Jugglers and magicians don’t get along, a juggler recently told me. He explained it something like this: There’s nothing secret about the way jugglers use their skill, keeping all those pins or balls or chain saws in the air. They want you to see what they’re doing. It’s more fun that way–for them and for their audience.
Magicians, on the other hand, draw your attention away from where they’re actually doing the trick. In the juggler’s view, they look down on the audience for not figuring out how they do it, for being gullible enough to be misled… and perhaps on themselves for working in secret.
I’ve been thinking about this applies in everyday life. When we live openly–not to the point of too much information, but without artifice or deception–we’re jugglers. Our joy and our pain, our triumphs and our challenges, are there for all to see and perhaps to learn from. When we’re magicians, we’re less honest with others and ourselves about our true motivations and desires and fears. We hide how we feel and what we do. We impoverish those around us and limit ourselves. Taken to the spiritual level, we live in the dark, rather than in the light.
My everyday juggling includes writing and interacting with people. Sometimes I do it well; sometimes, not so well. But it’s out there. It’s those magician spots that have been on my mind, and whether I can move them into something for all to see or if it’s time to put away the magic wand and the hat with the false bottom.