The discussions and illustrations of table turning, of Ouija board readings, and of mesmerism and 19th-century spiritualism in general are terrific fun and really promote the thesis that ordinary waking consciousness—in which we usually include willed, voluntary action—is but a tiny Plato's cave. Beyond the cave are galaxies of neural connections and social triggers as old as the limbic system itself. Untampered with, these work on their own to promote the organism's tropisms, preferences, appetites, and, I suppose, propagation. Conscious will serves as a timekeeper, an identity marker, a feeling that we have somehow originated or participated in an action. Without the personal stamp of memory, without the feeling that "I" did this or that, the world becomes a sump, stripped of milestones, of cognitive benchmarks, and as participants we become identity-less, unanchored, essentially demented.