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The Prestige - Loving the Illusion


 Editor    Sep 18 : 17:30
 None    Editorials

In the movie The Prestige we witness two magicians whose grudges toward one another drive them to attempts at sabotaging each others careers as magicians.

The Prestige

In the movie The Prestige we witness two magicians whose grudges toward one another drive them to attempts at sabotaging each others careers as magicians. The sabotage progresses into acts of violence and eventually death.

We are taken backstage and are confided in with some secrets of the trade and the nature of what makes these magic tricks go over so well with us. While the movie is worth seeing just for the story line and great acting, it is the insight into human nature that intrigued me most.


What is it about human nature that allows us to fall for these “magic” tricks, these illusions? This dark story reveals to us some truths about lies, even the ones we tell ourselves. Consider this simple magic trick as explained by a magician in The Prestige played by Michael Caine: a bird is placed in a cage before us. The magician covers the cage with a silk cloth. He then slams down on the cloth and bam! The cage and bird seem to disappear before our very eyes.

While we consider how he has done this he brings the bird back to us with the very hand he used to make it vanish. The obvious truth of the matter is seen only by a crying boy who laments the bird’s death and begs to know why the second bird’s brother was killed. Reminiscent of the innocent child whose faith and purity Jesus asks us to imitate, the boy alone is unfooled while all the adults are more than willing to believe the lie that the bird was not crushed by a collapsible cage but actually disappeared and reappeared unharmed.

One of the principles we speak of quite often in CR is the tradition of speaking the truth in love. It is in our natures to want to be deceived, but why? 2 Thessalonians 2 says we refuse to love the truth and so are deceived by lies. At the heart of denial is the desire to gratify ourselves to the extent that we will deny the obvious: that we are slaves to sin, that we have a problem.

Admitting the truth would be the first step toward denying ourselves the pleasure we love. Refusing to love the truth can and will cause great pain for us here on earth, but if this pattern of deceit isn’t broken before it is too late the ultimate punishment of eternity in hell, separated from God and all that is good, awaits us.

Truth in love is not just a good way to live or a nice tradition; it is the way to eternal life and the remedy for eternal agony. Our CR groups have a greater effect than we may ever realize here on earth, but our work, done here in the Spirit for an hour and a half on a Sunday evening, will echo on into eternity.


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