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Wednesday, February 23, 2000

The Man Who Would Be King

Laila came by to loan me a mystic sciences book. She also took back her Sai Baba video... and asked what we thought. Sai Baba is a street magician who passes himself off as a magical, enlightened being, and has a HUGE following in India, and increasingly all around the world including and especially mystical Maui. He literally makes his existence out of slight-of-hand tricks and other classic stage magic, which for the needing-to-believe mystics provides concrete evidence that he is truly magical. His video, which was presented to us as evidence of his powers, looks to Garrett* and I like a simple magic show, and not even a particularly impressive one at that. As we told Laila, there's certainly nothing in it that precludes slight of hand, and since that is by far the simplest explanation consistent with observation, it is also by far the most likely.

So it finally happened. The pendulum swung over the top and fell on the other side, and us from grace along with it. She left nearly in tears, took her tape and the book she had just brought, gave us an emotional and scolding lecture about how some day, maybe some day we'll understand, and that she was wrong about us -- we are just closed minded like the rest.

And I am left sitting here, in the school, feeling I have just witnessed a preview of what is to come, the first drop of what could be a devastating storm. I am, for this moment, The Man Who Would be King.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com