You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.
Responding to yesterday’s post on thinking mind, a reader asks:
[By] Thinking mind, are you trying to talk about a physical aspect relating to brain waves and the brain? Or are you talking about in effect the part of the spirit that interacts with the brain?
It’s a good question, but one I can’t answer directly. It requires a bit of a walk through how I explore magick. But I’ll try to make it interesting.
A Priori vs A Posteriori Models
A priori (Latin for “before the fact”): You reason about how magick ought to work, based on how you understand the rest of the world.
Observation (or “a posteriori”): You use sensory connections to see different parts of magick, watch them work, and try to figure out what they do.
Most people haven’t learned sensory connections, so when they model magick, it has to be a priori. Which is why you have all these models — the energy model, the spirit model, etc. — that don’t just disagree on the details, but disagree about what’s going on at a very fundamental level. It’s because we’re trying to tell a story based on observing the results of rituals, without being able to look at each step that produced that result.
In other words, most models start by saying, “There must be a thing that does X, so let’s assume it exists and name it this.” And, if someone tells you “There’s this thinking mind that sits between physical nerves and your mental muscles,” it’s natural to ask whether the idea grew from the idea of brainwaves, or from the idea that your spirit must connect with your brain at some point.
But I never expected thinking mind to be there. It doesn’t grow naturally from anything we normally think about. When I first started actively connecting mental muscles to my mind, around 2005, I just thought I was connecting them to my brain. And if someone had suggested an extra layer between mental muscles and brain, I would have tossed it out via Occam’s Razor.
Finding Thinking Mind
Then, around 2007, I was learning energy healing and getting good at connecting to different types of tissues, noticing the signatures of various injuries, and all the other aspects of sensory connections specific to observing the physical body. My focus was knee injuries, but one day I connected to my head, and noticed two sets of signatures in the brain. All other tissues have one signature. Totally surprising.
I looked at other nerves. They also had two signatures. And I traced the connections between mental muscles and what I thought was the brain. The connections only went to one of the signatures.
One signature seemed to change quickly as I thought different things, so I called it “thought layer.” The other changed slowly, in response to moods and drugs and such, and I called it “nerve layer.” I conceived of both of them as being part of the brain.
Shortly after finding thought layer, I reasoned that, if thought layer carries messages, then energy intended to numb a person should act on thought layer. So I did, and my energy healing got worse. Turns out, you need to change the overall signalling pattern of a nerve, not the current message it’s sending, so you need to focus on the nerve layer.
Thought layer was central to developing consciousness integration in 2009, and it’s been the basis for my communication with spirits and ethereal software since 2010. I mention this because a priori models often include parts that “have to be there” based on the preconceptions of the mage, but that you can’t actually interact with. Thought layer isn’t in that category. It’s really there, and I interact with it all the time.
In 2010 or 2011, as I did more training in communication, the spirits I work with called the entirety of thought layer “thinking mind.” They conceived of it as separate from the brain — as something spirits have, too. So I adopted their term.
I never expected a “thinking mind.” It’s only in my model because of what I saw with sensory connections. Later, that model lead to useful effects, which cemented thinking mind in my understanding of magick.
This has a down-side, though: I can’t guide you to understand thinking mind, because that process doesn’t start with “Your brain has brainwaves” or “Your spirit must connect to your mind.” It starts with sensing two signatures from nerves, and going exploring.
I’ll revisit this after doing a better job teaching sensory connections later this year.
If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.
PS. If you need an answer to quiet your curiosity, “Thinking mind = How your spirit connects to your brain” is close enough, as long as you’re not trying to connect or work with thinking mind.