Hyponoetics - Essays
 
The Apriority and Primacy of Hyponoesis
Abstract: This essay presents seven arguments from different areas of study that attempt to establish the primacy of Hyponoesis (Universal Mind). More arguments are conceivable and will be added in my further research. The main point is that Hyponoesis is prerequisite and necessary for the existence of our physical world and the existence of Individual Minds or consciousnesses. Unity must precede multiplicity, infinitude finiteness, and the Universal is the ground of the Particular.
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  1. Pschological Argument
  2. Ontological Argument
  3. Logical Argument
  4. Epistemological Argument
  5. Quantum-Physicalist Argument
  6. Idealistic-Dialectical Argument
  7. Transcendental Argument

1. PSYCHOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

C.G. Jung's concept of a collective unconscious refers to a supra-individual consciousness that connects all living beings together. (cf. Schroedinger: "Mind is by its very nature a singulare tantum. I should say: the over-all number of minds is just one. I venture to call it indestructible since it has a peculiar timetable, namely mind is always now." and: "The doctrine of identity [of all minds] can claim that it is clinched by the empirical fact that consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular. Not only has none of us ever experienced more than one consciousness, but there is also no trace of evidence of this ever happening anywhere in the world." quoted from Mind and Matter).

2. ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

Exonoesis (Individual Mind) is phenomenally different from the material or physical world we perceive. Therefore, mind cannot be a product of the body and therefore has not emerged from the process of evolution, like matter did. What is the unique process of evolution germane to mind? Where does mind come from if not from nature? The ontological status of our mind is different from that of the physical world. The characteristics that we apply for defining what is physical (such as space, mass, charge, motion, dimension, etc.) cannot be applied to our mind. Mind is not located somewhere in space or within the human brain, nor does it have mass or charge or motion or dimensions. So, how can a chunk of grey matter (= brain) produce something so completely different and superior in functionality as our mind? The mind cannot be a product of matter and must therefore be of a different nature, namely that of Hyponoesis (Universal Mind). Since Exonoesis (Individual Mind) did not evolve with the body, the individual mind cannot be primary, but must have its origin in something that is superior to it. Individual form is always transient and finite and can therefore not be the ontological ground for other individual forms. There must be a Universal Mind (Hyponoesis) to account for the multiplicity of individual minds (Exonoesis) that are connected with individual bodies for a certain time.

3. LOGICAL ARGUMENT

How is it possible for our individual mind to think of something that transcends our mind's inherent limitation? The mere possibility to think of a higher entity that surpasses everyday rational thought implies the existence of this higher entity (cf. Anselm's ontological argument). Our mind has a double nature: it is infinite through its identity with Hyponoesis (Universal Mind) and it is finite through its connection to a corporeal form. A good example of our mind's infinite essence are the "concepts" we have of the physical world. A concept is logically infinite since it covers all instances of a particular physical object. For example: if we think of a tree, the concept of "tree" does not refer to one particular tree, but to the tree in general, to all instances of tree that existed in the past and will exist in the future. Therefore, concepts are infinite by nature. Now, if we think of something that has no equivalent in the physical world, be that some imaginary object or some infinite entity such as God, the question arises how this concept was created in our mind. Usually, our concepts are based on our experience of the world. An imaginary concept such as a flying horse or other mythical beings have never been experienced. Of course, psychologists will contend that imaginary objects are the product of association in our mind. We just put together familiar concepts and create new ones. But, what about God? Or the Universal Mind? If we assume that all concepts have their roots in some kind of experience, then philosophers and mystics who postulated the Universal or One Mind must have experienced it.

4. EPISTEMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

How can we know of something that is beyond the empirical frame of our mind? This argument draws on the previous argument. I claim that the very nature of Exonoesis (Individual Mind) requires the existence of Hyponoesis (Universal Mind). Kant's cogent transcendental idealism asserts that we can only know what is given through our experience of the world. The ideas of reason, such as God or soul, are not based on empirical experiential facts, but are created by reason as the synthesis (totality) of a series of conditioned facts. As Kant, modern science, too, believes that true knowledge is only possible of empirical facts that are public to everyone. Knowledge is based on stored information in our memory. We cannot know something that has not been acquired by us through learning or experience. This current theory, however, is breaking down. We have now convincing proof of higher faculties of our mind, such as telepathy, precognition, etc. These faculties acquire knowledge not through the usual channels of experience or learning, but directly through tapping into another mind or situation. This is only possible if Exonoesis participates in a kind of collective mind or if all individual minds are ultimately only one, indivisible mind or reality.

5. QUANTUM-PHYSICALIST ARGUMENT

Interrelatedness of the  quantum world suggests a common background, what physicists call the quantum vacuum, out of which all physical matter was generated. If this concept is extended, even mental aspects may have emerged out of the vacuum. Modern science is conducive to the ideas of a holistic fundamental reality out of which everything else in the universe consists. Physical and mental aspects are concomitant to all entities. Such panpsychistic arguments gradually find their way into mainstream science. Scientists start to recognize the world not as a construct of multiple single components that interact with each other, but more like a totality or holistic system that is based on relations and processes and not on parts.

6. IDEALISTIC-DIALECTICAL ARGUMENT

This argument is based on Schelling's identity philosophy and Hegel's dialectics of the World Spirit.

Particularity and difference require the Absolute or the Identity of subject and object as prerequisite. Particulars can only come into existence if unity is prior to them. Difference is the finitization of the Absolute, of the Indifference. Difference is the actualized and individuated world. We can perceive empirically as well as conceptually a world of particulars because all those particulars are inherently and essentially one. This finite-infinite unity is characteristic of every particularized entity. The form is the differentiated and actualized Absolute or Identity (= infinitude).

Unity is the primary ground for all difference. Difference is only phenomenal and only identity or indifference is absolute reality.

7. TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT

This category comprises what is generally known under the following designations:

Transpersonal psychology (Ken Wilber), meditation, mystical experience, Psychic Research, shamanistic experience, psychedelic drug experience, etc. Charles Tart calls these experiences "altered states of consciousness". They differ from our "normal" or ordinary state of consciousness. One common feature of all those states is the experience of the unity of the world and all living creatures. This unity cannot be inferred from our ordinary experience, because what we ordinarily experience is a world of single and separate objects. Altered states of consciousness are not something pertinent to the 20th century, but they have occurred since the dawn of mankind throughout all cultures. This fact lends them a high factor of certainty and genuineness. Since the experience in those states are not that of an individual mind, but of an individual mind transcending its individuality and becoming one with all minds, we have to conclude that the primacy of Hyponoesis (Universal Mind) is necessary to allow those kind of experiences.