Hyponoetics - Essays
Generative Mind
Abstract: Introduction into the Theory of Generative Thinking which postulates that our Mind produces subjective and objective concepts which constitute both our mental and physical world. We know the world only through our Individual Mind (Exonoesis) and therefore co-participate in establishing the reality we experience. Collective generative thinking produces a world that is real only for those who are committed to the collective belief-system.

The theory of Generative Thinking claims the autonomy and sovereignty of Mind in relation to our ideas, concepts, opinions, beliefs and knowledge. Whatever our beliefs are, such as the existence of God, a life after death, the expanding universe, Darwinian evolution, etc., these are not about facts or certainties or absolutes. All these beliefs are created and sustained by our Mind, especially those ideas that refer to entities beyond the rational and the empirical, such as the soul or God.

Even our scientific knowledge is a product of our Mind, although we believe that our theories map or correspond to a physical reality outside of our Mind. That's still a moot question, since we know about the world "outside" of our Mind only through the faculties of our Mind, perception that is. We only have phenomenological access to what we believe are the real things. As long as our Mind is the only means of knowledge and belief, everything we think of is a product of our thought process, of our Individual Mind (Exonoesis).

Since everything is a product of our Mind, the question arises, whether there is a difference between publicly observable concepts such as in science and privately held beliefs that may have experiential certainty but not scientific evidence. Both categories of concepts are concepts of the same Mind. The concept of God and the concept of an expanding universe consist basically of the same primary constituent: thought. The difference lies in the applicability of the concepts. Scientific concepts apply to a common, shared world of objects, whereas spiritual or religious concepts are germane to a less open world, a world that is the object of private and subjective experience. Every person with eye-sight can observe a particular tree. There is no disagreement over whether this tree exists or not. However, if someone believes in God, there is no experience or sense-perception that every person can share. We have therefore to distinguish between objective and subjective concepts, both being products of our Mind.

The generative act of Thinking consists in creating those objective and subjective concepts. The objective concepts are reflections of the objective world created by what I call Hyponoesis (Universal Mind). That's why we can share in the same world. The subjective concepts, however, are created by either one Individual Mind (Exonoesis) or more often by a community of Individual Minds committed to the same ideas and beliefs. This collective generating thinking is so powerful that it creates such beliefs as the belief in God, soul, life after death, heaven and hell, etc. All these concepts are not based on the objective world but on the subjective world which is represented by Individual Minds.

The world is creative only within the nomological limitations of its objectivity, that is within the frame of natural laws. Only the Individual Mind (Exonoesis) has the power of an inherent creativity that is not bound by natural laws and therefore can create its own worlds. These worlds, however, are of a different nature than the objective world. These worlds are not bound by physical laws and therefore are not objective. No objective concepts are possible of these collectively generated worlds or ideas.

So, if you and many other people believe for example in the theory of reincarnation, you create a world where reincarnation is meaningful and necessary, but that doesn't mean, that reincarnation is an absolute fact or something that really exists outside of your believing it. For someone, who rejects the idea of reincarnation, there will be no rebirth or no previous lives. As long as she does not participate in the belief-system created by all those people who believe and thereby create the reincarnation theory, she will not be affected by this theory nor will she be born again after her current life.

The Individual Mind (Exonoesis) is a form of the Universal Mind (Hyponoesis) and therefore a co-creative Mind with the power to create worlds within the realm of the Mind. Hyponoesis comprises many aspects, such as Matter and Mind, whereas Exonoesis is Mind only and therefore its creative power is limited to mental worlds and not physical worlds.

The complexity of the theory of generative thinking should not be underestimated. There is, for example, an aporetic problem in regard to this theory: if ideas are the products of our Mind, then the theory of generative thinking is a product of our Mind, too. Can we still talk of this theory as being true or is truth and falsity something relative? I don't mean to say that because ideas are products of our Mind they are inferior or false. That is far from my intention. Rather I want to focus on the common ground we share when discussing those kinds of ideas and theories: Thinking itself or Mind is the only thing we know of with certainty. Whatever we are thinking has some reality in itself, although we should be careful to compare objective and subjective ideas with each other or applying objective methods to subjective belief-systems. That doesn't work and it would lead to rejection or denial of ideas. There are no true or false thoughts in themselves, only in relation to each other and especially when crossing the boundary of objective-subjective concepts.

On a higher plane of Thought, objective and subjective concepts merge and are unified. This synthetic or holistic view is the task of philosophy, bringing together science and religion, objectivity and subjectivity. The final union of all our ideas is what I call Hyponoesis or Universal Mind.