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Current Update as of November 27, 2003

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Remote Viewing Challenges Self-Actualization

A response to The seventh sense: The secrets of remote viewing as told by a "psychic spy"for the U.S. military (Paraview Pocket Books)
by Lyn Buchanan

The seventh sense

Interest in things psychic arouses also some fear. "Opening up" to the psychic may also spell an "opening" to danger as wellówhy else seek "protection" by "surrounding" oneself with "light?" What of these metaphors? What is the danger, where does it exist, and what to do about it?

Consider The seventh sense: The secrets of remote viewing as told by a "psychic spy"for the U.S. military (Paraview Pocket Books) by Lyn Buchanan. It contains many interesting stories of the authorís use of remote viewing (RV) for military purposes, up to and including Desert Storm. Spying may be a rather unseemly use of psychic ability, but even more disturbing is that Buchanan argues that protection from spying is not possible. If he is correct, it is scary. His reasoning, however, is very intriguing.

The term remote viewing is itself a metaphor, suggesting distance and eye-balling. Certainly, sticking your eyeballs into someone elseís mind should be something that the person should be able to detect and defend against, in the same way that oneís immune system casts off alien organisms. Yet Buchanan explains that RV is actually a sensitivity to oneís own subconscious mind, which, he claims, already knows everything.

Thus he reframes RV as a form of omniscience, such that there really are no secrets. If a "viewer" detects that the target person is protecting or hiding sensitive information, the viewer need not be blocked, but simply ask, "what is the information the target person is hiding?" and the subconscious has the answer. His model seems akin to the proverb, "If you wish to know the heart of another, look into your own heart."

People vary in how sensitively they listen. Some will hear only your words. Others will hear also the feelings in what you say, sometimes hearing you at a deeper level than your own awareness. Is that spying into your mind or is it simply being sensitive to what you are broadcasting? Complicating matters is that even sensitive listeners tend to hear more readily those feelings that they can personally identify with and recognize. As we learned in kindergarten, "it takes one to know one."

Driving home from work one day, Buchanan daydreams about the "honeydew" list awaiting him and just happens to notice a passing thought about how he is going to kill his wife. Startled, he stops his car to introspect and recalls that dayís RV session spying on the mental state of a potentially dangerous foreign leader, He realizes that one of the thoughts in that foreign leaderís mind had to do with murdering his wife.

Buchanan hadnít consciously processed that thought, but it had remained active somewhere in his mind. He was later convinced that he would have indeed killed his wife, and not known why, had not that thought come into his awareness, alerting him to the danger.

If RV is, as Buchanan describes it, actually experiencing your own mind rather than the mind of someone else, then for Buchanan to accurately reflect the mind of the foreign leader, he had to connect with his own capacity to harbor murderous feelings. His saving grace was that the evil thought became conscious before it triggered action.

Buchanan describes RV training NOT as learning to become psychic, because we already are psychic, but instead as learning to dissolve the barrier between the conscious and the subconscious mind, which knows everything in some inexplicable fashion. Siding with psychoanalytic experience, Buchanan notes that when the conscious mind no longer has any barriers to the subconscious a powerful transformation develops in the individual.

As any psychoanalyst will tell you, the subconscious will mirror back the face that is shown to it. If a person approaches the dark side immaturely with judgment and dominance, there is often an unfortunate revolt, but if the person approaches it with loving acceptance combined with a values-based constraint on expression, there will be a creative blossoming. Buchanan had developed the self-acceptance that allowed him to become aware of the evil thought brewing within.

Buchananís experience with RV suggests that the spiritual challenge to opening your psychic awareness is not whether you will do bad things with your new "powers," but whether or not the powers will do something bad to you. Can you can handle the totality of yourself? He quotes someone, "If you donít learn how to control your own mind, someone else will." But you canít control what you donít know.

The real danger lies within self and the best protection is self-knowledge. The "white light" we seek for protection from outside influences would be better used to illuminate our own internal selves. When no thought or impulse is a stranger to oneself, compassion grows naturally. When a person can balance universal awareness with individuality of choice, then RV can become, besides a tool for information gathering, a spiritual vehicle of self-actualization.

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