This weblog, Noetic Triune, will introduce, develop, and support a new paradigm for a kind of thinking that may enable us to address the problems of knowing the true nature of mind/consciousness, cosmos, and meaning/spirituality. A work in progress, its content is organized and accessed via the weblog menubar and found in its Pages, Posts, and public Comments. Basic content appears on the Pages of the weblog, while extending content is expected to develop over time in the weblog Posts. Readers are invited to participate by commenting and discussing the topics in the Comments sections.
The fundamental problem is that, foundationally, current orthodox scientific thinking adheres to a physicalist theory, reductive materialism, a belief system contending that the only things that exists are matter, energy, and information in spacetime. In this orthodox worldview, mind is an epiphenomenon–a product of the brain–and, thus, is secondary rather than primary in the nature of reality.
Furthermore, in this orthodox worldview the measure of true science is measurement; it can only take place in spacetime, and, thus, any consideration beyond spacetime is ipso facto, unscientific.
However, this reductionist model of a strictly local, physical reality no longer satisfactorily explains or fits scientific and historical evidence accumulating over the past century. For example:
- nearly eighty years ago physicists’ were already realizing that, somehow, the act of observation and their intent–i.e., their minds–effected the outcomes of their experiments;
- in the 1970’s, scientists repeatedly confirmed, experimentally, John Bell’s theorem proving that physical reality is nonlocal, i.e., there is a fundamental connectedness–wholeness–independent of Einstein’s spacetime. Einstein called it, ‘spooky action at a distance,’ but spooky or not, it is, really, scientifically real;
- twenty-five years of scientific research in a Princeton engineering laboratory provides vast amounts of data and evidence of a small but real effect of mind (intention) on random physical processes;
- more than a half century of scholarly medical research on past-life memories (culturally, aka reincarnation) provides supporting evidence for a nonlocal explanation of mind which the orthodox worldview cannot accommodate or explain; and
- the findings of recent decades of scientific, clinical investigations of near-death and after-life (after-death) offer more evidence of a nonlocal mind (consciousness).
Philosophically and scientifically, two problems emerge with this orthodox worldview: As articulated by David Chalmers, they are the easy problem and the hard problem. The easy problem concerns the physical mechanisms of, for example, known braining processes associated with perception, ideation, imagination, etc. The hard problem has to do with the experiences, the qualia of a color, concept, or image. The processes are of the material brain; the experiences are of the immaterial mind.
Both problems are shackled by the reductionist/materialist assumption that the physical processes of the brain must be producing, an immaterial mind. However, if the mind is primary and unbound by spacetime–as findings of hundreds of scientific studies repeatedly suggest–then we need to employ a different kind of thinking, one that will enable us to know and to explain nonmaterial, nonlocal mind associated with, related to, and co-created–i.e., not produced solely–by physical processes such as those of the brain, heart, and other physiological processes of our physical being.
Idea ↔ Image ↔ Import
The author contends that we will find the kind of thinking we need not in a new metaphor but in an old one. Just as system philosopher Ervin Laszlo derived his metaphor of the Akashic field from the ancient, Vedic akashic record, the author derives the secular noetic triune from the Christian Holy Trinity.
Dorothy Sayers explains this trinity metaphor best in The Mind of the Maker where she states in the Preface,
[T]he Trinitarian structure which can be shown to exist in the mind of man and in all his works is, in fact, the integral structure of the universe,… [Sayers, MM, p. 15]
Sayers proposed and developed three constructs–Idea, Energy, Power–to explain the essential triune nature of the Holy Trinity and, by the power of myth, the integral structure of a creative universe. The author take some liberty with these constructs and, for proposes of clarity, proposes the terms Idea, Image, and Import for the three aspects of a secular noetic triune. In this paradigm, mind belongs to realm of Idea; the physical reality of spacetime belong to the realm Image; and meaning and spirit belong to the realm of Import. As in the Holy Trinity, the noetic triune is an integral unity, wholeness, oneness: three in one; one in three.
Idea is the source and determinant of Image, in-forming and in-formed by it. In-form is a term borrowed from Laszlo, suggesting a reciprocal, supplying, servicing, and shaping. For example, the fundamental laws and constants governing classical and quantum physics and the quantum vacuum–Laszlo’s Akashic field–belong to the realm of Idea; so does that which in-forms the musician’s concerto, poet’s poem, artist’s painting, dramatist’s play, choreographer’s dance, architect’s building. It is also the realm of purpose, will, and intent, in-forming attention, action, psychological and physical processes, and other phenomena of body and mind.
Image is the manifestation, expression, realization of the Idea in physical reality, incarnate in energy, matter, and events in spacetime. For example, the physical universe–all the energy and matter we know (and don’t know of) and all events and experiences in it–belong to the realm of Image; so do all poems, paintings, plays, dances, and buildings.
Import is the individual and collective intellectual, emotional, physiological, and spiritual impact and effect in-formed by Idea and Image. For example, all experience–sensations, perceptions, and concepts; patterns, relationships, associations, values, and meanings; such cardinal emotions and feelings as awe, wonder, reverence, love, appreciation, joy, agony, and ecstasy; dispositions, fears, and attractions–all experiences belong to the realm of Import.
no•et•ic: From the Greek noēsis / noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, or subjective understanding.
For centuries, philosophers from Plato forward have used the term noetic to refer to experiences that pioneering psychologist William James (1902) described as:
…states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority. [IONS]
The triune of Idea, Image, and Import is the foundational source of subjective, inner knowing and wisdom, and so noetic seems to be an appropriate qualifier of triune. In fact, the noetic triune may very well be considered the qualia-fying nature of all knowing, experience, and being.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences, from which the above definition of noetic comes, is a rich primary source of knowledge, wisdom, and expertise shaping, scientifically, the transformation of worldviews from materialistic to noetic.
Most of what is presented in this weblog derives from published resources, much of which is accessible directly or indirectly via the internet. Therefore, the weblog serves as a selective, structured portal to resources supporting its ideas and frequently offers introductory or summary information.
In sum, the noetic triune provides a new paradigm, metaphor, mental model enabling a new kind of thinking about the true nature of our existential reality: nonlocal mind and consciousness; physical reality, spacetime, matter, and events; and meaning and spirituality. The author argues, here, that with this new kind of thinking we can better know–i.e., acknowledge, experience, contemplate, examine, investigate, analyze, assess, feel, and appreciate–all three aspects of our co-creative cosmos and our selves.