By Prabhath P
The CIA once tried to use it for psychic spying. Remote Viewing is a scientific attempt to harness latent human psychic potential to explore both the inner and outer worlds
Cutting edge science now acknowledges that human perception transcends the five senses and that consciousness is not a byproduct of the brain. Nowhere is this more evident than in the growing interest in the study of Remote Viewing (RV). In 1981, the US Congressional Research Service concluded that “Recent experiments in Remote Viewing and other studies in parapsychology suggest that there exists an ‘interconnectiveness’ of the human mind with other minds and with matter. This interconnectiveness would appear to be functional in nature and amplified by intent and emotion.”
In 1972, Dr Hal Puthoff, at SRI International, a California-based research institute connected to the Stanford University, started research into non-conventional communications. Physicist Russel Targ and paranormal researcher Ingo Swann joined hands with Puthoff to form a core group at SRI, which researched and refined Remote Viewing.
In the next two decades, RV research remained secret and funded by the US government for psychic spying. First it was monitored by CIA and then by Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The programme was renamed Star Gate in 1991 and later transferred again to CIA. In 1995, CIA published a report declaring that Remote Viewing was not an effective intelligence tool and that the programme was closed. Independent researchers argue that this was only a ploy to conduct rigorous research clandestinely to develop dangerous military applications and conveniently deny it.
RV’s ancestry can be traced back to ancient shamanic cultures and Hindu and Buddhist contemplative schools. But the current attempts at Remote Viewing practise and develop it within strict scientific procedures without referring to any specific religious school. The experiments of J.B. Rhine with telepathy in the 1930s were the modern precursor of RV.
When the US government was busy utilising the psychic potential for espionage, civilian researchers were exploring Remote Viewing related phenomena for more benign purposes. These include Honorton’s Ganzfeld techniques and Remote Perception experiments conducted at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory. The International Remote Viewing Association, IRVA (www.irva.org), was founded by retired US Army officers F. Holmes ‘Skip’ Atwater and Paul H. Smith along with scientists like Russel Targ and Hal Puthoff for promoting scientifically sound research, high ethical standards and educational information on Remote Viewing. The Farsight Institute was established by Dr Courtney Browne to promote open-minded and holistic scientific research in Remote Viewing. Hawai’i Remote Viewers’ Guild studies and evaluates various RV methodologies.
What is RV?
Remote Viewing is a controlled and trained mental process for tapping psychic ability. It is a novel perceptual discipline for gathering information not available to the five physical senses, transcending space and time. A Remote Viewer can describe in detail a remotely located target, which can be a place, event or person in the past, present or future, without being told anything about the target. Paul H. Smith, Vice President of the International Remote Viewing Association, points out that unlike most other psi disciplines, Remote Viewing is not precisely one thing, but rather an integrated ‘cocktail’ of various phenomena. Despite the ‘viewing’ part of the term, it is not just about visible aspects of a target. It also involves mental impressions of other senses, like sounds, tastes, smells, and textures, some telepathic effects, and even plain intuitive ‘knowing.’
The Remote Viewer not only verbalises what is being perceived, but also records the results of the viewing session in writing, sketches, and three-dimensional modelling. RV is more structured than other psi disciplines. In some RV varieties, viewers follow specific scripted formats, designed to enhance the viewer’s performance in various ways, like neutralising mental ‘noise’ (stray thoughts, imaginings, analysis that degrades the ‘psychic signal’) or managing incoming data effectively. An individual Remote Viewer can evolve a customised approach also.
Practical applications of Remote Viewing range widely from criminal investigations, intelligence gathering, tracing missing persons, assessing future probabilities, medicine, commercial and business applications to human potential development and self-exploration.
The most popular Remote Viewing methodologies are Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV), Technical Remote Viewing (TRV), Scientific Remote Viewing (SRV) and Associative Remote Viewing (ARV). All these require continuous practice to attain proficiency.
Controlled Remote Viewing, the most widely practiced of RV methodologies, was originally known as Coordinate Remote Viewing because the primary mechanism was the geographical coordinates of the target’s location. Later the name was changed to indicate broader aspects. In CRV, one does not train someone to be psychic, but teaches a person to widen the scope of perceptions. CRV aims to facilitate the transfer of information from the viewer’s subconscious, across the threshold of awareness into waking consciousness, where it is decoded into an intelligible form. Viewers are trained to shut out mental noise in a Remote Viewing session. CRV is structured as formal stages corresponding to deeper levels of awareness of the viewer.
These stages include, in ascending order, perception of basic overall nature of the target (like whether it is a structure, person or event), basic sensory perceptions, perception of the target’s dimensional qualities expressed by the viewer through sketches, abstract and complex perceptions about the target, detailed exploration of the target through interrogation of the psychic signal line, and finally further sketching or sculpting of aspects of the target while acquiring more qualitative information.
Scientific Remote Viewing (SRV) was developed by Dr Courtney Brown in his Farsight Institute. SRV is a controlled shifting of awareness performed in the normal waking consciousness and uses the human nervous system like an astronomer using a telescope. SRV does not involve hypnosis, out of body experience, altered states of consciousness or channelling. SRV has several distinct phases designed to allow the viewer perceive various aspects of a target. Different types of information on the target are extracted and the result includes a wide variety of descriptive data and sketches. The Farsight protocol has a monitor who guides and listens to the Remote Viewer for ensuring adherence to procedures and high accuracy. Basic SRV is for novice viewers while Advanced SRV utilises preprinted templates and forms onto which the viewer enters information. Current research shows that correct use of the standard procedures allows any normal individual to obtain information about a remote target with surprising accuracy.
Extended Remote Viewing (ERV) is mainly practised by IRVA. In ERV, the viewer lies on a bed and accesses the hypnagogic state between sleep and waking consciousness, to capture the impressions bubbling up from the subconscious. Once the viewer reaches the edges of consciousness, the monitor guides by giving directions and asking questions about the target.
Technical Remote Viewing (TRV) is a variation of CRV created by Edward Dames, retired US Army officer. TRV does not invoke altered or meditative states, but is performed in waking awareness of high attention. Specialised TRV techniques transfer information about the target from the unconscious bypassing imagination and the critical mind. Advanced TRV skills include the Advanced Data Transfer System, Geographic Vectors, Idea Templates, Mind Probes, Relational Indicator for identifying relationships between people, places, things, and events, Target Geometry, and the Time Locator. TRV can be used to find Optimum Trajectory (OT) of one’s life.
Associative Remote Viewing (ARV) is a basic level of RV, that can be used by anyone to get most probable answers to simple binary questions about the past, present or future. Essentially, ARV is simply associating a simple target—usually a photograph or object—with what you are really trying to predict. For example, you want to predict the outcome of a one-day cricket match. Let a friend select two unique photographs A and B without your knowledge. A represents India’s win and B loss. You do Remote Viewing and describe a photograph through your impressions. If the impressions match A, India wins and vice versa. A free course on ARV is available at www.remote-viewing.com.
Bridging science & spirituality
Remote Viewing is a bridge between science and spirituality though many RV researchers deny the spiritual and meditative basis of remote viewing. Forced compliance to rigid methodologies often inhibits access to the creative and meditative flow states that provide easy access to extra-sensory information. But now many pioneers are integrating the spiritual dimension. IRVA has started incorporating altered states in viewing sessions.
And the Farsight Institute’s mission statement declares the evolutionary and spiritual purpose of Remote Viewing: “Remote viewing is a tool that we use to explore questions relating to consciousness and existence… Research at The Farsight Institute demonstrates that consciousness is more than a by-product of the physical human nervous system; it is eternal and unbounded in its nature. Consciousness is basic to and permeates all of physical creation. Our physical nervous system is, in essence, a tuning device that connects us to an underlying field of nature through which knowledge of all things is possible… And let no one doubt that our ultimate goal is no less than to perceive the nature of God.”
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