Secretum secretorum - De Mirabilibus Mundi - Human condition - Mind
Background for Ars Magica sagas

The Mind and Mentem

Imbuing an animal with an agens intellectus, the ability to reason and to understand, is done when creating a familiar.

But it can be argued that the agens intellectus imbued then is not created, but is the magus' agens intellectus, that hence mage and familiar share one agens intellectus.

Arguments for this are all the shared mental and sensual faculties of magus and familiar, and the fact that the familiar's intelligence is one point below the magus' score. From this you also could derive that this is biased in favor of the magus, that a familiar hence can use the shared agens only to a limited degree.

An argument for this is also, that a familiar cannot live more than a few days when its master dies, but that a magus can survive his familiar's death. (Aside and out of character: IMCs there is an ex-familiar, now Bjornaer magus, who survived his master for nearly a century. But this magus should have gotten his own agens-intellectus when he acquired the human heartbeast. Wonders of Bjornaer magic!)

Because even the awesome 'Shadow of Life Renewed', while it can restore all the animalistic properties of the mind, does never bestow on a healed corpse the faculty to learn again, we must deduce that it cannot restore the agens intellectus, either.

This would indicate that a creation of an agens intellectus out of nothing by hermetic means is either impossible or extremely difficult, while an animal mind, together with the animal, can be created even by talented apprentices.

There is one spell, 'Gift of Reason', which shows that improvement of an existing agens intellectus is possible, hence most modifications of it should be within the limits of hermetic magic and the power of a competent Mentem magus.

Given that Thomist psychology is a very new concept for the Order of Hermes, this can be only a first attempt at its evaluation with respect to hermetic possibilities.

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