Sleight of Mouth vs. Sleight of Hand
In a sleight of hand move, a magician distracts those watching by doing one thing that captures attention while simultaneously doing something else. A similar thing happens with the sleight of mouth patterns. We distract our audience by leading their consciousness one way while making a conceptual move that creates a whole new perception. Then, all of a sudden, a new belief (or frame-of- reference) comes into view, and the listener doesn't really know where it came from, or how.
When a card illusionist does sleight of hand movements, he performs one set of actions that so captivates the interest of his viewers, that they don't see what else he does that actually changes things. Consider what happens to the attention of those watching. It gets shifted, and captivated, so that it preoccupies itself at a place where they think the action will occur. Then, on another place, the more significant action occurs.
When this happens, sleight of hand creates for the viewer the illusion, and this illusion frequently results in a shock to consciousness. "How did he do that?" "Hey, I saw her move it over there, so this can't be!" This process itself then becomes codified in a distorted statement which encourages the illusion even more when the operator says, "Well, the hand is quicker than the eye." But not really.
The problem doesn't lie in "seeing faster", it lies in not getting distracted. No matter how fast or skilled a person's seeing, if he sends his "mind" off to pay attention to irrelevant factors, the illusionist will get him every time!
A similar process occurs with verbal behavior when we deliver a really good mind-line. This happens all the time in human interactions anyway. Sometimes it occurs in interactions that we engage in just for fun and enjoyment. Sometimes it occurs when we interact and negotiate with someone to create win/win situations. Then again, sometimes it occurs when someone intentionally seeks to pull the wool over someone else's eyes in order to take advantage of them.
So what corresponds linguistically or conceptually in mind-lines that distracts? Content. Yes. Just invite another human being into a discussion about content and you can do all kinds of things (and I'm not kidding about this!) in altering, changing and transforming the context, and most people will never notice.
Conscious minds seem to have this thing for content. Feed them a little gossip, some details, the specifics of this or that person, in this or that situation, tell them a story, or even better - a secret, and presto ... and you can shift the person's frames and contexts without them ever suspecting.
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