In the early morning when we first wake up, or late at night when we grow weary, we are sometimes faced with the disconcerting feeling of a type of madness. We experience a state where reason and logic have been almost engulfed with the symbolic, with the non-logical or unreasonable mind. The logical mind is a fledgling creation, very recent, hardly tested and often pushed aside. It easily falls prey to its elders the reptilian and mammalian mind. The two older minds have survived much, have been battle tested over eons, in comparison the mind of reason and intellect is but a newborn, albeit a newborn that sprouted quite quickly.
When Hermes was born he sprouted up quite fast, while the other gods took “time” and even training to reach their places, Hermes was born and almost immediately started doing Hermes things. Winged Hermes inspired deception, music, and friendship all in his first day. Messenger of the most high, he delivered the edicts and inspirations from the highest to other gods and to mortals. Jung associates Hermes with the unconscious and as psychopomp. I associate Hermes as the first conscious god, the one who as a shaman had one foot in the deep and one in our world. Born from the ruler of the gods and from a goddess associated with greatness, the Pleiades and a daughter of Atlas we see that the union of those two forces would make something truly amazing. Divine force and the stars is what our minds are made of.
So, this fledgling god, newborn in creation in short order transforms the world through invention, art, science, language, technology, inspiration, and a curiosity so great it spreads across the globe. It takes the reptilian and mammalian abilities and traits and raises them to new levels, it makes sex and turns it into romantic love, it takes violence into martial arts, it takes the animal drives of securing a small part of an environment and builds cities, countries and eventually touches and escapes the grasp of the Earth itself. It does all of this in what geological time sees as barely a day. Our minds are like Hermes.
As great as it is thought it is still not what it can be. Few mortals have developed and attained the highest heights of what can be achieved with this new layer of fat encased in skull. This brain can be conditioned and taught to do nearly anything. It can take totally unrelated things and unite them to make something new and amazing. It can wipe out disease, death, natural forces; it can even peer into the very origins of creation. Just think, in your head right now is something that can; my focused attention, understand the fundamental building blocks and forces of nature and through calculation predict how the universe will behave just as Einstein and Hawkings have done. Isaac Newton and John Dee were both amazingly versed in the occult and men of science. You practice the same art they did and have more knowledge and information available to you then they could have dreamed, all due to the real gift of our human minds…we compound knowledge. Monkeys, as smart and as cunning as they are cannot teach another monkey anything. We can teach, we can grow more and know more in a generation than 10 generations did before us combined.
Lastly we come to the final aspect of Hermes and a useful trait of the mind. Lies. I quote Arthur Conan Doyle in a discussion between Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes:
His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth traveled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.
"You appear to be astonished," he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. "Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it."
"To forget it!"
"You see," he explained, "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."
"But the Solar System!" I protested.
"What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently; "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work."
If you but turn your mind to the myriad host of beliefs, ideas, concepts, theories, facts and useless information that may be clogging your brain you will see that for the most part it is completely useless to just amass facts. Acquire the sense of useful lies. Sure you can know meteorology and how a storm is produced, or you can accept the useful lie that there is a thunder god, or air spirits or whatever. What allows you to do the work of magic better is the one you accept and use.
1. My mind is creative, insightful and perceptive. I receive intuitions from the primitive aspects of my brain and turn that into useful information that helps me grow and develop.
2. The more I use and develop my mind the greater it becomes. I seek new knowledge and new information; I test it and verify it to be sure it is accurate. The more I know the more that is available to me.
3. Magic is a science and an art. It takes diligence, experimentation, trial and error. But most of all it takes passion. I am not afraid to fail. The greatest men alive failed many times, what makes them different than the unknown others is they LEARNED, and did it better the next time.
4. What another can do, so can I. No one is better or greater than me. The only person I truly compete with is myself, on being the greatest I can be. The only way to achieve that is to practice daily, to experiment and learn.
5. Those who explore and seek new things are the drivers of development and human history. If not for the first proto-human climbing down from the trees to see if they could make it none of us would have achieve anything more than the best lice-picker off of our ape clan, or best banana peeler. Step down, move forward, let not the fear of the beasts call you back. The new brain can master fear.
6. I am a piece of a greater whole that is furthering evolution. My use of my brain in order to become something greater than the average human will help move us all into something more. I help others and guide them to grow with me because if we do not all make it, none of us do. I lead by example to show the rest that it is better to leave the safety of the past and venture out.
7. My experiences, my beliefs become my actions. I cannot do anything I do not think I can achieve. I must plan, consider, experience in myself the change I want and then cause it to happen. I take in the evidence of my senses and make judgments based on the facts. What I think is what my experience is filtered through.
8. My thoughts are mine, inspired by the highest infused with billions of years of evolution but mine. The operating system it runs on is one of the highest functioning machines on the planet. This brain, this mind is my own. I control it. I am open to opinions, suggestions, and ideas for consideration and thoughtful discussion but in the end I own my life and it is my own. I choose my thoughts carefully.