We know that human minds have proved themselves capable of everything from imbecility to Quantum Theory, from Mein Kampf and sadism to the sanctity of Philip Neri, from metaphysics to crossword puzzles, power politics and the Missa Solemnis. We also know that human minds are in some way associated with human brains, and we have fairly good reasons for supposing that there have been no considerable changes in the size and conformation of human brains for a good many thousands of years. Consequently it seems justifiable to infer that human minds in the remote past were capable of as many and as various kinds and degrees of activity as are minds at the present time.

It is however, certain that many activities undertaken by some minds at the present time were not, in the remote past, undertaken by any minds at all. […] Our perceptions and our understanding are directed, in large measure, by our will. We are aware of, and we think about, the things which, for one reason or another, we want to see and understand. Where there’s a will there is always an intellectual way. The capacities of the human mind are almost indefinitely great. Whatever we will to do, whether it be to come to the unitive knowledge of the Godhead, or to manufacture self-propelled flame-throwers – that we are able to do, provided always that the willing be sufficiently intense and sustained.