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The Life & Magic of Stewart James (1908-1996)


Twelve Keys To All From The Pyramids (Part 2)

Somewhere, every thought you ever will possess is waiting to be brought into the world. ... That gives me time to project my astral body to the waiting place for your unborn thoughts.

— Stewart James
(from "The Waiting Place For Unborn Thoughts")

When he writes about “Twelve Keys to All From the Pyramids,” James begins the entry by mentioning a long conversation he had with a friend about Edgar Cayce (SJP 467).  Cayce, a.k.a. 'The Sleeping Phrophet,' who for roughly 40 years gave psychic readings on everything from reincarnation to homeopathic remedies, represents one of the more unusual influences on Christianity in North America during the 20th Century. From at least 1901 onward, he claimed the ability to project his subconscious mind to a hall of records containing wisdom of the ages – a sort of universal library.  Though there is no evidence to suggest that Stewart James subscribed to or even researched Cayce’s readings on hypnotism, Egyptology, astral projection or similar topics, these subjects frequently enrich the patter and presentations the magician chose for tricks like “Audio-Hypnosis” (SJP 170-172) and “The Waiting Place For Unborn Thoughts” (SJP 284-285).

Regardless of what readers may hypothesize about the supernatural inspiration for “Twelve Keys to All From the Pyramids,” its potential for forcing oneself to look at a problem from multiple perspectives is striking.  Based on the premise that it takes twelve separate men to make one perfect man, James would begin this thought-starter by imagining twelve different magicians (including himself) and how each one of them would approach a given issue (i.e. a given element of a magic trick).  He might choose, for example, Robert-Houdin, Charles Jordan, and other well-established magicians or personal friends who all specialized in distinct syles of magic. After recording the results from that mental meeting between the twelve magi, he would repeat his brainstorming experiment with a key twist . . .



Copyright © 2007 Joe Culpepper and Magicana. All rights reserved.