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.