The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body’s burying.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
If you know me well, you know I collect gold – and I love to give it away! Here are a few “golden nuggets” of magical wisdom to ponder as we move towards the new year.
I love giving gifts to my friends and family. (Shhh… and I occasionally get a gift for myself.) One of the reasons I hosted the first Mystery School 24 years ago is that I wanted to share the gifts of magic with my close friends… (and it was also a gift for myself!)
I invited the world’s foremost philosopher on the art of magic, Eugene Burger, to join us for a week at a magical retreat center. It was a exploration in “what magic could be in our lives”.
What we created that one weekend has evolved and grown over the last two decades into what is now called “The World’s Most Prestigious Magic School.” Tobias, Bryce and Abbi were all there! What our team created that weekend was a place for magicians to experience the deep mysteries of magic, and to encounter the best teachers in the world. A place to fill up on the magic of life… to be reawakened to the art of magic.
Quite simply put, you must have a magical experience before you can give a magical experience.
I want to learn form the best, so I ask the magic teacher that are tops in their fields to join us at Mystery School for a week. For the past 6 years, I have been hosting my friends and magic fans at Wonderground, and this year, I wanted to continue my studies in restaurant magic, so I called my friend Doc Eason.
Doc will be in Vegas for a special class and you are invited to join us for this special session called “Raise the Bar.”
Join us for a class this year in Las Vegas. We have Master Classes and classes on manipulation, restaurant magic, street magic, mentalism… and many more! Which class would be your favorite to attend? Explore our full schedule of classes at www.magicalwisdom.com.
We stream our magic classes 24 hours a day at mcbridemagic.tv.
My friend Gaston is really one of the great theatrical magicians in the world today. He is a great actor and a skilled conjurer. We are teaching a 3-day class in Germany together. This is a rare occasion opportunity to study the “theater of magic.”
For details, email Gaston: firstname.lastname@example.org
The biggest magic party in Las Vegas, and you are invited!
Once again, we have an amazing line up of guests from across the USA, including our capital of magic right here in Las Vegas. You can see the entire line up at www.vegaswonderground.com.
Abbi is home preparing for the holidays at The McBride House of Mystery. I am on tour a bit and home in time for our week at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, January 13-19. We hope to see all our friends from the Greater Los Angeles area then!
Wishing you all a most magical holiday season!
Jeff McBride and all the gang
at the Magic & Mystery School
Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
Welcome to the holiday season! A time of year filled with much magic and special challenges for all of us. I think of it as “the dark time” of the year – probably because I have an inordinate fondness for sunshine, and there’s just not enough of it to go around for the next couple of months. In magic we must, however, learn to embrace both light and darkness, and to find ways of keeping our lives and our art in balance between the two.
Our guest author for this Museletter is Ricardo Rosencranz, our friend, colleague, and the man responsible for gaining us the ability to offer CME credit for our Magic & Medicine event. As a lover of magic, I find what Dr. Rosencranz has offered below to be a great reaffirmation and inspiration. I hope you will find it the same.
Ricardo T. Rosenkranz, M.D.
Sure, I love the magical arts. And I have dedicated a significant portion of my life to medicine. But connecting them together has never been about my interests or me. Magic and Medicine intertwined in my life just as the two snakes encircle the rod of Hermes. But for what purpose?
For as long as I can remember, I have longed for a life of beneficial service. Painting a smile on someone’s face and pouring measures of hope into someone’s cup have been my fantasies, then dreams, then quests. I am no different than many of my colleagues in Medicine who enter the profession for the self-same reasons.
Today, however, the life of a physician seems to drift away from that fundamental, ventral, central goal of mine. Productivity, technology, competence, efficiency, evidence and proficiency are the terms that define our professional lexicon. And yet, we long for the true meaning of what we do. I know this because nearly every physician I meet reflects on the existence of this malaise and senses that our boat has indeed veered away. Is it unexpected? Not really. Today’s winds, forcibly swirling around the ship, are the product of the engine of progress. We hunger for more knowledge, want to have a bigger impact in the health of others, and strive for excellence and precision. It seems that since the 17th Century, when the Scientific Method gave rise to the modern view of Medicine, we have been sailing at vertiginous speeds, eradicating illnesses right and left. But where are we going?
Currents create winds and winds beget storms. Today, I would venture that we are adrift because we believe more in ship than sailor, more in GPS than captain, more in engine than ingenuity. The noise of the motor is so loud that it drowns out the voices of the most important ones, the oft forgotten reluctant passengers of this ship: the patients. Even the great William Osler, father of modern medicine said, “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.”
That is where I have found the second snake of this caduceus I might call my life’s paradigm. I would like to think that she saw what was missing in my “Aesculapian Staff” and methodically embedded herself into my self-awareness. Her name is Magic, and she is teaching me to better understand the world of healing. Every night she reads to me from the books of Burger, McBride, Maven, Neale, and Hass, among others. She lifts a mirror towards my audience allowing me to see my patients’ hearts while my reflection sheds a painted smile. And it is through her that I have come to understand that which I already knew, yet needed to experience from the other side of the sail.
Today’s Medicine, while breathtaking, needs a course correction. Medicine needs to pay heed to the balance of science and humanities. But this is not the only realm caught up in the storm of reductionism and practicality. It seems today that all educational endeavors are challenged by this concept. Recently, the presidents of Stanford University and Michigan (a computer scientist and a biochemist) published the following in the Washington Post:
“The humanities — history, literature, languages, art, philosophy — and the social sciences focus on the lasting challenges relevant to all of us: creating lives of purpose and meaning, appreciating diversity and complexity, communicating effectively with others and overcoming adversity. Ultimately, our ability to work meaningfully with others will determine the success of our enterprises, and that ability is honed through the humanities and social sciences.”
In the world of the Caduceus, I firmly believe that technology, technique, synthesis, evidence, and method need to embrace with art, grace, empathy, reasoning, understanding, and love. To me, this is the challenge of my generation.
That is why I chose to merge these two realms of mine. That is why I love to teach young medical students who hold neither preconception nor predisposition. Because I believe in transformation and empowerment, I never tire of sharing what Medicine and Magic can say to each other.
And when the Caduceus is planted in terra firma, when complementary snakes dance upon its solid staff allowing the inner eye to really learn and see the truth, the wings shall overtake the sky, embracing all with care and compassion. Now that’s a journey of a lifetime.