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Current Update as of March 07, 2004

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The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences

The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences

Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., Editor

Professor Emeritus, Psychology,
University of California at Davis

Professor, Core Faculty,
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology,
Palo Alto, CA


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.


- 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

If you find it valuable, please pass this information on to friends and colleagues.

Here is one of the most recent reports added to the TASTE collection:

Dream Meeting of Dead Friend William

Editor's Introduction

William (pseudonym) has a Masters degree, when that was sufficient to begin in a field of science, and is now a Director of a research and development facility in Aerospace Engineering.

This experience with a deceased friend happened to him as a teenager and totally changed his attitude toward life and death.

My best friend, Mike, was in a car accident and for approx. a month was in a coma. One night I dreamed that he came to my parent's house. The dream was extremely vivid.

We sat and talked for what seemed about an hour, about all kinds of subjects. Mike told me about the wreck, that his girlfriend had not died instantly (like the papers had reported) but that she was okay now, and that he was fine and would see me again one day.

The odd thing about the dream was that it was completely real, but not surreal like most of my 'vivid' dreams. It really felt like reality. When Mike got up to leave, he mentioned that he wouldn't see me again for a long time, but that I wasn't to be upset, because he was fine.

As he walked out the door, he looked back and said that his mom was about to call, and to let her know everything would be okay. I awoke with a start from the dream, and sat up in my bed. About one minute later, at around five in the morning, the phone rang.

I had a room downstairs that had been a family room, and it had a phone. I got to the phone before the third ring and answered it. It was Mike's mother. She simply said Mike had died earlier that morning.

I was still quite groggy from my sudden awakening, and all I could think of to say was, "I know. He told me." She started crying and hung up the phone.

The thing that struck me about this incident was that at the time, it did not seem odd at all. It was simply a fact that Mike and I had talked prior to his leaving.

It did not surprise me that Mike had died, because we had talked about that in our conversation, and Mike had told me that his mom would call, so the call did not even seem notable. I did notice a sudden change in my attitude after this event.

Prior to Mike's death, I had been consumed by fear of death, often crying myself to sleep worrying about dying, even though I was brought up in a church environment that taught that death was not to be feared.

After this incident, I lost my fear of death, but more than that, I gained a love of life, the absence of which had stifled my childhood.

Contributor's Comments on the Experience

I never considered this a case of transcendental experience, in part because it was so normal and natural.

However, had I not had this experience, I don't believe I would have had the courage to follow my creative scientific thoughts that lead to my leading an R&D team.

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