Spiritual Awakenings

Scientists and Academics
Describe Their Experiences

In this pioneering volume, 57 scholars and scientists share their moving transformative journeys of spiritual awakening and their resulting personal reorientation and sense of connection.

The volume is a joint initiative between the Academy for the Advancement of Post-Materialist Sciences and the Scientific and Medical Network’s Galileo Commission.

The cover image represents the nautilus, one of the earth’s oldest ocean creatures, and a symbol of growth, expansion, and renewal.  Its spiral is in the form of the Golden Ratio, based on the Fibonacci series. This ratio is found throughout the universe, from the shape of our galaxy to the arrangement of seeds in the sunflower. Thus the nautilus is a perfect metaphor for spiritual evolution.
(Illustration ©Daniel Holeman, used with permission. Cover design by Rupert Soskin.)


In this short chat with David Lorimer, Marjorie Woollacott shares her motivation and what has moved her to compile the book “Spiritual Awakenings”.

Contributing your Experience

As you read through the essays on spiritual awakening, we invite you to think about your own life, and whether you have also experienced spiritually transformative experiences and any resulting insights that gave you a new way of seeing the world, perhaps shifting the trajectory of your life.

The Archive of Scientists’ Transcendental Experiences (TASTE)

If you are a scientist and/or academic we also invite you to submit your own experience of awakening and transformation to the section of our Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences (AAPS) website, TASTE, The Archive of Scientists’ Transcendental Experiences. (link: https://www.aapsglobal.com/taste/). In this way you can help contribute to the broader knowledge of the presence of these awakenings in scientists and academics around the world.


Anne Baring, PhD (hons)

Author of “The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul”

“What a wonderful gift to a culture starved of visionary experience and how timely, when confronted by the situation we currently find ourselves in. This book will introduce spiritual experience to those who have not had a glimpse of it, will interest those who have, and will inspire and enlighten those who are fortunate enough to read it.

Because we are all connected, one individual’s experience can enlighten and heal all. It will confirm the intuition that on this planet we are living in a Sacred Order, that there is no essential separation between the transcendent and the immanent orders of reality, and that the creative and sustaining power of the universe is Love. This is a book that could heal the traumatized soul of humanity.”

Max Velmans, PhD

Professor, Goldsmiths, University of London

“This is a fascinating collection of personal revelations – authentic, poetic, and deeply ‘spiritual’ in the most open, unlimited sense of that much used term. The essays reveal some of the most profound, life changing experiences of distinguished, critically minded scientists and academics, seeking answers to life’s enduring questions, ‘Who am I’, ‘How should I live my life?’ and ‘What is ultimately real?’ Many fellow travelers will find these tales of help and inspiration in their own journey to a place that feels like home.”

Tom McLeish, PhD, FRS

Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics, University of York

“This collection of personal testimonies of scientists’ transcendent experiences provides a unique and polychromatic insight of human experience. Woollacott’s and Lorimer’s volume is unusual within science in both its grammar (first person) and topic (the subjective rather than objective). Yet both are essential aspects of human experience, especially so for those who peer most deeply into the mysteries of the material world. It will prove a thought-provoking resource.”

Elisabet Sahtouris, PhD

Evolutionary biologist, and author of “EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution”

“What a wonderful way to make Spiritual Awakenings more accessible and real to everyone. This collection allows us to access them through the personal stories of the experiencers who reveal how the events and insights came about and how they fit into their lives. Rather than results of research, these stories are personal, feeling like natural events in our human lives, and thus perhaps all our birthright. Many readers may thus recognize similar events in their own lives. What a gift!”

Lisa Miller, PhD

NYT Bestselling Author of “The Spiritual Child” and #1 National Bestseller “The Awakened Brain”, Professor and Founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Columbia University, Teachers College

“The reader may discover that reading the first essay of this compendium feels much like sitting on an airplane next to the most fascinating person that you ever have met, sharing in a life-changing profound spiritual awakening of love, unity or clarity. The resonance of the traveler’s account feels moving and exciting, perhaps because you always have so wondered or sensed this depth of reality.

Quite by surprise, you then discover that the fellow traveler is a scientist! Hereby upending a long-held outdated view that science for its rigor, is a method that somehow cannot look into ultimate questions of spirituality. Well, perhaps that was just one scientist? But then you board your connecting flight, to find yourself in an equally deep engagement with the next fellow traveler, again a leading scientist, who shares that so too their landmark work was driven by spiritual awareness. So then you might wonder, how really is landmark, field-making science achieved?”

Edi Bilimoria, DPhil, FIMechE, FEI, FRSA

Author of “The Snake and the Rope” and “Unfolding Consciousness: Exploring the Living Universe and Intelligent Powers in Nature and Humans”

“In her 2016 presidential address to some six thousand members from sixty two countries of the American Statistical Association, Jessica Utts, statistics professor at the University of California, confirmed the statistical likelihood of paranormal phenomena as being real effects that do not, however, contradict what we know about science.

Most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at the data and the debunkers generally respond that no amount of data would convince them, although they mostly admit that they haven’t read any original research material – clearly basing conclusions on belief, rather than data. Ironically, when statisticians are questioned whether lots of data or one strong personal experience would be more convincing, almost without fail, the response is one strong personal experience!

Spiritual Awakenings is a landmark volume by a galaxy of impeccably qualified persons in diverse fields of science, medicine, and philosophy whose personal experiences of transformation will collectively shatter the prevailing materialistic mould by providing an abundance of proofs that a ‘crucial experience’ carries far more weight than a ‘crucial experiment’ or mountains of statistical data about the reality of postmaterialist consciousness.”

Larry Dossey, MD

Author of “One Mind”, “Space, Time, & Medicine” and “Recovering the Soul”

“This stunning collection shows that spiritual awakening is real, widespread, and life-changing, even among critical scientists. An invaluable achievement!”