Our minds are the most powerful, valuable and useful tools we’ve got. They can also be the most disturbing, unhealthy and overall destroying tools in our possession. In fact, the line between a great and a terrible mind is so thin, we people often cross it without even realising it. The power of the mind is serious and should never be used without the most extreme care.
One person who’s got it right with the mind and how to use it over his own body and the things around him is David Blaine. I remember seeing his first TV special, “Street Magic” when I was 6 or 7. The show I got was on a pirated DVD from my cousin, and I remember playing the entire thing at least 30 times in a row. I was obsessed with his style, with the rawness of his magic. No stage, no grand illusions, just magic.
The street is his stage
David was the first magician in the history of the craft who turned the attention from the magician towards the audience, nice, simple people who were walking down the streets of New York City. His tricks were great, but the reactions he got from the audience were the real magic. After his first special, Blaine took the entire thing to the next level and never stopped upgrading his act. His goal: to create mental images that stick with people forever. These are a few of his acts:
-buried himself into a coffin under a water tank for a week;
-closed himself into a one-ton block of ice in Times Square;
-stood on top of a 30-meter-high pillar in Briant Park for 35 hours;
-lived in an aquarium for a week;
-spent 44 days and nights in a glass box above London.
The list goes on and on. My point here is, this is not only magic. These are not mere card tricks you can learn at a magic store for 5 bucks. These are all examples of what you can achieve if you take control of your mind. If your mind controls the matter that you’re made out off. If you can do that, then there’s really no earthly limits but the physiological ones.
Mind over matter
“As kids we believe everything is possible. The trick is to never forget that” – David Blaine.
For example, when he performed in London, he held his breath for 10 minutes straight on stage. That’s the only moment in the entire show for which his team wasn’t able to get life insurance. It was considered too dangerous for him to do that for 10 shows, every single night. Yet he took a shot at it and lived to tell the tale. His mind was so greatly prepared, he simply did it without flinging. Okay, he did fling a little bit by the end of it, but just try and hold your breath for one minute and see how you feel.
Reality is the best magic
I learned a valuable lesson seeing my absolute favourite magician and an idol of mine on stage. I learned that, no matter what, no matter how hard your past or how uncertain your future, the moment you set your mind to do something, and stick to it, you cannot be stopped for anything in the world. Blaine was born with his legs turned inside out, so he had to wear bracelets for him to be able to walk normally again. He still walks in a funny way, if you ask me, but that’s how you know it’s him. I peeked behind the stage for an hour trying to see him come down some stairs everybody was coming down from. The moment I saw him walking, I knew he was in the house and began trembling with anticipation. It was a great, fantastic show!
Yet, his problems never stopped him. His surroundings neither. His mom died when he was young, but he got so encouraged by her to do magic, he never looked back and pursued his dream. He practised, put his life at risk and now he’s one of the most important figures in entertainment. All because he used one simple principle, mind over matter. This is what makes his magic not only an illusion but a spectacle of the real.
“We are capable of infinitely more than we believe” – David Blaine.