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The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life? | Derren Brown

The need for meaning

Our need for meaning around the concept of death is still very present.

So it's no wonder that psychics and spiritual mediums have come in with a their version of meaning: even if they don't really offer useful, they give this impression anyway.

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The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life? | Derren Brown

The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life? | Derren Brown

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ManRWWChmAE

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Key Ideas

A very rational approach to life

Today's world has comfortably dispensed with most myth and superstition for the last few hundred years.

That's the Enlightenment legacy: we have approached a very rational approach to life. This has brought us many great things, but it has also left us with a sort of meaning gap.

The need for meaning

Our need for meaning around the concept of death is still very present.

So it's no wonder that psychics and spiritual mediums have come in with a their version of meaning: even if they don't really offer useful, they give this impression anyway.

Why we resort to magic

Psychics and mediums have become very popular because we are desperate for some sort of narrative that gives us a sense of something bigger.

We know they sometimes are theatrical, but they tap into our need for that feeling of wonder, of transcendence.

Finding meaning in life

You only find meaning in life by finding a thing that's bigger than you and immersing yourself in that thing.

And meaning is more important than happiness.

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