What is remote viewing?
How does remote viewing differ from other forms of telepathy? What kind of research is being carried on regarding this phenomenon, and by whom?
"Remote viewing" is a term popularized by two physicists at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI, International) in California —Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff. They use the term to describe experiments in which persons attempt to psychically describe distant geographical or architectural targets. It’s really a special form of clairvoyance. Instead of simply trying to describe natural hidden objects (such as cards, pictures, numbers, and so on), the volunteer in a remote viewing experiment describes buildings, landscapes, and other natural or man—made structures that have been around for a long time.
Targ and Puthoff believed that such target sites with long and interesting histories might be more readily described than newer, less meaningful targets. They’ve done a number of remote viewing experiments thus far, with quite impressive results.
The experiment goes something like this: First, the experimenters select as subjects (let’s call them "percipients") people who are very interested in the experiment and whose lives contain few distractions — people who are "settled," who are comfortable with themselves and who have "found themselves," so to speak. Then, the experimenters help the percipients gain confidence that remote viewing is a natural, widespread ability and that very good results are likely to occur in the experiment. Sharing reports of past successes with the percipient is helpful at this point. Then a sort of "contract" is made in which it is agreed that at a certain specific time, one or a number of experimenters will drive to a randomly selected target site and remain there for 15 minutes or so, interacting with the target — viewing it, thinking about it, touching it and so on. The percipient agrees to attempt of physically trace this outgoing experimenter, to "tune in" on where he is and what he’s seeing and doing at the target site. Another experimenter remains in the laboratory with the percipient and tape records his psychic impressions. Neither the experimenter nor the percipient, of course, knows the identity of the target site at this time - the target could be just about anything within a 20—30 minute driving time radius. After he’s returned from the target site, the outgoing experimenter takes the percipient to visit the site so that he can gain information about the accuracy of his impressions. Independent judges later evaluate the results.
What is "associative remote viewing" and how is it used?
Researchers at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California had observed for a long time that persons doing remote viewing of distant sites were able to describe the more "right-hemispheric" aspects of the targets (shapes, forms, textures, colors, etc.) quite accurately; however, the viewers found it extremely difficult to describe more "left-hemispheric" target aspects (such as words, numbers, and functions). Since it is apparently very difficult to "read" numbers and letters psychically, but relatively easy to describe objects psychically, a technique was developed in which numbers or letters were represented or encoded by objects. In this associative remote viewing (ARV) procedure, objects are associated randomly with various numbers, letters, or outcomes to be predicted. It is agreed that the object associated with a particular future outcome will be shown to the viewer after the outcome has occurred. The task of the viewer is simply to describe, precognitively, the object that he or she will later be shown. Accurate descriptions of objects are translated into predictions of likely outcomes by the nonviewing members of the research team. Theoretically, the ARV procedure could be used to predict which of several locations contains some hidden object or person, the outcome of political elections, gambling outcomes, stock market fluctuations, etc. Some of these possibilities have already been successfully explored.
In 1995, the CIA cancelled the remote viewing program. At least they told the public they did. Many suspect that U.S. Government remote viewing efforts continued.
Remote viewing was used to help our national defense intelligence efforts by gathering information on places, people, things and events of interest. Remote viewers learned to get into a certain state of mind, perceive remotely, then report and draw their findings.
However, the formal and somewhat narrow technique of remote viewing seems to be just a slice of a much broader and deeper situation.
Interestingly, some of the key scientists at SRI were not psychologists but physicists. They found indications in physics research that the Universe and Nature seem to be structured in such a way that phenomena like remote viewing are possible and natural. The physical world we live in and the physics involved simply work in ways that are somewhat surprising to us, such as the way remote viewing seems to operate.
Hunches, intuition, gut feelings all can be similar phenomena. Our unconscious minds are linked to larger things including networks of information, feelings, perceptions and realities.
Undoubtedly, we are connected to the larger Universe and spiritual levels of reality. Remote viewing is another sense that we have, just like sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell.
In psychology, Carl Jung's "collective unconscious" was an idea that humans can tap into, and are part of, a large consciousness. Our individual consciousness might be part of a larger, common consciousness.
Einstein put forth his "unified field theory" about a single, underlying force. More recently, the concept of "zero-point energy" explores similar theories.
Some students of remote viewing have said that this is not a new skill that our advanced brains are now evolving to learn. Rather, it might be an old capability that our ancient ancestors had. Over time, our more conscious intellectual minds may have diluted this sense. We might simply be re-learning something very old.
It has also been hypothesized that animals may use a kind of remote viewing to communicate and to perceive aspects of their surroundings.
Think about it. We can't see TV, radio and cell phone signals around us. But when we have the right receiver, we can tap into them. So, maybe it's not so strange that other signals we can't see or touch are real, and we can tap into them to perceive things that might originate far away. In fact, remote viewers use the term "signal line" in referring to tracking a perception.
Remote viewing also involves the awareness that we can incorrectly interpret incoming data. A misperception can occur when our conscious minds get in the way and our imagination or existing mindset fills in the blanks or jumps to a conclusion about a remote viewing impression. Remote viewers call this "analytic overlay" and good remote viewers take steps to minimize it.
Over the decades, remote viewers tried to perceive information about enemy weapons and facilities, threats to U.S. assets and to locate kidnapping victims, among other things. Keeping the perceptions and reports accurate was obviously an important consideration.
In some cases, qualified remote viewers reportedly perceived highly unusual things such as UFOs and extraterrestrial beings piloting them and visiting Earth. Some people might say that this indicates remote viewing is not reliable. Perceiving a UFO as an extraterrestrial spacecraft through a remote viewing effort certainly goes out on a limb.
But, more commonly, remote viewers tackled more down-to-Earth targets that could be confirmed through satellite images or other methods. Confirmation of accurate remote viewing occurred in experiments and training as well as real-life and life-or-death intelligence operations.
Remote viewing experts indicate that the technique can be used successfully not only for perceiving things in space, that is, things out of sight and far away, but also in time. Things past and future can also reportedly be perceived by remote viewing. This brings up many theories in physics and science fiction that time has interesting characteristics which we might not fully understand.
There are many good books on remote viewing, many written by the military and intelligence personnel who did that kind of work for the CIA, DIA and Army intelligence. Many legitimate training courses are also available. The Web is full of information on aspects of remote viewing.
At the least, it is interesting to read these stories and learn about the research. At most, it could change us for the better and contribute to the advancement of science, medicine and the human condition.
As we face challenges as individuals, societies and the human race, remote viewing seems like a skill that can open a door into greater understanding of the Universe and Nature as well as ourselves.
Remote viewing seems to be a clue, a message, that all is not what it seems. That there are interesting paths in Nature and within all of us that can lead to very meaningful discoveries.
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