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.