Websites of Organizations Focused on Spirituality and Consciousness

The organizations/websites detailed below provide timely information that’s helpful for understanding mysticism, spirituality in general, and consciousness.  While a number of the sites address mystical experience specifically, most focus on spiritual matters more broadly.  Please note that our list of websites is not comprehensive; however, it does provide a good starting point for those seeking reliable, valuable information about mysticism and spirituality.  As is the case for our other recommended resources, please bear in mind that each organization’s viewpoint is not representative of the whole field of spiritual and consciousness studies.

Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences:

The Academy is a 501(c) 3 non-profit membership and education organization whose mission is to promote open minded, rigorous and evidence-based enquiry into postmaterialist consciousness research.

Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies:

The Mission of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies, Inc. is to discern, develop and disseminate knowledge of how consciousness studies and paranormal phenomena may relate to and enhance the development of the human spirit.

The Academy aims to offer an arena where those with an interest in the study of consciousness and the related sciences can gain access to articles, links and other research to educate and interchange ideas in the zone where spirituality and scientific research interface.

Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona:

The Center’s objective is to help humanity move toward an integrated understanding of human consciousness by bringing together the perspectives of philosophy, the cognitive sciences, neuroscience, the social sciences, medicine, and the physical sciences, the arts and humanities.

Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP):

The Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology at Sweden’s Lund University consists of a group of researchers and associates dedicated to the scientific study of unusual but not pathological experiences and events, including reputed parapsychological phenomena.  The Center endorses programmatic research using a plurality of methodologies, and researchers there are open to diverse perspectives in this area, as long as they are informed and respectful.  The Center’s aim is to continue developing multidisciplinary, national, and international collaborations, and train undergraduate and graduate students in a supportive environment.

The Galileo Commission:

The world today is dominated by science and by its underlying assumptions, which are seldom explicitly articulated. The Galileo Commission’s remit is to open public discourse and to find ways to expand science so that it can accommodate and explore important human experiences and questions that science, in its present form, is unable to integrate.

The Global Consciousness Project:

The Global Consciousness Project is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists and engineers.  The organization collects data continuously from a global network of physical random number generators located in up to 70 host sites around the world at any given time. The data are transmitted to a central archive which now contains more than 15 years of random data in parallel sequences of synchronized 200-bit trials generated every second.

The Project’s purpose is to examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. The Project hypothesizes that there will be structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events that engage our minds and hearts.

International Association for Near Death Studies:

As an educational nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) focuses most of its resources into providing the highest quality information available about NDE-related subjects. It is the only such membership group in the world.  In addition to maintaining an information-rich website, IANDS publishes a peer-reviewed scholarly journal and a member magazine, sponsors conferences and other programs, works with the media, and encourages the formation of regional discussion and support groups.

The International Institute of Integral Human Sciences:

The Institute is a non-governmental organization begun in 1975 and affiliated with the United Nations.  The institute is involved in the exploration of new sciences of consciousness & healing new paradigms for the convergence of science, spirituality, and more humane values in the world.

Institute of Noetic Sciences:

The Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) is a research center and direct-experience lab specializing in the intersection of science and profound human experience. The mission of IONS is to reveal the interconnected nature of reality through scientific exploration and personal discovery.

IONS scientists are focused on what are common but not often understood phenomena, and they are aware of the vast historical records of wisdom practices that also speak to the mysteries and possibilities which allow us to access more of our human capacities. At IONS, the organization’s scientists apply the rigors of their respective disciplines to explore such phenomena, with a focus on understanding humanity’s inherent interconnectedness and the inner wisdom common to us all. The IONS team believes that “when we collectively embody our true interconnection and embrace our inner wisdom we envision the creation of a more compassionate and thriving world.”

The Institute of Noetic Sciences is based in Petaluma, California and was founded by the late astronaut and aeronautical engineer, Edgar Mitchell, Sc.D., Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research:

Johns Hopkins University is the leading psychedelic research institution in the U.S., and among the few leading groups worldwide.  At the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, researchers focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health.  Johns Hopkins research has demonstrated therapeutic effects in people who suffer a range of challenging conditions including addiction (smoking, alcohol, other drugs of abuse), existential distress caused by life-threatening disease, and treatment-resistant depression.

Upcoming studies will determine the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa, and alcohol use in people with major depression.  The Center’s researchers hope to create precision medicine treatments tailored to the specific needs of individual patients.

Open Sciences:

The members of believe that the sciences are being unnecessarily constricted by dogmatic beliefs, in particular those tied to the philosophy of materialism (aka physicalism) and its untestable background assumptions. These dogmas cast a shadow over both science and society at large, predetermining what questions are acceptable to ask and what phenomena are considered possible. Through the website, the organization supports the growing movement towards a more open-minded scientific paradigm.

The Parapsychological Association:

The Parapsychological Association was created in Durham, North Carolina, on June 19th, 1957. Its formation was proposed by Dr. J. B. Rhine (Director of the Duke Laboratory) at a Workshop in Parapsychology that was held at the Parapsychology Laboratory of Duke University. Using the occasion afforded by this wide representation of the field, Dr. J. B. Rhine proposed that the group form itself into the nucleus of an international professional society in parapsychology.

Parnia Lab at New York University (NYU) Langone Health:

The Parnia Lab is the first research lab in the world dedicated to improving resuscitation care and exploring what happens to the human mind during and after cardiac arrest.  The Parnia Lab’s interdisciplinary work stands to not only improve standards of care and increase survival rates for cardiac arrest patients, but to advance fields ranging from critical care, emergency medicine, neurology, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, ethics, philosophy, and beyond.

The Religious Experience Research Centre:
The Religious Experience Research Centre houses an archive with over 6,000 accounts of first-hand experiences of people from across the world who had a spiritual or religious experience. Founded by Sir Alister Hardy in 1969 at Manchester College, Oxford, the Centre moved to Lampeter in July 2000. The Centre’s aim is to study contemporary accounts of religious or spiritual experiences. In addition to its archive of accounts the RERC houses a specialist collection of books and journals.

The Rhine Research Center:

The Rhine Research Center explores the frontiers of consciousness and exceptional human experiences in the context of unusual and unexplained phenomena.  The Rhine’s mission is to advance the science of parapsychology, to provide education and resources for the public, and to foster a community for individuals with personal and professional interest in PSI.

The Scientific and Medical Network:

The Scientific and Medical Network (SMN) was founded in 1973 by George Blaker, with the help of Dr. Patrick Shackleton, Sir Kelvin Spencer, and Dr Peter Leggett (Vice-Chancellor of Surrey University), based on their collective desire to reconcile scientific investigation and scientific models of reality with the spiritual dimension of life, and so to open dialogue between scientists and spiritual luminaries of all backgrounds. The vision of the SMN founders was a profoundly holistic one: an organisation confined by no “fences of thought”, but instead open to insight from every kind of human enquiry.

Today, the SMN is working with full awareness and appreciation of scientific method, but exploring and expanding, in a spirit of open and critical enquiry, frontier issues at the interfaces between science, health, consciousness, wellbeing, love and spirituality, to explore how to rediscover a meaningful spirituality to help rebalance our lives.

The Network is part of a worldwide contemporary movement for education, personal development, and compatible “spiritual emergence”, networking: scientists, doctors, psychologists, educators, engineers, philosophers, complementary practitioners and other professionals, for mutual and societal benefit.

Society for Psychical Research:

The Society for Psychical Research, set up in London in 1882, was the first scientific organization ever to examine claims of psychic and paranormal phenomena. The society holds no corporate view about their existence or meaning; rather, its purpose is to gather information and foster understanding through research and education. The Society is a registered charity run by a council of elected members, with committees overseeing various activities. Past presidents have included philosophers William James and Henri Bergson, scientists William Crookes, John Strutt (Lord Rayleigh) and Charles Richet, and British conservative prime minister Arthur Balfour.

Society for Scientific Exploration:

Since 1982, the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has provided a critical forum for sharing original research into conventional and unconventional topics. Subjects often cross mainstream boundaries, yet may have profound implications for human knowledge and technology. The Society publishes a peer-reviewed journal, the popular EdgeScience magazine, hosts conferences, and connects scholars.

Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University:

The Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI) at Teachers College, Columbia University explores the intersection of science and spirituality through the framework of psychology, creating a new model for learning and teaching.  SMBI is committed to developing evidence-based science that examines the effects of spirituality in daily life, including spirituality as a protective factor against mental illness, a source of resilience in cultivating relationships and as a gateway to personal fulfillment.

The Spirituality Mind Body Institute serves as a bridge between science, academia and the diverse worldwide community to address the needs of a rapidly changing world, with a cutting-edge, global spiritual platform that brings together world-renowned scientists, educators, healers and spiritual leaders to inspire conversations that foster social connectedness and inclusive solutions to contribute to the higher good of the whole.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Mysticism:

Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy “Mysticism” entry explains that “‘Mysticism’ is best thought of as a constellation of distinctive practices, discourses, texts, institutions, traditions, and experiences aimed at human transformation, variously defined.” This online encyclopedia entry reports on mysticism and philosophy, and thus concentrates chiefly on the topics philosophers have discussed concerning mystical experience.

University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies:

Founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) is a long-established and highly productive university-based research group, exclusively devoted to the investigation of phenomena that challenge mainstream scientific paradigms regarding the nature of the mind/brain relationship. The researchers at DOPS are particularly interested in studying phenomena related to consciousness clearly functioning beyond the confines of the physical body, as well as phenomena that are directly suggestive of survival of consciousness after physical death.

For additional resources on mystical experience, spirituality in general, and consciousness, please visit our Mystical Experience Resources page.