Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness

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Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness


The Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness is dedicated to the study of consciousness and its practical application to contemporary issues.


To realize this vision, the mission of SAC is to

  • Publish the peer-reviewed journal Anthropology of Consciousness ; convene an Annual Spring Conference that consists of individual papers, panel discussions, and experiential sessions; and host sessions at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association.
  • Value interdisciplinary perspectives, respect diverse traditions, and prioritize inclusiveness and open dialogue in the study of consciousness.
  • Support rigorous and empirically-based inquiries into consciousness that utilize diverse methodologies – including ethnographic, scientific, experiential, historical, and alternative ways of knowing.
  • Reflect on how consciousness and human transformation can be made relevant to the challenges of our age, with the aim of a praxis to catalyze a shift toward a more just world.
The story of their formation is an interesting tale in itself.

“You’re either lying or cheating... I simply don’t believe you... it can’t happen... I don’t care what kind of evidence you’ve got.”
-Anthropologist Agehananda Bharati, who'd once been an Indian Monk.

“The trouble with this whole field...they either want to prove that it is true, or that it isn’t true...They already have their conclusions...they don’t want to find out exactly what is there... It is this kind of thing that I regard as totally unscientific. You have to realize that in culture after culture the gifted sensitive always doubts himself.

You know I advocated, and I still am advocating...that the sensitives are a special type of people... and they occur with about the same frequency in every culture whether they are picked up or not...The seeming disparity between cultures is accounted for be whether the culture does pick them up or not. That’s why you seem to get a lot of sensitives in places like the Kentucky mountains, or the Scottish mountains...because the culture expects them to be there; recognizes them when they do occur; and teaches them how not to be destroyed.”

-Celebrated Anthrpologist Margaret Meade