Hyponoetics - Essays
 
Limitations of Functional-Analytical Thinking
Abstract: Functional or analytical thinking is not capable of understanding the true nature of our mind. Our mind is a non-functional unity that can only be grasped by a non-functional thinking such as Transrational Thinking (Paranoesis). Functionality is attributable to mind only if mind were a product of natural evolution. Functional thinking results from the limitations of the Individual Mind (Exonoesis). Since mind is ontologically different from matter, analytical methodology and terminology is inadequate to understand the complexity of our mind. Only in the act of pure thinking does Mind reveal itself as Mind per se.
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Transrational Thinking (Paranoesis) is not a function but a state of the mind. This is an important distinction for the understanding of mind itself. Functionality belongs to the physical world, to matter. That has been proven sufficiently by science. Science is the most sophisticated and the most successful instrument of understanding the workings of our world and matter in general. It explains inorganic structures and organisms as primarily functional units. These functional units of systems can be subdivided into subordinate functions. The functionality of the world makes the world explicable and comprehensible. It is no longer something unknown.

Science's functional thinking also entailed the development of technology and of a technocracy that seems to be dominating and manipulating our society and culture (cf. Marcuse's brilliant, revealing and in-depth critique in "One-Dimensional Man").

Functionality is a legitimate utility and method for grasping the structure and processes of matter and the world, of nature itself. However, when it comes to understanding our mind, our consciousness, functionality is of no avail. There have been numerous attempts to functionalize consciousness. The result was cognitive psychology.

Although psychology and psychiatry think that they have come up with therapies and methods of studying and manipulating our mind and consciousness, this has to be dismissed as self-deceptive in an ultimate view of the mind. The functionality of the mind as perceived by psychology are the emotions, the psycho-physiological functions, such as perception, but also the mental functions of reasoning, association, memory, etc.

All these mental and psychical functions, however, do not grasp mind as such, but only the way it manifests itself in the very functions we have produced. This is a vicious circle. Thus by the very act of thinking in terms of functions, we created these functions. We cannot find functions either in the world or in our psyche without having an idea of what a function is. The concept of functionality is an apriori synthetic concept.

Here we have an aporetic problem: if the way our mind thinks is functional and mind is not produced by nature, where does this functional element come from, especially if we assume (and also experience) mind to be a unity, but functionality itself appears to be heterogeneous ipso facto?

Either functionality is the essence of nature and we acquire functional thinking through our perceptions or sensations - but in this case, mind would be a product of nature - , or functionality is just the negativity of our mind. By this, I mean the following: the positive state of mind is infinite consciousness, unlimited beingness. The negative state would be a limitation of the infinite consciousness. Being limited to a particular existence, in other words: individuality.

The very process of limitation of infinite consciousness creates the Individual Mind (Exonoesis). This mind is not yet functional. By limiting the Individual Mind to its preoccupation with perceptions and sensations, functional thinking is produced, the negativity of the Individual Mind.

Thus, we have here a double negativity: from the Universal Mind (Hyponoesis) to the Individual Mind (Exonoesis), and from the Individual Mind to functional thinking.

So, functions are the prefabricated concepts of functional thinking and are convenient instruments when dealing with experience. Applied to the mind itself that is dialectically on a higher level than functional thinking, we have to forgo these functional concepts and deal with mind as a state and not as a function. That's why mind and consciousness can never be explained by science as long as science is stuck in functional reductionism.

If mind were a function, it would be only a matter of time until science reveals the purely material basis of the mind. I would even claim, that this would have happened already in the 20th century. Since the nature of our mind is, however, completely different from the nature of the world and matter, we cannot apply the same methodology and terminology to the mind. This fact makes it harder to understand mind, it becomes something eluding the firm grip of science. Maybe this appears only to be the case because we try to understand mind in terms of fuctions, by way of concepts, instead of developing new methods and new faculties of thinking to investigate our mind.

One method is Transrational Thinking (Paranoesis). This supreme faculty of the mind bridges the gap between the Individual Mind (Exonoesis) and the Universal Mind (Hyponoesis). It is no longer a thinking that tries to reflect upon mind itself, but it is mind itself that thinks itself. The very act of Transrational Thinking is the understanding of mind. The secrets of mind and consciousness can never be taught, but only grasped by everyone's own effort of thinking. Not thinking something particular, but just pure thinking. Not thinking about something (that would be again functional thinking, objectified thinking), but just letting Mind itself be what it is. Thinking transrationally is being the mind, the Universal Mind (Hyponoesis). It's an act of our whole being.