|The Siege of Yongqiu: Saved by an Illusion|
The quintessential illusion is to make something appear from nothing. Rabbits from hats; birds, umbrellas and flaming torches from thin air; cards, coins and thimbles from nowhere; beautiful girls from empty trunks - all variations on a theme.
Magicians as a group tend not to be philosophers, but those who are quickly discover they have many spiritual allies in the Taoist schools of thought. Lao Tse, who wrote that illusions conceal realities; Sun Tzu, who wrote that deception is the essence of victory in battle. The Chinese generals - practitioners of both philosophy and magic - were especially adept at constructing gigantic illusions, improvised on the battlefield:
-- Whaley, Barton. Turnabout and Deception: Crafting the Double-Cross and the Theory of Outs. Naval Institute Press.
|The "Empty Fort" Stratagem: the Enemy is Frightened by the Nonchalant Performer|