Last week, we were invited to join friends at the Magic Castle in Hollywood for an evening. I am a sucker for magic. I'm the one who gasps and gapes and says, "how did he do that?" That, of course, is the question that cannot be answered, because if you knew then it wouldn't be magic anymore.
We talked about magic with our friends between performances. One of them is a member of the Magic Castle, having passed the audition which allows him to call himself a magician. The other is a student of the art. They talked about how magic is partly speed and dexterity, partly misdirection, illusion and diversion, and partly fulfilling the expectations of the audience. Humans see what they are directed to see, and believe what they think they have seen. It happens in many aspects of our lives. It's just that, at the Magic Castle, you know you're being tricked, and you can enjoy it.