Do You Mind?
Physiologically speaking we can hook you up to an MRI and tell you to perform various tasks, and the whole time you do those tasks, we will see various areas of the brain “light up” from increased blood flow. If a section of your brain was removed or damaged (depending on the area), you would be unable to speak, to recall a certain memory, or retain new memories. The fact is every thought, feeling or movement you have ever made or ever will make can be traced back to neuron activity in your brain. Where does the soul or spirit come into any of this? According to science, it does not need to at all. Your experience of “you” according to biopsychology is nothing more than electrical signals flashing back and forth through your brain.
Let us consider a philosophical hypothetical scenario. Say that they just invented a teleportation device. You are the first human candidate to try it. You step in; they scan every particle of your body and ZAP! In an instant, you appear somewhere else. But, hold on! They had a malfunction! Instead of ripping every particle of your body apart and shooting it to another location, they instead left the original standing on the teleporter and created a double across the room. Both of you have the same memories (except from the second the copy was made, then you both diverge in experience) both think you are the real you. They hook you up to various tests and devices asking you personal questions only the “real” you would know, both of you answer correctly. Your MRI’s show that your brains function the same way and a genetic test shows you are exact and perfect duplicates. What now? At the instant of the teleportation, did two souls come into being? Two minds? When you both get old and die, will a soul rise out of each body? What if one copy begins to commit crimes, murders, and various dark acts, will one copy go to a paradise and another some dark tormented afterlife? If you believe in a soul, you must come up with an answer for this. Science would say that at the moment of teleportation you were copied and now have a clone. End of story. No need to muddy the waters with talks of souls or minds.
You may try to escape the question by saying teleportation does not and will never exist, not true! They can do it now! Right this moment they can take the information of one particle and near instantly copy this information to a particle far away. The original retains its information and the distant particle contains an exact copy of the information. Is that not what we consider the mind or soul to be? Information of who we are, our experiences, memories, loves, hates and so on? No escape my friends, how would a soul or mind factor into this query?
The Magical View
All things that exist are made up of three component parts. A mental or spiritual part, an astral or soul part and a physical or body part. Insects, trees, eyelashes, computers, and galaxies all have the same three components. Each resides in their own special plane of existence or dimension. Science uses physical instruments in order to study, formulate theories and predict the nature of the physical world. There are no physical instruments capable of studying an astral or spiritual universe. They are different materials altogether. Now most magical thought states that the spiritual world comes first from a divine creative source (Akasha) then manifests into an astral plane which eventually through certain means creates a physical plane. To be honest this is a tough concept for me to accept, I battle with this idea often. I think the whole thing may be reversed. The physical universe through human interaction grafted along side and on top of a higher or finer substance or emotional tones the astral world. Then still again, we crafted a higher order for our more abstract conceptions and ideas matching our minds. You can argue either way on this point, I have. And to be honest with all of you I just do not know. Either one could be true. Every god, spirit, soul and astral or spiritual vista could be a egregore or thought-forms we created over millennia of existing. They having been programmed as having always existed and being the originators of humanity would know only what we created them with, they would see themselves as having existed before man. Honestly, this whole line of thought is really hair splitting when it comes to practical magical work. It does not matter if chicken layed egg, or egg hatched chicken first, only that omelets are tasty. Magic works the same either way. In addition, it answers the question either way that started this whole mess.
If it’s top-down (spiritual to physical), then magic states “as above so below”, in essence when teleporting a magical operation was performed to build a double of you. All things house a divine spark and your double would be no different. Your double has the same free will (an entirely different topic) and life choices you do. It is made of the four elements on the astral and mental plane so it has a consciousness, feelings, thoughts and will-awareness as you do.
If it is bottom-top (physical giving rise to spiritual) then magic states “as below so above” and physical matter was manipulated in such a manner that gives rise to feelings, emotions and consciousness within a complex and well developed (in an accidental-evolutionary sense of developed with no goal in mind) organism. This being, having three “brain layers” reptilian running the physical, mammalian limbic system running emotional tones, and neo-mammalian running mental and abstract thought, executive decision making skills and so on creates a soul and mind like a violin creates ethereal sounds that exist beyond its corporal form (yes, the sounds are physical I was being poetical hence the word “like” before the analogy).
Fascinating, that either way you read the Emerald Tablet of Hermes it can still be accurate.
So dualism from a magical perspective is flawed, triunalism is more accurate.
Many questions still exist though, and I have not touched on all of them. Consider these things for yourself and see what you come up with. I will be meditating on chicken eggs and hens.