In Don’t Mock Demons, I said that, to rid myself of a malicious spirit, “I would damage the connections between the spirit’s mental muscles and its thinking mind.” Today, I’ll answer one of Ananael’s follow-up questions:
Do you believe that spirits have “mental muscles” and “thinking minds” that are in any way analogous to those of humans? The thinking mind as we understand it is almost certainly rooted in the brain, since damage to particular areas can cause much more profound dysfunction than I would expect if the thinking function was rooted in some spiritual process.
Yes. In my experience, the mental muscles and thinking minds of spirits are almost identical to those of humans.
Let me start with that experience:
- When I communicate with less-skilled spirits, I’ll often connect to their thinking mind and handle all the steps. (I’ve done this with ascended spirits as part of training, too.)
- I’ve fought spirits, and disabled their mental muscles and thinking minds to end the fight. (More on that tomorrow.)
- I’ve trained spirits in how to awaken their mental muscles, and how to connect the new mental muscles to their thinking mind.
In all cases, the spirit’s mental muscles and thinking mind were roughly the same as a human’s. (Mostly, I’m talking about ascended or near-ascended spirits here, but the communication was with less-skilled spirits.)
Let’s define “thinking mind” before going any further. It’s a specific magickal structure which, in humans, sits between the brain and the mental muscles. Activity in thinking mind correlates with thoughts in the brain, and so, we use it for communication. But when I say “thinking mind,” I’m referring to that specific structure, not the cognitive facilities of the human brain.
A spirit’s thinking mind connects to their mental muscles in much the same way a human’s thinking mind does. I’m not sure what it connects to instead of the brain, or if it connects to anything at all; maybe the thinking mind does its own information processing, no brain required. But the thinking mind itself seems to be roughly the same in spirits and in humans.
So, what does “roughly the same” mean? Well, it’s like how a human brains is roughly the same as a monkey brain, a dog brain or a mouse brain. Made of the same stuff, operating by the same rules, and possessing many of the same regions. But I’m talking about structure and composition here, not information processing.
Which brings us to the difference between high-skilled spirits and less-skilled spirits. Here, I’ll quote Ananael’s comment:
What the data I’ve compiled seems to show is that spirits do have independent minds and a certain level of power in terms of their ability to produce probability shifts, but the two factors seem to be much more intertwined than they are in human beings.
Exactly. More intelligent spirits are generally much more capable at magick. Sure, more intelligent humans will generally be better at magick, too, but the correlation is much more pronounced in spirits. I think it’s because the spirit’s thinking mind does the actual thinking (whereas a human can rely on their brain), and so, more skilled spirits can use magick to improve their thinking mind, increasing their intelligence.
Incidentally, developing thinking mind to become more intelligent isn’t limited to spirits: When the magick parts of my mind aren’t connected properly, I become slower and less perceptive, too.