There is no magic; There are only illusions.
There are no wizards; There are only magicians.
The crowd waits for the reveal with bated breath. The curtain drops, and what was, is no longer. The magician bows and accepts the prestige of the illusion. They love the show, and the lights, and the costumes. The crowd love watching the impossible become real. Not because they really believe it, but because they know, ultimately, that it is all a lie.
That’s the fun of it. We know that what our eyes see and our hears hear is not what is true. Penn didn’t really shoot Teller. The real magic is in being fooled, and in admitting that the magician has crafted a puzzle too perfect for us to solve. The audience claps not because they have been made to believe, but because they are impressed.
Sometimes there are people who believe – people who truly think Teller caught the bullet in his teeth. We tend to think of such individuals as strange, foolish… even childlike, because we understand it is all a lie.
There is no more prophesy; there are only false promises.
There are no more prophets; there are only liars.
The stage has been yielded to a magician of another sort. His coy words speak to old roads of the audience’s mind, so well-tread by ancient teachers, and so he is anointed. He plays the part of Christ himself, promising the feed the five thousand.
Five loaves and two fish are all the faith that is required, and so they are given up. Before the crowd, the man who would be Christ eats the loaves, then the fish, and throws the crumbs to his assistants.
“The five thousand are fed!”
The crowd cheers.
He does it again. Then again. Soon, there are less fish and less loaves to offer up, so what is left must be taken.
Still, the crowd cheers at the miracle; the magic. The want to believe. They want to believe.
“I believe! Yes! I believe!”
There are no messiahs among men; there is only the discipline of fire and demise.
There are no creators among men; there are only illuminators.
One man does not join the crowd and cheer for the false Christ, the democratic false savior of misplaced faith. He stands apart, cast in the darkness for which he pitied man.
Feared and reviled, hated and maligned, the fire thief stands alone.