House on the Rock said it was awesome.  I followed their advice.  Did it measure up?  It far exceeded my expectations.  It is not a tourist trap.  It is a real experience, if you like interesting objects.  The place is filled with fabulous collections of the real and the imagined.   The pictures of the magician posters  above were taken in their cafeteria.

6 Responses to “Skepticism or Spirituality, Automaton or Magician?”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    I agree with you. I pride myself on critical thinking and even some level of skepticism, but I’m unwilling to close my mind as well.

    If I’m personally unwilling to reject science (and I am) except as part of the world around me, I also see no reason to let my confidence in science close my mind to what I can’t explain scientifically.

    As for the debunking of fake fakirs and the like – it’s a good thing just like the peer reviews and the objective evidence required in science. A bad scientist reflects on the rest of us. So should a charletan posing as a psychic.

  2. David Says:

    Stephanie, I like your term “critical thinking”. I don’t see a conflict between science and spirituality. They compliment each other. If we embrace science without spirituality, or spirituality without science, we are just limiting our self.

  3. Natalina (Extraordinary Intelligence) Says:

    Hey there! What a magical post! I really loved the video. I’ve fallen a bit out of the loop of late, so have a lot of catching up to do with your fantastic site. I’m going to be doing a feature soon on Extraordinary Intelligence highlighting my favorite blogs, web sites, and writers online. Guess who made the list??? You!

  4. David Says:

    Hi Natalina,
    I added your great site to my blogroll. I really liked your current post about occultism including mentioning the video “Occult Experience”. That was an interesting documentary.

  5. natalina Says:

    Awww, you’re the best! “Occult Experience” is eye, ear, and brain candy, isn’t it?

  6. Arlene deWinter Says:

    I love the automata!

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