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The Archives of Scientists’ Transcendent Experiences

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posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 12:26 AM

I recently came across a site "devoted to transcendent experiences that scientists have reported" and thought it was interesting enough to share (given the richness of the accounts/descriptions and the people doing the describing):

The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences

"The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences (TASTE) is an online journal devoted to transcendent experiences that scientists have reported. It lets scientists express these experiences in a safe space, collects and shares them to debunk the stereotype that 'real' scientists don't have 'spiritual' or 'mystical' or 'psychic' experiences, builds a database of these experiences for future research, and helps us understand the full range of the human mind."

Now, I don't mean to imply that a scientist's experience/account of these matters carries more weight (or is more legitimate) than anyone else's. Just that, in addition to them being fascinating accounts in their own right, they do offer a unique and interesting perspective. Plus, I like how they're gathered in one place and laid out in a clear, accessible way. And they aren't trying to sell you anything (as Joe Friday would say, "just the facts"). Some of the scientists use pseudonyms, but the majority of them give their real names and all of them offer up their scientific/academic background.

For some whose experience occurred early in life, it inspired them to pursue a career in science, for others who had their experiences later in life, it didn't completely sway them from their career but it made them question some of their fundamental assumptions/beliefs, helped refine or shift their pursuits, and/or gave them a new perspective on life.

Most interesting (to me) are those instances of “Cosmic Consciousness” and the effect it had on the experiencer. My favorite is entitled My Experience of Cosmic Consciousness and comes from a medical researcher who was (at the time) a self-identified materialist-atheist. It occurred spontaneously one evening in his living room while the sun was setting outside:

My Experience of Cosmic Consciousness

"At this point, I merged with the light and everything, including myself, became one unified whole. There was no separation between myself and the rest of the universe. In fact, to say that there was a universe, a self, or any 'thing' would be misleading - it would be an equally correct description to say that there was 'nothing' as to say that there was 'everything'. To say that subject merged with object might be almost adequate as a description of the entrance into Cosmic Consciousness, but during Cosmic Consciousness there was neither 'subject' nor 'object'. All words or discursive thinking had stopped and there was no sense of an 'observer' to comment or to categorize what was 'happening'. In fact, there were no discrete events to 'happen' - just a timeless, unitary state of being.

Cosmic Consciousness is impossible to describe, partly because describing involves words and the state is one in which there were no words. My attempts at description here originated from reflecting on Cosmic Consciousness soon after it had passed and while there was still some 'taste' of the event remaining.

Perhaps the most significant element of Cosmic Consciousness was the absolute knowingness that it involves. This knowingness is a deep understanding that occurs without words. I was certain that the universe was one whole and that it was benign and loving at its ground. Bucke's experience was similar. He knew, '. . . that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all, that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain'.

The benign nature and ground of being, with which I was united, was God. However, there is little relation between my experience of God as ground of being and the anthropomorphic God of the Bible. That God is separate from the world and has many human characteristics. 'He' demonstrates love, anger and vengeance, makes demands, gives rewards, punishes, forgives, etc.

The complete account is available at the link (with both more set-up and additional commentary). Other instances of "Cosmic Consciousness" (in varying degrees) are:

Cosmic Consciousness Experience at Age 16

A Taste of Kensho

Turn-Around at Delphi


Falling Awake

Suddenly, the Pervasiveness of Love

Humans, the Earth, the Sun and Stars

Expansion of Self in the Antarctic
(this account reminded me of Douglass Harding's somewhat famous description of his "awakening" that he turned into the book On Having No Head: Harding's Moment of Discovery)

The site also includes reports of NDEs, OBEs, and Psi phenomenon - but, like I said, I just focused on the CC accounts here. Every account is a worthwhile read, really (took me a couple days to make it through). The site doesn't contain any and every "transcendent experience" ever reported by a scientist on record, just from those who submitted to it while it was still active. For instance, here's a more recent one from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor that would have fit right in:

Does Our Planet Need a Stroke of Insight?

Seems the site ceased taking submissions around 2004, which is unfortunate. Would be nice to have something like that around/active again.

If anyone else has had similar experiences, please feel free to share!
edit on Wed Jan 30 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: EX TAGS IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 12:36 AM
Excellent share. Thank you. Though I wish it were in the Science section.

I've had my own version of everything being described... and at the time it happened I was also a self proclaimed materialist-99% atheist with a 1% "being honest about the fact we can't truly know" agnostic bend.

The 1% eventually opened and revealed the absurdity of the atheist and the theist perspectives I had been exposed to and explored up to that point. Then I read the Tao Te Ching and "got it" and I couldn't possibly summarize everything that has gone on since. As the quoted passage mentions... any attempt to describe prior to experiencing it personally tends to cause more confusion. Though we keep trying.

Once it's happened to an individual though they tend to go back and read all the people they scoffed at or dismissed and go "Oh... yeah. Wow... Hi!"
edit on 30-1-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 02:46 AM
It is only the scientists that have had real breakthroughs that have had mystical experiences. Einstein and Tesla for example. Science and mysticism are linked, in an invisible way.

I hope more scientists have direct experience of the divine, beyond the ego. Maybe then scientists will start realizing that they cannot prove it externally, but it will certainly bring an understanding as to why things are as they are.

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 03:08 AM
This is really cool, thanks for posting it. Unfortunately, today there is a catch-all explanation for spiritual, paranormal, and downright freaky encounters, which is that it all takes place in the mind of the witness. But even though many accounts are validated by multiple witnesses, this does not seem to change the fact that most scientists and people in general seem to simply find another way to explain the experience, not even blinking an eye at the fact that their first assumption was wrong, and that maybe there is something strange going on.

I have seen people like this in the sasquatch or bigfoot community, who obviously have their minds made up, and simply throw out every single possible explanation thinking that the phenomenon must be caused by one of those explanations. And even though there are problems with those explanations, their minds do not change. Experience is the usually the ONLY way to convince people like this, which is a shame in my opinion, although I will not go into the reasons I feel this is detrimental behavior.

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 04:05 AM
The end result? We become God in our own minds. We can make things up as we go. Where does it all end? Rebellion will take you places you never dreamed you would go. At some point, God blinds those who willingly believe a lie and gives them over to the delusion that they would rather insist is truth. This age ends with the world believing the lie whilst rejecting the Truth, choosing a "love" with zero truth in it. The great falling away in which the "man of sin" appears, sitting in the temple of God proclaiming himself to be god. 

The New Age religion is a blend of eastern religions and the old "Mystery Teachings", and a blend of gnosticism and spiritism, based on secret teachings transmitted by demonic entities. Consequently, there is no room for the God of Heaven and Earth nor the Jesus who said that you'd die in your sins if you did not believe that he is. Oh no, but rather there is only room for an unknowable force as "god" and the exaltation of man at one with that "cosmic consciousness" sitting in the temple of god proclaiming himself to be god.

Scripture prophesied everything that is happening, and yet it's inherent truth is rejected by those who willingly subscribe to the lie of the serpent. Rejecting God's Truth as a lie leads to accepting the serpents lies as truth. 

"And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:10

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 4:6

....a "light" that shines upon you which leads you to believe that you are "god" is the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit. It's a "false light" that those who reject Truth receive. It is the delusion that he sends upon all who reject Truth to embrace wickedness and inequity.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 06:27 AM
reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion

You know, was considering that very thing. Kind of wish I had now. Maybe a mod can switch it over if they see fit.

And thanks so much for sharing your story! I think you put it incredibly well. The Tao Te Ching is a deep well of wisdom, fascinating to hear it was that kind of catalyst in your case.
edit on 30-1-2013 by deometer because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 06:34 AM
reply to post by xxshadowfaxx

Very well put! As Huxley said, "This is an experience of inestimable value to everyone, and especially to the intellectual."

posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 06:28 PM
reply to post by JiggyPotamus

"Experience is the usually the ONLY way to convince people like this, which is a shame in my opinion..."

It is a shame, but I guess it is the ultimate form of persuasion. It can also make for the most interesting turnarounds, especially with how convincing it can be for that person (after having been even the most ardent "skeptic"). I'm reminded of another account I read elsewhere, this from a participant (also involved in the sciences) in a '60s study of a substance-that-shall-not-be-named:

"I saw (or was) the cosmos and it came together into a pinpoint of all the light and energy there is and burst and flooded the universe with twinkling stars again.
I withdrew for a moment and thought about this rare phenomenon. Again laughter tumbled from the depths of my being. I was trying to do the impossible, to stand back and intellectualize about the most integral thought I had ever experienced...Being transcending the sum of its parts...."
"I encountered an amazing presence, and felt a complete sense of the perfection in everything."
"I would not have believed what transpired had it not really occurred to me."

That being said, I do see a lot of value in direct experience/apprehension.
edit on 30-1-2013 by deometer because: (no reason given)

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