Hyponoetics - Essays
Paranoetic Knowledge
Abstract: The basic distinction between rational and Paranoetic Thinking, also called Transrational Thinking, leads to the double-aspect of knowledge: rational or acquired knowledge vs Paranoetic or Transrational Knowledge. The latter is grounded in Hyponoesis (Universal Mind) and is the product of a higher faculty of our mind: Paranoesis (Transrational Thinking). Paranoetic Knowledge needs to be destinguished from mystic experience.

The crucial distinction between rational and Paranoetic Thinking (or Transrational Thinking) is the following linguistic aspect:

Normally we declare: It is 'I' that thinks, 'I think this or that', 'I use my thinking faculty', etc. We tend to emphasize our person as the agency of thinking. Thinking as a faculty belongs to every human being, it is its specific characteristic and therefore we attribute thinking (intellectuality, rationality) to each individual. Furthermore, we recognize the fact that our thinking is distinct from the thinking of another person, not formally, but materially, that is, the knowledge I acquired and the knowledge I have at my disposal is different from the knowledge someone else possesses. Because knowledge is believed to have been acquired or learned in some way or another, it is not astonishing at all that we indubitably relate our thinking to us as individual beings.

But this very notion of our thinking being part of our individuality restricts our faculty of thinking considerably. That's why most philosophers observe that our knowledge of the world is limited by nature. This 'by nature' means either the lesser degree of perfection of the mind compared to God's mind and knowledge or in modern science the natural constraint of the brain as bodily organ. Since modern neurobiology holds that all knowledge is acquired somehow, as John Locke already asserted, the amount of knowledge a person is able to accumulate is limited, not to mention the fact that we tend to forget  acquired knowledge over time.

If we consider on the other hand the paranoetic aspect of knowledge, which is illimitable and all-encompassing, we come to realize the following: instead of 'I think', as in rational and individual thinking, there is 'IT thinks'. IT stands for a supra-rational (not irrational) and supra-individual unlimited thinking. It is not a particular person with all its natural and inner limitations (the limitations of individuality), but the 'I' becomes one with the universal 'IT', i.e. Hyponoesis (Universal Mind). It is not 'I' as a person who thinks, but it is the whole universe, the Absolute and supreme Mind. The 'I' is extended infinitely to the 'IT'. My individuality ceases to be dominant over my thinking. It is Universal Thinking. The 'I' does not exist anymore, only the 'IT'. The individual form recedes into the original form, the original Mind. Therefore, Paranoetic Knowledge is all-knowledge, omniscience in its purest form. If 'IT' thinks and not 'I', every limitation that is pertinent to my individual form as a human being and to my individual form of thinking, is cast off and my mind becomes Hyponoesis (Universal Mind, my thinking blends into the Universal Thinking and becomes one with it.

But this state of thinking should not be confused with states of mystical experience. The latter comprises empirical experience, the experience of becoming and being one with the Godhead or the Absolute. But if we extend our egocentric thinking to a cosmocentric thinking, we do not experience oneness in the sense the mystic does. Only our thinking has completely changed. We are individual by our body, but universal by our mind. In our mind we have suddenly a vast and inexhaustible repository of information and knowledge right at our fingertips. It is a different kind of knowledge, not comparable to our rational and acquired knowledge.

This knowledge is not within the frame of time and space, not impregnated and restrained with empirical and sensualistic data from our sense perceptions. Paranoetic knowledge does not think in terms of discrete parts of knowledge but rather in terms of so-called Hologemes: the whole, not the parts. The part, however, is not lost in the whole; it is contained in the whole, we possess it through the whole and not, as with rational thinking, through other parts or more complex parts. In rational thinking we never think the whole (s. Kant: The apprehension of the manifold of appearance is always successive (KrV, A189,B234)), but only parts ( analyatical thinking) or complexities (synthetical thinking). The whole, however, with all its parts is only accessible to Transrational Thinking or Paranoetic Thinking.

Mystic Experience and Paranoetic Knowledge

Both, mystic experience and Paranoetic Knowledge, transcend the realm of ordinary consciousness and rational thinking. But there are some fundamental differences between these two modes of transcendence:

1. Mystic experience, as the word already states, is an experience of a higher dimensional state of consciousness. It implies empirical data, such as emotions, feelings, sense perception, which all transcend everyday experience, especially concerning perspicuity and range of perception.

The act of Paranoesis (Transrational Thinking), however, does not imply any kind of emotions or psychical experience, but is reduced to cognition and thinking only. Paranoetic Knowledge is not an experience but a cognitional or supra-intellectual act, transcending rational and logical thinking.

2. Whereas the mystic experiences oneness physically and psychically by being one with everything and the Godhead, the Transrational Thinker knows that everything is one in its essence or substance, but she does not experience it actually. It is a mental act of understanding, but an understanding that by far surpasses the comprehension of rationally minded people. Whereas the mystic is predominantly enshrouded in an overwhelming experience and thereby does often not understand what she experiences, the Transrational Thinker always knows and understands the higher dimension without being overwhelmed by distracting emotions of experience.

3. The mystic can describe her experience only by means of symbols, metaphors and analogies, but rarely is she capable of articulating what she experienced with the necessary acuity of the mind. She experiences the oneness, but how can she explain it in rational terms, which themselves are restricted to our everyday experience and not to higher states of consciousness? The mystic has no appropriate vocabulary at her disposal. Language is too limited, too rational, too ordinary. But despite this fact, the Transrational Thinker is more able to translate her superior knowledge into rational language, although we cannot make the assumption that what she expounds in rational form will be understood by the community of philosophers or scientists. A philosopher or scientist will rather listen to a "rationalized" account than to a metaphorical and ornate one by a mystic.

4. The knowledge the mystic obtains about what she experiences is not particular, but general or universal knowledge. It does not deal with singular truths but with universal and holistic truth. She understands the truth without being able to give a systematic account of it or to describe it rationally. The Transrational Thinker, however, by virtue of his highly developed thinking faculty, is able of rendering a detailed and systematic description of the truth she has come to know by means of Paranoesis or Transrational Thinking. The Transrational Thinker is omniscient, all-knowing, because by means of Intuition he has access to the cosmic or universal repository of information, that is, to Hyponoesis (Universal Mind).

5. The mystic experiences oneness, and thereby becomes what she experiences, that is, she becomes one with everything she perceives. This is an existential experience. The Transrational Thinker does not experience the oneness existentially but only through her supreme capacity of thinking. She paranoetically grasps the oneness by understanding why everything has to be fundamentally one, why we experience and perceive duality and a plurality of things and so on.

Thus the mystic's experience is a grassroots experience, ontologically changing the world of reality. This expansion of consciousness to a higher reality, this extended spectrum of perception gives the mystic a more thorough and encompassing experience than the Transrational Thinker. For the latter, there exists only an idealistic or noetic oneness in the comprehension of her extended or higher form of thinking.

6. The mystic transcends all human limitations, those of the body as well as those of her psyche and her life as a whole. The Transrational Thinker only transcends his thinking, whereas the mystic only partially transcends thinking, because thinking is only a minor and negligible part of her comprehensive experience. More often than not, the mystic believes that thinking is only obstructing the experience of the Godhead, therefore it has to be relinquished completely so as to surrender oneself wholly to the sweeping experience of oneness. The mystic is not aware of the mind-transcending power of Paranoesis (Transrational Thinking).

7. From the above mentioned it follows that the mystic does not think or know consciously in this higher state of experience. That is however just what the Transrational Thinker does. She is fully aware of her thinking capacity and of the possibilities that are open to her by hooking up to the infinite repository of knowledge of Hyponoesis.

8. That leads me to final point of difference, maybe the most important one. If we consider the accounts of mystics concerning their experiences, we inevitably state that they cannot attain this experience by will. They describe it as a feat of God's grace that only happens a few precious times in their life. It is a supernatural gift of the heavens of inestimable value. But here the Transrational Thinker has a great advantage. Once she developed Paranoetic Thinking by applying a particular method, she can attain this state of thinking by volition, whenever she wants and needs to. Moreover, she even could think the rest of her life employing this supra-rational mode of thinking without losing the contact with rationality or other people. But the mystic, assuming she could keep up the mystic state of experience, would have problems with her life from hereafter, because the supreme bliss of this state would have her forget about the daily petty sorrows and problems, occupying the mind of normal people.