image and reality

Posted on November 11, 2011
Filed Under Magic, publishing, Taylor Ellwood | Leave a Comment

I always find it fascinating to study people considered famous within a given subculture. I wonder what makes them famous, what makes people want to follow after them, what is the glamour that draws them so? And yet I know what it is. It’s an ability to create an image that glosses over the reality. That probably sounds cynical, but there’s an element of truth to it as well. Do we really know anything about that actor, singer, or author, beyond what the tabloids gossip about or the marketing facade that is built by the person?
There’s a false kind of intimacy that is created with marketing. We look at pictures of this person, look at how the person portrays this rosy kind of image that is merely a gilded picture, and yet is so captivating because the person has spun a glamour that doesn’t even hint at the realities underlying the gilded picture.

I’ve never really bought into the glamour. Maybe it’s because I’m an occult author. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually made it a point to talk with people as myself, instead of trying to trade off on the fact that I’ve written books. I remember one time a person said to me that he was amazed I’d spend time talking with him, because I was an author. I told him that writing was something I did, but that it didn’t define my reality or how I would treat him. That’s always been my approach. I don’t want people to fall in love with an image, or buy into some presentation. If you want to get to know me, then get to know me for who I am, warts and all.

At the same time, from a magical perspective, there’s a lot to be learned from such glamour tactics. Knowing how to present only what you want people to see can be quite useful in job interviews, as well as in other situations that call for a different appearance beyond what is usually present. Of course you run the risk that if people see through it or discover that you weren’t authentic, they may feel deceived or betrayed.

There is something to be said for being humble enough to be honest. And there is a strength in that reality, magically and mundanely that goes beyond any glamour that is put together. It’s when we can take the mask off, step outside of the illusion that we then discover the reality behind the image.

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