The Art of Misdirection

Magic intrigues me. All of its incarnations have had palpable effects on the world, yet they are almost all completely unrecognized.

When I refer to magic I mean the entirety of it, that would include stage magic, the kind we are all familiar with, illusions, tricks, pulling a rabbit out the hat and so forth; but I also mean serious magical activities, such as ritual magic or sigil magic, that which deals with the psyche, and who knows? Perhaps paranormal forces; and I also mean real magic, the intensity of the creative act, which is the real something from nothing, the real alchemy, as it were.

Many people might reared this as a minute topic of little interest, or perhaps something superficial, childish or fantastic, but let me admonish the reader that magic is something far more profound, something far more impactful. In fact, I would argue that we are immersed in sorcery of every kind, and by remaining ignorant to it is a detriment to yourself, your family and society.

On this brief foray, this scratching of the surface, I simply want to point out a specific aspect of stage magic, misdirection, and allude to alternate applications for it in society.

Quoting From an article titled “The Psychology of Magic: 3 Critical Techniques” by Jeremy Dean:

Physical misdirection is a well-known tool for the magician: he points at an object, a big gesture distracts, spectators fixate on a suddenly appearing dove. All are designed to distract from another movement that is vital for the trick.

Psychological misdirection is much more subtle – a good example is the false solution. This is where the magician leads spectators to believe they’ve worked out how the trick is done. Once this ‘solution’ is suggested people are much less likely to notice the clues that crop up as to how it’s really done. Instead people look for confirmation that their own theory is correct. When the magician finally shows this ‘solution’ is no such thing, spectators are left even more bemused. The false solution is, therefore, not just a happy coincidence, it is used as a distraction from the real solution.

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