What may possibly be the meaning of this cryptic title? Let me go step by and first explain the term “NOETIC” and then the term “QUANTIC” in order to consider their combined meaning before we put them in a transcultural managerial context.
Ancient Greece: The term “Noetic“ is etymologically derived from Greek “nous”. Its modern Greek meaning differs from the Ancient Greek meaning. According to Dr. Thérèse Brosse, the late cardiologist and researcher, Aristotle used it to refer to a layer of the psychological human architecture superior to the psychosomatic structural duality of man which is very much en vogue in the West, whereas other cultures, in particular the Ancient Greek in our civilization, seem to have also known a layer of consciousness superior to the mind and thereby enhanced the constitutional psychosomatic duality of the West by this third layer so as to form a trinity.
Neurophysiology: The human nervous system is governed by two important laws, those of anatomic integration and functional subordination. Neurophysiologically this entails hierarchically organized levels with a framework of unity provided by the superior level of integration. This evidence suggests a hierarchal control and integration logic within the human neurophysiologic architecture.
Psychological analogy: The referred to cardiologist in quest of an agent that could control cardiac dysfunctionalities at the somatic level first identified the psychological level as having an impact on the somatic level. But then the question arises as to what can control the psychological level which can cause disorders at the somatic level. In quest for the missing control agent of the psychological level across cultures, in particular through Government funded research missions to India in order to undertake instrumental research within Yogic traditions and in analogy to Aristotelian philosophy and to the neurophysiologic law of functional subordination, the third layer of the human biological architecture was found and coined “noetic” in line with the tradition of the cradle of Western civilization.
This third element of the holistic noetic-psycho-somatic structure of the holistic biological architecture of man can be distilled from a range of cultural traditions across time and space, I found. Thus, in South-Asia, the notion of the consciousness witness seems to have a similar semantic content and that notion is supposed to be one of India’s greatest contributions to human civilization. Similar concepts can be traced in East-Asian cultures and last but not least, beyond the Ancient Greek civilization, in Western cultural-religious traditions. So, in fact, the missing link in Western mainstream “sciences of man”, which largely still to this day assumes and works with the psychosomatic duality, can be distilled multidimensionally across cultures, science and philosophy of East and West.
As in a circle, the epistemological, philosophical, religious and scientific traditions, all the radii of those diverse paths of knowledge seem to me to converge on and confirm the reality of that missing control agent of the human psyche. The cultural applications of this finding will be important, because if that could be validated experientially and in physiological research laboratory environments, it would be possible to control the mind which corresponds to the second level of the holistic human architecture and which is the repository of cultural conditioning.
Then the question of managing culture x, y or z could be reframed as how to manage culture as such. And that would meet the need of our time in a very economical and most effective way, because we are faced with myriads of cultures on a daily basis. Cultural, national, racial, religious, professional, ethnic and gender diversity has become the rule rather than the exception. And to use a zoological metaphor, as the millipede cannot manage each of its feet individually but has to rely on an integrative control agent, so does man need an internal agent that can deal with ranges of diversity at a time; which cultural conditioning as such from a superordinate vantage point in an effective way. And if we can find reliable evidence for this possibility it would also be more economical and more effective than conventional intercultural training because it short-circuits the arduous awareness, knowledge and skills training and the need of lifelong practical experience associated with intercultural education.
But that does not mean that it is easy and that it is an instant coffee-like process. Rather than teaching it conventionally one has to lead up to it from multiple perspectives which approximate the ability to access the potentiality and to tap that latent but rather omitted resource of man. However, one may say that one can lead the horse to the water, set the compass, provide the roadmap and the analytical insight, but the serious seeker of innovative transcultural intelligence in addition to (inter)cultural intelligence will have to do his homework by himself and look inside, introspect and continuously test and validate assumptions. In short, he becomes the research laboratory himself. - For, as the microphysicist Erwin Schrödinger notes, “matter is an image in our mind” and Dr. Thérèse Brosse adds “no outside world without the observer”. - And that is also a lifetime of work of another kind than the accumulation of culture-general and culture specific knowledge. But the two approaches are complementary and when one ends the other can resume the cultural challenge and deal with it from a superordinate vantage point effectively. And this dialectic of approaches leads to the quantic attribute, which derives from Niels Bohr’s complementarity principle and Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle that deal with dualities in the area of matter and energy at the subatomic level, and which one can draw on as metaphors in order to effectively meet the global culture management challenges at the threshold of the third millennium.
Quantic: Quantic obviously refers to the quantum paradigm of the microphysicists whose break-through discoveries occurred about at the same time as the neurophysiologic law of functional subordination was identified by neurophysiologic research in the first part of the twentieth century. The two paradigm shifts in physics and physiology can be correlated from a consciousness evolution standpoint. But that would lead in an epistemological research direction which is beyond the scope of this exposé and should be pursued in other sources by the committed seeker of knowledge and wisdom.
As in the case of the two neurophysiologic laws of anatomic integration and functional subordination I would like to briefly refer to the two major laws of microphysics on which the quantum approach is based: According to Charles Hampden-Turner in his publication Building Cross-Cultural Competence (2000) Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states “that because the investigator looms so large when measuring subatomic realities, we can be sure of a particle’s position or its momentum, but not both. If we concentrate on measuring its momentum, its position becomes uncertain. If we concentrate on measuring its momentum, its position becomes uncertain”. And from the same source I would like to quote the Cambridge Professor’s description of Niels Bohr’s Principle of Complementarity as follows: “Energy was found to have complementary forms, that of particles and that of diffuse wave forms. Moreover, the discovery of these dual forms depended upon the instruments of investigation. If a wave detector was used, waves were found. If a particle detector was used, particles were found. So small were the phenomena being investigated that our instruments affected the phenomena being studied...”