Hyponoetics - Essays
 
Emotive and Paranoetic Thinking
Abstract : The two primary and distinct modes of Exonoesis (Individual Mind) are feeling and thinking. Feeling is emotive thinking, Paranoetic Thinking is above feeling. Whereas emotive thinking is characteristic of the common Mind, Paranoetic Thinking is the privilege and the accomplishment of a life-long laborious study of the philosopher who succeeds in transcending the limitations of emotive thinking so as to obtain Pure Thought or Pure Mind.
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Human beings think emotionally. Feeling is the predominant state of mind. We do not experience the world and other human beings in terms of abstract ideas but through the faculty of feeling. Feeling is the capacity of our mind that is most closely related to the body. Feeling without its relationship to the body is inconceivable. Pure Mind is not based on feeling, pure or Paranoetic Thinking (Paranoesis) cannot feel, because in order to feel the sensory equipment of the body is a necessary prerequisite. Feeling and emotion is intimately connected to the body insofar as feeling manifests itself as "feeling the body", as awareness of our body. Pain, even if it is psychic or inner pain, such as grief, materializes itself as a queasiness in the stomach. The solar plexus is the central gateway of emotivity.

Feeling is always concrete and subjective. Subjective insofar as it is unique to our individual consciousness and as such remains incommunicado. Concrete, because it is linked to a particular object of our experience and not to an abstract idea. We cannot grieve over an abstract concept or love an abstract concept. Our emotions are always intentionally directed to a concrete object of the world or our mind. Fear of death may be considered as an abstract fear, but it is not. Since our imagination represents death as an actual and real eventuality of our life, death is concrete in its influence on our emotional state. We can only fear something concrete, not something residing only in a concept. Even existential fear is concrete fear, because it relates to our personal life. The subjectivity of feeling is another criterion that distinguishes it from the universality of concepts. Pure concepts are abstract, universal and objective, whereas feelings are concrete, particular and subjective.

Human beings, by nature, only develop a primitive form of thought: emotive thinking. This thinking has a highly regulative function, insofar as it orders the sensations and perceptions of our experience. Since experience is tantamount to feeling, emotive thinking has the most important and biologically useful function of structuring the world we experience through our senses. However, since feeling is characterized as being subjective, experience and emotive thinking a fortiori are never pure or absolute but always relative and affected by our preconceptions, prejudices, character, attitudes, views, social norms, cultural values, etc.

The world we experience and know is the world of emotive thought, as seen through the glasses of feeling. It is not the reality or true nature of things that presents itself to our mind, but an emotionally constructed view. These emotive percepts are nevertheless universal, insofar as emotive thinking is idiosyncratic to every human consciousness and as such part of our biological and intellectual inheritance. We only perceive and understand that for which our inner emotive resonance is adapted. To the degree emotive thinking is developed, the world is perceived and understood. Feeling is the instrument of understanding for most people. Unfortunately, this limits our thought and comprehension of the world considerably and gives us erroneous and tainted notions of reality. We only grasp a small spectrum of reality and even this tiny extract only in an emotionally manipulated way.

The only way to eschew emotive thought and its illusory entanglements is by referring to Paranoetic or Pure Thinking. Paranoetic thought is free from any emotive matter and therefore also divested of the direct influence of the body. (Contra to the objection, that might be brought forth against my theory, - namely that I condemn the body as the "prison of the soul" or as a "pool of sinfulness or evil" - I have to answer with the following riposte: I do not deny the significance of the body, especially since I believe that the body is the vehicle or instrument for the mind to express itself as individualized consciousness. Without the body, mind would not become individualized and as such would remain unexpressed in eternal self-sufficiency. But, on the other hand, the body is only instrumental in my view and not predominant as it has become so in modern Western culture. There should always be more emphasis in life on the part of the mind than on the part of the body. We should cater to the primary needs of the body in order to sustain a healthy body, which is again conducive to a prolonged activity of the mind. However, mind should always remain the master of the body, controlling its drives and urges, so as to restrain them to a minimum activity.)

Paranoetic Thought transcends the limitations of emotive thinking and is naturaliter infinite. That does not mean that Paranoetic Thought is only abstract thinking, separated from our concrete experience of objects or severed from sensations and perceptions. Instead, as it is the case with emotive thinking, of being in medias res of sensations as feelings, Paranoetic Thought looks on them from a higher level of contemplation. From this lofty point of view we are able to observe the sensations as being part of our mind, but we do not indulge in the experience of feelings and are therefore outside of their scope of influence. We are emotionally detached, we are no longer embodied feelings, but pure Mind, pure Thought.

It may be objected to this thesis of being pure Mind without feeling, that this could lead to a purely rational and callous attitude or state of the mind, that has no feeling, no compassion, and fosters no love to other human beings. That is wrong. Paranoetic Thinking has not lost the contact with the body and other beings. By transcending the petty egocentrism of the emotive being, Paranoetic Thought attains a more holistic and altruistic (humanistic) view of the world. Instead of indulging in passions, Paranoetic Thought develops compassion, instead of pity, emphatic understanding, instead of sexual attraction, true universal love, instead of constant anxieties and fears, placid equanimity, instead of being a mere puppet in the hands of Fortuna, being master of one's own fate, instead of thinking small, thinking big.

Paranoetic Thinking includes emotive thinking as a subordinate part of the mind. Scientific thinking is an intermediary level between emotive thinking and Paranoetic Thinking (also called Philosophical or Transrational Thinking. The peculiarity of scientific thought is its attempt to reach a level of objectivity that is clearly detached from subjective emotive thinking. Nevertheless, scientific thought is still closely related to our experiential world and as such has not attained the level of absoluteness as Paranoetic Thought. It is still dependent on emotive thinking for its matter and is therefore not on a level where it can overview the whole. Scientific thought is therefore specific, analytical and reductionistic thinking.