Friday, June 19, 2009

Magic Again

I saw a man do psychic surgery once. Psychic surgery is the removal of tumors and such like without anesthesia or instruments. The patient lay on a table, and I saw the surgeon, who is usually a holy man, stiffen his fingers, then push his hand into the stomach of the patient. I saw it go almost fully in, saw some blood seep from the wound, and then saw the hand withdraw with a bloody mess of tissue in it.
Then the surgeon told us how it was done. A scam, pure and simple. He'd concealed a blood-filled scrap of sponge in his hand, curled his fingers under to make it look like the hand was penetrating the stomach, and squeezed the sponge. Voila!
I think that there are two kinds of magic: Tricks and things we don't know about. About 99% of magic is tricks. Spoon bending, for instance, depends on certain tendencies of our visual system. That wonderful palm reading you got used a technique called cold reading. A friend showed me a picture of her and her aura that sure looked like clumsy PhotoShop.
But how about that 1% (assuming you believe me about the 99%). People speak in hushed tones, saying, "There are just some things that we can't explain."
That's a lapse in logic. Just because we can't explain them doesn't make them magical or spiritual. It makes them unexplained.
Take UFO's for instance. Believers admit that most UFO sightings can be explained. The rest, they say, proves the existence of UFO's. Well Duh. What do you suppose UFO stands for? Unidentified Flying Object. It does not stand for Flying Saucer or Little Green Men Who Abduct Cows and Credulous Persons.

4 comments:

bekkieann said...

I agree with you totally, yet I read my horoscope every day anyway. Why? Hedging my bets maybe?

On both your houses said...

The neat thing about horoscopes is that no matter which one you read, it fits. I'm a Leo, but if some evil person mixed up the day's horoscopes and mislabled them, the horoscope I got would still fit (It's been done, btw)

bekkieann said...

I believe it. In fact, from now on, I'm going to just choose the sign that has the prediction I prefer.

On both your houses said...

Absolutely. That way you will always have a good day.