“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
–Sun Tzu, The Art of War
“This is how I feel when I’m at war… I am so over this!”
I’M SO DONE WITH FIGHTING….
As you may have read, for the past few years I have felt like I’m in a war. A war of egos… and lawyers. I am ending it right now! These fights over the theft of magic have been well-documented on the internet and on television.
One of the many reasons I’m making my performance pieces available is to end the drama of continued legal battles. I would rather grant proper permission to people to perform these effects – than to spend my time trying to stop people when they steal them.
“This is how it feels when I empower others with my magic!”
THE MCBRIDE MAGICAL MASTERPIECE SERIES
What this series is:
If my type of magic calls to you, please click on the link below for more information:
Yours in better magic.
Greetings Magical Friends,
Abigail here, writing from the House of Mystery, while Jeff is performing and teaching in Florida for a few days….
“I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich. But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful… It’s the only totally reliable get-rich-quick scheme.”
—Ben Stein, actor, comedian, economist
Once again, we are approaching my favorite time of year, a time when just for one day, we turn our focus to gratitude and giving thanks. My awareness around gratitude has been deepening lately, and I am noticing the effects this has on my life. One of the practices I learned many years ago was to make a list, from A-Z of things I am grateful for, everything from Air that I breathe to the fact that Zebras exist at all… and now, this practice is growing, as I ask myself, “Why am I grateful for this?” (Water, because it hydrates, cleanses and makes things sparkle!) Deepening into the “why” seems to bring me into more and more awareness. When I am grateful, I feel happier, more in tune with just how blessed and fortunate I am. I’m not the only who has noticed this correlation. In his fine work, Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Dr. Robert Emmons has a lot to say about it, and I highly recommend it.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
I want to encourage all of us to bring up the frequency of gratitude in our lives, not just once a year for one day, but consistently, consciously, constantly. I really do believe that when we are tuned into how good life is, we are more inclined to be kind, helpful and present with all those we encounter, and there is so much to be thankful for.
Brother David is one of my favorite teachers about gratitude, and this is one my favorite works:
Today, my gratitude goes out for my beloved, darling husband, who I appreciate, respect and admire; for our students and faculty who make the Magic & Mystery School; for my health, my home, the happiness that is mine on a daily basis, for the willingness to celebrate even the smallest victories, and the ability to breathe, dance and live in this amazing world.
I am especially grateful that my parents decided to have me start piano lessons when I was four, as that decision has led me to be the musician and singer that I am. If you’d like to hear some of my music, you can find it here:
Wishing you the gift of knowing how fortunate you are, at Thanksgiving time and always…
From Lawrence Hass, Associate Dean:
Throughout the month of October, we are celebrating the “Philosophy of Magic” on our Mystery School Monday shows. Thus, for this Museletter we wanted to bring you something special from one of our famous philosophers, Bob Neale. On the day this arrives in your box, Bob will be with us in Las Vegas for the Magic and Meaning Conference, where we will be celebrating the release of his brand new book The Sense of Wonder (available October 20 from TheoryandArtofMagic.com).
Meanwhile, enjoy these reflections:
The Magician’s Bauble
Robert E. Neale
(Excerpt from an unfinished manuscript, Breakaway: Bits and Pieces of a Magic Wand)
“Bauble” is an Old French term of obscure origin. It refers to a child’s plaything or toy. We continue to employ it to mean a trinket—a small, showy ornament of little value. In either case, it suggests something of little value. This is just as it should be . . . as long as we remind ourselves of the quite opposite meaning that is involved when we connect it with the Fool’s Bauble, which functions as a scepter that mocks the staff of office of rulers.
Fool’s Baubles could vary in form from an imitation phallus, to a bladder, to a doll-like replica of the fool himself. The prop was a symbol presenting the jester as a ruler of his own, fool of all fools. But our recollection of the jester in Europe should not obscure the fact that the fool figure has occurred in such cultures and societies as Eskimo, Aztec, Arabian, Roman, and Chinese. Fools occur to make merry, play absurd, and also critique society. They are experienced as innocent and yet knowing, criminal and yet caring, destructive and yet wholesome. Indeed, the jester is a most ambiguous figure about which we are properly ambivalent.
So I invite you to consider our traditional magic wand as a jester’s bauble:
It is a bauble we have been using all through our magic lives, but perhaps haven’t fully recognized it as such.
But now consider it to be a kind of wand that we have sometimes used in our public performances:
Indeed, at the most fundamental level, all our baubles are breakaway wands: the comedy stick with which we wave to make magic happen and then hand to a child who discovers it broken. We take it back, restore it, and may offer it to the child again. However abusive, this event has been experienced as funny by magicians, their audiences, and even those on whom the trick has been played. And it is properly ironic that we should finally play it on ourselves. Can we show our wand broken? Can we create the illusion for ourselves that we have restored it? Can we not like ourselves, then like ourselves, and then be silly with the serious?
So consider our wand now as fully revealed. Can we see it? And if so, can we appreciate it still as a comedy stick? Is it funny for us? Yes, can we laugh? Let us hope so by moving the life cycle of our magic wands to a new stage in which they embody ambiguity, and yet we treasure our own ambivalence about it.