More About the Author
Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness, particularly altered states of consciousness - as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology - and for his research in parapsychology. His two classic books, "Altered States of Consciousness" (1969) and "Transpersonal Psychologies" (1975), were widely used texts that were instrumental in allowing these areas to become part of modern psychology.
Dr. Tart was born a few years before the Second World War and grew up in Trenton, a mid-sized East Coast city. An episode of rheumatic fever when he was 9 kept him from school and in bed for months, but a visiting teacher gave him a love of learning that he is eternally grateful for. While still a teenager he fell in love with science, especially electronics, He was active in ham radio (call letters K2CFP), and learned enough electronics to work his way through college as a radio engineer (First Class Radiotelephone License). He was raised as a Lutheran, and his personal struggles with the conflict between religion and science he experienced as a teenager created his lifelong career focus of trying to build bridges between genuine science and genuine spirituality.
Charley, as his friends call him, went to college to study electrical engineering at MIT, but while there discovered that he could become a psychologist and thus, he hoped, pursue his deep interests in the nature of the mind and parapsychology. He received his Ph.D. in psychology, with research on influencing night time dreams by posthypnotic suggestions, from the University of North Carolina in 1963, and then received two years of postdoctoral training in hypnosis research at Stanford.
He was a Professor of Psychology at the Davis campus of the University of California for 28 years, where he conducted his research and was a popular teacher, and is now a Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California, a unique Ph.D. granting institution that believes you should educate a person's body, spirit and emotions as well as their intellectual mind. (Note ITP has now become Sofia University as of 2012) In the 1970s Dr. Tart consulted on the original remote viewing research program at Stanford Research Institute, where some of his parapsychological work was instrumental in influencing government policy makers against the funding of the proposed multi-billion dollar MX missile system.
In addition to "Altered States of Consciousness" (1969) and "Transpersonal Psychologies" (1975), Dr. Tart's other books are "On Being Stoned: A Psychological Study of Marijuana Intoxication" (1971), "States of Consciousness" (1975), "Symposium on Consciousness" (1975, with co-authors), "Learning to Use Extrasensory Perception" (1976), "Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm" (1977), "Mind at Large: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Symposia on the Nature of Extrasensory Perception" (1979, with H. Puthoff & R. Targ), "Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential" (1986), "Open Mind, Discriminating Mind: Reflections on Human Possibilities" (1989), "Living the Mindful Life" (1994) and "Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality" (1997), which looks at the implications of hard scientific data on psychic abilities as a foundation for believing we have a real spiritual nature. His 2001 book, "Mind Science: Meditation Training for Practical People" (2001) presents mindfulness training in a way that makes sense for science professionals, and his most recent book, "The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together," integrates his work in parapsychology and transpersonal psychology to show that it is reasonable to be both scientific and spiritual in outlook, contrary to the widely believed idea that science shows that there is nothing to spirituality.
He has had more than 250 articles published in professional journals and books, including lead articles in such prestigious scientific journals as Science and Nature.
Not just a laboratory researcher, Dr. Tart has been a student of Aikido (in which he holds a black belt), of meditation, of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way work, and of Buddhism. He has been happily married for more than 50 years and has two children and two grandchildren. His primary goal is still to build bridges between the genuinely scientific and genuinely spiritual communities, and to help bring about a refinement and integration of Western and Eastern approaches for knowing the world and for personal and social growth.