14 think we are … and just beyond to a state of mind we experienced naturally as small children but that society devalued then made taboo as we became adults .
Here ’ s basically how it works , give or take a few metaphors .
You came into this world a blank slate . No ideas about who you are or what anything is . You ’ re just being . And it feels great … because there are no options , or opinions or judgements . There is no right or wrong .
Everything is everything . That ’ s what you see in a baby ’ s eyes . Pure child ’ s mind . Then , very quickly , we learn stuff . The names of ten thousand things , who we are , what we ’ re supposed to be , what ’ s good and bad according to the current rules of the game . And you organize all of this information into little boxes . And when any new information comes along you file it into the appropriate box .
Right now you might be filing these very thoughts into the whack-o ideas box . I understand . You ’ re just doing your job . You ’ ve been trained to do this since birth . You have thus created your worldview .
There ’ s no particular reality to any of this . But it ’ s in your head and you know the territory , and it ’ s where all your thoughts do their thinking . But we quickly forget what was there in the first place because these thousands of little thought-boxes are stacked up so tight that the original clear space of child ’ s mind is completely covered up . It ’ s not gone . It ’ s just blocked by this wall of over-stuffed boxes .
And then along comes a focused piece of strange in the form of magical effect . Let ’ s say this book vanishes from your hands . “ Poof ” no book . Your trained mind races into action and tries to put this piece of strange into one of its rational boxes . But no box will hold it . At that moment of trying to box the un-boxable your world view breaks up .
The boxes are gone . And what ’ s left ? Simply what was always there . Your natural state of mind . That ’ s the moment of astonishment . The sudden experience of going from boxes to no boxes . If you can keep the fear-response from arising , you have the experience of going from a cluttered adult mind to the original clear space . Gee , it almost makes you feel like a kid again .
For most people the moment lasts less than ten seconds . Then because we crave the security of our missing world view , we quickly build a new box . The “ it-went-up-his-sleeve ” box or the “ it-was-all-donewith-mirrors ” box or even the “ I-don ’ t-know-whathappened-but-I-know-it-was-a-trick ” box . And that ’ s all it takes . One thought , one guess , even a wrong one , and the boxes all come back , natural mind gets covered up , and the moment of astonishment is over .
Astonishment is not an emotion that ’ s created . It ’ s an existing state that ’ s revealed .
So what ’ s the point ?
This new model redefines the magician ’ s valuable role in our culture as an “ astonishment guide ” who can help others experience their natural state of mind . This is a galactic leap from the magician ’ s current role as a novelty entertainer , or super conman or Mr . Ego . The center of magic has always been the therapeutic experience of our natural state of mind . But that primal experience is so powerful and the taboo of “ losing ” our mind is so great that we water down the experience with jokes and excuses and “ hey , it ’ s just a trick .”
When the experience of astonishment starts to be recognized as a highly valued destination , the win / lose magician vs . spectator game starts to dissolve . Suddenly you ’ re both on the same team … equally responsible for getting the most out of the moment .
More experienced astonishee ’ s who ’ ve learned to surrender to the moment and sink into the astonishment will be rewarded with a deeper , more sustained experience . Others who feel compelled to
ASTONISHMENT IS NOT AN EMOTION .
IT ‘ S AN EXISITNG STATE THAT ‘ S REVEALED .