Hyponoetics - Glossary
Matter Memory Mental Event Mental Object Mental Process Metaphysics Metaphysics of Thinking Mind Mind and Body Individual Mind Objective Mind Objectivity of Mind One Mind Ordinary Mind Primary Mind Pure Mind Rational Mind Scientific Mind Secondary Mind Subjective Mind Subjectivity of Mind Transrational Mind Universal Mind Mind and Matter Multi-Aspect Theory Mysticism

'What is matter? - Never mind. What is mind? - No matter'. This Victorian joke has some substance to it, in that it draws attention to the fact that it is easier to distinguish matter by contrasting it with something else than to say what it is. The joke also shows that if substance is the ultimate ontological category, the fundamental stuff of being or existence, then matter is not the only candidate for substantial status: common-sense ontology holds that there are two substances, matter and something else, mind, soul, or spirit, the main characteristic of which is that it is non-material.
Other accounts of matter:
- a physical substance, the basic raw material from which everything physical is composed
- what is preserved druing any process of physical change (Greeks)
- matter as extended thing (Descartes)
- underlying substratum that supports the observable properties of things
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

Materie, von lat. materia 'Stoff', 'Grundstoff', in der Philosophie Übersetzung für gr. hyle 'Stoff', 'Urstoff', der Stoff im Gegensatz zur Form, insbes. der noch nicht geformte Urstoff, das Ungeformte, Ungestaltete. Wird die Materie als das aller Form Zugrundeliegende gedacht, so heisst sie Substanz. In der Erkenntnistheorie ist die Materie dasjenige an den Dingen, was sie zu Gegenständen der äusseren Wahrnehmung macht und die Ursache der Empfindungen ist.
(J. Hoffmeister: Wörterbuch der Philosophischen Begriffe, Meiner Verlag, 1955)

By the act of self-referentiality of the Universal Mind (Hyponoesis), matter is produced (the world of physical objects). The objects or thoughts of the Universal Mind's Thinking (= Self-reflection) are the multitude of material objects. (see Essay The Evolution of Exonoesis)

According to the dual-aspect theory, both matter and mind are two different modalities or aspects of one underlying reality. I call this fundamental reality: Universal Mind (Hyponoesis). (see Essay Unity and Plurality of Hyponoesis; cf. Exohyle)

Matter is the totality of empirical objects. There are elementary particles or vibrating strings or even force fields which are the building-blocks of complex forms and finally the universe. All these words are just concepts and do not supersede the highest transrational knowledge of the Universal Mind itself. (see Essay The Identity of Subject and Object)

1. The mental function of retaining information about stimuli, events, Content/images, ideas, etc. after the original stimuli are no longer present.
2. The hypothesized "storage system" in the mind/brain that holds this information.
3. The information so retained.
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

It is commonly agreed ... that memory is closely related to knowledge, either as a special case of knowledge, or in so far as it is only possible to remember what was once known.
(Antony Flew: A Dictionary of Philosophy, St. Martin's Press 1979)

See Essay Knowledge and Information for a discussion of memory as container or means of local information retention in contrast with transrational knowledge that is capable of retrieving non-local information.

Deciding what counts as a mental event is not easy. The efficacy of tests like the event's being immaterial, subjective, private, or incorrigibly known have been hotly disputed. A privileged-access criterion seems best for sensations, but not for acquiring intentions, beliefs, or desires. Brentano's criterion for intentionality fares better here. This test requires that certain implications of existence or identity do not follow from attribution of mental events. (cf. with mental states).
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

I understand this term in contrast with a physical event. Modern reductionistic theories of mind, such as the mind-brain identity theory, believe that physical events correspond to mental events and vice versa. In this sense, mental events are defined in pure physicalist terms. On the other hand, mental events or mental states (mostly used synonymously) have features that cannot be found in physical systems and therefore mental events are different from physical events, although they may be correlated. (see also Mental Process).

Commonly, any object of our thinking, either representing experiential data from the world we perceive or purely mental data, such as remembrance, universals, imagination, metaphysical notions, ideas, beliefs, intentions, emotions, etc.
In a narrower sense, the object of our mind as contrasted with the subject that is thinking this object. In Kantian philosophy, a 'given intuition' is made into an object under the condition of the unity of apperception (object of knowledge). Sensuous representations must be related to objects or concepts of the understanding.

The object of perception is existentially and essentially different from the physical object itself.
A) Existential differentiation: the "real" object may disappear or dissolve into other forms or change its form altogether, whereas the object as it appears in our mind is not subject to physical laws of change. Our mind's object exists always potentially and becomes actualized as soon as we perceive this object.
B) Essential differentiation: again, the "real" object is a singular, unique object that can be described with physical properties, whereas the mental object is a universal object and cannot be described with any physical properties, but needs elucidation from the field of psychology or philosophy.
(see Essay The Evolution of Exonoesis)

It is difficult to specify the meaning of this term without being tautological. A process is an ongoing systematic series of actions or events - it it takes place in the mind, it is a mental process.
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

Gregory Bateson proposed six criteria of mental process, a concept of mind based on cybernetic principles and which is said to overcome the Cartesian duality of mind and body:
1. A mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components.
2. The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by differnce.
3. Mental process requires collateral energy.
4. Mental process requires circular (or more complex) chains of determination.
5. In mental process, the effects of difference are to be regarded as transforms (that is, coded versions) of events that preceded them.
6. The description and classification of these processes of transformation disclose a hierarchy of logical types immanent in the phenomena.
(Fritjof Capra: The Web of Life, Anchor Books, 1996, p.305 ff.)

A central element in Western philosophy from the Greeks onwards, 'metaphysics' has meant many different things. It can be an attempt to characterize existence or reality as a whole, instead of, as in the various natural sciences, particular parts or aspects thereof... It can also be an attempt to explore the realm of the suprasensible, beyond the world of experience; to establish indubitable first principles as foundation for all other knowledge; to examine critically what more limited studies simply take for granted; or to compile an inventory of what sorts of things ultimately, or in the last analysis, there are.
(Antony Flew: A Dictionary of Philosophy, St. Martin's Press 1979)

By metaphysics I understand all so-called knowledge that goes beyond the possibility of experience, and so beyond nature or the given phenomenal appearance of things, in order to give information about that by which, in some sense or other, this experience or nature is conditioned,… about that which is hidden behind nature, and renders nature possible.
(Arthur Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Representation, Volume II, p. 164, Dover Publications, 1966)

In Essay Propaedeutic to a Metaphysics of Thought I propose a critical metaphyics that is the basis for a philosophy of thought or mind. With the term 'critical' I want to avoid dogmatic metaphysics that postulates supra-natural principles without any connection to the world we experience. A metaphysics of thinking is grounded in experiential data, although less sensuous than noetic data, because the this system of thought is the result of self-reflection, of contemplation of the mind as such.
Metaphysics of Thought approaches its object of study, the Mind, in a holistic or synthetic manner. Instead of analyzing its artificial parts it tries to understand the ultimate nature and essence of the mind from within the mind itself, its ontological status within the Universal Mind and in contrast to its counterpart, matter. Furthermore, it establishes first noetic principles of the Universal Mind, elaborates on the evolution of the Individual Mind and Matter and the fundamental unity of both and it reveals higher, and still undeveloped faculties of mind, especially the highest available for humans: Transrational Thinking.

Thus, a system of metaphysics of thinking deals with thinking insofar as it is thinking. That means, we are not interested in the outcome of the thought, in its effects and processes, but what thought is as such in its innermost primary essence, what its roots and apriority is. Thinking, as we experience it, is ineluctably joined with our consciousness and our mind. It is part of our being human, actually the differentiating part, which separates us from other species of living beings. If we resort to pure thinking, apriori thinking, thinking independent of outer influences and even independent of inner sensational influences, we will be able to reflect upon thinking as such and postulate a metaphysics of thinking without being exaggeratedly speculative or deviating from a course of sound rationality.

Some of the meanings found in an ordinary dictionary are:

  1. memory, recollection
  2. the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and esp. reasons
  3. the conscious mental events and capabilities in an organism
  4. the organized conscious and unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism
  5. intention, desire
  6. the normal or healthy condition of the mental faculties
  7. opinion, view
  8. disposition, mood
  9. way of thinking or feeling
  10. mental qualities of a person or group
  11. intellectual ability
  12. Christian Science: God
  13. a conscious substratum or factor in the universe
(Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition; see also Essay Notions of Mind and Thinking that discusses the concept of 'mind' from a linguistic point of view.)

1. Mind as the totality of hypothesized mental processes and acts that may serve as explanatory devices for psychological data.
2. Mind as the totality of the conscious and unconscious mental experiences of an individual organism.
3. Mind as a collection of processes (such as perception, cognition).
4. Mind as equivalent to brain.
5. Mind as an emergent property. When a biological system reaches a point of sufficient complexity and organizational structure mind (or consciousness) emerges.
6. Mind as a list of synonyms, for example, psyche, soul, self, etc.
7. Mind as intelligence.
8. Mind as a characteristic or trait (e.g. "the mind of an artist")
(Arthur S. Reber: Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin 1985)

There are so many different definitions and views of mind that I only list a few key terms that refer to the most important theories:
- res cogitans, mental substance (Descartes)
- Bundle theory (Hume)
- Stream-of-consciousness theory (William James)
- mind as identical with matter (extreme materialism, behaviorism, physicalism)
- identity of physical and mental events (Identity theory)
- predominance of minds (idealism)
- mind and matter as different aspects of the same neutral entity (Neutral monism, Double Aspect Theory)
- mental events as effects of brain events (epiphenomenalism)
(Paul Edwards, ed.: The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Publishing, Vol. V, p. 336 ff.)

Mind is a complex entity or holistic unity that can be understood only as a whole and not in terms of artificially demarcated parts, although these parts or functions are a legitimate and useful logical concept and instrument for cognitive science and cognitive psychology. They help understand the various manifestions of the Mind, such as Will, Reason, Understanding, Emotion, Perception, etc. All mental phenomena are comprised under the term 'mind'.

Mental phenomena are unique and conscious experiences of a) sensations (perception) and b) ideas or thoughts (Thinking). Perception is the processing of sensations of the body and the physical world. Thinking is the processing of ideas (= mental constructs or representations of sensations) and intuitions (= abstracts or constructs of ideas, universals). Being aware or being conscious constitutes the basis for all mental phenomena.

Mind is distinguished from consciousness in so far as the latter is established through the interaction of the Individual Mind with a complex physical system, such as the brain or the nervous system of an organism (cf. also current theories of consciousness such as Hameroff's microtubules and quantum-physical processes or Eccles' synaptic boutons as gateway for mind-brain interactionism).

More specifically, I distinguish between Universal Mind (Hyponoesis) and Individual Mind (Exonoesis)
See following entries and Metaphysical Principles of Hyponoetics, as well as following essays:

Mind is not a product of matter. Neither are they functioning independently of each other. Mind is independent in so far as it does not depend ontologically on the existence of matter, but mind needs the brain to express itself through the human body and to give us an extended set of instruments for living in this world.

The mind-body problem is the problem of giving an account of how minds, or mental processes, are related to bodily states and processes. Evidently, our perceptual experience depends on the way external physical stimuli impinge on our sensory surfaces, and, ultimately, on the processes going on in our brain. But how, and why, does conscious experience emerge out of the electro-chemical processes occurring in a grey mass of neural fibres? .... Descartes conceived of the mind as an entity in its own right, a 'mental substance', the essential nature of which is 'thinking', or 'consciousness'. On the other hand, the defining nature of the body, or material substance, was claimed to be spatial extendedness. Thus, Descartes envisaged two domains of entities, one consisting of immaterial minds and the other of material bodies.... However, the two domains are not to be entirely unrelated: a mind and a body can form a 'union', resulting in a human being. Thus, Descartes's mind-body doctrine combines substance dualism, i.e. the dualism of two distinct kinds of substances, with attribute or property dualism, i.e. the dualism of mental and physical properties.
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

The most important theories of the mind-body problem:
- Idealism (all is mental)
- Autonomism
- Neutral Monism (mental and physical manifestations of unknown neutral substance)
- Parallelism (synchrony)
- Eliminative materialism (no mind at all)
- Epiphenomenalism (brain secretes mind)
- Reductive materialism, physicalism (mind = set of physical states)
- Animism (mind pilots brain)
- Emergentist materialism (mind = set of emergent bioactivities)
- Interactionism (brain as "basis" of mind, yet controlled by mind)

The problem of mind-body interactionism is for me the problem of mind and matter (see entry below). I refute a Cartesian dualism of two independent substances. My view is that of biaspectuality. Both, mind and matter, are aspects of one fundamental and underlying reality, which I call Hyponoesis or Universal Mind. Since both aspects are ultimately one and the same, interaction between these modalities is easily conceivable. In my philosophy, the Individual Mind manifests itself by joining with the body. This mind-body union in its highest form is the human being. The brain is the mediating link or interface between the Individual Mind and the body. This mind-brain interaction produces consciousness as the necessary 'ingredient' for what we call a living system, or life as such. (see also Essay The Evolution of Exonoesis).

see Exonoesis.

In contrast to Subjective Mind, the overall structure of our mentality that is common to every human being. Kant provided a detailed though incomplete description of the objective mind's structure in his theory of the Intellect's Categories. The mechanisms of memory, logical thought, calculation, perception, processing of sensations, etc. are intrinsic objective features of every human mind. These characteristics are already existent at the birth of a child and psychology gives testimony to the fact that the mental development of humans follow the pattern inherent in our mind.

We have both subjective and objective properties in our mind and consciousness. The objectivity of the mind is its primary and general overall structure, the framework that is common to all reasoning beings. The subjectivity of mind is the individually acquired and developed features and idiosyncrasies of every human being. It is also the uniqueness of human experience.

A synonymous term for Universal Mind (Hyponoesis), emphasizing its unity and indivisibility.

As the term suggests, ordinary mind means the average mentality that is given naturally to every human being. In other words, the common structure or patterns of every human mind. In contrast, an extra-ordinary mind is a mind that is determined by higher forms of thought, such as philosophical thought. Whenever we use our mind to some ends that transcend the disposition of the natural mind or defy the mere evolutionary purposes such as being an instrument for survival, we overcome the intrinsic limitation of the ordinary mind and in pure thinking expand our ordinary mind to an extra-ordinary mind.

Another term for Hyponoesis or Universal Mind . With 'primary' I want to emphasize the primacy of Mind in contrast to materialistic views that claim the primacy of Matter. Furthermore, 'primary' is not meant in terms of temporality. The Primary Mind does not exist in time as does the Secondary or Individual Mind. Therefore, the Primary Mind is uncreated, eternal beingness. From this primordial Mind is derived all forms of Secondary Minds and all forms of Matter as the mental and physical poles of the universe.

The mind of Pure Thinking. The Individual Mind as such (Exonoesis), in its state of pure beingness. Whenever we think independently of any empiric or sensuous data, in the pure noetic space, in the act of self-reflective thought, we exist in the Pure Mind, or rather, we are Pure Mind.

Instead, as it is the case with emotive thinking, of being in medias res of sensations as feelings, noetic thought looks on them from a higher level of contemplation. From this lofty point of view we are able to observe the sensations as being part of our mind, but we do not indulge in the experience of feelings and are therefore outside of their scope of influence. We are emotionally detached, we are no longer embodied feelings, but pure Mind, pure Thought.

Similarly to Ordinary Mind, Rational Mind is calculative, logical thinking used especially in the way we lead our practical lives. The rational mind is most useful in our technocratic society that heavily depends on technology and scientific inventions to facilitate and improve the living conditions. But rational thought is limited in its understanding and therefore is prone to errors, misuse and irrationality. Ultimately, rational mind must be overcome and substituted for a higher, synthetic and holistic mind. Features of the rational mind are especially analytic thought and this leads automatically to fragmentary and incomplete knowledge.

Another term for Exonoesis or Individual Mind . With 'secondary' I want to emphasize the derivedness of the Individual Mind from the Universal Mind. Whereas there is only One Universal Mind, there is a infinite number of derived mental forms or Secondary Minds. This derived minds are individuated forms or manifestations of the Universal Mind. The latter is formless, infinite, timeless and spaceless, whereas its manifestations have a particular finite form that exists in time and space.

In contrast to Objective Mind, the acquired and developed characteristics of an individual mind, or a human personality. Although we have a common basic structure of our mind, certain mechanisms that belong to every human mind, the development of latent faculties, talents or skills are dependent on various social, physical and mental factors that are the variables that make up a specific individual mind. The uniqueness of the subjective mind is consistent with the objectivity of the mind that constitutes the framework within which subjectivity is made possible in the first place. The objective mind is the condition for the development of the subjective mind.

We have both subjective and objective properties in our mind and consciousness. The objectivity of the mind is its primary and general overall structure, the framework that is common to all reasoning beings. The subjectivity of mind is the individually acquired and developed features and idiosyncrasies of every human being. It is also the uniqueness of human experience. The subjective mind is private to its user. Nobody can experience my pain.

The transrational mind is the mind that applies Transrational Thinking (Paranoesis) in all theoretical and practical issues regarding the human being. The philosophy of the Transrational Mind includes Transrational Thinking, Transrational Living and Transrational Ethics. It is the highest form and the perfection of the human mind, the acme of the development of mental faculties. From the point of view of noetic evolution, we are still at the very beginning. Our way of thinking will develop to yet unconceived and undiscovered regions of the human mind that is intrinsically infinite and therefore can comprehend and grasp infinitely more than is possible today, although not by means of the limited rational thinking, but only by applying Transrational Thinking, the supreme manifestation of the Universal Mind.

see Hyponoesis.

see also Mind and Body as the more specific problem of Mind and Matter.

According to the dual aspect theory, both matter and mind are two different modalities or aspects of one underlying reality. I call this fundamental reality: Universal Mind (Hyponoesis). There is no independent substance of matter or mind besides the Universal Mind. Therefore, aspectuality just means a different manifestation of the same reality.

Matter and mind are not two different Cartesian substances but only two different aspects of one and the same infinite ground.

This theory claims that the world consists of different aspects, such as physical and mental aspects, which are all derived from the same, underlying reality.
What is meant by the term "aspect"? First, aspect is not equivalent to property or attribute. The physical is not an attribute or property of reality, but its aspect. A property is a particular quality of an object, something that describes that object more specifically. A property can belong to more than one object and is therefore accidental (in the Aristotelian sense). A property doesn't define the essence of an object, but merely its phenomenal structure, or the way it appears to our consciousness.
An aspect, however, is a set of coherent properties of the same functional type. For example, a set of physical attributes that describe an object of our world must be of the same functional type, that is, each attribute describes the object in the function as a physical object and not as a representational object or mental object as perceived by our mind. Different attributes would apply if the object is described in the function of a phenomenological object, which is a different aspect of the same object. So, each object can be viewed under different aspects. None of those aspects, however, describes the reality of that object or how the object essentially is. The object exists only as individuated or actualized in those aspects, but not as a "real" thing.

I contrast this theory to the double-aspect theory or property dualism. Both terms limit the number of aspects to two, physical and mental. The multi-aspect theory, however, does not restrain the number of aspects. We human beings may know only a limited number of aspects, but there can be, potentially, an infinite number of aspects. Even from our point of view, we could enumerate more than two aspects: matter (particle physics), energy (field theory), consciousness, Individual Mind, etc. just to name the most important ones.

(see also Entry 'Aspect', Metaphysical Principles in Introduction)

What is claimed to be direct or unmediated experience of the divine, in which the human soul momentarily approaches union with God.
(Antony Flew: A Dictionary of Philosophy, St. Martin's Press 1979)

William James characterized mystical experience by four marks: transiency, passivity, noetic quality, and ineffability. Perhaps we should add a fifth, that mystical experiences often involve what is now called an 'altered state of consciousness' - trance, visions, suppression of cognitive contact with the ordinary world, loss of the usual distinction between subject and object, weakening or loss of the sense of the self, etc.
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

...that this 'mystical consciousness' is, of its nature, in some way a development and extension of rational consciousness, resulting in an enlargement and refining of perception, and consequently having a noetic quality, so that through it knowledge of the 'real' is gained which could not be gained through rational consciousness.
(F.C. Happold: Mysticism, a study and an anthology, Penguin 1990, p. 17)

Some of the definitions of mysticism advanced by Western writers are quoted by W.R. Inge in his Mysticism in Religion (p.25):
- "Mysticism is the immediate feeling of the unity of the self with God" (Otto Pfleiderer).
- "Mysticism is that attitude of mind in which all relations are swallowed up in the relation of the soul to God" (Edward Caird).
- "True mysticism is the consciousness that everything that we experience is an element and only an element in fact, i.e. that in being what it is, it is symbolic of something else" (Richard Nettleship).
(Paul Edwards, ed.: The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Publishing, Vol. V, p. 420)

The difference between mystical experience and noetic knowledge, both transcending rational thought, is that the latter also transcends the emotive quality inherent in mystical experience and therefore is the higher and purer state of mind:

Whereas the mystic experiences oneness physically and psychically by being one with everything and the Godhead, the noetician knows that everything is one in its essence or substance, but he 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 he experiences, the transrational thinker always knows and understands the higher dimension without being overwhelmed by overweening emotions of experience.

Mystical experience, as the expression denotes, is experience of a fundamental unity of the object and the subject, whereas transrational thinking is not an empiric experience of the unity, but a noetic experience. It is not accompanied by an emotive Erlebnis of the unity, which transports the individual beyond actual space-time experience into a completely different world. The noetic experience of this unity stays within the mental realm of our mind. It is a higher experience of unity, because it understands the unity, whereas the mystic does not understand it. (see Essay Nature and Development of Transrational Thinking)