Bridging Science and Wisdom…

Marilyn has conducted basic science research on the powers of the mind, including remote viewing, mind over matter, and distant intention and healing. Working with psychologist, William Braud, she developed a methodology for studying distant interactions between living systems (DMILS) that has now been replicated in laboratories around the world. She has engaged in clinical studies of healing, including a NIH sponsored study looking at the power of compassionate intention on wound healing in women undergoing reconstructive surgery. She has conducted fieldwork in the West Indies, rural Texas, the Ecuadorian Amazon, and among healers and spiritual teachers from a broad representation of the world’s traditions. She is a pioneer in the area of Integral Healthcare, including a book entitled, Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine, together with Tina Amorok and Mark Micozzi. She has also completed a decade-long study of transformation, culminating in the book, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, together with Cassandra Vieten and Tina Amorok.

Her current work focuses on individual and social transformation and healing, applying what she has learned from her basic research to major institutional sectors including science, healthcare, and education. She has just completed a feature film entitled, Death Makes Life Possible, together with Deepak Chopra and Petaluma Pictures. Her book by the same name is now in production with Sounds True Publishers. This work explores diverse worldviews and belief systems about death and what lies beyond. The goal is to transform the fear of death into an inspiration for living.

What is called for by our times is a science that seeks to understand the nature of consciousness, not from the outside in, but from the inside out. It is not the world outside us that has created the greatest problems facing civilization, but our own limited consciousness. We need a science that bridges the rigor and discernment of controlled research with wisdom that guides our practices and the choices we make. Bridging different ways of knowing offers the potential of great breakthrough–for ourselves and for future generations.

Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D.

If as a culture we have grown disenchanted with the capacity of science to save us from ourselves, we might do well to consider that science will serve us well if we will only treat it as a servant and be its conscientious master.

Robert Kegan, Ph.D. In Over our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life.

[Science is] an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery.

Sir Cyril Herman Hinshelwood (1897-1967) English chemist. Nobel prize 1956.

Personal Narrative

While I was always curious about the world, I began my formal research as an undergraduate at Montieth College, Wayne State University. Growing up in Detroit, I witnessed a time of great social and political unrest. It was clear to me that the system was in crisis and we needed a change. In the midst of this turmoil, in the fall of 1977, I discovered the history of science and Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution. There were several ideas in this book that captured my imagination. Science has long been a powerful force in defining our understanding of the world and our place in it. But even in science, this model of reality is not fixed. Indeed, Kuhn’s model of paradigm shifts was demonstrated time and again in the history of science and cosmology. As a idealistic teenager ready for change in my life and my world, I was sure a paradigm shift was needed.

About the same time I came upon a book by Edgar Mitchell, the Apollo 14 astronaut, entitled Psychic Exploration. Here was a book in which a multidisciplinary scientists, philosophers, and historians made compelling arguments that consciousness may be the next paradigm shift. While our dominant worldview and model of science have focused on the objective world out there, the major source of our social and environmental problems are within us, within our individual and shared consciousness. In particular, each contribution offered some opportunity to consider the implications of psychic, or what are now referred to as psi phemonema, as data points that pointed to a new paradigm for science and society. In this paradigm, we are not simply victims of a world in which we are spectators, but active agents in the evolutionary process. Big ideas…

I joined with these scientists to bring a scientific perspective to claims of the paranormal. I looked at the reach of consciousness under randomized, double blind protocols in leading laboratories in the United States and Europe. My primary base at the time was a Research Fellowship at the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man in Durham, North Carolina.

My interest in healing began in 1980. I turned my laboratory work to study claims made by healers that they could affect change in the physical conditions of their patients through will or intention. I worked first with mice, and found that there were significant differences in arousal rates of sedated mice when healers “sent healing intentions” for them as compared to control mice who received no such intentions. This intrigued me.

In 1982, I began a decadelong collaboration with Dr. William Braud at the Mind Science Foundation in San Antonio, Texas to move my work on healing into studies with human physiology as the primary outcome variable. In this way, we created an objective way of measuring a concept like intention at a difference. Over 13 formal studies later, we concluded that there was an effect that was beyond chance expectation.

At the same time, I began to study social anthropology. While I found the quantitative approach of the laboratory very useful, I was eager to learn rigorous methodologies for studying the qualitative aspects of human experience. I conducted fieldwork in rural Texas on power relations and water resource management, gaining a master’s thesis and publishing a book entitled, Reflections on Medina Lake which chronicled a 75 year cultural history of a small irrigation reservoir in South Texas. Later, as a graduate student at the University of Texas, Austin, I conducted fieldwork in the West Indies, focusing on power relations and health care discourse, again combining historical and ethnographic methods. Throughout my graduate work, I maintained my interest in healing and the extended capacities of human consciousness.

In 1993 my career took a turn. I moved to northern California where I held a post doctoral fellowship in the Psychology Department of Stanford University. Building on my various interests over the previous years, I conducted a discourse analysis of controversial science, looking at the skeptic/proponent debate in parapsychology. At the same time, I had the opportunity to work as Research Associate with Dr. Ed May at the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory at Science Applications International Corporation. Here we conducted advanced research on remote intention on human physiology, again finding results that could not be explained by chance.

A year later, I was invited to join the faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). I became the Director of Research and then Vice President for Research and Education. In 2009 I became President and CEO of IONS. Currently I hold the position of Ambassador for Creative Projects and Global Affairs. Over the past 19 years, I have conducted original research in consciousness and healing, resulting in the book, Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine, Emerging Worldviews, resulting in the book, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, and Extended Human Capacities, resulting in the current development of a feature film entitled, Death Makes Life Possible and an educational program on Worldview Literacy.

I continue to hunger for a paradigm shift that will lead to a more expanded understanding of our human possibililteis. I believe that there is a remarkable potential in bringing together the best of science with a deep and abiding appreciation for culture and consciousness. In a time when there are so many worldviews, belief systems, and ways of engaging reality, we really have no choice but to gain a clearer understanding of our human nature, and what we may become.


I am eager to harvest 35 years of work on consciousness transformation and healing to contribute to the kind of positive personal and social transformation that is being called for in our times. My goal is to contribute to the emergence of a more sustainable worldview through original research, field formation, education, multi-media communications, and a global network of colleagues.

With a multi-disciplinary team, I am actively developing a program on “worldview literacy” in which we are creating standards based curriculum for schools across the world, developing an interactive network of students and educators, and developing on-line programs to train and test our trainings in classrooms. I am also creating a feature film that explores different cosmologies or worldviews around death, dying and beyond. This project is being done in partnership with Deepak Chopra.

I continue to develop my understanding of healing. As Senior Scientist at California Pacific Medical Center, I have had the privilege to work with a multidisciplinary team to explore the mind/body relationship. I am also working with a network of health professionals to shift the paradigm from a disease-based to a healing based model of healthcare. I am applying my insights about change and transformation to helping craft a new system of medicine in America.

I recently collaborated with a team of scientists from CPMC and IONS to develop a training program on compassionate intention for caregivers of cancer patients (Radin, et. al, 2008).

I am currently the Principal Investigator on an NIH sponsored clinical trial to explore the role of expectancy of distant healing in the recovery of wound healing in a clinical surgery based study. We are in the data analysis phase of this study.

I am the Principal Investigator on a qualitative and quantitative study of transformative practices. This work has resulted in a co-authored book entitled: Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life and a companion DVD entitled, Living Deeply: Transformational Practices from the World’s Wisdom Traditions. Several technical articles have been published and several more are in preparation.


Current Research

Death Makes Life Possible

Death Makes Life Possible the film follows cultural anthropologist and scientist Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., as she explores the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions. Sparked by her own near death experience as a teenager, Schlitz has been delving into the nature of consciousness and death for the past three decades.

The film looks at how popular culture deals with the ever-present fear many have about our own mortality. Interviews with mental health experts, cultural leaders, and scientists explore the meaning of death and how we can learn to live without fear. The interviews and evidence presented are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death. The narrative is illustrated with vivid imagery.

About the Film: Death Makes Life Possible
Purchase the DVD: Death Makes Life Possible
View On Demand: Death Makes Life Possible
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What are transformative experiences? When and why do they occur? How can they bring about positive enduring changes in our lives and the lives of others? These are questions Marilyn Schlitz has pursued and continues to pursue in her research on transformation.

Dr. Schlitz is the Principal Investigator on a qualitative and quantitative study of transformative practices. In these studies, Schlitz and her co-researchers examine the common themes of the transformative path, and provide insight and experiential techniques to help others to catalyze and maintain transformative shifts in their own lives. Read more background on the IONS website.

About the Book: Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life
Purchase the Book: Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life
Audiobook DVD through Amazon: Living Deeply: Transformational Practices from the World’s Wisdom Traditions
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Worldview Explorations

A recent Skype interview where Dr. Schlitz discussed how we can develop a culture of empathy.

Understanding that everyone has a worldview, and that this worldview shapes people’s values and informs all their actions, is the essential starting point for education and research in this area. Among other research initiatives, Marilyn Schlitz continues to be one of the key contributors and researchers for the Worldview Explorations Project.

The Worldview Explorations Project is an educational initiative based on decades of research that introduces students to curriculum designed to enhance their understanding of the role of worldview in their lives, and how such an understanding can be used to cultivate compassion, empathy, and integrity in all facets of life. Visit the “Worldview” section of the Previous Research page for published articles on this topic.

Extended Human Capacities

A recently conducted interview with Deepak Chopra exploring the nature of nonlocality and how it might apply to a theoretical basis for extended human capacities.

A broad area of research, Dr. Schlitz has made frontier contributions in this field for decades. This field of inquiry examines a variety of phenomenon, including telepathy, clairvoyance, mediumship, mind-matter interaction and essentially all human capacities that appear to extend beyond the boundaries of space and time.

In a new experiment, recently funded by the Bial Foundation in Portugal, Dr. Schlitz will be working with Daryl Bem and Arnaud Delorme to test the hypothesis that the expectancy of the experimenter will have an impact on the outcome of a psi task. For more on this experiment, click here.

Consciousness and Healing

Part of a panel discussion on “Smarter Solutions to Healthcare” after the September 30, 2009 Hollywood premiere of “The Living Matrix.”

Dr. Schlitz has conducted extensive original research in consciousness and healing, and in addition to numerous academic papers, co-edited the publication titled Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine.

As Senior Scientist at California Pacific Medical Center, Dr. Schlitz has the privilege of working with a multidisciplinary team to explore the mind/body relationship. She is also working with a network of health professionals to shift the paradigm from a disease-based to a healing-based model of healthcare. She is applying her insights about change and transformation to helping craft a new system of medicine in America.


Previous Research

This section is organized on the basis of specific areas of research. The topic areas are populated by links to articles (where available) describing research conducted by Marilyn and her colleagues.

Jump to Sections with the links below:
Mind-Body, Healing & Healthcare
Psi / Parapsychology
Foreign Language

Mind-Body, Healing & Healthcare

Radin, D., Schlitz, M., & Baur, C. (2015). distant Healing Intention therapies: An overview of the scientific evidence. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4(suppl), 67-71.

Schlitz, M. (in press). Transpersonal Healing: Assessing the Evidence from Laboratory and Clinical Trials. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.

Marilyn Schlitz, Harriet W. Hopf, Loren Eskenazi, Cassandra Vieten, PhD, Dean Radin, (2012). “Distant Healing Of Surgical Wounds: An Exploratory Study,” EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing July 2012, 8(4), 223-230. Abstract.

Schlitz, M. (2008). “The Integral Model: Answering the Call for Whole Systems Healthcare.” Permanente Journal, 12(2): Commentary 61-68. HTML.

Radin D., Stone, J., Levine, E., Eskandarnejad, S., Schlitz, M. , Kozak, L. , Mandel, D. and Hayssen, G. (2008). “Compassionate Intention as a Therapeutic Intervention by Partners of Cancer Patients.” Explore.

Schlitz, M. (2004). “Intentional Healing: Exploring the Extended Reaches of Consciousness.” Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine. 14 (1): 1-18.

Yount, G., J. Solfvin, D. Moore, M. Schlitz, M. Reading; K. Aldape, and Y. Qian (2004). “In vitro test of external Qigong.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. March 15, 2004.

Schlitz, M., D.I. Radin, B.F. Malle, S. Schmidt, J. Utts & G.L.Yount. (2003). “Distant healing intention: Definitions and evolving guidelines for laboratory studies.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 9 (3), A31-A43.

Killoran, M., M. Schlitz, & N. Lewis. (2002). “Unremarkable Recoveries: Normalizing Adversity and Cancer Survival.” Qualitative Health Research, 12 (2): 208-222.

Schlitz, M. J. & W. G. Braud, (1997). “Distant Intentionality and Healing: Assessing the Evidence.” Alternative Therapies. 3(6), 62-73.

Schlitz, M. (1997). “Intentionality and intuition and their clinical implications: A challenge for science and medicine.” NWP Journal of Clinical Practice.

Schlitz, M. & N. Lewis (1997). “Spontaneous remission and extended survival.” Alternative Health Practitioner. 3(2).

Schlitz, M. (1996). “Intentionality and intuition and their clinical implications: A challenge for science and medicine.” Advances: The Journal of Mind-Body Health. 12(2), 58-66.

Schlitz, M. (1996). “Intentionality: A program of study in Five questions on intentionality, science and mind-body medicine—an Advances forum.” Advances: The Journal of Mind-Body Health. 12(3), 31-32.

Schlitz, M. (1996). “Intentionality: A challenge for science and medicine.” World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution.

Moerman, D., W. Jonas, P. Bush, R. Edwards, A. Herxheimer, J. Kleijnen, A. Roberts, M. Schlitz, J. Solfvin, S. van der Geest & A. Watkins. (1996). “Placebo effects and research in alternative and conventional medicine”. Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine. 2(2), 141-148.

Schlitz, M. (1995). “Intentionality in healing: Mapping the integration of body, mind, and spirit” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 1(5), 119-120.

Psi / Parapsychology

Schlitz, M. (2005). “The Discourse of Controversial Science: The Skeptic-Proponent Debate on Remote Staring.” Journal of Consciousness Studies. June 2005. 12 (6): 101-105.

Schlitz, M., R. Wiseman, C. Watt, & D. Radin. (2006). “Of two minds: Skeptic-proponent collaboration within parapsychology.” British Journal of Psychology. August 2006. 97(3): 313-322.

Schlitz, M. (2001). “Boundless Mind: Coming of Age in Parapsychology.” Journal of Parapsychology, 65: 335-350.

Wiseman, R. & M. Schlitz (1999). “Experimenter effects and the remote detection of staring: a replication.” Journal of Parapsychology.

Wiseman, R. & M. Schlitz, (1997). “Experimenter effects and the remote detection of staring.” Journal of Parapsychology. 61,197-207.

Schlitz, M. & S. LaBerge (1997). “Covert observation increases skin conductance in subjects unaware of when they are being observed: A replication.” Journal of Parapsychology. 61, 185-196

Schlitz, M. (1997). “Intentionality: An argument for transpersonal consciousness.” World Futures. 48, 115-126.

Braud, W., I.L. Child, S. Krippner, J. Palmer, K.R. Rao, M. Schlitz, J. Utts, R.A. White. (1993). “Demonstration Research and Meta-Analysis in Parapsychology.” The Journal of Parapsychology. Vol. 57, 275.

Schlitz, M. & C. Honorton. (1992). “A ganzfeld ESP study within an artistically gifted population.” Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 86, 83-98.

Braud, W. & M. Schlitz (1991). “Consciousness interactions with remote biological systems: Anomalous intentionality effects.” Subtle Energies, 2 (1), 1-46.

Targ, R., W. Braud, R. Stanford, M. Schlitz, & C. Honorton. (1991). “Increasing psychic reliability.” Journal of Parapsychology, 55, 59-83.

Braud, W. & M. Schlitz (1989). “Possible role of intuitive data sorting in electrodermal biological psychokinesis (bio-PK).” Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 83(4), 289-302.

Braud, W. & M. Schlitz (1989). “A methodology for the objective study of transpersonal imagery.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 3 (1), 43-63.

Schlitz, M. & W. Braud. (1985). “Reiki plus natural healing: An ethnographic and experimental study.” Psi Research, 4, 100-123.

Schlitz, M. & J.M. Haight (1984). “Remote viewing revisited: An intrasubject replication.” Journal of Parapsychology, 48, 39-49.

Braud, W. & M. Schlitz (1983). “Psychokinetic influence on electrodermal activity.” Journal of Parapsychology, 47, 95-119.

Schlitz, M. & E. Gruber (1981). “Transcontinental remote viewing: A rejudging.” Journal of Parapsychology, 45, 233-237.

Schlitz, M. & E. Gruber (1980). “Transcontinental remote viewing.” Journal of Parapsychology, 44, 305-317.


Schlitz, M. Emerging Worldviews: Tools of Transformation for Noetic Leadership. Spanda Journal.

Schlitz, M., Vieten, C., Miller, E., Homer, K, Peterson, and Erickson-Freeman. (2011). “The Worldview Literacy Project: Exploring New Capacities for the 21st Century Student. New Horizons for Learning, John’s Hopkins University School of Education, Winter, IX, 1. HTML.

Schlitz, M., Vieten, C, Erickson-Freeman, K. Conscious Aging and Worldview Transformation. (2011). Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 43(2), 223-239.

Schlitz, Marilyn Mandala, Cassandra Vieten & Elizabeth M. Miller. (2010). Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17 (7-8), pp. 18-36.


Vieten, C., T. Amorok, and M. Schlitz. “I to We: The Role of Consciousness Transformation in Compassion and Altruism.” Zygon. December 2006, 41 (4) 915-931.

Radin, D. I. & M. J. Schlitz (2005 Feb). “Gut Feelings Intuition and Emotions: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11(1): 85-91.

Schlitz, M. (2000). “Creating a Better World.” Journal of Adult Development. Vol. 7 (4). October 2000.

Foreign Language

Schlitz, M. (2007). “Kan bonn studeres vitenskapelig?” Parapsykologiske Notiser. Nr. 63 2007. 24-26.