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I’ve noticed something about how ethereal muscles work. The observation came as I repeatedly did communication for manifesting: Ethereal muscles use the brain for information processing.
I noticed this while packaging and unpackaging messages. That’s the step where I’ve already thought the message, gathered the signatures that correspond to those thoughts, and now I’m packaging those signatures up to send them. The brain really isn’t involved at this point — I’ve already thought the message, the message is already magickal energy, and it’s just the ethereal muscles preparing to send it.
(That’s packaging. Unpackaging is the reverse process, where I’ve received a message and I’m preparing it for my brain.)
In both of those situations, I noticed something unexpected:
- If I consciously focus on the task, it takes about 10 seconds.
- If I distract my mind and let my ethereal muscles do it unconsciously, it takes about 30 seconds.
This happened consistently across many messages. It happens whether I’m tired or awake, and whether my environment is distracting or calm. Within one 5-minute session, I can focus on some messages and let other messages process unconsciously, and the trend still holds. In other words, the conscious focus itself seems to be the active ingredient, and not merely my level of fatigue / distractability.
Why isn’t this expected? Well, ethereal muscles take guidance from the brain, but ultimately, they’re not part of the brain. And a lot of magick advises you to send your intent to your unconscious, then let the unconscious handle it. (With A. O. Spare’s sigils, for example, you’re specifically supposed to forget what the sigil means, so your conscious mind won’t get in the way.) And yet, from my data, it seems that conscious focus makes ethereal muscles work faster, (at least for me).
This means that ethereal muscles do not, in fact, just take a conscious intent and run with it. Or, rather, they do that, but they operate slowly. But if I keep my conscious mind engaged, the ethereal muscle does the same task faster, even though the muscle already knows how to do the task (so it doesn’t need conscious guidance to accomplish it properly.)
My first thought was, “Maybe this has to do with sending intent to my ethereal muscles.” But I know the ethereal muscle received my intent properly, because it does, in fact, do the right thing without my conscious focus. It just does it more slowly.
My guess is that the ethereal muscle is using my brain as extra processing power to help figure out all the right signatures and changes and steps to accomplish my goal. So, it can figure that out slowly on its own, or quickly using my brain. The other option I see is that ethereal muscles are naturally slow unless you apply constant conscious pressure to operate quickly. Maybe the conserve energy by default, unless you nudge them?
I’ll have to think more on how to tease those two apart, or if there are other options. Thoughts?
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And 2 notes:
To my recent commenters: I have not forgotten you! Hectic couple of days, will respond soon.
This experience also relates to the idea that magick operates however the mage thinks it operates: I didn’t expect this. Just now, magick did not operate how the mage thought it operated. And if you look in your own work, I’m sure you’ll find similar data.