The Third Apple.
The man says “I see two apples”
The illusionist replied “what would you say if I told you there were three apples on the table”
The man says “but there are only two”
The illusionist says “the reason you only see two is you lack confidence in the belief that what I am telling you is true, that there are three."
The volunteer persists. “I believe in what my eyes tell me and they tell me there are only two apples on the table why should I believe in something I cannot see?”
The illusionist says “what if I told you that there are something like over two billion people on this planet who would agree with me there is a third apple on the table. although they cannot see it”
The volunteer inquires incredulously “What! They believe in what you are telling them that there is a third apple on the table because you said there were, even though there are only two?”
“If they can see three apples why cannot I see three? Can anyone else in the audience see them? Would you like to select another person from the audience and ask them the same question I can only tell you what I see?"
The illusionist says “Well to be honest sir whether you can actually SEE three apples is irrelevant”
The man points out to the illusionist “surely that is the whole point. Be honest with me can YOU see three apples?”
The illusionist replied “No I cannot”
“Then why are you telling me there are three”
“Well you see sir I have blind faith that there are three, you don’t”
“Blind faith in what!?"
Exasperated the illusionist said “For heaven’s sake, that there are three friggin apples on the table”
The volunteer asks “OK who was it that told you there were three apples on the table in the first place?”
“Oh another illusionist chappie”
“So you believed him? Ok let us take this one step further how do you know there are not 4 or even 6 apples on the table or that the table is overflowing with apples”
Illusionist “now Sir you are just being silly”
The volunteer says “I don’t want to appear flippant but if people knew what you are doing is not even clever sleight of hand but downright deception you would be out of a job would you not? If thousands of similar illusionists were pulling this same trick they too would be out of a job”
The exasperated person from the audience continued “do you have a head illusionist chappie with who I can thrash this out?”
The illusionist says “Indeed we do sir; we do have a Head Chappie and possibly hundreds and thousands of trainee chappies.”
The audience volunteer said “I suspect sir you are treating me as a security blanket to bolster you own misguided illusions or is that delusions. I think you had better find another victim”