Noetic Science

The mellifluous world of noetics.
Suhasree Arvapalli
Grade 6



What is Noetic Science and how will its research affect the world? 


To collect my data for this experiment, I used many different sources, but one is the most important. 
The Institute of Noetic Sciences was where I got a lot of my information. I learned so many cool things from surfing their website, and used a lot of their information in my project. 
Some of the things I learned: 
  • Noetic science uses scientific tools to study reality 
  • Noetic comes from a Greek word meaning inner knowing 
  • Noetics focuses a lot on humanity and human beings 
  • Spirituality is also a big factor in their research
  • It was founded by an astronaut 
  • All the scientists are qualified and all have major achievements

For the experiments, I noticed that they used surveys to collect data. To take a closer look, I participated in one of the surveys and realised that the data they were collected had a wide spectrum of varied responses. It was very interesting to see that the scientists had come up with every response someone would possibly think of! Another method of collecting data from experiments was using volunteers. A lot of them required people, and the results were based on the people’s consciousness. The data they gathered was based on the human beings who volunteered to be in the experiment. 

To complete this project, I used a lot of resources, and the Internet was my best friend. I planned out a timeline and work blocks for me to work on it, and I collected my data from the many sources listed, from websites to YouTube videos to articles to books! 

To organize my data I put headings for each section, so that you know what you are reading about. My method for organizing my logbook was to create sections for each topic, and I used dividers to organize everything. I also made header pages to divide each section. 
After collecting all my data, to answer the big question, I typed out a conclusion essay to sum up everything and neatly organise my research. 
Making the presentation was one of the enjoyable steps in the project, making colourful and beautiful slides to display my hard work. :)





  • Comes from greek word meaning inner wisdom, direct knowledge, intuition, or implicit understanding 
  • Bridging science and spirituality
  • Created by Dr. Edgar Mitchell after his moonwalk on the Apollo 14 trip  
  • “Sense of interconnectedness” 
  • A “new framework” 
  • A word to explain the unexplainable
  • “To Spark transformation” 
  • Brings scientific tools and techniques together with inner knowing to study the nature of reality 
  • Supports the theory that a thought, a belief or intuition, can affect physical matter 
  • Non physical phenomena 
  • Studying our consciousness
  • “Thinking of something and having it happen” 
  • “Have you ever thought of a dear friend or a loved one and they instantly called or texted?” 
  • Gaining a deeper understanding 
  • Interconnected nature of reality
  • Can this change our lives for the better? 
  • Several ways to see the world 
  • Intuition, hunches, inner feelings
  • Consciousness influencing physical matter
  • Feelings and experiences you can’t explain
  • Subjective experience
  • Influence health 
  • Change behaviours 
  • Affect our lives 
  • Potential for human evolution 
  • Inner awareness




  • Awareness 
  • The way people perceive and interpret things 
  • Attention and intention 
  • Collective consciousness - consciousness as a group with the name ideals 
  • Consciousness can go beyond awareness 
  • Subconscious - below the level of consciousness and awareness
  • “Milieu of potential” 
  • Noetic science focuses on when, how, and why consciousness matters 
  • Mind/matter is based of consciousness 
  • Consciousness = Interconnectedness? 
  • Harnessing its power 




  • Exploring who we are, our potentials, how to achieve them, and personal and societal healing and transformation 
  • The belief that limitations in consciousness and our understanding of it = global problems (ex. violence) 
  • Belief that gaining an understanding of our minds will reduce suffering 
  • Mission - “Advance the science of consciousness and human experience to serve individual and collective transformation” 
  • Researching interconnectedness, mind/matter, social science, clinical studies based of consciousness
  • Harnessing the power of consciousness
  • Noetic inner awareness 
  • Science + our personal spirituality/awareness 




  • Worked as a scientist, director of research, CEO, and President for IONS 
  • She is a psychologist, a mind-body medicine researcher, author, and a keynote speaker 
  • Research focuses on spirituality and health 
  • Executive director of the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation 
  • Worked at IONS for 18 years 
  • Currently researching on spiritual and and religious competencies 
  • Grew up in Southern California 
  • BA in Psychology 
  • PhD in psychology 
  • Worked with people suffering from trauma and illnesses 
  • Worked in a lot of medical organizations 
  • Contributing to creating a better future for everyone 
  • Wrote three books, many articles, and led many workshops on transformation all over the world 
  • She is also an internationally recognised public speaker
  • She has given two TEDx Talks 
  • Is currently exploring the science and potential for imagination 
  • Loves learning about the world’s spiritual and religious traditions 
  • Working with community
  • Wants to make a positive impact on our world 
  • Explores where science and spirit meet 
  • Has an interest in space 
  • Studies consciousness/spirit   




  • Founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell while he was in space, when felt he was interconnected with the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon
  • A sacredness, a divinity 
  • IONS was Founded in 1973 
  • Edgar mitchell made this organization to explain the unexplainable
  • Everything seems interconnected 
  • A luminosity 
  • Animating life force 
  • We are all connected 
  • Many religions have a lot of similar beliefs 
  • Interconnected-ness underlies many major movements 
  • Human rights and Civil rights movements have a base of interconnectedness
  • United with all of life 
  • Actions can benefit you but harm others
  • Science relying on understanding reality 
  • Is it true that we are interconnected? (subjective levels and objective and physical levels) 
  • Our brains and bodies are networks 
  • Not one part of our body exists without the other 
  • “A Symphony of Life” 
  • DNA isn’t our blueprint or destiny 
  • Who we are is determined by everything in our lives 
  • Contagiousness 
  • Our “free will” is actually a very complex process 
  • Attention/intention affects physiology 
  • Connection at a distance can be increased 
  • Connection between peoples mind’s and the physical world
  • Is it “We” “You” or “I”?  
  • Quantum measurement problem
  • Projecting your mind 
  • Everything seems to happen at the same time 
  • When everyone's attention is focused on one thing, it can actually affect it 
  • Connection and interconnection between people
  • Questioning the fundamental basis of reality (XD) 
  • Our minds influence our bodies and each other 
  • Connected at a distance 
  • Connected to how the physical world functions 
  • Shifting the way we are thinking 
  • Using your consciousness in ways that are positive 
  • Helping our world and humanity thrive 
  • “Affirming a positive vision is the most sophisticated vision we can take” 




  • Astronaut 
  • Sixth person to walk on the moon 
  • Spent nine hours studying the moon’s surface 
  • Member of the Apollo 14 mission
  • Went on the mission in 1971
  • On his way home, a sensation washed over him, a sense of universal connection
  • Saw the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon 
  • It was like a trigger 
  • Saw things with his five senses 
  • Felt a sense of unity, a oneness, as he looked out into space and observed our planet
  • We are all one in the sense that we are all created from the stars 
  • Established IONS in 1973, as a way to study the mysteries of inner space 
  • IONS was a way to explain what he felt in that spacecraft, as he saw what he described as “The Heavens” 
  • “We need to make the world safe for creativity and intuition, for it’s creativity and intuition that will make the world safe for us.” - Dr. Edgar Mitchell
  • IONS wants to develop the same sense of interconnectedness Dr.Mitchell felt, to “enhance the quality of life on Earth” 
  • Passed away at 85 on February 2016
  • On Feb 8 2021, IONS celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission that Edgar Mitchell experienced 
  • People describe his feeling as an “epiphany that shaped IONS” 






  • Chief Scientist at IONS 
  • Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies)
  • Used to be a concert violinist 
  • Researching consciousness for over three decades 
  • Author or Co-author of many MANY articles and chapters in novels 
  • Four books 
  • Has been interviewed in television programs many times 
  • His articles appeared in the New York Times 
  • 500+ talks 
  • Universities he has talked at -  Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Princeton, Columbia, University of San Diego, University of Minnesota, University of California at Davis and Irvine, Wake Forest University, Virginia Tech, Northern Arizona University, Louisiana State University, University of Amsterdam, University of Paris, University of Padova, University of Allahabad, Andhra University, and University of British Columbia.
  • Has talked for many companies 
  • He was named one of the 100 most inspirational people 
  • Appeared in 18 documentaries 
  • Joined IONS in 2001 




  • Research scientist at IONS 
  • CNRS principal investigator 
  • PhD on visual categorization 
  • Worked on statistical analysis of EEG signals (electro-encephalographic) 
  • Developed software for analysis of EEG signals 
  • His software is one of the most used in EEG research all over the world 
  • Has a Brettencourt-Schueller young investigator award
  • Interest in the study of consciousness + spirituality 
  • Zen meditator 
  • Taught India on the neural effects of consciousness 
  • Looked at brain dynamical changes
  • Extra-ordinary states of consciousness
  • Meditation
  • Psycho-active agents 
  • Mediumship 
  • Studying how technology can assist mediation 




  • Scientist at IONS 
  • Researches mapping the mind-gene interface, basically your genetics and how they are built in your mind 
  • He was awarded two scholarships
  • Interest in methods and technologies for bridging molecular neurobiology with consciousness 
  • Brain activity and gene expression 
  • One of the first to be awarded a Research Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health
  • Studying healing modalities 
  • Conducted controlled lab experiments with spiritual healers and practitioners 
  • Worked with people around the world 
  • Has had many talks nationally 
  • Authored and co-authored many articles 
  • Focuses on the topic of biofields and micro-psychokinesis.




  • Scientist at IONS 
  • Worked a lot in the film industry
  • Developed modeling algorithms for visual effects 
  • Awarded the only Oscar statuettes ever given for computer science 
  • Used to work in Disney/Pixar  
  • Created the world’s first fractally-generated animation piece - A short film called Vol Libre
  • His visual effects were so awesome that they used them in all of the Star Trek movies 
  • His algorithms are still the heart of every Pixar movie 
  • Has his own company called Cinematrix, Inc. 
  • At IONS, he works with experiment design and construction 
  • Fabrication, computer and electronic skills 
  • Makes new instruments for “recording and analyzing quantum background noise” and for “sensing and amplifying mind-photon interaction.”
  • The world’s first fractal film by him -




  • Director of Research at IONS 
  • Trained as a naturopathic physician 
  • Published and spoke about her work 
  • Studies complementary and alternative medicine, mind-body medicine, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder 
  • Physiology, health, and healing 
  • Currently looking into stress and trauma 
  • Mechanisms for medicine 
  • Human capacities 
  • Has an extensive mediation training (One goes up to 16 years O_O)






The purpose for this experiment is described on the IONS website as an experiment to “examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world”. In other words (in my words), to look at the consciousness of the whole world and see if there is a point of data that may indicate interconnectedness. To examine the data everyone has collected about people’s consciousness about their intentions and emotions around the world and see if it has impacted any global events. This is a huge worldwide project that includes many people who have contributed to it. From scientists and engineers, to artists. You may be wondering, how does this experiment work? Well basically, they have 65 sites around the world tracking the data for their area. They use random number generators as a metaphor for our consciousness. These generators generate streams of random numbers, zeroes and ones. Their belief is that whenever a large group of people’s consciousness, attention, and intention is focused on one thing, one thing that all their minds have in common, the random number generators won’t be so random anymore. Their hypothesis is that the RNG’s will become structured, coherent, and harmonized. 



The RNG’s around the world shoot out a random stream of numbers (zeroes and ones) as a metaphor for each of our thoughts and consciousnesses. Scientists noticed that when a large group of people had their attention and consciousness focused on one thing, for example, a football or a sports game, the RNG’s became….less random. They seemed more coherent and they all came together. The long stream of randomness became not-so-random, and synchronized….I wonder why…..



The RNG’S become coherent and less random because everyone’s consciousness and attention is focused on one thing. Like I said before, scientists are using the random numbers generated by the RNG’s as a metaphor for our thoughts, like a replacement, a visual representation for all our consciousnesses (that was a tongue twister). So all of our thoughts are random, but they became synchronized because all of our attention and consciousnesses became focused on one thing. One thing we all have in common. So our thoughts caused the RNG’s to become orderly. Proving that our consciousness may affect the physical world.





According to the IONS website, Helané Wahbeh says the purpose of this experiment is “to learn people’s beliefs about what part of us, if any, survives physical death” Note that this experiment is not to answer the age-old question about death, but to get one step closer to it, and to get a grip on understanding people’s beliefs. Understanding people’s understanding of death is a good way to understand this question better. How do they collect the data? By surveys! You can actually take part in this experiment by answering the questions in the survey! - 



This experiment was designed to know what people’s initial beliefs are on death. I actually did the survey, and noticed that the questions had a wide variety of responses you can choose from. It was as if Helané Wahbeh had thought of every response she had gotten in the past! Some responses included thing’s like “I believe my soul will disappear because my body is an illusion” or “I will remain conscious in some form for eternity” and even “ I will discover that I am part of a computer-like simulation, like in the movie, The Matrix.” It was cool to see the varied, different responses available, and how contrasted they were to each other.



This experiment is still in progress, for you can’t possibly expect such a groundbreaking question to have a groundbreaking answer in mere days! But I do have a hypothesis on what the results will be. I’m guessing that they will get a varied amount of responses and take them all in for consideration. In the end, I expect that the result will be that their understanding of people's thoughts on death will be increased.







This experiment works with two people. The purpose of this was to see if people could communicate with each other, beyond traditional methods. Beyond their five senses. It was conducted by Marilyn Schlitz and her colleagues at IONS. This experiment focuses on the consciousness of the two people. So they get the pair of people, and then separate them. They send one person to the “Sender’s Chamber”, and inside this chamber is a screen. On the screen is an image of their partner (aka, The Receiver), but the image pops up, then disappears, and blinks in and out. The scientists there tell the Sender that whenever the image of their receiver pops up on the screen, they must channel their attention and intention to focus on that person, so all of their thoughts, their brain, and their focus is on that one person. Then when their image disappears, the Sender has to remove all of their attention and intention from the person. Meanwhile, they send the Receiver into a electromagnetically shielded steel box, so any sort of communication from the sender except for consciousness is blocked. They are testing out their theory that the Receiver may receive some sort of a signal from the sender.



When the scientists were looking at the data for this experiment, they noticed that when the Sender put all their attention and intention focused on the person, the Receiver's physiology had changed! It was like an echo had transmitted to their brain, like an echo of consciousness. Another form of this experiment was when they flashed a bright light at the Sender, while they were focusing their consciousness at their partner, and they found out that the Sender’s brain had reacted very much from the flash of light. The chart below shows that, the first row is the Sender’s brain reacting to the light flash, and if you look at it, their brain turned almost completely red, which showed that it had reacted very majorly, but if you take a closer look and observe the second row, which shows the receiver’s brain, you may notice that the receiver actually got a little echo of the reaction, as their brain was partially red.



This experiment hints at the idea that people may actually be connected with each other through their consciousness. After all, Noetic Science does focus on interconnectedness! There might be a way people can communicate with their consciousness. This proves that there’s a chance our thoughts can affect other people’s brains, which only means that their thoughts may be able to affect our brains! This experiment was very interesting to look at, and very cool to research.






Cassandra Vieten briefly talked about this experiment during her enthralling TEDX Talk. She stated that they took a cancer patient and their partner and asked them to learn acts of compassion and present them to each other. Then, they split the two people and put a distance between them. Their hypothesis was that maybe their connection or consciousness has no limits to distance, and that they would still have a strong connection. 



When they split the two people after having them show acts of compassion to each other, they noticed that from afar, their connection seemed increased. Even if they were at a distance, a small thread of connection, and intuition remained between the two. It was as if there was a boost in their consciousness and focus towards each other, or a strengthening of their connection.



This is another example of an experiment hinting at the fact that we may be able to have some sort of a bond, or connection, with our consciousness with other people. Distance doesn’t matter, the bond still seems strong. It also indicates that thinking about a person or showing acts of compassion towards them can strengthen your bond with them, both consciously and physically.






This experiment was thought out and conducted by Dean Radin. The purpose of this experiment was to take a glimpse at interconnection between our consciousness and the physical world. A stream of light (or more scientifically, photons) was shot down a tunnel with two slits. Behind the two slits was a wall that will clearly show the observing scientist how the photons are behaving when they go through the slits and land on the wall. Their hypothesis is that maybe the people observing the photons may change how they behave and act. Maybe the photons will react to the consciousness of the observing scientists nearby, or maybe distance won’t matter. This experiment started off with many questions, and left scientists with many more. 



When the humans observing the beam of light knew which slit the light was going through, the photons acted like particles. They knew this by looking at the back wall, where you would see two slits. The fascinating thing that they found out is that when the humans observing the photons didn’t know which slit they were going through, they behaved like waves. As Cassandra said, they knew this by looking at the back wall and seeing as she states a “wave refraction pattern”. Another form of this experiment was that they made the observer observe the experiment with their mind, without their eyes, or through a lens, or with anything else. Just with their mind. To their amazement, the photons acted like particles, which meant that they acted like they were being observed, even though the person didn’t use their eyes. Like it says below, knowledge appears to change the behaviour of the physical world.



Cassandra Vieten claims that they don’t know what the information they retained actually means, but she said that this aroused new questions and supported their theory of our consciousness affecting the physical world, yet again. The photons acted as if they were being observed even though the person observing them wasn’t using their eyes, hence the observer’s thoughts altered the physical world. It is really interesting to see experiments like this, and more questions mean more experiments, and more experiments means more information to get closer to the goal of answering the big question of your consciousness. It is fascinating to see a theory, a question, come to life.



(Taken from my presentation) 









In the end, What Is Noetic Science?


So after all this research and hard work, what is noetic science? 
Noetic science is the science of your consciousness, and the science of interconnectedness. It is a word that explains things no scientist can explain. It represents intuition, feelings, and bridges science and spirituality. 
Noetic science looks into our inner awareness. 
According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences website, the three questions Noetic Science focuses on answering are - 

  • What is the relationship between interconnectedness, extended human capacities, and transformation, innovation, and well-being?                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Which experiences or practices maximize these factors or their relationships?                                                    
  • Which personal characteristics lead a person to benefit from experiences and practices based on these factors?
This branch of science is focused on gaining a deeper understanding of our minds, and how our consciousness can affect, or perhaps alter, the physical world. IONS believes that understanding our minds and the interconnected sense of reality can leave room for “human evolution” and potentially change our lives for the better. 


Noetic science looks at the feelings you can’t bring yourself to explain, the non physical aspects of our world, and using science to study reality. Can understanding your consciousness and non physical phenomena change our lives for the better? 


To understand noetics, you have to grasp onto the idea and definition of your consciousness. 


What is a consciousness?


 A simple way to put it is consciousness is awareness. It’s how people perceive the world, and how they interpret what happens in their lives. Two words that would describe consciousness are attention and intention. I know I said consciousness is technically awareness, but consciousness can go beyond awareness. 


There are different levels and different types of consciousness. There is collective consciousness, which is a consciousness that a group of people share. Basically, a group of people with the same goals, and ideals, share a collective consciousness.


 The subconsciousness level is where things get interesting. Subconsciousness is below the level of awareness. So technically, you're not fully conscious, not fully aware. 


Then of course there is unconsciousness, being completely unaware, and having no conscious thoughts.


Many other forms of altered consciousness exist, and each one is unique and interesting to research. 


Noetic science takes a look at when, how, and why consciousness is present, and why it matters in our world. The term mind over matter is based on consciousness. Wait, mind over matter? What’s that? 
What is Mind over Matter? 


Mind over matter put in the simplest definition possible is - Training your mind. Training your mind to become stronger, instead of just your body. Seeing how the mind can actually, possibly be more powerful than matter. 


Some people believe that developing a mind over matter mindset can actually help your mind battle illness, or a better way to put it is prevent illness. 


It’s putting your consciousness over your physical behaviour and aspects. Focusing on harnessing your mind and thoughts rather than your body.



What does IONS research? What do they focus on? 


Now, let’s go back to Noetics. What does the Institute of Noetic Sciences research? What do they focus on? 
IONS researches the following: 
  • Interconnectedness 
  • Mind/Matter 
  • Social science 
  • Clinical studies on the mind
  • Consciousness 
 Noetics and IONS is putting together science + spirituality/awareness. Seeing how our whole world is interconnected. 



Who founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences? 


Edgar Mitchell was an astronaut and the sixth person on the moon. As he was on his way home from the moon, sitting in the revolving space capsule, he observed the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon. As soon as he saw what he called the “heavens”, he felt a sensation wash over him. A sensation of unity and of oneness. A sense of interconnectedness. 


He established IONS in 1973 as a way to study the mysteries of inner space.


 IONS was a framework to explain the sensation and feeling he felt in space. He made IONS to answer his questions and to educate other people on this feeling of interconnectedness. He started the belief that “We are all one in the sense that we are all created from the stars”. Sadly, he passed away at 85 in February in 2016. One cool fact is that on Feb 8 2021, IONS celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission, which was the beginning of a new understanding.
Cassandra Vieten is the most recent CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, but her term ended in 2020. 



 Can our minds influence the world? 


One strong belief that noetic science is rooted on is the belief that our minds influence our bodies- and each other. 


This has been proved by the astonishing and inspiring experiments that many noetic scientists have conducted. They have proved that we may be connected at a distance, that we may be connected, and that we may be the reason for how the physical world functions. Noetic scientists believe that we are united with all life, and that being interconnected was the foundation for many movements. 


For example, the BLM movement. 
It was a collective consciousness movement, where everyone was connected in the sense that they all had the same goals, the same ideals, and the same beliefs. They had the same intentions, and with that basis, they created a huge global impact. 


There are also many experiments proving that our minds can affect the physical world, experiments that leave mind-boggling results and make way for more questions.


There is the experiment with photons, where the observer's thoughts changed the way the photons (particles of light) behaved. This experiment was enthralling to research, and its results left me with wide eyes, and a thirst for more information and knowledge. My curiosity increased on how our thoughts can alter the world around us. 


“Who we are is determined by everything
in our lives” - Cassandra Vieten 


Conclusion & Application


Now that we know that there may be a way our minds can affect the physical world, or the globe, and because we know we are connected to how the physical world functions, how can we use and apply that knowledge? 


By shifting your thinking of course. 


If our thoughts can affect the world, then imagine the impact negative thoughts can hold. We should use our consciousness and thoughts in positive ways, so they make a positive impact. 


We should help our world humanity thrive, with positivity.
“Affirming a positive vision may be about the most sophisticated action any one of us can take” - Willis Harman 



Citations and Bibliography

















  • The Lost Symbol - By Dan Brown (note that I didn’t use information from this book, as things are more dramaticized, but I am including it in here because it was the source for my interest in noetics)  







*Most of the images were gotten from Cassandra Vieten’s TEDX Talk or Google unless it says otherwise*



I would like to acknowledge all the support and help my parents gave me with this project. They gave me the resources and materials to successfully complete it. I also want to acknowledge the Institute of Noetic Sciences for providing me with in depth information and wonderful resources. Another wonderful source I would like to acknowledge is the book "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown for introducing me to Noetic Science. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my teachers for giving us SO MUCH information on how to do this project and for taking the time to answer my frantic, panicked emails. Thank you all so much!