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Inside the Mind of Charles T. Tart
By Greg Taylor of The Daily Grail

The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences (TASTE)

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/tart/taste/ or www.issc-taste.org

Over the years many scientists, once they've realized I'm a safe person to talk to, have told me about unusual and transcendent experiences they've had. Too often I'm the first and only person they've ever spoken to about their experiences, for fear of ridicule from their colleagues and adverse, prejudicial effects on their careers. Such fears have, unfortunately, too much of a basis in fact. It's not that there are a lot of scientists with nasty intentions deliberately trying to suppress their colleagues; it's 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 of "high priests," telling laypeople and each other what is and isn't "real," and, consequently, what is and isn't 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 a priori 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 the transcendent (and other) potentials of both scientists and non-scientists, and also inhibits the development of a genuine scientific understanding of the full potentials of consciousness. Denial of any aspects of our nature, whatever their ultimate ontological status, is never psychologically or socially healthy.

The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences (TASTE) site that I have opened is intended to help change this restricted and pathological climate through the operation of a World Wide Web site in journal form that allows scientists from all fields - from anthropology through botany through mathematics through physics through psychology through zoology, to name just a few - to share their personal, transcendent experiences in a safe, anonymous, but quality controlled space that many people have ready access to.

TASTE:

  • Allows individual psychological growth in the contributing scientists by providing a safe means of expression of vital experiences;
  • Leads toward a more receptive climate to the full range of our humanity in the scientific professions, which, in turn, will benefit our world culture at large;
  • Provides research data on transcendent experiences in a highly articulate and conscientious population, scientists;
  • Facilitates the development of a full spectrum science of consciousness by providing both data and psychological support for the study of transcendent experiences;
  • Helps bridge the unfortunate gaps between science and the rest of culture by illustrating the humanity of scientists.

Please take a look at TASTE: the URL is http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/tart/taste or 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 and can add a link to TASTE, thank you! Feel free to copy one of the TASTE experiences as an example on your web site, if you like.

In terms of 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.

And if you value The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences as much as I do and would like to make a financial contribution to help support it, email me about it. TASTE is sponsored by the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness Inc., and all contributions are fully tax deductible.

Thank you!

Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., Editor
Professor Emeritus, Psychology,
University of California at Davis
Professor, Core Faculty, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology,
Palo Alto, CA

"BEST SCIENCE SOCIAL INNOVATION OF 2000

The Science Social Innovations Award 2000 goes to Professor Tart in California for The Archives of Scientist's Transcendent Experiences (TASTE) on the web (at www.issc-taste.org). Professor Tart believes that the materialistic and reductionist psychosocial climate of contemporary science has rejected and suppressed both the having and the sharing of transcendent, transpersonal, spiritual or psychic states and experiences.

The website is a safe and anonymous, quality-controlled space that scientists can contribute to and that the general public can have access to. It will lead, he hopes, to a more receptive climate within the scientific profession to the full range of our humanity.

[The Institute for Social Inventions is an educational charity founded in 1985 and based in London, with as patrons, inter alia, Brian Eno, Anita Roddick, Sir Peter Parker and Fay Weldon. Schemes around the world are drawn to the Institute's attention by its international correspondents and are judged by the directors of the Institute.]"


Greg Taylor, owner/editor of 'The Daily Grail', is currently researching the mystery of whether consciousness survives the body. He welcomes enquiries from publishers, magazine editors, and literary agents who are interested in his work

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