Finally, in this article, we really get into the meat of the issues this series of articles is all about. We will begin to discuss illusions that have had an enormous influence in shaping the world we live in. But for you to have full use of these insights, you must be confident I know what I am talking about. The first three articles were just preparation; we now get into the proof I have promised.
In this article, I will focus on an area of scientific research that is popularly known as “remote viewing.” There are many anomalies in different scientific fields that I could have chosen to begin to illustrate the points in this article, since they all break the accepted “rules” in the same way, and provide the same insights. I chose remote viewing to start because the technique is so clear and easy to visualize. The conclusions derived from remote viewing will be strengthened and further expanded later, as I present the anomalies from other fields of science. We will be building a broader perspective that better maps the reality beyond the illusions.
You must be fairly knowledgeable about the research into remote viewing to get the most benefit out of this article. If you have already studied it carefully, you will know that most of the work meets the highest scientific standards and has been performed by skilled scientists with impressive backgrounds in traditional fields of scientific research. It has also been successfully replicated by independent research teams.
If you are not familiar with this research, I have provided my rough draft of a book chapter, with references, that summarizes it with a link in the header, above (Remote Viewing book chapter). If you are already familiar with the field, or have read my book chapter in the past, here is a brief summary taken from the end of the chapter, as an orientation to its contents:
“In this chapter, we have seen anecdotal reports of psychic abilities which show that information is being transferred in a fashion that clearly transcends physically based processes. We have also briefly reviewed the extensive SRI and PEAR databases that show numerous reports with statistically significant results. Taken as a group, these research studies provide the same conclusions as the anecdotal evidence. Human research subjects are capable of gathering information from distant locations about which they have no normal physical means of acquiring it. This is not a characteristic of just a few highly skilled remote viewers; it is part of what it is to be human.”
Let’s now explore the implications. If these conclusions are true, some fundamentally important assumptions deeply embedded into the thinking and institutions of modern society are completely wrong. In keeping with the theme introduced in my first article, I have called these illusions and will use the research findings to help us construct a broader perspective that shows exactly how they are illusory. I have selected three important assumptions to discuss. Each will be given its own brief subsection:
1. The Illusion that Nothing Exists except Matter and Physical forces
2. The Illusion that Beliefs of Religion and Spirit can only be taken on Faith
3. The Illusion that Reality is Sharply Divided into Separate Material and Spiritual Domains
The Illusion that Nothing Exists except Matter and Physical forces
That this is an illusion is not news to most of us. Reasonably well done surveys of the world’s population indicate that about 80% of people either have a religious faith or believe in some sort of metaphysical reality. While there are enormous conflicts within the specifics of these belief systems, this statistic reflects a powerful intuitive understanding that something exists beyond what our physical senses convey to us.
But despite its rejection by the majority of the world’s population, this illusion has been a core component of the worldview of most scientists. For several centuries, science has drifted away from ancient religious teachings and traditional spiritual beliefs, and toward a completely secular view of the cosmos. Scientists have envisioned everything that exists as a part of a huge physical chain of causality based on random events and guided by rigid, impartial laws. This viewpoint has exerted a subtle but quite powerful formative influence on modern society. Most of our cultural institutions still mirror this system of beliefs, even though scientists are coming to realize the error of this basic assumption (as shown by the acceptance of “quantum entanglement” and “non-local” particle interactions as real phenomena by the physics community).
Fields of research into anomalies, as illustrated by remote viewing, give clear confirmation for what quantum physics has been telling us. But even more important than this confirmation, they allow a more understandable framework that helps build a new perspective that takes us beyond our limiting assumptions. You do not need to be a physicist or mathematician to make use of these insights. Through the remote viewing research, it is obvious that some sort of nonphysical transfer of information exists, and our understanding of reality must accommodate this truth.
But this research has important implications far beyond requiring a revision of the traditional scientific worldview. Let’s now look at some of its meaning and relevance for those who already believe in a nonphysical reality.
The Illusion that Beliefs of Religion and Spirit can only be taken on Faith
Even scientists with religious faith usually completely accept another illusion: the conviction that any questions involving religion and spirit are unscientific. They believe science has no business even asking about possible nonphysical realities. To the contrary, the remote viewing studies show us that powerful scientific tools can be effectively brought to bear on these questions.
Obviously, this use of the tools of science to develop the perspective we are exploring was not available when most of our religions and other spiritual beliefs were first formed. It took the emergence of very sophisticated scientific methods before this new awareness could become available. In the past, our only access to religious ideas and answers to spiritual questions were through the revelations that resulted from individual prayer and meditation. Of course, these are individual experiences and, by their nature, not objectively verifiable – so we have had no choice but to take such teachings on faith. This circumstance has resulted in a massive proliferation of different belief systems, many of which are in conflict with each other.
Now, if you step back from the world’s belief systems, and take a broad, objective view of them, you see that no single system or religion is followed by a majority of the people on earth. In addition, the strongest predictors of which religion or beliefs any one individual will hold as true is their place of birth and the beliefs of others in the cultural setting in which they were raised and educated. From this vantage point, it is painfully obvious that the revelation process, on which all the beliefs have all been based, is very prone to error. In addition, even if one set of beliefs is correct, the majority must be wrong.
Research studies, like those involving remote viewing, confirm that there is indeed an immaterial reality that our religions and our intuition are tapping into. They have also given us a new tool to test beliefs we could only take on faith in the past, showing us how we can effectively apply the powerful techniques of scientific research to questions of spirit. This holds the promise of an objective technique to begin to understand some of the parameters of a spiritual, immaterial reality and possibly even end some of our many religious conflicts. Perhaps for the first time in our history, we will be able to test some of the religious dogmas that have engendered many of our wars. We may also have a way to put an end to the battles between science and religion.
Having established that science has confirmed that immaterial interactions exist in the physical world, and has shown us a way to reliably study these interactions, let’s now consider how the material and immaterial realms relate to each other.
The Illusion that Reality is Sharply Divided into Separate Material and Spiritual Domains
Most of us completely accept the theories of modern science while also holding a religious or spiritual faith. For the most part, we have accomplished this by drawing a clear and distinct line between the reality disclosed to us by our physical senses and the spiritual teachings we hold to in our faith. While we still inhabit our bodies, the physical rules of science hold sway. It is only after our death that most of us believe the spiritual reality will manifest in our experience.
The remote viewing research, though, shows us that this distinct divide between the physical and spiritual is just another illusion. In contrast to the dualistic point of view we have become so accustomed to, we have learned from this research that invisible connections are constantly playing a role in the events of the world. The implication is clear that to better understand what is actually going on, we must take the spiritual component of reality into account.
This strongly implies that there are not really two separate domains – they are just different aspects or “dimensions” of one unified reality. Stepping back once again into the broad objective view which this insight provides, we see that the physical aspect of reality is relatively limited, being constrained to act only through direct contact. In contrast, the immaterial realm is one of enormous potential power and connection, acting in a way that physicists call non-local, transcending the limits of physical locale and time.
A Breath of Fresh Air and a Huge Sigh of Relief!
When I first came across the second NDE report I described in the first chapter, I literally did breathe a huge sigh of relief. The emotional release it engendered lasted for weeks. It also started a transformation in my view of the world that has been permanent. The anomalies I am starting to present in this series of articles not only confirm the insights of these NDE stories, they even expand them further. I will wrap this chapter up with a brief discussion of three of the benefits of the research into scientific anomalies.
First, in contrast to the mechanistic, random and impartial nature of the world of traditional science, we are seeing a view of a universe imbued with meaning and purpose. As part of this wider view, each human life is unique and much more important than we previously thought. Something beyond the physical is clearly playing a fundamental role, and it is both beneficent in its intent and supportive in its nature. This, in itself, is cause for relief.
Second, the human mind is much more powerful than we have ever dared to imagine. By shutting out physical stimuli and concentrating our intention to gather information at a distance, we can reliably accomplish our goal. There is no apparent limit to this human potential, and this seems to be just the tip of a huge iceberg of human ability that has been almost completely hidden from our view. Fully comprehending the implications of this research will empower us and disclose a deep sense of connection we may have been missing in the past.
Third, and perhaps most important, the essence of who we are isn’t just confined to the inside of our body. Some part of us transcends the physical and is capable of reaching out from our body and gather information without limit. Our image of ourselves is gaining a new dimension. The contention of many of our religious and spiritual traditions, that we are permanent, spiritual beings, is now receiving solid scientific support.
These are just the first steps on this journey. Future articles will further expand the perspectives being developed here, and disclose more of our previous assumptions to also be illusions.
Thanks for sticking with me through all this. Any comments are most welcome. If you find these conclusions both valid and helpful, please share them with others.
My best to all,
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The earlier articles in this series:
1. Is the World Real or is it an Illusion?
2. The Illusion of an Exclusively Material Universe
3. Using Scientific Tools to Study Spiritual Questions
Addendum, 4/10/13: I just came across a YouTube video featuring Russell Targ that covers remote viewing superbly, for those who have any doubts that it is a genuine phenomenon. For those interested, here is the link on YouTube. It is a little over an hour.