Hyponoetics - Essays
Intellectual and Paranoetic Thinking
Abstract: Intellect as a practical instrument for mastering our life is distinguished from the higher faculty of philosophical or Paranoetic Thinking. Intellectual thinking is a product of the evolutionary processes in nature and as such bound to and affected by the limited capacities of the brain. Paranoetic thinking or reason is the supra-natural faculty, latent in every human being, but needs to be developed in order to yield valuable results. Philosophy offers methods of harnessing this unlimited power in our mind, but this supreme discipline amongst the humanities is little appreciated by academics and ordinary people who are more infatuated with the results of scientific thought.

Most people are not able to think in the sense of philosophical thinking. Thinking as understood trivially means the function of understanding, our intellect, which we use everyday as useful instrument in performing our work and other daily activities. Intellect is not thinking in the higher sense of philosophical thinking, which alone is genuine thinking. The intellect is an inborn biological instrument of human beings, as well as of animals (cf. Schopenhauer), that helps them master their lives and survive in the rough conditions of the environment. Although this instrument of survival is developed higher in humans than in animals, considered from the point of view of functionality, it serves the same purpose.

As we have once in our childhood learned how to walk, how to use our hands, our body, we have also acquired similar mental skills in learning how to use the functions of the intellect, which - I do make some concessions here to modern neurobiology that claims that brain functions are identical with the functions of the intellect, although I do not concede that the brain functions are also identical with the higher forms of thinking I'm discussing in this essay - are merely instrumentally and not originally adapted. The intellect is differently developed in different individuals, as skills always differ from individual to individual. People who train their intellect elaborately and live on the fruits of their reasoning are called scientists, thinkers, even, erroneously, philosophers. If the intellect is less trained, as it is with the major part of the average people, it is used only instrumentally in handling everyday situations. On the level of primitive men, the intellect is atrophied to mere functionality as with animals, although language as the specific moment of the human being is inherent in it. Language, however, does not add to the intellect, but can be seen as a biological and evolutionary feature of the homo sapiens.

The intellect, like other human faculties, is a τέχνη (techne) in the Greek sense. True and free thinking remains unknown to most people. Only few individuals in the history of humankind excelled the low level of the masses by discovering the infinite possibilities of philosophical or Paranoetic Thinking. These gifted individuals were the great thinkers and philosophers of humankind. Paranoetic Thinking is infinite, whereas intellectual thinking is limited. As the intellect is a product of nature and of evolution and dependent on the functions of the brain, it is limited in its very nature, the brain. True thinking is not a product of evolution, but belongs to the Universal and One Mind (Hyponoesis), which is eternal and comprises both matter and mind as two different aspects (s. enarcheism principle).

The intellect is of practical or pragmatical value, because it helps us survive and handle our daily affairs. Paranoetic Thinking is of little practical value, because its domain is not the material world or the everyday world, but the transrational world of Hyponoesis. It thinks in terms of the whole rather than in terms of singular things as the intellect does. Paranoetic Thinking surpasses the mere empirical applicability of the intellect, it goes beyond experience, beyond sensuousness, beyond emotionality, beyond corporeity, beyond materiality, beyond singularism.

Paranoetic Thinking is given to human beings only potentially, while the intellect is given to all of us actually. Every human being possesses the intellect from the first day she enters the world, because without the intellect, as shown excellently by Kant, we are not able to make any experiences, let alone to acquire knowledge of any kind. Thus, although I seem to excoriate the intellect, I do not deny the fundamental task it has for our life. It is the most important instrument of survival, even for living a relatively good life. Nature has providentially cared for us by furnishing us with this valuable tool. The use and handling of this tool however is learned gradually through the stages of our lives, from childhood to school education up to the university or our professions. While the intellect differs actually from individual to individual, the potentially latent Paranoetic Thinking is the same with all human beings, and only human beings. This point may be hard to understand, and I admit, that it is not evidently comprehensible from the nature of the case I'm trying to make.

Most humans do never develop Paranoetic Thinking, because it is primarily latent and only potentially given to us, and because it is not essential or necessary for living one's life. Also the way of acquiring the method of learning to develop Paranoetic Thinking is very difficult and laborious. It needs tremendous efforts from our side. Actually it is only possible by transcending our bodily nature. That does not mean, we should negate our body, but rather, in the sense of the great Stoics' teachings, it means leaving the unimportant things (Adiaphora) aside and focusing one's total energy on the most important thing: real thinking.

Philosophy is regarded in our century as an impractical and useless activity. Science, that is, practical intellectual activity, is esteemed much higher, because it has a direct influence on our lives: technology, a higher standard of living, etc. But science is only a highly sophisticated and developed intellect. It is not Paranoetic Thinking. Paranoetic Thinking has no practical value for the mass of people, only for the person thinking paranoetically. It uplifts, ennobles and edifies her life.

Practical science does not avail of Paranoetic Thinking, since then it would not produce something that can become harmful to humankind and the environment (s. atomic bomb, chemical substances, exploiting the resources of nature, pollution etc.). The technology spawned by science has the same instrumentality as the intellect. The products of scientific thinking show their affinity with the intellect, but not with noetic or philosophical thinking, which could never invent harmful things that endanger the harmony of the world. As noetic thinking knows the world as a whole it can judge everything that happens much better than the intellect, that only looks at things from a very limited perspective.