"MAGIC, IT MUST BE REMEMBERED, IS AN ART WHICH DEMANDS COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE ARTIST AND HIS PUBLIC."
- E. M. BUTLER
"The tools of skepticism are generally unavailable to the citizens of our society. They're hardly ever mentioned in the schools, even in the presentation of science, its most ardent practitioner, although skepticism repeatedly sprouts spontaneously out of the disappointments of everyday life. Our politics, economies, advertising, and religions (New Age and Old) are awash in credulity. Those who have something to sell, those who wish to influence public opinion, those in power, a skeptic might suggest, have a vested interest in discouraging skepticism. . . An extraterrestrial being, newly arrived on Earth- scrutinizing what we mainly present to our children in television, radio, movies, newspapers, magazines, the comics, and many books- might easily conclude that we are intent on teaching them murder, rape, cruelty, superstition, credulity, and consumerism. We keep at it, and through constant repetition many of them finally get it. What kind of society could we create, if instead, we drummed into them science and a sense of hope?"
The fact-free and superstitiously minded party of humans to take over as leaders of the United States in 2017, mirrors a striking resemblance to the worries of Cosmologist Carl Sagan in his 1996 work, The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark.
"I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."
- Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World
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Imagination under the blanket of emotion wields power.
The brain submissive to desire,
reason submissive to illusion.
Consciousness willingly floating about, alongside dreams; fantasy.
The world outside, perhaps a distant stranger to the mind.
And rare, one wakes up, as after a storm of night images dancing across neurons.
Awareness in which self is only an anchor for a place in which experience arises.
Experience, in a state of undiluted sobriety.
Alone, we now witness the magician from his concealed side.
The audience, stirring in their slumber.
The wind behind the rustle in the trees.