I am a bit of a rationalist really. Show me a mystery and I will point you in the direction of a scientific explanation. I may not understand the science, but I can put you in touch with someone who can understand it and that is more than enough for me. Show me a crop circle and I will show you where an obese cow sat down. Tell me about a ghost and I will tell you about a drafty window and a dirty lampshade. Fly me into the Bermuda Triangle and I will fly out again sipping my complimentary beer and reading my in-flight magazine.
There are, I suppose, a couple of exceptions to this general principle : phenomena which can easily be explained by rational scientific principles but to me just seem like magic. The first is magnetism. I dare say that if I look it up in Wikipedia, there will be a perfectly rational explanation for the force of magnetism, indeed, I can half remember explanations from school science lessons. But I cannot hold a magnet in my hand and feel that force it creates on another magnet or piece of metal without somehow thinking that here we have something beyond my primary school science comprehension. Take a common fridge magnet and hold it very close to the fridge door. Feel the force. That is something which I have difficulty either rationally explaining or rationally understanding.
The second is a reflection in a mirror. Now if ever there was magic, surely that must be it. A flat surface has the ability to produce a perfect likeness : a mirror image. Arrange your mirrors carefully and it creates a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. I suppose the reflections go on to infinity, but the mathematicians tell us that infinity does not exist and therefore how can a mirror? Why is it that my dog Amy can be driven to distraction by my tuneless whistling, but does not react when a perfect mirror image of herself suddenly appears in front of her? I drew all those little diagrams when I was at school : the light rays bouncing back, an image being formed. I know the scientific principle. But, for me, I still see something delightfully irrational when I look in a mirror. Something magical. Something simply beyond my understanding.
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