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 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." TASTEis primarily about gathering data on transcendent experiences.

Related words which describe the kinds of experiences I am soliciting for posting on this TASTEsite 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.


And She Came Back

"This is [TASTE] Submission No. 00038, by Joe Waldron, who received his PhD in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1975, has been a professor of psychology, and was a Distinguished Research Professor at Youngstown State University in Ohio. He is w ell known for many contributions to rehabilitative medicine and research on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory."

I know we talked about the kids and loving each other. I am also sure that I would have had a million questions about what it was like to be dead. However, I do not remember any of the content of our discussion and that is not like me. In some way, completely unknown to me, this other person had the ability to make sure that Rene and I could get together and that I would take away from that meeting only the information presented here.
Now from a hardball scientist who teaches multivariate statistics, research methods and one who wrote computerized diagnostic software, I have joined the paranormal set. I am sure that some of my colleagues think I have indeed gone round that bend when they hear about my public talks and workshops exploring the issues as we in the sciences are prone to do. And that little agnostic side of me creeps in and says, “Even if you are deluded, the positive affects of after-death experiences are too therapeutic to ignore.”

They sure can be life-changing.
If we accept this even as a possibility, we can see why the materialist evangelicals fight so hard to ensure the possibility of souls is seen as the belief of idiotic morons. [Though the materialist Lycan deserves commendation for admitting materialism is a faith.]

Imagine a reality where the Phenomenal envelopes the Material. Physics would only capture a small slice of a vast unknown expanse that seems to be better described by our ancient traditions:

"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, as unyielding as the grave."
- Songs 8:6

“Love is of something, and that which love desires is not that which love is or has; for no man desires that which he is or has. And love is of the beautiful, and therefore has not the beautiful. And the beautiful is the good, and therefore, in wanting and desiring the beautiful, love also wants and desires the good.”
Plato, Symposium
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