Originally posted by Philip Kim:
...how many of you had a teacher... does it exist in the world of magic...
The modern condition of rapidly evolving context and content makes this tradition most difficult to preserve. We truly live in 'interesting times' where sure knowlege of who/what to to offer is unknowable.
Also, as an American, I found the illusion of individuality in a mass market culture (or now global monoculture) is at odds with the procedure of laying a solid foundation and framework before customizing the furnishings. As a result we have almost glamorized quirks and disorders and just about lost deep understanding of the 'classics'. This process was observed and commented upon some time ago by the writer Jonathan Swift in Battle of the Books
and his introduction to Gulliver's Travels
with its mention of the 'facile reader'.
Now some good news: I have met two Slydini students who have learned from the man. One can do the material as taught. The other uses the approach and some of the techniques to accomplish his own ends. Both have learned. There is also a student of John Ramsay in Scotland who has preserved the material as performed. From some observation of these magicians, it is clear that a good part of what makes magic work is a very personal fit in attitude and body language which is organic and can not be taught. This is another factor in the crafts NOT being easily transmitted through apprentiship. It would take longer to find the right teacher than to to study from first principles using other magicians as examples.
Hope this helps.