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Occultism and Magic of India

First, a few quick interesting facts about India are being presented. India is a big country that is the second most populated nation. The People’s Republic of China is the world’s most populous nation, and China and India are right next to each other. At one time, India was much bigger. Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947 and Bangladesh was carved out of India in 1971. For thousands of years, India has been a country where people went to learn how to accomplish feats of magic. Practitioners would learn how to perform uncanny sensational physical demonstrations such as walking over hot coals without harm to their bare feet, lying on a bed of sharp nails without harm, being buried alive in a container; then dug out of the ground days later unharmed, reading the contents of sealed envelopes or answering questions written beforehand on a slip of paper inside the envelope by placing the unopened envelope to the forehead, then mentioning a response; then the envelope is ripped open and the written slip is compared with the verbal response, stopping one’s heart and pulse for a very small amount of time; then re-starting the heart beat and pulse beat, without any harm, levitating into the air, the materialization and dematerialization and materialization again of small objects, seeing through blindfolds over the eyes, having X-ray vision to see through thick, solid, opaque objects, and so forth.

Although various expert magicians: illusionists in the West have claimed to duplicate these amazing effects through trickery; India is much more into the practice of such phenomena than the nations of the Western Hemisphere are. People would seek out teachers who specialize in magic; pay them certain fees, and learn how to do the magic themselves. In India, the most popular magical act is what is called in the West by magicians as “The Indian Rope Trick”. There are variations of this audience stunner, the most simple versions go back centuries and centuries ago. The classical version goes back to the late 1800’s, but some researchers say there are elaborate versions close to the classical version going back to at least the 1600’s. In the earliest forms, the operation is where a long piece of rope is left in a basket and then put in an open field, generally by a fakir (Indian holy man or a religious ascetic who lives solely on alms). The rope levitates, seeming on its own accord. Then, a boy assistant(a jamoora) climbs the rope and later descends. A more involved form of the operation is where the magician (or his assistant) vanishes after reaching the top or apex of the rope, then reappears at ground level.

The most advanced form of the act is much more detailed and also known as “the classical Indian rope trick”. The rope rises high in the sky; so high that it cannot be seen at its top. The boy climbs the rope and soon is no longer viewed. The magician calls out to the boy, getting no answer which makes the magician angry. The magician arms himself with a knife or sword and then climbs up the vertical rope, and disappears from view. The magician and the boy get into an argument; heard by the audience below. The human limbs fall down, presumed to be from the angry magician amputating the boy. After all the bodily parts fall to the ground, including the torso, the magician climbs down the rope. He gathers up the limbs and then places them in a basket or covers them with a cape or a blanket. The boy magically appears injured.

Famous magicians such as Harry Blackstone, David Devant, Horace Goldin, Carl Hertz, Servais Le Roy, and Howard Thurston have added the Indian Rope Trick into their stage magic shows. Another very popular trick from India, dating back at least centuries and centuries, is called the Indian basket trick)or the Hindu Basket trick which is commonly performed by professional stage magicians today. Here, is an illusion with a wicker basket in which an assistant is put into the basket and the magic performer then puts swords, at many different angles, into the basket. The conclusion of the trick is when the child or assistant either climbs out of the basket unharmed or reappears from behind the crowd unharmed.

In India, there are centuries old stories of people who have been trained to move objects without touching them and simply by concentrating on the objects to move (telekinesis). But modern magicians are skeptical of the claim, believing a clever trick is involved. Modern magicians have duplicated the mental levitation and mental moving of objects using advanced illusions in their magic. Certain holy men, for centuries in India, are said to have produced a strong visible colored aura around their head and neck, but modern science never had any proof of such an occurrence.

In occultist practices in India, alchemy and astrology are strong subjects, and such as gemstone magic in which precious and semi precious stones are used for healing, protection, and good luck, but apparently the scientific community are not convinced in alchemy, astrology, or gemstone paranormality are valid. In certain remote parts of India, as in certain deep forests or at the tops of certain sacred mountains, in special “safety from wild animals areas, there are certain ascetics who are holy men of certain religions, but chiefly of the Hindu religion, that are believed by their disciples to have the power to produce miracles. Stories of such great wonder workers go back many centuries in India, but stories of these amazing men are greeted by the scientific community with extreme skepticism. At some monasteries, temples, spiritual centers, religious shrines, India, a lar and ashrams in India, there are various priests, swamis, gurus, sris, yogis, abbots, and others who are said by associates to be able to produce a dazzling display of physical psychic and/or mediumistic phenomena through intense meditation or concentration while in self-imposed trances but in general such very gifted people do not seek publicity and especially do not desire fame. Again, the scientific community is very skeptical of such supernatural; paranormal claims. The scientific community would like to meet and see and hear physical demonstrations by such awesome men and any such women as well.

In techniques of meditation, the person thinks of various thoughts about a certain subject; topics; activity to occur from inner mental power. In techniques of concentration, a person tries to focus on one basic thought of some activity to occur through inner mental power to the exclusion of other thoughts that can be related but not really connected to each other. Trying to practice meditation is much easier than trying to practice concentration. And trying to practice concentration is much harder than trying to practice meditation in India, for many centuries, there have been teachers of both meditation and concentration. But, many, many people cannot really concentrate at all, but can only meditate even under instruction from professional teachers of both meditation and concentration with many years of experience.

Perhaps one day, maybe even sooner than later, science and the supernatural shall become accustomed to each other and learn many new and highly interesting things, and India would be just the country for such an occurrence. India, a large nation in South Asia, is, very interestingly, a washed in occultism and magic, from ancient times to the present time.

Harry Blackstone performs the classic “Indian Rope Trick”.


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