Russel Targ and Harold E. Puthoff. Mind-Reach: Scientists Look at Psychic Abilities. Foreword by Richard Bach; introduction by Margaret Mead. Charlottesville, Va.: Hampton Roads, 2004. Paperback, 25 + 258 pages.
First published in 1977, this new release of the now classic text is enriched by Russell Targ, Harold E. Puthoff, and Edwin C. May’s paper “Direct Pereception of Remote Geographical Locations” and a new preface by Puthoff. The present volume is part of Hampton Road’s fine Studies in Consciousness Series, which seeks to breathe new life into important out-of-print works on the scientific study of consciousness.
The focus of this book is on what is called remote viewing, that is, the perception of remote locations by paranormal means alone. Since the publication of the first edition three decades ago, parapsychology has a lot more to say about this topic, not least thanks to the CIA’s and KGB’s interest in remote viewing for military purposes.
The most significant fact to register is that remote viewing does work. Although this ability depends on the psychic talent and skill of a given individual, it can be accurate enough to be of practical value both for the good and the bad. This of course is no news to yogis, whose mental training often leads to paranormal abilities as a byproduct. The skeptic, however, is bound to ask: Have any of these studies been duplicated. The cheerful answer is yes. Experiments conducted to high standards of protocol in the USA and Russia, using the same target but different psychics, have independently produced significantly similar results (by way of drawing what the “sensitives” or psychics saw). The “Amazing Randi,” a sworn humanist and debunker of all things psychic, should long ago have paid up the one million dollars he pledged to anyone demonstrating under replicable conditions the validity of any paranormal claim!
Nevertheless, it is doubtful that the findings reported in this volume and other similar publications will shake the materialistic ideology that informs most of contemporary science. They have failed to do so thus far. In her still pertinent and very readable introduction, veteran anthropologist Margaret Mead makes this concluding statement: “Such explorations . . . should greatly expand our present paradigms.” They have indeed done so, but the old (materialistic) paradigms are also still widely intact and favored perhaps by most scientists.
This book gives the reader a glimpse of the inner workings of parapsychology, the art of remote viewing, and the folks involved either as experimenters or sensitives. And what a colorful world it is! If you are weary of the gray consensus universe, as depicted by materialistic science, you will find this book triggering all the rods and cones of your mental eye to produce a far more splendid and exciting picture.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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