Last time, we discussed my two bad plans. I knew they were bad, and I knew I had to sit with the problem until I created something good. That really is my recipe: Take a block of time, load as much of the problem as I can into my mind, see where the gaps are, and something will come to me. But between the surgery, packing, and saying goodbye to everybody, I just hadn’t found that block of time.
Then came my flight to LA. Sometimes, boredom is the mother of invention. Especially when you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the problem, and by everything else.
It started with a question: How does the tingling sensation move from magick::energy to nerve cells? I saw two options:
Energy influences the nerves in my arm –> The signal goes up those nerves to my brain, like any normal feeling.
Energy touches my arm –> My mental muscles notice the energy –> My mental muscles send a message to my brain.
In other words, is a tingle in my arm caused by the nerves in my arm, or is it projected into my mind, similar to how visions work, or how spirits can drop thoughts into your mind when they communicate?
I didn’t have an answer. It’s not the sort of thing you can reason out, because it could go either way. The only way to know is to test it.
Step 1: Observation
Before I could design the experiment, I needed to know what I was working with. What are the major moving parts, and how do I think they work? What’s the hypothesis? To answer that, I connected to my arm, my mind, and the arm and mind of a non-mage, to see what the differences were.
I started with the nerves in my arm, tracing the paths from energy layer to nerve cells. (Well, as close as I could get to the actual cells.) It was just a normal-looking set of paths, the same ones I work with all the time for numbing. Later, when I looked at the non-mage’s nerves, he had the same paths. In other words, there was nothing unusual going on in the nerves in my arm.
Then, I looked at my mind. There were three components: Thinking mind, energy layer, and physical nerves. The energy layer and physical nerves are basically the same as the nerves in my arm, then thinking mind goes on top of them.
(Thinking mind is the layer used for communicating with spirits and ethereal software. They can read thoughts from it and write their responses to it. When I asked my trainers what it was, their concepts came through as “thinking mind,” which is how I got the term.)
I also looked at the non-mage’s mind, which had the same 3 layers. But there was a big difference: My thinking mind was more active, and had much bigger connections to the energy layer.
Don’t read too much into this. This doesn’t mean that I’m smarter, that my mind is more active, or anything like that. Thinking mind is a magickal structure used in magick. It’s involved in in sensing energy and connections, and in communication. As you learn those skills, I would expect this magickal structure to become more developed. I just want to be clear, when I say “my thinking mind was more active than his,” I’m not disparaging his cognative abilities in any way.
OK, back to the magick. So, we know that the magickal forms around the nerves in my body are basically the same as a non-mage’s, but my thinking mind, and its connections to the energy layer of the brain, are quite different. This gave me a hypothesis: The sensations associated with energy originate in mental muscles, move from thinking mind to brain, and do not involve the nerves in my arm (or wherever I’m feeling the tingle). After having zero traction on this problem for two weeks, I was pretty excited. But I had to test it first.
Step 2: Experiment
We tested the model by seeing how to turn off the tingling sensation. If the path goes:
Mental muscles –> Thinking mind –> Nerves
Then we should be able to turn off the tingling sensation by blocking either the connections between mental muscles and thinking mind, or the connections between thinking mind and nerves. In contrast, if the path goes:
Energy –> Nerves in my arm –> Ordinary nerve signaling until the feeling reaches my brain
Then blocking the messages from mental muscles and thinking mind shouldn’t have any effect, because the message enters my brain through normal neural signalling.
At my request, my trainers blocked each set of connections (mental muscles –> thinking mind, and thinking mind –> brain). It was easy for them to do. And in both cases, it turned off the tingling sensation. The experiment confirmed my earlier observations, and now we have a model: The tingling sensation is caused by mental muscles placing sensations into thinking mind, in much the same way as visions and messages are placed directly into thinking mind. The actual nerves in your body at the location of the tingling are not involved.
For now, it’s a tentative model, since there could be some other possibility I haven’t thought of. Once we develop the tingling technique based on this model, I’ll call it confirmed.
Why It Matters
For anyone casually following this blog, it might seem like I’m splitting hairs. Why do I care so much?
First, all of my previous research had focused on the nerves in the arm. I was imagining to cause tingling by applying the right energy to those nerves, in the same way I cause numbing by applying the right energy signature to the nerves experiencing the pain. But now, I know that focusing on the arm was unlikely to yield a success, and that I must instead focus on the mind.
Second, I have plenty of trainers, but if no one knows how to cause a non-mage to feel energy, I can’t ask for training in that. But now, I know to ask for training in the connections between thinking mind and brain, and I’m already in touch with an expert in that field. So, having this model tells me what to learn and how to learn it.
Third, it once again showed me the importance of good terms. Did you notice how I kept talking about the “energy layer of the nerves” in this post? I used to call that “thought layer,” because it reflects the moment-to-moment signalling of the nerves. But “thought layer” sounds a lot like “thinking mind,” and I hadn’t been able to keep those two completely different structures straight in my own thinking. If I’d had better terms, I probably would have checked this weeks ago.
So, coming up, I’ll make some better terms, get training in the connections between thinking mind and brain, and then come back to developing this technique. Also, now that I’m mostly over my jetlag, I’ll get back to writing the book.
Question for you, as readers: Is it interesting to see what my work actually involves, or are you lost in all the technical jargon, or otherwise uninterested? I’m fine either way, just want to make sure my writing is helping you, or at least entertaining you. Thanks!Other posts in this series: