Penn & Teller‘s seven basic principles of magic and how they apply to the topics of this blog.
Palm: to hide an object.
Attention is absorbed into content of stories, and what we are does not notice itself. It is hidden in plain view.
Also, when stories are taken as true they are not recognized as stories. For instance, as soon as there is identification with the image of a separate I, it becomes the eyeball that cannot see itself.
Ditch: secretly dispose of an object.
Everything self-liberates. Something happens in experience, and it is gone before it has even manifested.
Steal: secretly obtain an object.
Whatever happens arrives out of thin air, out of nowhere.
Load: remove an object to where it is needed.
Identification moves into a sense of a separate I.
Also, the sense of a separate I sometimes move around, especially when attention is brought to it. (It moves to another location, as the “new” observer of where it just was.)
Simulation: give the impression something has happened that hasn’t.
What appears in the sense fields seem substantial and real when my stories about them are taken as true and real.
Misdirection: lead attention away from a secret move.
Attention goes from what is really happening and to what appears to happen.
There are several variations:
Attention goes into the content of stories and away from noticing them as just stories.
Attention goes to interpretations of what happens in the sense fields, away from what is actually happening there.
Attention goes to content of experience and away from what we really are. (That which all experience happens within and as.)
Switch: secretely exchange one object with another.
Secretly exchange what is happening in the sense fields with our interpretation of it. (Including that of a separate I doing and observing.)
It appears secret because we don’t notice, attention is occupied elsewhere.
It appears as an exchange to us, even if it just a shift of attention from pure perception to interpretations.
- Penn & Teller, seven basic principles of magic
- palm (hold object in apparently empty hand)
- hide an object, hide gestalts from direct attention
- ditch (secretly dispose of unneded object)
- everything happening self-liberates, goes away in immediacy
- steal (secretly obtain)
- everything arises out of nothing (and as nothing), fresh, new, different
- load (remove to where is needed)
- gestalts, sometimes made to appear somewhere else (such as the observer gestalt when attention is brought to it)
- simulation (give impression something that hasn’t happened has)
- that anything happening, including gestalts, are real and substantial
- misdirection (lead attention away from a secret move)
- attention caught up in stories, away from immediacy of what is happening
- switch (secretly exchange one object for another)
- switch attention from what happens in the sense fields to the mental field overlay (interpretation, image/story about it)
Palm. Hiding gestalts from direct attention. When we don’t notice them as (just) gestalts, we act on them as real.
Emotions, pain, bliss, joy, me, doer, observer are all gestalts, made up of sensations and images. They seem real when they are not noticed as gestalts, made up of sensations and interpretation of these sensations. When attention is brought to how they appear in each sense field, they no longer appear as emotions, pain etc. We cannot easily put any label on them.
Ditch. Anything happening is gone as soon as it appears. It is ephemeral. It self-liberates as they say in Buddhism.
When I bring attention to each sense field, I notice that what appears there is gone as soon as it appears. Even when something appears to stay around, I see that there is only a story that tells me it stays around. In each sense field, it is ephemeral, continiously fresh and new even if stories tells me it is very similar (“same”) as what was just there.
Steal. Anything happening arises out of nothing and as nothing. Fresh, new and different.
When I explore each sense field, I find that what happens arrives out of thin air, out of nowhere.
Load. Gestalts are sometimes made (by other gestalts) to appear somewhere else.
For instance, when I explore the obsever gestalt through the sense fields, I find that it is made up of sensations in the head/mouth/neck area and an image overlay. When attention is brought to this observer gestalt, it tends to appear to shift location – including above, behind or around the head. The location of the gestalt appears somewhere else than the sensations it is made up of.
Simulation. Gestalts appear as solid and real, even if they are not. The sensation component of gestalts (emotions, doer, observer etc.) lends a sense of substance to them, unless they are examined directly.
When I explore emotions, pain, a sense of a doer or observer through the sense fields, I find that they are ephemeral and have no substance. And yet, if attention is not brought to them this way, they appear solid and real.
Misdirection. Attention goes away from what is really happening, and to what appears to happen.
There are several variations:
Attention goes to the content of stories, and not to the gestalts themselves. Gestalts are not recognized as gestalts.
Attention goes to mental field overlays of the sense fields, and not to the sense fields themselves. Attention is directed away from pure perception of the sense fields.
Attention goes to content of experience, and away from what we really are. (That which all content of experience happens within and as.)
Switch. Attention is switched from what is happening in the sense fields to the mental field overlay. To the interpretations (images, stories) of what is happening in the sense fields.
When I bring attention to how something appears in each sense field, there is pure perception. It is ephemeral, no thing appearing as something, and something that cannot easily be labeled. When attention is brought to the stories interpreting these sensations, these stories combine with the sense fields to create gestalts, and these may appear well-defined, solid and real.
Also, when the gestalt of a separate I (doer, observer) is taken as what we are, not only is what we are hidden, but these gestalts are hidden as gestalts. We don’t notice what we really are, and we don’t notice what we take ourselves to be as gestalts.
Also, when stories – including the basic one of a separate I – are taken as true, they are not noticed as stories. They become the eyeball that cannot see itself.