Ancient Levitation – Magicians Secret Crafts Revealed

Ancient Levitation – Magicians Secret Crafts Revealed

Since the dawn of its existence, mankind has developed survival skills.  One of the very basic survival skills modern man does not even pay much attention to, is the need to make sense of our environment. If we can anticipate the next actions of a predator, or an opponent, we can counter an attack and survive.  This primitive survival mechanism operates within the parameters of our subconscious reptile brain.  Our incoming senses register – we see a snake - and a message is relayed down the spine at lightning speed – we jump.  This is an automatic reaction.  Only later may our rational brains take charge and reason that it was a fake snake.  What we think we see, is often not what we are looking at. This concept is illustrated in the notes of a 15th century book written by a natural born trickster, Thomas Betson, a monk at Syon Abbey in Middlesex. Forsaking the code of secrecy of illusionists, Betson wrote down the inner mechanics of a trick in which he stashed a ‘beetle inside a hollowed-out apple so that when it began to mysteriously rock back and forth, people believed it to be possessed’.

Our brains will try to make sense of what we see.

Our brains will try to make sense of what we see.  (Photo by Muu-karhu CC BY-SA 3.0)

It would have taken a pretty smart person to have watched that apple wobbling on a table and to have suspected that a tiny creature might have been hidden inside it. Most of us, based on the available data provided by our five sensory streams, would have measured up the legs of the table or looked for signs of a thread having been attached to the apple. But a hidden beetle! Who would have thought!


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