The Archives of Scientists
Transcendent Experiences (TASTE)
Charles T. Tart
This message was sent to the jsc-online e-mail list
affiliated with the Journal of Consciousness Studies about
a year ago (inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org). It is reprinted here with Dr. Tarts permission.
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 18:39:29 GMT
from: Charles Tart <email@example.com>
Subject: JCS: Real scientists and transcendent experiences
A few months ago I circulated information about my The Archives of Scientists Transcendent Experiences (TASTE) (http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/tart/taste/ or http://www.issc-taste.org) project on jcs-online. I have since heard from a number of psychologists, anthropologists, and the like who have had interesting experiences, but believe they cant submit them because they are not real scientists. . . .
It angers me that so many of my colleagues doing first class scientific work have this collective inferiority complex!
I have written these people that real science is a matter of following basic scientific principles of investigation (data
observation as primary, theory logically accounting for data, testing of theoretical predictions against new data, e.g.), not a
matter of whether your field is one of the physical sciences. Indeed, it is we who are in the hard (as in difficult) sciences, rather than the easy sciences like physics, where you dont have recalcitrant subjects with agendas of their own, responses dependent on what somebody had for breakfast, experimenter bias problems, etc.
If youve been trained in any discipline that is primarily scientific method based, or are well along in your graduate training in such a discipline (theres an editorial on the TASTE site elaborating on this), I invite you to take a look at TASTE and consider submitting one of your own transcendent experiences. And be proud of your field, instead of feeling inferior!
If you havent had any transcendent experiences (I know there are a minority of people who havent), my condolences, and I wish you luck in the future. . . . ;-)
The TASTE site is getting about a thousand visitors per week, incidentally.
THE ARCHIVES OF SCIENTISTS TRANSCENDENT EXPERIENCES
Over the years many scientists, once theyve realized Im a safe person to
talk to, have told me about unusual and transcendent experiences theyve had. Too
often Im the first and only person theyve ever spoken to about their
experiences, for fear of ridicule from their colleagues and adverse, prejudicial effects
on their career. Such fears have, unfortunately, too much of a basis in fact. Its
not that there are a lot of scientists with nasty intentions deliberately trying to
suppress their colleagues, its just the social conditioning of our times. I want to
change that, and I ask your help in doing so.
Scientists today often occupy a social role like that of high priests, telling laypeople and each other what is and isnt real, and consequently what is and isnt valuable and sane. Unfortunately, the dominant materialistic and reductionistic psychosocial climate of contemporary science (what sociologists long ago named scientism, an attitude different from the essential process of science), rejects and suppresses both having and sharing transcendent, transpersonal and altered states (or spiritual and psychic, to use common words, in spite of their too vague connotations) experiences.
From my perspective as a psychologist, though, this prejudicial suppression and rejection psychologically harms and distorts both scientists and laypersons transcendent (and other) potentials, and also inhibits the development of a genuine scientific understanding of the full spectrum of consciousness. Denial of any aspects of our nature, whatever their ultimate reality status, is never psychologically or socially healthy.
The Archives of Scientists Transcendent Experiences (TASTE), that I have just opened, is intended to help change this restricted and pathological climate through the operation of a World Wide Web site in a journal form which will allow scientists from all fieldsfrom anthropology through botany through mathematics through physics through psychology through zoology, to name just a fewto share their personal transcendent experiences in a safe, anonymous, but quality controlled space that almost
all scientists and the general public have ready access to.
Specifically TASTE will, to various degrees:
Please take a look at the TASTE site, whose URL is http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/tart/taste
(if the Psychology server is off line, you can use http://www.issc-taste.org).
If you find it valuable, please pass this information on to friends and colleagues. I have
no budget for advertising, so must depend on word of mouth to get this information around.
If you have a web site of your own that it would be suitable to link from to TASTE, thank you! Feel free to copy one of the TASTE experiences as an example on your web site, if you like. (I also have an attractive copy of this announcement in html format, with the TASTE logo, Id be glad to send you if youd like.)
In terms of more conventional, slower publicity, if you can recommend any journals I should send notices to, please let me know. If you are the editor of any publication, you have my permission (and thanks!) to print this notice in your publication.
Charles T. Tart, Ph.D.
Professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto CA
ITP Web site: www.itp.edu Fax: (630) 604-3279
Professor Emeritus, Psychology, University of California, Davis
Home page & archives: http://www.paradigm-sys.com/cttart/
Editor, The Archives of Scientists Transcendent Experiences