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Meditation 324
Smoke and Mirrors

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In response to my rearrangement of his anagrams, Thomas J responded:

"It's a pity you can't see the magic JT. God shows himself/herself to you every day."

His comment reminded me of a magic show I saw about fifteen years ago.

I was in Las Vegas with a lovely woman from New Zealand I had met while hiking the Grand Canyon. We decided to take in one of those Vegas spectaculars, song and dance and magic. The room was packed, and I could see we were going to be seated at a back table. Trying to impress my friend, I tipped the host generously, and we were escorted to the very front of the room, right at the edge of the stage.

It turned out we were too close. For at least half of the magic tricks, I was able to see what was going on. The magic was not magic. It was sleight of hand, trapdoors, smoke and mirrors. Further back from the stage, I'm sure the illusion was maintained. But up front with clear eyes, all was revealed.

As far as I am concerned, religion is just like that magic show. If you sit back and accept the superficial aspects, then it is all too easy to believe what is before your eyes. But examine it carefully, and the illusion is shattered.

I like well performed magic when the performers are skillful enough to maintain the illusion. But that's entertainment. However those who advocate religion are not offering entertainment. They are offering a way of life based on their illusions.

I prefer to live my life without illusion. And Thomas J is right. I cannot see the magic in religion - I just see the smoke and mirrors.