Illusion Is Not A Dirty Word

There is no shortage of people who will criticise illusionists for giving the appearance of being able to do something while not explaining that it features no more real magic than a pen does. One can only wonder at such a response. After all, do the same people walk up to Leonardo di Caprio and slap him for pretending to have drowned when the Titanic sank?

For this is what illusion is – the ability to create an appearance that something has happened, when in reality it has not. Illusion as a word has come to be associated with magic, but many of us use an element of illusion ourselves in everyday life. Illusion is merely the creation of a false perception, and we have all indulged in that from time to time.

Illusion can be used for both good means and bad. Under the “bad” heading one could file indentity theft (the pretence that you are someone else, using their documents, to gain money that is not yours without detection) or marital infidelity (saying that you are working late to cover the fact that you are spending the evening with someone else).

On the other hand, non-magical illusion can be used for good means too. As has been mentioned, film and stage acting is a form of illusion (Daniel Craig is not really a secret agent). So, too, is a father dressing up as Santa Claus to make his children believe that Father Christmas has paid them a personal visit. If no-one is harmed, what’s the problem?