no•et•ic: From the Greek noēsis/ noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, intuition, or implicit understanding.
The way we understand ourselves and our world is always evolving. From instinct to intuition to intellect, part of being human is using multiple ways to gather and utilize information. Noetic sciences are one of many frameworks we can use to engage with our daily reality.
On his way back to Earth after his pioneering moonwalk, Apollo 14 astronaut and IONS founder Dr. Edgar Mitchell had the profound experience of feeling interconnected to everything he was observing from the window of his space capsule: the stars, the moon, our blue planet, and the vastness of the cosmos. He realized quickly that in order to explain such an extraordinary experience (and others like it), there would need to be a rapprochement between the scientific and spiritual interpretations of reality.
As a scientist and visionary, Dr. Mitchell saw a need to reconcile his training as an engineer and astrophysicist with the wisdom of the ages to transcend the limitations of what he saw as an outdated materialist worldview. A new framework would be needed: one that could help explain the unexplainable—and spark transformation.
He called this framework noetic sciences.
[Noetic refers to] states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority…William James, philosopher