Excerpt About Universal Concept
Our usual notion of a concept of chair, for example, is the idea of a chair. But an image of the chair is not the same thing as the chair. In this dimension, when I say, “This is a concept,” I mean the chair itself is a concept. The pattern exists in reality; I’m not creating it in my mind. This is the realm of what we call “universal concepts” or “noetic forms.” A universal concept is not my concept, not a mental concept. Mental concepts are personal, and their content depends upon the person. The fact that there is a chair here, however, does not depend upon the person. Any person who comes here can see this form, although it might not be recognized as a chair. So what we call a noetic form is what we call a discriminated something that truly exists, that truly appears to perception. Physical reality is discriminated in universal concepts—a rock, or the hill over there, are universal concepts. It’s not just that I personally see it as a hill. Someone else cannot validly say, “That’s not a hill; that’s an ocean.” The discrimination doesn’t depend upon my personal experience. It is actually what truly exists, what exists as a differentiated existence. This is a noetic form. We also call this kind of discriminated form a universal concept, in that it can be universally perceived. We call these forms concepts because from the perspective of the nonconceptual, the forms in which Being manifests actually appear as ideas. This is the perception that some traditions call the “Divine Mind.” Those aware of this perception might be heard to say such things as “We are all just ideas in God’s mind.” When you are perceiving the existence or manifestation of noetic forms from beyond these forms, they appear as a kind of ideas.