Mind is the faculty of thinking. Basically consists in the ability to identify elements that are common and to discern those that are different from the information provided by senses and memory. Based on this 'scrutiny', similar ideas, or similar elements, are combined in new ideas or elements, are inferred ones from others, are associated or simply are mixed or differentiated themselves, Servetus explains.
This activity is not performed in the metaphysical vacuum or in a non-physical manner. The complex vascular network of brain and nerves machine performs it. But even this machinery does not create mind out of nothing, it is not as magical and wonderful. It isn’t an 'unmoved mover', it does not work in an isolated way by itself, but is moved and fed by the 'air-spiritus', which has an inherent 'logos' that is expressed in the comings and goings of thought in time, in the flow of temporal evolution of consciousness. This is, according to Servetus, what makes the brain and mind go and it is what gives them their unpredictable fluctuating dynamics.
Ideas are not what rule and govern the machine (which would be a concession to metaphysics) but they are the result of movement of the machine. The mind is not autistic and autonomous of the environment, it is not anything closed itself that 'emerge' miraculously from the organic structure, it is not anything whose explanation is depleted in this structure, but on the contrary, it receives from outside an energy and pulse that moves it (air or 'spiritus' of Servetus) and also receives some informational contents, from external sensory energies, which are so 'moved'. It's when they move that mind works, elements are combined and inferences, associations, etc. are made. It is when you think. The organic machinery merely responds to stimuli of external nature. And consciousness, what we think and feel, is only a temporary manifestation of this operation.
What is emerging and unpredictable, wonderful, magical or divine of our mind and our consciousness is gived from the veiled, hidden nature, of the action of 'air-spiritus', from the fact that, despite acting so powerfully in us, we don’t know it actually and it is completely beyond our control. In fact, the hidden 'air-spiritus' logos is responsible that we know so little of ourselves and that we become as little predictable, that thoughts and feelings are beyond our control as they are, that in an identical situation sometimes we act in a way and sometimes in a completely different one. Because, in fact, our experience fluctuates greatly over time even at an invariable situation or task.
Motivation, expectations, effort, performance... are highly variable by definition. Vary without an established known cause. We like more or less the same activities we do every day, we perceive them as different, it is more or less difficult to keep the attention on them, and we perform better or worse. Exactly the same task at a moment or at other. And we decide to do it or not do it, change it, change our opinion, justify something or other, understand it in one way or other... The mind is terribly unstable and unpredictable. The 'air-spiritus' logos must be indeed responsible of our desires, thoughts and feelings as variables, because the absence of an unknown 'language' as this, and if their causes were really known, these mental processes would be, on the contrary, entirely predictable. Human behavior would be, in this hypothetical case, something totally linear and boring. And psychology would be an exact science. Too far from the truth.
The unpredictable and unattainable 'logos' is manifested in mental activity, but comes from environment. The brain is the interpreter, and thought and consciousness are the final expression of the process. It is the 'language of air'. Mental functioning called 'superior', at level of thought, conscience and will (voluntary and conscious mental activity) does not exhaust its explanation in the ability to associate sensory information and memory alone, which work at a 'lower' level as involuntary and very predictable automatisms of mind. 'Superior' logos, on the contrary, originates from something much more fluctuating: the air of atmosphere, concludes Servet, which is picked up by breathing and transported by a circulatory system that opens in a wonderful network of vessels and capillaries penetrating the entire nervous system, and confuses with it anatomically and physiologically. So the air "fuels the fire of the mind", and variations in some dimension of air quality (originated outside the body, at atmosphere) express in the variable quality of 'igneous' activity (metabolic, we can say) of the brain and mind. The ability to mix, identify and differentiate contents, which is 'thinking', and even moral quality of this thinking, depend on changes in some dimension of the intake air, that is, the 'universal spirit', or 'holy spirit' or 'God' as such in the Christian sense, as interpreted Servetus. Thus, changes in our conscious activity depend on changes that occur in the air-spirit-God.
What defines this 'air-spirit-God' in essence is that it is dynamic and fluctuating in time. It is more stimulating or less along time. Sets the tone of the conscious mind, and manifests itself in the quality of the acts deriving from the voluntary and directed mental activity. 'God' lights us some moments to discover the truth of things with aeration, through the lungs and blood, of the ‘igneous’ spirit of the brain. Thus, intelligence, penetration of thinking and understanding are a function of 'logos of air'. So are the moral of our thoughts and actions, our motivations and desires.
Thus, can be said that 'God' governs our thinking and our behavior and gives us intelligence and enjoyment of understanding the world in which we live, if we call 'God' to 'logos of air'. And equally, that our intelligence is as 'divine' we have got, and that human 'virtue' is to think and behave intelligently, according to the logos gived to us. And that intelligence is not exactly 'ours' but it is gived to us by nature, actually comes from the energies of nature that stimulate our senses and, especially, energy of 'air-spiritus', which directly stimulates our mind and orders it and gives the flow of consciousness. And that consciousness, in short, while concretes in the personal experiences of each individual, belongs essentially not to the particular individual but is a universal phenomenon of nature... All these statements come to express the same, in one way or another. It is what Servetus wrote, that all these elements are equally spirit: air, pneuma, our impulses and thoughts, our intelligence, angels, God...
As seen, Michael spectacularly achieved the goal to develop a natural theory, truly empirical, observable and verifiable, capable to explain what unfathomable depths of the human mind. He had the courage to rise, 500 years ago, in detail and with scientific foundation, a concrete way of operation of the higher powers of the mind, its anatomy and physiology, its physical and psychophysical mode. He tried to explain empirically the unattainable metaphysical soul of philosophy and Christianity.
Unfortunately, however, they have been 500 years of neglect of the deepest thought of Servetus. His greatest intellectual hit has not been still openly discussed, as if it were sacrilegious still, as if fire of 'Holy' Inquisition had achieved, effectively, to scorch it…
However, the fundamental idea of the existence of a sort of mechanism by which surrounding air element fluctuates and acts powerfully on the thought and the 'psyche', other people have been able to put in words in other moments in history. Originated and released with an almost innocent frankness and simplicity in the distant times of pre-Socratic Greece, became, a few centuries later, a totally blurred and buried idea. But long time didn’t remove that, by contrast, it seems to return always, with renewed interest and evidence, under the impulse of free thinking people like Servetus. Nevertheless, or precisely because of its eternal return over the millennia, one can not stop feeling, as Hölderlin, a profound and shooting nostalgia for the era of ancient Greeks in which must existed, we have reasons to believe, some certainly shining moments in history (the early philosophers) that soul and human spirit had no veil. …Or is it just an illusion?