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Eldon K. Van Vliet
- Publié sur Amazon.com
REVIEW OF "LIMITLESS MIND" by Russell Targ, reviewed by Keith Van Vliet
As a scientist, Targ is able to draw on a comprehensive knowledge of physics to give authority to what otherwise might be taken lightly. His background includes working in a traditional aviation corporate structure, which he left to pursue the field which is the subject of the book, remote viewing. He states, "My personal goal has been, for many years, to turn a rocket scientist into a human being."
His additional education covers much material from the east, which he weaves throughout the material.
In 1972 he co-founded with Dr. Hal Puthoff the Stanford Research Institute program to scientifically investigate remote viewing, which he continued for over two decades.
He begins by introducing the term "nonlocality," a scientific term that my spell checker did not recognize. It means the separation of cause and effect over both time and space., which violates traditional scientific laws and causes great consternation in science. His investigations did much to attract the attention of colleagues and bring official recognition that this was something science had to deal with sooner or later. Although Targ does not dwell on this aspect overly long, he quotes Voltaire as writing, "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
The actual experiments he conducted used people known to have some psychic ability, but throughout the book he insists that this power is natural, and possessed by anyone who is of a mind to practice. The descriptions given by the viewer were accurate well beyond any estimates of chance guessing, and were double blind, where the subject site was not known by the interviewer. Many times the viewer was able to give a description prior to the site being chosen. Even with the gifted viewers, there is a lack of completeness that would prevent most remote viewing from having practical value, except is certain cases. Targ does not go into this, choosing to emphasize the other more positive reasons that he pursued the research.
One of the remarkable statements he makes is, "To me, these data suggest that all of space-time is available to your consciousness, right where your are. You are always on the edge." He sees consciousness and awareness as the causal action in all of reality. His choice of title, "Limitless Mind," accurately describes the conclusions he reaches in the book, although he describes "enlightenment" as the ultimate goal for each human being, with PSI ability being something that will move you along towards the goal.
Targ includes many examples of PSI that have been supported by scientific verification. One of which covers the ability of precognition. In the cited experiment it was labeled presentiment, and in it the subjects were shown graphic slides that carried potentially emotional charges with them. The subject was connected to electronic devices to record their nervous and biological responses to the slides. The remarkable thing was that these responses began three to five seconds PRIOR to the showing of the slide, and corresponded to the material shown. The subjects were non gifted people who volunteered out of the general population, which supports Targ's conclusion that everyone already has a measure of PSI ability.
He supports his descriptions by liberally quoting other people who have contributed to the field, such as Edgar Cayce, Ernest Holmes, The Dali Lama, and ranging to philosophers like Emerson and Thoreau, with a whole chapter given over to the leaders in examining the phenomenon, Distant Healing. He ponders the various ways healing can take place from the efforts of the mind, and at what stages it might not be possible to effect healing. He brings the time factor into this thought process, wondering if help could be obtained for some seriously ill person by influencing their condition at an earlier time in the illness.
It was refreshing to encounter the number of times he referred to IONS, and researchers Marilyn Schlitz, and Dean Radin as being experts in the field.
Early in the book he mentions "The Course in Miracles." He had some involvement with it near the beginning of its publication, but didn't begin to study it until several years later when he started to take personally the implications of his experiments, and he quotes from it liberally. He also quotes freely from Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity in what each of them has to say about the path to enlightenment.
Targ refers several times to the work of his daughter, Elizabeth Targ, who conducted prayer research at California Pacific Medical Center, with much the same scientific accountability that her father did at SRI. Only at the end of the book does he go into more of a memorial for her. Elizabeth died recently of a deadly form of cancer.
His comments range much wider than just remote viewing, although he views that practice as a concrete step to a more contemplative existence. To me, the book seemed to add up to an examination of the concept of personal enlightenment, the reasons for seeking it, and the various pathways to its attainment. Looking back on the scientific community for the past fifty years it is refreshing to witness the number of scientists who are now speaking out in favor of seeking personal transcendence.
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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Russell Targ has a fascinating background, as one of the original founders of the government Remote Viewing program. Back in the 1970s, he and Hal Puthof put together experiments in psychic vision that very much interested the US military. Both men were at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and got government contracts to test "viewers" - psychics who could see events and places ("targets) in their mind. They developed a set of protocols for these experiments and successfully demonstrated that this could be done. In Limitless Mind, Russell Targ discusses those experiments, which were to influence his later work and eventually become once again his main profession. At present, he sponsors seminars on remote viewing, often working with Dr. Jane Katra, with whom he has written several books.
This book is a combination of information on how anyone can try remote viewing, and how work with remote viewing led the author to related activities, mainly distant healing. Targ repeatedly explains that remote viewing is not specifically a spiritual activity, but it led him in the direction of further inquiry into the nature of consciousness and that led him into spirituality. He came to believe that man is more than his material body, that consciousness transcends our physical senses. Consciousness can move beyond place and even beyond time to actually take in remote locations and events. Targ became interested in how healers can affect the bodily health of another person, noting that many can affect people who are in a distant location, without seeing or touching them. How is this possible, unless consciousness is not local?
Information on how to do remote viewing is available in other books and websites, but Targ's preferred methods all involve working with a partner. He is insistent that anyone can do remote viewing, although some viewers are more talented than others. Targ worked with some of the best, and he writes about them in this book: Ingo Swann, Pat Price, Hella Hamid, to mention a few. Targ and Puthof had all the facilities of SRI and full time to work at remote viewing experiments, while, for most people, finding a partner and designing and carrying out workable experiments is going to tax their time and resources. Like other learned skills, remote viewing takes practice.
The book reproduces some of the more famous drawings of the SRI viewers along with pictures of the actual targets. I found most of them familiar because I've seen them reproduced in other books. And, yes, they are amazing and do indicate the validity of remote viewing.
I was looking for more theory on what these experiments tell us about ourselves, but I found Targ's discussion rather disjointed and felt his topics wandered. In addition to covering how to do remote viewing and telling us about his experiences with healing and psychic diagnosis, he also writes about his daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Targ, who passed away at too young an age. I found his tribute to her very touching, and it is clear she was a remarkable person. Elizabeth Targ was a scientist who sometimes worked with her father and he certainly credits her for her contributions to the field of psychic research.
Targ refers to many teachers and guides who have helped him develop psychic skills and spiritual awareness. It seems his early work, pioneering a field he regards as scientific research but which others often ridicule, has led him to question most mainstream ways of thinking. Ridicule can be a significant stimulus to examine the reality of what others have called "consensus consciousness." Or, to put it another way, just because most people believe something - it ain't necessarily so. But again, Targ's personal acquaintance with so many practitioners of alternative systems of thought is unusual, and most of us are just left with our books and an occasional conversation with a like-minded individual. Targ actually quit his job as a scientist for a major corporation, a gutsy move for sure, that has let him immerse himself in an atmosphere of alternative thought.
There wasn't anything new in this book, but it is a good introduction to remote viewing and it drives home the point that everyone can expand their consciousness. The personal stories from a pioneer in the field of psychic research make the book a worthwhile read.