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TASTE - The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences
TASTE - The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences

Quote:TASTE is an online journal devoted to transcendent experiences that scientists have reported. It lets scientists express these experiences in a psychologically (and professionally) safe space.

Science is a wonderful profession: I've worked at it for almost 40 years, and love it. As a process for gathering and refining knowledge, it is so useful! But the process is practiced by people, not machines, and we are each affected by the conscious and unconscious hopes, habits and fears of our individual histories and cultural heritages. As Aldous Huxley so nicely put it, each of us is simultaneously the beneficiary and the victim of our culture. 

Science and Scientism

As scientists, we have discovered a body of precisely observed factual data about the world, created a lot of good theories that make sense of much of that data — and we are part of a cultural heritage of scientism. Sociologists coined the term "scientism" back in the 1940s, when they realized that many scientists unthinkingly accepted many scientific theories as simple, unquestioned Truths, just like believers in any "ism," and thus we often acted like any prejudiced "believer," especially outside our immediate areas of expertise. 
Transcendent Experiences
This all-too-human narrowness is a significant distorting factor when dealing with the area of life roughly called transcendent, used primarily in the sense of definition 1b above, "extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience." TASTE is primarily about gathering data on transcendent experiences. 
Related words which describe the kinds of experiences I am soliciting for posting on this TASTE site are spiritual, mystical, psychic or paranormal, all imprecise ways of describing experiences which seem to transcend the ordinary limits of the physical world. All these terms have multiple connotations and semantic baggage that are often at odds with the scientific process, but they are nevertheless in common use. I would prefer to use the term transpersonal experiences, experiences which involve apparent functioning beyond, trans, the ordinary limits of what we think is possible.  Transpersonal has been an empirical and psychological term from its coining by psychologist Abraham Maslow, but it is still not widely enough known. Thus transcendent is the key word for TASTE.
Language Difficulties

Many, if not all, transcendent experiences are "ineffable," i.e. the experiencers feel that ordinary language is inadequate at conveying the full scope and vitality of the experience. But words can have a reminding function or a pointing function: the words resonate with something in the reader's own experiential knowledge and direct attention. The challenge to the submitters is to use their words as best they can to be both accurate and communicative. If this results in some scientists waxing poetic, so be it! And some of what seems ineffable at first glance can be communicated well as we work at it.

Fear of Admitting to the Transcendent

Over the years I have had hundreds of fellow scientists from all sorts of fields quietly come up to me at meetings or write or phone me — when they had decided I was safe — to tell me about their unusual experiences apparently going beyond everyday reality, challenging our concepts of what the world is . These were experiences that intrigued them and/or were emotionally important to them, but which they could not tell to their colleagues or friends for fear of rejection or ridicule...
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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Thanks Sci. That's one of my favourite resources. Well worth a browse.
also perhaps cross-reference here?

Text Resources Thread
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This particular story from TASTE was published in Anti-Matters Issue 9 (Vol. 3 No. 3) August 15, 2009:

And She Came Back

Quote:All this could be a hallucination, or a dream and indeed if I were to hear it in my clinical practice I would place much emphasis on the hypnogogic state on both occasions. However, it happened to me and I know it was real as well as I can know anything. The ramifications have been long acting, for now all of my non-teaching time is spent in studying after-death experiences. In the last seven years I have read and studied more about parapsychology, after-death, near-death and dying than I ever read for a PhD in developmental psychology.

In lucid dreams I have seen and spoken with her. I have talked with her again and I have very clearly heard her say to me (at 10:00 AM) about two years later as I was coming downstairs in the morning, “Well, you have had that dream three times. Are you going to go and get Beth and bring her home now?”

When I heard her voice as clearly as I hear anyone speak who is standing three feet behind me, my hair stood on end, and yet I was comforted and I knew what had to be done. Her voice brought the importance of those forgotten dreams back to the surface. At the time I did not consciously consider that my youngest daughter was having problems — she was, I got her, and Beth did move back home. I could have known that Beth was having problems from her nonverbal behaviors, her clothes and her quiet attitude. The conscious side of me was trying to accept her and her ways as she matured into adulthood carrying that deep sense of loss for her mother. I could have determined that she was having a very difficult time but it took Rene’s comment to bring it to the surface and make me realize in a startling manner that action was needed now. To me these experiences are real. So real they have changed my life.

My depression was gone — absolutely lifted, after the second instance. I have never looked back
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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