Craig Payton/ Book Report: Limitless Mind
by Craig Payton
Limitless Mind: A guide to remote viewing and transformation of consciousness.
Forward by Jean Houston
Introduction: The Unknowable End of Science
Ch. 1 Our limitless Mind: Living in a Non-Local Universe
Ch. 2 On a Clear Day We Can See Forever: What We Know About Remote Viewing
Ch. 3 For Your Viewing Pleasure: How You Can Practice Remote Viewing
Ch. 4 Precognition: There’s No Time Like the Future Or the Past
Ch. 5 Intuitive Medical Diagnosis: Things to Do Before the Doctor Arrives
Ch. 6 Distant Healing: Is It My mind Over Your Matter?
Ch. 7 Why bother with ESP? Discovering That You Are the Love You Seek.
Afterword: Elisabeth’s Story
Russel Targ has spent decades researching Extra Sensory Perception (ESP). He co-founded The Stanford Research Institute’s Program on remote viewing and other psychic phenomenon. I have also long been intrigued by this subject, for nearly as long a period. I say nearly because I was a young child just entering grade school when Targ began his research at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) only a few miles down the San Francisco peninsula from the town where I was raised. Targ included his daughter in some of his early explorations and she grew to become an accomplished research scientist in her own right. Targ includes a picture of his daughter in the book commemorating her in the afterword. She was about 2 years older than I. After seeing her picture I can’t escape the sense that we may have met at some point, having both grown up in a neighboring communities. Also I have another connection to Targ. I have a long time friend I’ve known since 3rd grade or so who once told me that she and her brother were participants in some sort of research into psychic phenomena at SRI way back in the 1970’s. This friend has a propensity for the dramatic and I wasn’t sure if I could credit her story at the time. As it turns out this book completes the circle and confirms there was such research being conducted at SRI in the time frame indicated by my friend.
Remote viewing is the psychic ability to gather information about a “target” location strictly through mental activity. As a result of the research and study I have personally conducted over many decades the concept of remote viewing is not foreign to me, nor is it starling or hard to believe. I believe the data proves this ability exists and each of us has a greater or lesser ability to develop such skill if we are so inclined to make the effort. During the time of cold war, Russia was also doing research into this skill and more than just research. Russell Targ was a principal investigator into the reality of this ability. Beyond investigation Targ worked with many functional “Remote Viewers” and provided valuable information to almost every branch of the U.S. intelligence community. This skill is a reality which was accepted long ago by our government and successfully used to gain “actionable” intelligence in the field.
In chapters 2 & 3 Targ presents the evidence for remoteviewing and then discusses somewhat how to train oneself to do it. While these chapters are interesting, my curiosity is not really stirred by this ability. That is to say it is not a skill I aspire to develop. Targ has taught seminars dedicated to developing this skill and I’m sure this route would be fruitful for anyone seeking to develop as a remote viewer.
For me the more important aspect of this book is that it clearly infers a more broad view of what it means to be a conscious being in human form. As a such the most though provoking and inspiring content of this book is found in the Forward, Introduction, Chapter 1.-Your Limitless Mind-, and Chapter 7-, Why Bother with ESP?-.
In the preface Targ says “The data from remote viewing research show, without a doubt that our mind is limitless and that our awareness both fills and transcends our ordinary understanding of space and time. Psychic abilities and remote viewing in particular, point to the possibility of our residing in and as this state of expanded, timeless, fearless, spacious awareness….I believe that 99 percent of the value of psychic abilities resides in the opportunity they offer for self-inquiry and self-realization”.
From the forward, “Within a sturdy background of scientific research and years of conclusive studies, it (this book) presents a perspective on our humanity that, until now, would have seemed more mythic than real”.
Thus in the first paragraph of the forward Jean Houston sums up the importance of this small book (207 pages including index & extensive notes and bibliography).
Initially such research as Targs may have been dismissed by the mainstream of science and society. I believe he and others have by now proven the validity of these phenomena and we need no longer be asking the questions about whether such abilities exist. Instead we should be examining more important questions and taking the next step in research. Questions like, “What does the ability to view something, anything
remotely with only the minds say about the nature of the mind and indeed the nature of the world and our view of reality?”
The worldview of the ordinary consensus science which can be rightly summed up as scientific materialism does not agree with the conclusions presented in this book.
Consensus science would have us believe we are merely biological machines with a meat computer in our head. The importance of Targ’s work is that it not only calls this perspective into question, but smashes this view of reality with clear scientific evidence. This type of research replaces that antiquated worldview of separation and meaninglessness with one of greater possibilities, purpose and deep meaning.
Nevertheless in the introduction Targ acknowledges, “There is a skeptical community that works tirelessly to “save” science from the depredations of frauds and charlatans. I applaud them and I think they play a valuable role. In science, however it is just as serious an error to ignore real but unpredictable data as it is to accept false data as true….I believe in good scientific data and replicate experiments & those are what I describe in this book”. He goes on to note that mainstream science usually declare psychic phenomenon to be without credibility while it is even more distressing to note that organized religions often declare them to be bad or even Evil! Voltaire wrote “It is dangerous to be right
in matters on which the established authorities are wrong”.
In Ch. 1 Targ demonstrates how modern physics shows the reality of “nonlocal” connectedness, which is an instantaneous spanning of space and time. He goes on to relate this modern realization with ancient teachings of Buddhism and other mystical teachings which say that “separation is an illusion”. Remote viewing is an example of the nonlocal connectedness of our minds to everything.
Physicist David Bohm in his textbook, “The Undivided Universe” may have been the first to describe what many now call “The Holographic Universe”. Like a hologram, each point in space-time contains information about every other point in space-time. In the holographic universe
described by Hohm there is a unity of consciousness, a greater collective mind with no boundaries of space or time. Remote viewing goes hand in hand with this understanding of oneness of consciousness. It is this “Mind-Field” which is accessed to gain knowledge about distant places, people and events. Targ states, “It is evident that remote viewing abilities are fundamental to our understanding of consciousness itself…psi functioning may be the means that consciousness uses to make itself known in the internal and external physical world”.
Targ attempts to explain how remote viewing may word. He shows it clearly has no relationship to electromagnetic fields or radio like energetic transmission. It seems likely that accessing this non-local field is not at all constrained. This field of information is always present and available.
Targ goes on to tap “Spiritual and Philosophical” traditions which reflect the same understandings of reality which modern physics seem to be describing. In Aldous Huxley’s work “The Perennial Philosophy” he lists as the first principle that consciousness if the fundamental building block of the Universe. The world is more like a great thought than a great machine. All humans have the ability to access the universe through our consciousness and merge with the non-local mind. Huxley also states that we all have a local and non-reality, a physical and non-physical nature.
Finally he also asserted the purpose of life to become one with the universal, non-local, loving consciousness that is available to us all and to assist others also to do so.
Targ goes on to weave together more strands of thought from Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Philosophy and Psychiatry demonstrating how
all these schools have similar reflections of truth within them. This effort he makes in a mere two dozen pages is a wonderful demonstration of the waving together of the best of science and mystical philosophy to come to grips with the meaning of his research. To me, this chapter alone is
worth the price of admission.
Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 deal with the inflow of information from the world. Targ gets into the nuts and bolts of his research and also how to teach the skill of psi operation which he has done successfully developing “professional” operators as well as many seminar attendees. In Chapter 4 he
goes a little further afield and discusses pre-cognition. He describes the nature of this phenomenon, the experience and the research. Most
importantly he also discusses the meaning and implications of the acceptance of this skill as a reality. At the beginning of the chapter he sums this up; “Our ability to move our awareness deliberately through time and space offers powerful, life changing experiences, demonstrating clearly that we are not merely bodies but, rather, timeless awareness residing in a body”.
Chapter 5 covers what has perhaps become one of the most useful psi functions-medical intuitive diagnosis. There are whole books dedicated to this topic which, it seems to me is becoming more widely accepted. Targ describes the ability and somewhat of the training necessary to perform this skill.
It is a skill he claims great success with personally. He takes some time going into the methods of noted author Judith Orloff whose works I would recommend to anyone seeking to expand their knowledge of this topic. He goes on to note other authors in this field including Norman Shealy and Caroline Myss who also have contributed very important work to this field. This chapter provides a quick overview of this ability and a good summary of how to train oneself in it’s development. This combined with further exploration of the authors mentioned would be a great introduction to learning this skill.
In chapter 6 Targ goes beyond receiving information to the skill of transmitting. Remote healing is the ability to outflow our energy or healing intentions to alleviate pain, suffering and disease. His subject is very interesting to me. I have received training from my Qigong teachers in this art. The reality of this skill of both remote diagnosis and remote healing is well accepted in certain of the Oriental wisdom traditions.
As a side note it is interesting that these psi healing skills are part of the tradition of Chinese medicine. Unfortunately the modern oriental healing art known in the USA generally a acupuncture, derives its curriculum from the directives of the Communist state and does not recognize anything that might be construed as un-scientific or spiritual. Because of this bias it is uncommon for this type of training to be
found in modern schools of Chinese Medicine whether they are in China or anywhere else in the world.
Targ covers a lot of ground in this chapter demonstrating once again that there has already been a tremendous amount of research in this area. Again I point out that the time to ask whether such things are possible has passed. We must ask what are the implications? What are the possibilities once this knowledge and related training can be disseminated in the society?
Targ brings the work of author Larry Dossey into this chapter. Dossey proposes there have been three eras of medicine which he describes as:
Era 1. All forms of therapy are physical and the body is seen as a mechanism. This approach encompasses most of “modern” medical technology, even including in this category acupuncture, nutrition and herbal medicine. Dossey lauds the accomplishments of Era I medicine. “…achievements so significant that most persons believe the future of medicine still lies solidly in Era-I approaches”, despite the fact that “all the major diseases of our day-heart disease, hypertension, cancer and more have now been shown to be influenced, at least to some degree, by the mind”.
A similar situation exists in the field of physics, in which e classical models persist although their proponents are unable to account for the data of relativity, quantum physics, or Remote Viewing.
Era-II medicine describes the mind to body medical approaches that involve the psychosomatic effect of one’s consciousness on one’s own body.
Era-II medicine acknowledges a causal effect of the mind but the mind is still seen as a function of brain chemistry and anatomy. Associated
therapies which can be termed psychosomatic medicine include; counseling, hypnosis, biofeedback, self-healing imagery and relaxation techniques and the field of psychoneuroimmunology. Eras I & II are similar as the mind is still considered as localized in ones’ body as well as the present time.
According to Dossey in the 1990’s we entered into Era III of medical therapies.
Era III medicine sees the mind as unconfined by either space (brains or bodies) or time. We recognize that nonlocal mind may affect healing both within and between people. This affect occurs as non-contact healing between people in each other’s presence as well as people at a distance.
The greater range of therapies available with the advent of each new Era of medicine do not extinguish the value of the healing methods of another era. Each Era’s methods can be complementary. Targ makes this assertion, but I would add the caveat that there is a great deal of modern medicine which may counteract the ability to successfully deploy Era II & III approaches. Certain drugs and destructive approaches such as chemotherapy and radiation, while arguably effective in some cases, may preclude effective use of less severe approaches. Nevertheless it is
always true that one need not sacrifice any approach in order to embrace another.
Targ goes on to list two widely adapted and widely studied methods of Era III medicine; Therapeutic touch, and distant healing through prayer. Once again he shows clearly that this research has been done well and thoroughly enough to demonstrate the validity of this human ability. To me this chapter is tremendously validating putting science behind that which I had already accepted in my worldview, training and experience.
In the final chapter Targ asks “Why bother with ESP?”. It is an essential question, especially since skeptics trying to protect their materialist view of the world have done so much t dismiss this research. Many of what I would call “Faith Based Skeptics” operate under their accepted premises of how the world is supposed to be. They are no longer operating in the world of science because they fail to even attempt to provide answers where researchers such as Targ courageously penetrate into the mysterious.
In this final chapter Targ does move beyond science and returns where he began in the beginning of the book pointing out the meeting place of the new science and the ancient mystical worldview.
The ultimate view of the mystery of humanity is summed up in this chapter heading by a Tibetan sage Tarthang Tulku, “If you haven’t discovered who you truly are, your assumed competence is just a wall of sand against the oncoming tide.”
Targ open this chapter by providing his interpretation of the understanding brought forth by his research. He goes on to cite many streams of spiritual thought to provide further context to his discoveries. It is my view that this combined with thefirst chapter provide the greatest benefit to be found in this work, and the middle of the book provides a framework of science with which to support these important realizations.
“…our experience with remote viewing shows without a doubt that we can learn to expand our unconditioned awareness through all of space and time – to directly explore the timeless existence described by the mystics. Allowing your awareness to expand into this feeling of spaciousness is one of the great rewards of this practice; you open the gates and out flows who you are”.
“…between the inflow of remote viewing and the outflow of spiritual healing, we can experience the overwhelming peace and oceanic connection that is available to each of us in the present moment. Our ability to share this experience of freedom, love and spaciousness is what gives meaning to our lives. With our present technology of television, video games, email and computer, however, we run the risk of never having
another quiet moment. This represents the greatest loss we could possibly experience”. This last sentence is something I know in my bones and is precisely descriptive of the greatest concern I have for the developing minds and spiritual connection of my children, family, friends and the human family as a whole.
The lessons of this last chapter are inspiring and instructive. I recommend acquiring this book on their merits alone.
The main text of the book concludes with a Buddhist prayer of loving kindness which I excerpt here in full;
May you be in peace
May your heart remain open
May you be healed from all separation
May you be a source for healing for all beings
May you awaken to the light of your true nature
May you never feel separate from the source of loving kindness
May you be happy
Verlyn Craig Payton/August 21st, 2012