Reading Derren Brown reminded us, honestly, of the Biblical Prophet Isaiah.
“What care I for the number of your sacrifices? says the LORD.
“I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs and goats I find no pleasure.
“When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you?
“Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me.”
We thought of Isaiah not because Mr. Brown’s book is spiritual.
Nope. There are parts and pieces of Mr. Brown’s book that make you feel as if he is decidedly anti-Christian.
He mocks Christianity – or perhaps we misread that which is meant to be serious as sarcastic.
So, if he is not biblically spiritual, he is nonetheless inspiring enough to read and re-read.
Consider the Isaiah-like pronouncement Mr. Brown makes:
“Aaahhh, my loves, and so we come to the end of a wonderful journey: we have
dipped our toelets in the the shimmering pool of secret wonder and
I wonder if this book will affect your performance of magic or mentalism.
Let us roll up our collective sleeve of integrity and reach down deep into
the raw, foetid effluence of dull, unconvincing effects: past the
steaming turds that are billet switches; past the faecal nuggest that
are sealed envelopes and ‘gaps left for a nail writer;’ and deep belowy
that dead otter – that single stinking stool of immense proportions
that is the standard book test, or the ‘sealed predicition.”
Like Kierkegaard in the world of (later) non-Christian Existentialists, the point is that once you have an understanding of your world, you are free to do as you need to live as you should for He who you know.
Use cards, Mr. Brown argues, use them if you need to or want to if it has anything to do with the effect you want your audience to feel.
Do not use cards because you are comfortable with them or because you know a neat trick.
Mr. Brown describes an epiphany when he sat at a table and imagined what it would be like to be a typical diner being approached by one of us, a table-hopper.