Think Free

1 Comment

Remote Viewing – True, False or Underground?

Vox Efx - Charging My Batteries aka Sun Worship via Flickr

Vox Efx – Charging My Batteries aka Sun Worship via Flickr

The term ‘Remote Viewing’ (RV) was coined by Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff.

RV is the alleged ability to internally perceive objects and events at a distance beyond the range of the normal senses.

Remote Viewers (RVers) usually say they perceive objects and events in the past, present and probable future. But RVers don’t believe they psychologically time travel when seeing the past. Instead, they tend to say that they access a ‘holographic cosmic memory bank’ that records all events that ever took place, somewhat like the Akashic Records of Theosophy and Anthroposophy.

Concerning the future, RVers claim to see possible outcomes but don’t predict the future with any certainty.

Those sympathetic to the idea say that one inherent difficulty with RV is a margin of error that researcher Dale Graff calls “white noise.” RVers say they strive to scientifically verify their distance visions and apparently are developing new methods to increase accuracy.

On this point RVers differ from some psychics who remain convinced that their distance visions are accurate without making any attempt to verify.

Interestingly, RV researcher Russell Targ says his team got better scientific results when they kept the research environment “fun” and relaxed. Targ admits to making money from RVing future probabilities but he says that human greed came to interfere with the success of his experiments.¹

Targ later introduced the term Remote Sensing because, he says, RV may also be accompanied by an inner sense of hearing, smell and touch.

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

The paranormal writer Rosemary Ellen Guiley says that Remote Sensing is a well-documented phenomenon, both in ancient and contemporary times.

According to Anthony C. LoBaido at and Steve Hammons, the CIA has used RV for intelligence gathering. LoBaido also claims that the FBI has adopted RV for the same purposes.

The mainstream view, however, is not quite so sympathetic. Wikipedia says:

There is no credible scientific evidence that remote viewing works, and the topic of remote viewing is regarded as pseudoscience

Some, however, maintain that the US RV project did work but has gone underground. If true, most of us have no way of finding out.³

¹ Thinking Allowed with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, “ESP, Clairvoyance and Remote Perception with Russell Targ“.


³ I didn’t read it too carefully, but from a quick scan of the Wikipedia entry, it seems this ambiguous dimension of RV is overlooked.

Related » Akashic Records, Clairvoyance, Doors, ESP, New Age, Psychic Spies, Seer, “The New Age and Remote Viewing,” Third Eye


1 Comment

The idea of the Seer

Thee High Priestess ov Thee Temple ov Psychick Blah (T.H.P.O.T.T.O.P.B.) by Suzanna / Comtesse de Wurzeltod

Thee High Priestess ov Thee Temple ov Psychick Blah (T.H.P.O.T.T.O.P.B.) by Suzanna / Comtesse de Wurzeltod

In the spiritual sense a seer is a person with an alleged gift of inner sight. He or she apparently “sees” the past and future, possibly across great distances and through different spiritual realms. At least, that’s one aspect of the seer.

Another aspect is found in some non-Christian spiritual figures like Da Free John, Sri Aurobindo, Sri Chinmoy and Paramahansa Yogananda. These individuals apparently receive other people’s thoughts, feelings and experiences, and say they use these abilities to assess their disciples’ degree of spiritual development—that is, to “know where they’re at,” spiritually speaking.

Mystical Hinduism, particularly the guru ideal, highlights the importance of the seer. And his or her abilities are often believed to contribute to spiritual wisdom. Sometimes the guru is described as a kind of heroic figure who has scaled the inner reaches. Other times, a more humble approach speaks to spiritual “gifts” instead of emphasizing the guru’s great “achievements.” The idea of the gift connotes the notion that God bestows paranormal abilities for some good reason, often unknown at the time of receiving. The idea of the achievement may pay lip service to this, but may exalt the seer as if they were equal to God, or God on Earth (e.g. an avatar).

English: Saint Faustina Polski: Św. Faustyna K...

Saint Faustina Polski: Św. Faustyna Kowalska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In traditional Catholicism the seer adheres to the rules and regulations of his or her religious order, as we find in monasticism. Spiritual abilities are entirely viewed as gifts or charisms from God and are usually played down out of humility. There is no desire to exalt oneself as a big holy person, this being an unsavory approach (which Jungians, incidentally, call inflation or self-aggrandizement).

In fact, in Catholicism, the true saint detests any kind of special attention because that would interfere with their spiritual development. This seems to represent a huge difference between the Catholic saint and some non-Catholic gurus, self-proclaimed prophets and so-called “spiritual leaders.”

Catholic seers apparently have the gift of “reading hearts,” which usually involves knowing and feeling another person’s thoughts, inclinations and overall spiritual condition. For some saints, coming into contact with another person not in a state of grace can be excruciatingly painful.¹

Some folks entertain the notion that a seer may possess unconventional abilities but question the source of these abilities, along with the ethical application in daily life.

Paramahansa Yogananda as depicted on the cover...

Paramahansa Yogananda as depicted on the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But not all are so accepting. Skeptics like James Randi remain unconvinced about everything paranormal, to include the notion of “seeing” at a distance.

In Greek myth Tiresias was a blind seer.

¹ See, for instance, Faustina Kowalska’s Divine Mercy Diary. Sri Ramakrishna and other Hindus tend to talk about this phenomenon within their own religious framework. So instead of the “transfer of sin” (Christianity), Hindu mystics speak of “karma transfer.” I find it interesting how similar experiential phenomena get fitted into very different religious theories. In my view, this partly due to the human element at work—Mankind, the theory maker.

Related Posts » Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Clairvoyance, Remote Viewing, Rishis, Psi, Psi Spies, Wisdom

Leave a comment

Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake (1942 – ) is a former Cambridge biochemist raised in a British Methodist family. His work aims to integrate science and spirituality.

Rupert Sheldrake, Toward a Science of Consciou...

Rupert Sheldrake, Toward a Science of Consciousness, Tucson, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Seven Experiments Which Could Change the World (1994), Sheldrake outlines low-cost experiments that readers are encouraged to perform.

One experiment deals with ESP perception as a form of “looking.” Sheldrake asks why we sense somebody looking at us from behind or even at some distance (e.g. through a window). He suggests that some type of intuitive instead of conventional perception is involved. This idea is followed up in Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999).

In keeping with this hypothesis, his subsequent book was called, The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003).

Sheldrake conducted controlled experiments on telephone precognition. He found significant results suggesting that people knew when others were about to call them on the telephone, with a sample size of 63. A similar kind of precognition was also found with an e-mail experiment, with a sample size of 50.

In 2009, at the time of the last update of this entry, his website asked: “Have you thought of someone who then sends you a text message?” inviting visitors to report their observations through the web.

Sheldrake continues to publish books containing his interviews and dialogues with other notables in the New Age / Holistic Health circuit. He also replies to critics who say he’s lost touch with recent theories in neurobiology and, indeed, abandoned science in favor of so-called magical thinking.

I almost changed the world today – PhotoGraham

However, not all scientists are at odds with his views. The late physicist David Bohm said Sheldrake’s ideas are in keeping with his own about an “implicate and explicate order.”

More recently, Sheldrake critiques scientists for being authoritarian and narrow-minded in his 2012 publication The Science Delusion (Science Set Free). Wikipedia notes:

In the book Sheldrake proposes a number of questions as the theme of each chapter which seek to elaborate on his central premise that science is predicated on the belief that the nature of reality is fully understood, with only minor details needing to be filled in. This “delusion” is what Sheldrake argues has turned science into a series of dogmas grounded in philosophical materialism rather than an open-minded approach to investigating phenomena. He argues that there are many powerful taboos that circumscribe what scientists can legitimately direct their attention towards.[80]:6–12 The mainstream view of modern science is that it proceeds by methodological naturalism and does not require philosophical materialism.[81]

English: Photograph of David Bohm, taken from ...

Celebrated physicist David Bohm supported Sheldrake’s agenda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sheldrake questions conservation of energy; he calls it a “standard scientific dogma”,[80]:337 says that perpetual motion devices and inedia should be investigated as possible phenomena,[80]:72–73 and has stated that “the evidence for energy conservation in living organisms is weak”.[80]:83 He argues in favour of alternative medicine and psychic phenomena, saying that their recognition as being legitimate is impeded by a “scientific priesthood” with an “authoritarian mentality”.[80]:327 Citing his earlier “psychic staring effect” experiments and other reasons, he stated that minds are not confined to brains and remarks that “liberating minds from confinement in heads is like being released from prison”.[80]:229 He suggests that DNA is insufficient to explain inheritance, and that inheritance of form and behaviour is mediated through morphic resonance.[80]:157–186 He also promotes morphic resonance in broader fashion as an explanation for other phenomena such as memory.¹

Sheldrake’s website currently offers a telephone telepathy test and a joint attention test, research anyone can participate in.²

For more on his work, see Morphic resonance, Morphic fields, Morphogenetic Fields and articles relating to Sheldrake.


² The telephone test is limited to those with the required technology and geolocation.

Related » Wim Kayzer


Michael Talbot

My very own hologram by Lenara Verle

My very own hologram by Lenara Verle via Flickr

Michael Coleman Talbot (1953-1992) was an Australian born proponent of the holographic universe model, which essentially says the universe is like a multidimensional, interconnected web of energy. Many believe this view opens the door to all kinds of unconventional possibilities.

A Discovery Channel TV series, The World’s Strangest UFO Stories, notes that some take the holographic metaphor literally, going as far to say that we live within a hologram created by an alien supercomputer—something like we find in The Matrix Trilogy.

In his book, The Holographic Universe, Talbot mentions two dominant approaches to psi. On the one hand we have reports from clairvoyants, on the other hand, statistical approaches like those of R.H. and Louisa Rhine:

[Real paranormal] discoveries…could arguably have as much impact on human history as Columbus’ discovery of the New World or the invention of the atomic bomb. Indeed, those who have watched a truly talented clairvoyant at work know immediately that they have witnessed something far more profound than the dry statistics of R. H. and Louisa Rhine. This is not to say that the Rhine’s work is not important. But when vast numbers of people start reporting the same experiences, their anecdotal accounts should also be viewed as important evidence. They should not be dismissed merely because they cannot be documented as rigorously as other and often less significant features of the same phenomenon can be documented. As Stevenson states, “I believe it is better to learn what is probable about important matters than to be certain about trivial ones”¹

Talbot advocates a new approach to psi where anecdotal accounts are not not hastily dismissed but treated as data; and he believes this should be an important aspect of scientific investigation.

In an interview with Jeffrey Mishlove, Synchronicity and the Holographic Universe, Talbot speaks freely about his various paranormal experiences, analyzing them from the overlapping perspectives of depth psychology and the supernatural.

Talbot’s sincerity, intelligence and tremendous ability to communicate made him a bright light in psi studies. His untimely death in 1992 due to leukemia brought a promising career to a close but he left behind an important legacy for those keen on bridging the gap between science and spirituality.

Fausto Intilla adds:

How many significant (important) coincidences can happen to a person in his life, living in a unorganizated and stupid Universe?…I think no-one. Every synchronism in our life, is like an open-eyes-dream (Jung taught)…and we can thank the fine intelligence of our Universe…if they happen.²

According to Wikipedia, Talbot was also openly gay but not intensely political about his sexual orientation.³

¹ New York: HarperCollins, 1991: 296.



Related Posts » Synchronicity, UFO

Leave a comment

Russell Targ

Russell Targ @ Naropa by ~C4Chaos

~C4Chaos ~C4無秩序 Russell Targ @ Naropa

Russell Targ (1934 – ) is an American physicist and former laser engineer who became a parapsychologist. Targ now advocates the ideas of non-local consciousness, remote viewing (RV) and unifying mystical love.

The transpersonal and cosmological implications of Targ’s notion of living in peace and love are reminiscent of the Catholic notion of the communion of saints.

His views on Jesus’ teachings as presented in the New Testament, however, are highly selective. And Targ seems to present an overly homogenized view of different world religions.

Targ also says that a belief in God is an unnecessary remnant of antiquated modes of reasoning, implying that anyone can know about God from direct experience. By way of contrast, the New Testament says that those who believe but have not seen are blessed.

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Targ gives little, if any, mention to St. Anselm’s ideas of

  • fides quaerens intellectum (faith seeking understanding)
  • credo ut intelligam (I believe to understand).¹
Anselm of Canterbury was the first to attempt ...

Anselm of Canterbury was the first to attempt an ontological argument for God’s existence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, Targ believes that the writings of mystics around the world should be taken as a kind of scientific data.

With regard to RV, Targ’s approach differs from those psychics who remain convinced that their distance visions are accurate without attempting any kind of verification. Also, Targ says his RV team got better scientific results when they kept the research environment “fun” and relaxed. Targ admits to making money from RVing future probabilities, but he says that human greed came to interfere with the success of his experiments.²

Targ later used the term Remote Sensing because RV apparently also involves an inner sense of hearing, smell and touch.³

Psychologists David Marks and Richard Kammann criticized Targ’s published support of parapsychology in The Psychology of the Psychic . Some see Targ’s work as pseudoscience, others enthusiastically support his agenda.

¹ Targ is not alone here. Many want to experience first and then have knowledge, or what they believe is knowledge. But in a way, this can be seen as a kind of narrow-mindedness. Some don’t even consider the idea that belief, alone, can be valid; and in some instances, that belief could lead to higher forms of experience and knowledge.

² Thinking Allowed with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, “ESP, Clairvoyance and Remote Perception with Russell Targ.“ According to Anthony C. LoBaido at and Steve Hammons at JointReconStudyGroup, the CIA has experimented with RV for intelligence gathering. LoBaido also claims that the FBI has adopted RV for the same purposes.

³ The paranormal writer Rosemary Ellen Guiley says that Remote Sensing is a well-documented phenomenon, both in ancient and contemporary times.

Related Posts » Atheism


Russell Targ at Twitter

Leave a comment


Image via Tumblr

In contemporary usage the word “ticket” is slang for an alleged type of paranormal punishment or retribution for boundaries being crossed or other perceived transgressions.

In the song “Suffragette City” (1972) pop musician David Bowie uses the word “ticket” to denote a potential punishment to be meted out in response to another’s undesirable act:

“Don’t lean on me man, ‘cos you can’t afford the ticket.”

With much of Bowie’s work, there’s room for psychological, social and metaphysical interpretation. In this case its unclear whether Bowie is portraying paranormal or more ordinary forms of retribution. However, his creative genius often spawns lyrics connoting several levels of meaning. And in the 1970s Bowie used mind-altering substances which conceivably could have given him some kind of glimpse into the unknown.


David Bowie promotional photo for the album Aladdin Sane RCA Records in 1973. Fair Use / Fair Dealing rationale.

If this sounds far-fetched, we’d do well to remember that Mexican shamans speak of different metaphysical planes or grids of spiritual power, and have been using hallucinogenic peyote for years. This fact was popularized by Carlos Castenada in The Teachings of Don Juan (1968) and in other Castenada books. So to suggest that the Caucasian David Bowie is necessarily any different could be seen as a kind of reverse discrimination.

Mind-altering substances aside, shamanic warriors in various cultures apparently need no drugs to enter a kind of inner space where subtle battles are fought, bringing about tangible effects in daily life. Whether or not these inner battles are just hallucinatory fabrications or real phenomena remains unknown because these kind of paranormal claims do not lend themselves to our conventional understanding of scientific experimentation.

Related Posts » Shamanism


Leave a comment


Reincarnated Celebrities via Tumblr

Traditional beliefs

Transmigration is the belief that the soul departs from the body at death and returns to another body to live another embodied life.

In Eastern religions, the equivalent term is reincarnation. In the Western tradition, the belief in transmigration first appears in Orphism (5-6th century BCE) and later with the Pythagoreans.¹ Western philosophy also uses the equivalent term, metempsychosis. And some New Age enthusiasts and laypersons advocate some form of transmigration, sometimes with a few more complexities added to reflect current theories derived from subatomic physics.

Many people claim to have flashback memories that they assume come from former lives. Documented cases tell of individuals in trance states dictating details about homes and places in distant countries that they have not visited. Some claim to be drawn for no apparent reason to certain ideas, interests or historical sites like the Egyptian pyramids.

Others strongly identify with a person who’s passed. The Canadian musician K. D. Lang apparently once toyed with the idea that she was a reincarnation of the American singer Patsy Cline. And John Lennon and Yoko Ono

consciously adopted the image of themselves as the reincarnation of Victorian poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning for Milk and Honey; the album jacket even reproduces verses by the Brownings next to lyrics by John and Yoko.² 

Alternative explanations

Many assume that unusual experiences or strong identifications with the dead are ironclad proof of a past life. But there are other possible explanations for these types of experiences, ranging from occult/paranormal, theological, relativistic and mystical:

1- So-called vampiric or tramp souls influence and even possess individuals in the present, infusing memories and past desires into the minds of sensitive or impressionable living persons. The upshot is that living persons believe they have reincarnated, without really reflecting on other possible causes for their experience.

2 – From the perspective of traditional theologies, Satan apparently uses supernatural trickery to deceive people into believing in reincarnation, which deflects them from the true path to heaven. Whether or not this deflection is permanent or temporary depends on the theological belief. For instance, Catholics believe in purgatory, so the severity of the distraction would be a factor.

3 – In a less traditional and malefic vein, it’s conceivable that some individuals psychologically pierce through the veil of space-time to connect with other souls from other times. But these individuals misinterpret their experience as proof of transmigration. This hypothesis assumes that the past, present and future somehow exists as an interactive field. Given the relativity theories of Albert Einstein, this idea might not be too far fetched. In fact, it might even be taken for granted, even capitalized on, by future generations. Distant future generations, that is…

4 – Another explanation could be that the living are not connecting with evil beings or with those living in other space-times, but merely with ordinary persons who’ve passed. And this experience is wrongly interpreted as proof for reincarnation.

A bigot is a bigot is a bigot


Image –

While these alternative theories are no easier to prove than the idea of transmigration, many seem to embrace transmigration as if it were not just another belief or theory, but fact. And when asked to consider alternative hypotheses, some reincarnation believers condescendingly act as if they know it all—there’s nothing left to say.

To me, that seems just as narrow-minded and bigoted as any other kind of religious fundamentalism. And the dynamic probably isn’t that different. People interpret some kind of numinous or unusual experience according to their cultural or intellectual biases. For whatever reasons, they’re unwilling to step back and question further.³

¹ For more historical examples see


³ For a good exposition on the benefits of Edward de Bono’s so-called lateral thinking see “Redesign my Brain”

Related Posts » Mind Abuse

On the Web: