Keith Barry on TED with some real Magic

Many years ago I watched a performance by David Copperfield on TV. We were sitting together in amazement watching Mr. Copperfield fly. It was a show he performed in Las Vegas in which he freely flew over the cuckoo’s nest – no wait – across the stage.

It was really impossible to fathom how he could do what he did with all the accepted laws of physics in full force. You could imagine strings – but then again – he flew through loops. There was just no way how all this could be possible – but still, we saw it with our own eyes. OK, not quite, there was a camera, lots of technology and a TV screen between us, but this was a life performance from a stage in Vegas and we all discounted the possibility that video tech was used to fool us.

I finally decided that the only possibility was that he was simply able to fly – and why not?

Should I be able to manage that feat now, I could imagine that I would create curiosity in form of a magic show to make some serious money (David Copperfield certainly did, and even managed the magic trick of convincing Claudia Schiffer to marry him.) Curiosity is, after all, the biggest magnet of attention, so if he would have gone around and demonstrated to everybody without a doubt that he could fly, he would have ended up in some government labs and he would have never been able to offer his island for rent for a mere 32,000 dollars a day. So, leaving it open to doubt that he could indeed fly was definitely a smart move.

But I am digressing a bit, I actually wanted to look at the possibility that something that’s not possible, IS possible – like flying! Douglas Adams gives us a simple recipe on how to learn. He teaches us that you just have to throw yourself to the ground – – and miss!

Sounds silly, but I actually believe, it’s true – honestly!

I remembered all this today when I watched another great magician who had demonstrated his abilities on the TED conference in 2004 – Keith Barry. He sampled some amazing tricks that probably keeps lots of people awake trying to figure out how he did it within the framework of accepted physics.

For me again the question was why accept the restriction of accepted physics? There are many things normal to us today that certainly appears to be magic to a person traveling on a time machine from 1500 AD. I am sure that physical laws have changed since then to allow for 400 ton chunks of metal hanging in the air for example. The first who bent and maybe broke the laws a little did it in a crude way, but they opened the floodgates for the changes.

Just take a look at what he amazes us with and tell me that this is NOT real magic…

  • Kathie

    This guy is awesome! Maybe he did the Avatar oourse! You become the other person and create and discreate things.

  • I remember you mentioning that course – but I forgot – tell me more about it, please.

  • Kathie

    Avatar taught us to get rid of any limiting beliefs we didn’t want by discreating them. It’a a quick process. You can do it for others, also. You basically decide you are the other person, put yourself in their place, and discreate the limiting belief that is causing their problem. It’s considered a secret process.
    During the course, I had to do something to help another. There was a girl at my work who had an adopted son and wanted to adopt another. I told her I was doing a special course and I needed to find someone to help. I told her I would try to make it so she could get pregnant. The doctor had told her the chances were nil she could conceive, and that’s why she was looking to adopt.
    So one day I spent maybe 5 or ten minutes being her and discreating some beliefs she had about not being able to get pregnant. A couple weeks later I asked if she was pregnant yet, and, lo and behold, she said she had missed her period. She WAS pregnant and had a son 9 months later. When I talked to her about it she actually knew that what I had done had made her get pregnant; of course, not the insemination part, ha ha!
    It was a good win for me. But it was quite easy to do since I had no charge on getting pregnant. Anyway, I think the ‘secret’process is on the internet somewhere.

  • Cool!
    I looked through some Google search results and found that there are Avatar masters that can teach you the course – you think that is a good way to go about it to learn it, or is it better to find that ‘secret’ process somewhere and make it a DIY session?

  • Rob H

    Magicians’ acts depend on people like you, who are awestruck at their deceptions.
    David Copperfield’s deceptions sometimes involve ‘lying’. That age old deception.
    He will say that “There are no camera tricks” – however, whilst there is no technical trickery like computer generated graphics, there are still tricks which involve the cameras and without which the trick could not be performed on a live stage.

  • Kathie

    So I’m awestruck at someone’s deceptions? What deception would that be? I’m not awestruck at all. Everything that happens to you in your life is because of your beliefs. And that has alot to do with the karma you create. Discreating beliefs is no big deal and it certainly isn’t magical. I think it’s easier to do it for another than yourself, because you don’t have to create all the charge the other person has created because of their problem. Also, I believe that good magicians, like David Blaine, use entities to help them create their magic.
    I think if you really want to learn Avatar correctly, it would be better to do with a master. Of course, that might depend on how much they charge.

  • He is awesome, but nothing he did was magic.

    All were tricks- commonly known tricks even. There is nothing preventing you or anyone else from doing any of these except knowing the trick and, in some cases, an amazing amount of practice.

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you are really curious about how any of these tricks were done, you can find them revealed on the internet if you search hard enough.


    I have just stumbled upon the TED video of Keith Barry, and it reminds me of others that I have seen.

    I am one that believes in the existence of vastly more than we are currently aware of or in contact with. As such, I am deeply curious about whether or not such things as Mr. Barry demonstrates are events or skills outside our current understandings, or merely illusions.

    If anyone can point me in the direction of practicable information–that is, information that I can personally discover and put to use–I would appreciate it greatly.


  • trent

    how he did the hand thing was when he said make sure you have the right thumb over the left that camera went to the audience and in that time he rotated his left arm and for the audience they were looking at their hands so no one saw

  • Hi webmaster!

  • Bill

    For anyone interested in scientific explanations of magic, I would recommend the book Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions (ISBN-10: 0805092811). It doesn’t deal with Keith Barry specifically, but it does provide a description of the techniques behind many popular magic tricks as well as the latest theories as to how the human brain responds to or creates these tricks, deceptions and illusions.