Reading about and meditating on the image of the Magician reawakened some old ideas in me: about the power and process of acting, my time as a major of video game design, and my readings in Islamic Sufism. Despite their apparent disparity, the ideas are anything but random: they’re all inextricably related to the symbolic image of the Magician. The Magician is in a process of creating and forming something, with a mess of pieces around him, but his gaze directed elsewhere.
The first idea that was brought forth was my old interest in acting on a stage. I used to be in the Shakespeare club in my old high school; my favorite play to act out was King Lear. I wasn’t there for long, but I recall that immediately upon joining, when the initial interest and curiosity in acting had faded and made room for more deliberate and introspective thinking, I found the philosophy of acting fascinating: the idea of taking on another personality (or, in the case of Shakespeare, perhaps something bigger and more universal than that) and uttering the words and forming the expressions of another meant for their own unique situation, was immensely attractive on some higher level. It was always more than just memorizing lines and remembering stage positions: there was something externally creative about it that put me in both the position of total power as the embodiment of audience interest, and total helplessness at the hands of the script. Continue reading