Call it Mental Magic or Psychological Illusion!

A few minutes of viewing this psychic entertainer’s performance and absorbing what he had to convey, enhanced my curiosity about this art or theory called ‘Mentalism’. It is a performing art in which the practitioners use highly developed intuitive abilities to focus on others perception and thought processes; in other words they are mind readers. Psychologists call this branch of psychology as scientific psychology which focuses on the functions of behaviour, on how the mind works and concentrates on casual relationships besides conditioned responses. Philosophers and behaviourists would define mentalism as a doctrine according to which the mind is the true reality and that objects exist only as aspects of the mind’s awareness” or the subject’s consciousness.

Audience is usually filled with awe and wonder while watching the act of the mentalist and at the ingenuity with which they decipher what goes on in the subject’s mind or memory, including feats such as figuring out the subject’s Wi-Fi password. The mentalist or the practitioner of mentalism usually taps into the subject’s subconscious mind using varied techniques such as “hypnosis, telepathy, clairvoyance, divination, precognition, psychokinesis, mediumship, mind control, memory feats, deduction, and rapid mathematics”. That evening’s experience with Brown left me wondering about the difference between a magician, an illusionist and a mentalist.

We are only too familiar with magic and the magician’s suitcases or small road cases. With movies like ‘Now You See Me’ and Now you See Me 2′ and popular entertainment venues hiring illusionists to entertain people from all walks of life, we know that the illusionists, unlike the magicians, use large props, big presentations and make things disappear in one place and reappear at another. A mentalist, on the other hand, unlike the magician or the illusionist, instead of using their hands for the tricks use mental skills to captivate their audience. And for this reason people call mentalism as ‘Mental Magic’ or ‘psychological illusion’.

The mentalists are famous for their mind blowing predictions, their ability to perform in any setting and to combine psychology with mental skills and illusionists techniques. However, there are not many successful mentalists in Australia and in other parts of the world. Let this performing art flourish just as all the other popular acts have thrived!

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