For some time I've been considering putting together a list of my favorite books. Books that have really impacted me, changed my life, shaped me, or guided me on a trajectory down the slippery slope. I was thinking back to some of the early ones and remembered one, that, to most people would seem peculiar given the theme of this list.
I've always been interested in magic but never really took up the study or pratice. I do enjoy going into magic shops and looking at all the props and tricks. I was in my late teens, browsing in a magic shop and I was looking through the books. A guy working there asked me if I was looking for anything in specific and I asked him to suggest something. He said, "If you read one book on magic it should be this", and handed me a copy of Magic by Misdirection.
This book is about creating perceptions and illusions. It is a book about magic but read in a larger context it taught me that you can get away with anything if you create the right illlusion. It taught me that REALITY IS WHAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH. I really took it heart and admit that I did many things following my reading of that book of questionable legality and morality. (I was a teenager, that is hat teenagers do.) Now I work in advertising. Mr. Fitzkee is in no way responsible for what I did with the contents of his book.
The first chapter is "Which is the cart and which is the horse". This really is a gem of a book.
The full contents of Magic by Misdirection can be found here online.
I confess that "Reality is what you can get away with" is not one of mine. That can be credited to Robert Anton Wilson You can be sure that his name wil appear in many future installments of The Sherman Foundation Dangerous Ideas Reading List.