Institute of Noetic Sciences

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

Institute of Noetic Sciences

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Founded by astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell in 1973, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (INS) is a 200-acre center in Palo Alto, California. It was formed to encourage and conduct basic research on mind-body relations, in order to gain new understanding of human consciousness. The institute explores phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models, while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor. In 1971, when Mitchell was an astronaut on Apollo 14, he looked out at planet Earth and felt a profound sense of universal connectedness. In his own words, “The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes.” Yet the Noetic Institute is not a spiritual association, nor a political action group or single-cause institute. It honors open-minded approaches and multiple ways of knowing.

The term “noetic” (from the Greek nous, meaning “mind”) means pertaining to, or originating in, intellectual or rational activity; mental functions; highest character of the mind principle consciousness. Noetic science is the study of altered states of consciousness and the reaction of the mind-body to those altered states. The subjects of programs at INS include psychical research, healing, personal awareness, and control of interior states.


Bletzer, June G.: The Encyclopedia Psychic Dictionary.
Lithia Springs: New Leaf, 1998
Institute of Noetic Sciences:
Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
Encyclopedia browser ?
Full browser ?