Noetics
Term used by scientific writer Charles A. Musès and others
to denote the science of consciousness and its alterations. He
noted in 1977, ‘‘Noetics is concerned with the nature, alterations
and potentials of consciousness, and especially human
consciousness.’’ (This parapsychological use of ‘‘noetic’’ is, of
course, distinct from its prior use as a synonym for ‘‘noachian,’’
meaning pertaining to Noah and his period.)
An earlier use of the word noetic in relation to states of consciousness
was in the article ‘‘Psychic and Noetic Action’’ by
Theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891), originally
published in the journal Lucifer (October–December
1890) during the last years of her life. In this article, Blavatsky
equated noetic with manasic (deriving from manas, a Sanskrit
term for mind) and compared materialistic psychological views
of her time with ancient Hindu religious teachings and occultism.
She concluded that there is a higher noetic character of
the mind principle than individual ego, a ‘‘spiritualdynamical’’
force relating to divine consciousness, as distinct
from mechanistic psychological dogmas or passive psychicism.
This interesting article was reprinted in volume 3 of Studies in
Occultism, a series of reprinted articles by Blavatsky.
Musès’s use of noetics has been picked up by Edgar D.
Mitchell for his psychical research organization, the Institute
of Noetic Sciences.
Sources
Blavatsky, Helena P. ‘‘Psychic and Noetic Action.’’ In Studies
in Occultism. Boston New England Theosophical Corporation,
1895.
Musès, Charles A. ‘‘The Politics of Psi Acculturation and
Hypnosis.’’ In Extrasensory Ecology, edited by Joseph K. Long.
Metuchen, N.J. Scarecrow Press, 1977.

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