Friday, August 19, 2022

Could It Be Magic?

Performing magic is something that has become a very broad term. On the one hand, there are people who perform spells in a Wiccan, naturalist sense which are designed, supposedly, to bring safety, prosperity and good luck. Then there are showman magicians who perform what might more reasonably be described as “tricks” which fool the eye and make it appear that they have done what we consider to be impossible – such as sawing another person in half and rejoining them, or making an object disappear totally.

It makes for a question – what is magic? The accepted definition as listed by numerous dictionaries is the use of supernatural forces to control natural forces. What we understand by magic, at least in an everyday sense, is simply people seeming to do this as opposed to anyone actually carrying it out. That coin is not disappearing and magically reappearing behind your ear – but a skilled illusionist can make it appear so.

There are arguments for and against the existence of an ability of people to perform actual magic. Unexplained events are often attributed to unseen forces controlling an event or an entity. It is hard to completely disprove this, but often there are other, more realistic explanations for such events. It ends up coming down to what we believe (in the absence of any measurable demonstration of the existence of magic) and really, is that not part of the fun of magic? Knowing how you have done something, and not explaining it?

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