The "New" Home
In 2002, over thirty years after the move from Duke to the FRNM building, it was decided there was a need for more modern experimental space and updated research equipment as well as for expansion of the Center’s library. The aging Buchanan Avenue building was sold to Duke University and a new building, the first ever in the world built for experimental work in parapsychology, was constructed for the Rhine Research Center at 2741 Campus Walk Avenue in western Durham about a mile west of the Duke Medical Center. This location, across from the Millennium Hotel, is easily accessible from the interstates and is near the Stedman Auditorium on the Duke Center for Living campus where frequent Rhine Center programs are held. Smaller programs and social events are regularly held in the Rhine Center’s Alex Tanous Research Library that was initiated and supported by a gift from the Alex Tanous Foundation of Portland, Maine.
Who We Are
The Rhine Research Center is a hub for research and education on the basic nature of consciousness.
The Center presents a wide range of educational offerings in which we attempt to draw together and present the most interesting and challenging current ideas on the nature and enhancement of consciousness. We present conferences, teach classes, and offer workshops, lectures, study groups, and other events. Some of these activities are face-to-face in our Durham NC headquarters, and some are web-based. We conduct careful scientific studies on the parapsychological dimensions of consciousness, in order to answer basic questions about the nature of consciousness, its reach, its durability, its power, its healing potential, and the extent of its autonomy and independence of physical constraints. An important aspect of our research effort is the publication of the Journal of Parapsychology a peer-reviewed scientific periodical that has been published continuously since 1937, and that has consistently offered to the scientific community a large portion of the best theoretical and empirical work that has been done on these problems.
What We Intend
An Integrative Center for the Study of Consciousness.
Now independent of Duke University, the Rhine Research Center is still located near Duke’s West Campus and Medical Center. We aim to meet the great need for information about the depth and breadth and potential of human consciousness. We will continue to present in various formats the best and most instructive current thought on these things. And we will continue to add to the body of scientific knowledge about the nature and power of the mind. Generating scientific knowledge about consciousness and presenting a wide array of speculative ideas about consciousness and its enhancement might seem to be different and even contradictory things. They are potentially complementary, and we attempt to integrate them.
If anyone wishes to make a truly independent study of any subject, and not simply learn of the prior opinions and findings of others, there are two basic paths for exploration. We may study something empirically, and rely upon the methods of science: theory and hypothesis, objective measurements, control of variables, mathematical analysis of results, and peer-review of conclusions. Still, not all important questions are readily amenable to these methods. The other path for study is more personal and informal. We may find an interesting idea and tentatively adopt it, and try it out in the “laboratory” of our own experience. If we find that it is useful, and adds to our sense of understanding important things and enhances our personal sense of efficacy, then we may keep it and build upon it as a basis for testing other new ideas. If it does not prove to be very useful, hopefully we will be clear-headed and independent enough to toss it out, and look for something better.
Most people carry out this sort of informal “research” all their lives. These two approaches are not mutually exclusive, but each has its unique advantages and disadvantages. Personal, informal research permits us to test out ideas that we find difficult or impossible to squeeze into the structure of empirical study. The downside is that our personal perspective is always limited and potentially biased in unwitting ways, and our range of experience is relatively narrow. We may reach conclusions that are wrong, or only very narrowly true, and never know it. Empirical research is painstaking and often slow-going, and may be somewhat narrow in terms of the questions it can manage. It may seem to miss some of the richness and immediacy of ongoing experience. Its advantage is that with it we can know something for sure, and integrate it with the rest of scientific knowledge. It is with scientific knowledge, after all, that our culture has constructed our modern world, with all its advantages.
Certain knowledge is powerful knowledge.
The Rhine Research Center strives to pursue both these paths of study, and make them available to all interested persons. Because empirical knowledge is more powerful and certain than the results of purely personal exploration will ever be, our preference will always be for scientific exploration when that is possible. Pursuing both these paths at once, we will continue to advance our understanding of consciousness – its reach, power, durability, healing power and spiritual depth. What J. B. Rhine discovered, we explore.