One day, a popular local magician performed his act in front of a large group of people on the town square. The magician pulled all of his best tricks out of his hat to entertain the grateful audience.
Everyone in attendance cheered wildly for the magician and his feats of illusion, except for one young woman in the crowd who stood, unimpressed, with her arms folded. After he finished up his act, the magician immediately approached the woman, politely introduced himself and then asked if she enjoyed his act.
The woman replied:
“I thought your tricks were very good. Certainly, you know how to entertain an audience. However, did I hear correctly that you said you could perform magic?”
The magician took a few nervous steps backward and then said, in a defensive tone:
“I stand by what I told the audience. I’m a magician; therefore, I can perform magic.”
A warm smile broke out across the woman’s face as she replied:
“I mean you absolutely no offense. In fact, in my humble judgment, you are a very talented street magician. What I question is your claim that you can perform magic.”
The magician scowled and grew even more defensive:
“I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re getting at. I’m a great and revered magician.”
The smile on the woman’s face grew even warmer and more inviting. Remarkably, the magician then saw a heavenly white aura emerge around the woman. In a gentle and soothing voice, she then said:
“Can you love your neighbour as you love yourself? Can you perform the glorious act of serving the poor, without seeking any praise or honour from others? Can you see within yourself all the Earth’s forests, mountains, rivers, plants and animals, and all the people, too? Can you live in this world with compassion, but not be corrupted by it? Can you embrace death as your friend, so you may live this life to the fullest? If you can accomplish all of these things, then indeed, my kind magician, you can perform magic.”
The magician froze in silent reflection, and then he suddenly placed his magic cap before the feet of the mysterious woman and handed her his wand. For the first time in his life, he humbled himself before another being, bowed, and then said:
“In truth, all I am is an entertainer. In my heart, I believe it’s you who might be able to truly perform magic. Please, teach me your ways of wisdom. Please, teach me your magic.”
An angelic smile swept across her face, as the beautiful, goddess-like woman waved the magician’s wand. Out of thin air, a radiant ball of swirling golden and purple light appeared, and washed over the magician with overwhelming love.
At that moment, it has been said that the magician achieved a cosmic understanding, and learned how to truly practice magic for the first time.
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