Wednesday, March 12, 2014

122. Magicians

Brunton met his first real magician in India. His name was Mahmoud Bey, and he was from Egypt. Brunton asked him to demonstrate his powers, which the magician agreed. He asked Brunton to write a question on a piece of paper and fold the paper as small as possible.  Meanwhile, Mahmoud withdrew away and half turned his back to him.
Brunton wrote the following question, “Where did I live four years ago?” and folded the paper, as instructed.
Mahmoud came back, and told Brunton to hold the paper and the pencil tightly in his clenched fist. The magician closed his eyes and went into what looked like a profound concentration.  He opened his eyes and said quietly, “ The question you asked was ‘Where did I live four years ago ?’” Brunton was astonished.
This was a case of mind reading, extraordinary!
Next, the Egyptian, ordered Brunton to unfold the paper and examine it.
The paper revealed, under the question, the name of the town where Brunton lived four years ago! Some unknown hand had written the answer in pencil.
Brunton was amazed beyond measure, because mind-reading could not provide the name of the town, and write it too, on the tightly clenched paper in his fist. His pencil had remained in his fist too.
He asked the magician to repeat it. The Egyptian agreed.
This time Brunton wrote “What journal did I edit 4 years ago”
Mahmoud closed his eyes, and concentrated. He gave the correct answer.
He told Brunton to unfold the paper.
The name of the journal he edited four years ago was clumsily written with a pencil
For a third time he requested the magician to repeat his demonstration. Mahmoud succeeded again.
Brunton was baffled beyond measure. He thought of three possible explanations for the supernatural performance: mind-reading, hypnotism, and conjuring. He rejected all three.
It could not be conjuring because the pencil and paper came from Brunton, the paper never left his hands, and questions were randomly selected by him, without any premeditation.
It could not be hypnotism because Brunton knew the subject and would have recognized if somebody was trying to influence him, and furthermore the questions and answers were still there on the paper. Brunton finally came to the conclusion that the magician had read his mind, and with some inexplicable magic written the answers
Brunton felt the presence of invisible and eerie forces in the room (Brunton was a psychic).
“Can anybody in England do this?” The Egyptian asked
He was compelled to admit that nobody could do it under those test conditions.

Brunton requested him to explain his methods, knowing full well that magicians and conjurers never reveal their secrets. The magician declined
Brunton asked him to just tell the broad outline of his feats, the theoretical side only.
Mahmoud mused over his query for a while.
“I am willing to do that”
They met the next day. The explanation was neither of the three that Brunton had considered and rejected. Mahmoud told Brunton that he had invisible spirits under his control, and he was also a thought reader. He spent several years to make the spirits obedient to him. He had thirty spirits at his command which did his bidding. One of the spirits was of his dead brother, who helped him. Most of the others were Jinns, native inhabitants of spirit world, who never took a human body.
These spirits were proficient in one task only. For instance the jinns, who produced the pencil-written words on the paper, would have been quite unable to ascertain his questions. Mahmoud tried to employ only good jinns, and not the evil ones, used by African sorcerers. Because the evil ones were dangerous servants who would sometimes turn on their master and kill him.
One had to know each spirit’s name. The Egyptian could summon a spirit by concentrating on him, or writing his name in Arabic on a paper. They would come instantaneously.

Brunton met his second magician in Egypt. His name was kept secret by his wish. He was the most famous magician of Egypt, or at least, Cairo. He lived in a large house in ancient quarters. Brunton went to his house and met the magician who was around sixty. The magician was very suspicious of Brunton. After several visits he became less reserved. He was also an astrologer, and made a horoscope of Brunton (which Brunton did not want)
One day he told Brunton to bring a white, healthy, fowl, and he will put a jinn-spirit at Brunton’s disposal! Brunton did not want it but the old man insisted.
 Brunton returned three days later with a plump white bird tucked under his arm.
The magician asked to release the bird in the middle of the room. He then instructed Brunton to step over an incense brazier, three times.
He drew a small square on a piece of paper. and subdivided it into nine small squares. He next wrote either an Arabic letter or a kabbalistic sign, in each of the nine squares in the diagram. Then he started muttering a magical incantation with eyes fixed on the fowl. Sometimes he would extend his hand and point a finger, as if he was giving an order.
Brunton noticed that the fowl started trembling.
The magician asked him to step over the brazier three times, again. When he returned to the divan, he noticed that the fowl was not looking at the magician any more, but had turned his eyes on Brunton. He fixed his eyes at Brunton, and never changed.
Brunton observed a strange change in the fowl, his breathing became labored. His beak opened with air-hunger. Finally he collapsed and died.
The magician was happy at the outcome. He said that it meant that the spirit had accepted his sacrifice. He explained, that sometimes the fowl does not die, which means that the spirit had not accepted that person.
Henceforth, the genie that destroyed the life of that bird as a sign that he was ready to serve Brunton, will work for his benefit.
Brunton was told to throw the dead fowl, at the hour of midnight, in the Nile River, and as he threw the bird he was supposed to make a wish. One day the genie will cause his wish to come true.
The magician acknowledged that the supremacy lies with Allah. The magicians use their art, but only Allah knows everything. Final word lies with God.
The magician also said that the secret is passed from teacher to pupil, and the pupil or master is not allowed to reveal the secret to anybody else. The apprenticeship was hard and dangerous. He had not accepted a single pupil. Eventually he was bound by the laws that governed his fraternity to accept and teach somebody before his death, but since he knew the exact date and year of his death, there was still time left.
I have narrated the two cases of black magic in blog 87 and 109. A practitioner of black magic tried to poison and kill Indra Devi, and Shahab lived in a haunted house which was frequented by the spirits of a woman and her murderer.


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