SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO ME
"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."
PREVIOUSLY ON RATIONAL MYSTIC
This post is part of a three-part series.
In the first part of this series, I covered how I stumbled head-long into remote viewing, learned that clairvoyance and precognition are real, and had my personal conceptions of time kick-downed, flipped over, and blown into oblivion.
In the second part of this series, I related my experiences searching out many individuals who had already "mapped out" portions of the rabbit hole, learning their stories, and discovering that operational use of psychic function is still taking place unbeknownst to the public.
In this post, I am going to talk briefly about three unanticipated ways that remote viewing ended up changing me personally. If you haven't read these prior posts they will probably be extremely helpful to contextualize this one.
A History Of Conflicting Interests
It was a lovely fall day in Athens Georgia. The expansive University of Georgia campus is very much its own small city complete with its respective 'neighborhoods'. These 'hoods are the haunts of varied academic gangs, denoted by their questionable fashion sense, distinct professional lingo, and degrees of sobriety from the night before. The partially sober south campus ("south-side") is the cold and steely domain of mathematicians, physicists, and chemists -- the 'prickly' hard science types who are fiscally blessed with miraculous amenities like working bathrooms. The significantly more hung-over "north side" of campus is the domain of liberal arts majors, who having averred any hope of gainful employment , devoted themselves to wrestling with the big 'gooey' questions found in history, literature, and the occasional dead language.
I found myself in one of the most remote areas of the north side, Peabody Hall , the appropriately dilapidated but much beloved home of aspirant philosophers. Our small group of students and professors all focused our attention toward the front of the room where an animated elderly gentleman was pulling playing cards out of the interior pocket of his rather dapper jacket. The speaker exuded the energy of a weird family uncle -- sardonic, mischievous, and a bit curmudgeonly -- all punctuated with the occasional wink.
The "Amazing" James Randi was at that time making a circuit across higher education institutions to spread his thoughts and work on debunking "woo woo" topics. His expressed aim was to help protect the public from charlatans who exploited well known vulnerabilities in our cognitive processes for their own enrichment.
Randi himself had an earlier career as a stage magician and he led his presentation with mentalist tricks that were meant to reinforce just how easily we could be misled (aka how stupid we were). He used the performance to bridge into his talk on his work with the James Randi Educational Foundation, the eponymous organization he'd created to help educate the public on dangers of paranormal claims.
At that time I was watching Randi's presentation, I was deeply invested in the viewpoints of many hard line skeptics. In addition to reading Randi's book and going to hear him speak, I was also delving deep into the work of the late Carl Sagan. In his book The Demon Haunted World, Sagan articulated a need for the public to develop greater critical thinking skills to differentiate legitimate science from pernicious "pseudosciences". Whereas Randi exuded a kind of mocking critique of how we continue to be fooled by "new age nonsense", Sagan often conveyed a kind of sympathetic view to what he considered pseudoscience topics. In the aforementioned book, Sagan wrote: “Pseudoscience speaks to powerful emotional needs that science often leaves unfulfilled. It caters to fantasies about personal powers we lack and long for.” While science aligns well with our 'left brain' analytical nature, Sagan recognized that subjects he characterized as"pseudosciences", in a manner spoke to our 'right brain' emotional, intuitive, and creative nature.
In many ways, my own diverse interest seemed to affirm Sagan's viewpoint. I felt a real affinity for the thoughts and positions of skeptics/debunkers like Randi and Sagan. I perceived merit in adopting a disciplined skepticism in order to not be deceived, or far worse, to yield to the siren call of emotionally appealing beliefs based on unfounded claims. Yet, on the other hand, I also felt a deep fascination with historical belief systems whose metaphysics, spiritual practices, and amazing stories all appealed to the way life "felt" to me when it was at its very best -- poetical, mysterious and often unlikely as fuck . In my reading, I would also swing wildly (and still do), one week devouring A Brief History Of Time By Hawkins to the next pouring over a translation of the Galdrabók (Icelandic magic). I was also living in an international village section of the University at that time. I'd begin my mornings practicing esoteric martial arts involving "chi" with the exchange students, and then write papers in the evening espousing that we need to disavow "primitive" beliefs to achieve a more peaceful world.
I was in full -- a walking contradiction.
Reality Doesn't Give A Fuck
When I began my personal experiments with remote viewing, I was forced to look long and hard at these oppositional forces working within me. On the one hand, it was open minded curiosity that drew me out to the "edges" of human understanding to topics like remote viewing. On the other hand, my reaction to finding out that remote viewing actually works was comically the opposite of that spirit.
It was all fun and games while I was casually screwing around . However, when I saw that remote viewing was legit. it honestly upended me. I tried hard to put the weird genie back in the bottle which ironically only resulted in a deeper realization that psychic functioning is real. The curiosity that led me to the topic of remote viewing is relatable to many, but my compulsion to attempt to negate and disprove what I was seeing is interesting. Why the hell did I do that?
As I mentioned in prior posts, direct personal experiences related to edge topics often elicits considerable anxiety in us. For those who don't directly pursue these experiences, an unusual flash of premonition may come in a rare dream or in a sudden vision occurring before a life threatening event. These experiences are usually very brief, highly disorienting, and as quickly as they arrived -- they suddenly are gone. Their fleeting nature makes it easy for us to classify these experiences as just "odd". We laugh it off. We move on again to the comfort of the familiar. However, whenever we encounter something that doesn't conform to our ideas of how the world works, there are always two paths we can take. One path is just to write it off and get back to normal life, but the other path is to stalk, to pursue, and to hunt. One path returns us back to the comfort/familiarity of the village and the other takes us deep into the wilds. I'm not sure whether we as individuals get to choose which path resonates with us; It feels at times that some of us just can't leave "good enough" alone. However for those who perhaps can't help but depart along that second pathway, we find that personal experiences with 'edge topics' usually threaten the most sacred of all our treasures.
Stories -- Stories are the fundamental unit of sense making to a human being. A story is a conceptual foundation upon which we aggregate our past, our hopes, our future, and our version of who we are in the flow of life. Stories are in truth serious fucking business -- countless numbers of atrocities have been committed in their service (especially often when a popular story is threatened or in decline). A predominant story for many of us who were educated in western societies is a form of 'popular scientism', where the present scientific consensus is viewed as the litmus test to determine whether something can be admitted into the public worldview. The obvious problem with this story is the egoistic element driving the view that our current scientific consensus is really pretty damn good -- when in fact, it is it is becoming increasingly clear, for those paying attention, that our scientific understanding is obviously very incomplete and in some cases completely wrong.
However, the reality of psychic functioning and clairvoyance doesn't just challenge the story of popular scientism -- its import is far broader than and deeper. If time and space don't fully confine our perceptions then what does that tell us about the day to day experiences that we construct our lives within? If humans have the ability to interface non-local information what does this tell us about perhaps about ourselves ? These aren't peripheral stories set out like some decorative columns that don't actually support any weight, these are some of the main support girders that hold up the entire human experience.
The important thing for us to remember is very simple to write but often harder to live: when it comes to reality, there are on one hand our stories about reality, and on the other hand there is just reality itself.
Reality doesn't really give a fuck about our stories. Whether we ascribe the rise of the sun to a chariot lifting it into the sky, epicyclic motion, or the precession of earth's rotation due to external gravitational torque, the deep clockwork keeps on going about its mysterious unfolding.
There is nothing new in this observation. This is Plato's allegory of the cave writ large as well as a core tenet of religions like Buddhism. However, when you live a truth rather than just read it, then you really begin to understand just how transformational the experiences associated with a truism really are.
When I full realized that remote viewing and psychic functioning were real, it wasn't an insight that I couldn't encapsulate to keep it from unfolding into my own life or in truth perceive how deeply it was impacting me on a personal level.
Strange fascination, fascinating me: Humility, Curiosity, and Spirit
After seeing that remote viewing is real and watching my beloved prior stories topple and fall, what I found among that debris was more than anything a deep sense of humility.. When you have so many of your life long assumptions obliterated, you come to a deep realization of how little you actually know. This is not the same as abject ignorance, or a belief that we cannot know anything at all, but rather in some aspect a deep respect for the complexity of everything around us . Humility seems to be in some real way a gateway into something very important. We have it as children. Children have no egoistic sense that they should be embarrassed by not knowing something and so they venture into wonder-filled questions with unmeasured abandon. These questions come forth with a purity of a deep humility and joy to be in a world full of mysterious shit that we don't fully understand. Among all of our accomplishments (and failures) evidenced in the furtherance of scientific understanding, many individuals seem to have lost that wonderment that comes from acknowledging still how little we still really truly know. For me, seeing that remote viewing was real, became a deep object lesson in humility but also in wonder. I really don't understand a great number of things and that really is ok.
The second major impact that I noticed within myself after seeing that remote viewing and psychic functioning is real, was that my sense of curiosity reached new levels. In today's era, Google Maps offers us a "god's eye" view of the world that is really amazing, however it is also for some of us with a particular spirit a little bit disappointing. The earth has been rather thoroughly 'scanned', delineated, and compartmentalized and while the planets in our solar system beckon to us, it feels that we still have a
long way to go before the next wave of adventurers can reach those distant vistas. Remote viewing however suggests another territory that we may be able to explore in our lifetimes. It suggests a potential unknown country of consciousness, where we seem to be emerging into an exciting stage with the potential for world-altering implications. The spiritual traditions of our past in this regard, also act tantalizing treasure maps that whisper to us of former deep expeditions into the labyrinths of "mind".
The third and final change that I will relate that I noted in myself, is by and far the hardest to actually explain. It has been my goals with these blog posts to be completely honest about my experiences both during and following the realization that remote viewing and psychic functioning are real. In that regard, I feel compelled not to leave this out.
The last change that I noticed in myself, is that I personally experienced a feeling of renewed spirituality (Randi and Sagan both now groan loudly with ghoulish disincarnate voices from their graves).
The first question that you may ask me is what the fuck do I mean by "spirituality"? This is more than a fair question. However, this turns out to be a very difficult to completely answer. Before I began remote viewing, I had little interest in what I viewed as simple stories as offered through the religions that I grew up around. However after experiencing remote viewing and other phenomena that seem at least causally linked to psychic functioning, I began to see hints in those experiences that we all may be enmeshed in something like a broad all encompassing intelligence that reaches far beyond our present understanding.
Yeah I know -- this sounds like madness; However, again in honesty, I began to have many different types of subjective experiences as I delved deeper into remote viewing and psychical work -- and many of these experiences made me strongly consider the potential reality of some ineffable but deep connectivity and unity.
I will not try to relate all these events here in this post, but will try to relate something about this in one brief illustrative example.
It was a really normal day. While I was remote viewing regularly at
night to attempt to disprove it could be real, my diurnal professional responsibilities were about as far from 'mystical' as you can imagine. I was simply going to a business meeting in a mild rainstorm and was stepping out of my vehicle -- when suddenly, inexplicably, and without any advanced warning, I found myself utterly transfixed in the entirety of all that was unfolding. It was as if in a brief moment the rain, the clouds, the wind, the trees, the puddles forming on the pavement, the cars, the buildings, the groups of birds sheltering in the trees, and me -- all of the entirety of this everyday event was suddenly all connected as if it was the outflowing of some big mind or singular thought. To be clear, I wasn't introspectively contemplating this as an idea, but instead I was experiencing a deep reverberating feeling of this unity and connectivity with all that was happening. Before remote viewing, I had never had any type of experience like this. Now I was finding it extremely difficult to do something very basic like just walk through a small rain storm to make a meeting due to an overwhelming sense of non-differentiation -- a feeling unlike any i had ever experienced that was taking place in this absolutely mundane setting. As I entered the building from the rain, I became very concerned that the individuals that I was meeting with were going to believe that I was high on some crazy shit. (This would be a great way to start a business meeting - so yeah I was just experiencing something like transcendent unity in the parking lot--now about the budget proposal we talked about last week.).
I am not expounding that I briefly experienced "enlightenment" or anything along those lines. I am also not implying that my own meager subjective experiences are anywhere near sufficient phenomenological evidence to tell us anything useful. However, I can only relate that regularly engaging in activities related to psychic functioning, for me personally, seemed to touch upon some kind of infrequent but powerful feelings of deep unity with something that feels 'all expansive' and also very difficult to adequately convey.
These subjective experiences of a feeling of deep unity are of course, notably very commonly described in many of our spiritual traditions. The Hindu scripture, the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra provides an outline of 112 ways to attain "enlightenment" and awareness of ones 'higher self' including the translated line:
“Imagine spirit simultaneously within and around you until the entire universe spiritualises."
This brings us to an interesting final parting note and observation that someone reminded me of in a recent discussion.
Prior to the extraction and refinement clairvoyance and other psychic abilities for intelligence or military purposes, they were often found deeply embedded in many human spiritual traditions. In these traditions, they weren't isolated human capabilities but enmeshed in complete systems intended to achieve a fuller development of a human being -- body, mind, and yes even spirit. This may explain why remote viewing itself could perhaps sometimes lead to subjective experiences that seem to correlate with many similar accounts of 'transcendent' experiences in our diverse human faiths and beliefs. Based on my own present view and ongoing experiences, I believe there is a real need to consider once again how we integrate psychic functioning into a broader picture of holistic and healthy human development. In many countries, we have so many technically provided miracles in our externalized world of things and yet internally we are often deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. Is it possible that we are failing to integrate all the parts of who we are in some significant way -- and that perhaps the novel use of psychic functioning could help us achieve greater personal fulfillment? (topic for later post)
Always end on the weird hippy shit! 🌸✌️🌈☮️
Thanks to all who found it interesting enough to read to the end.
I hope you've enjoyed this short series on reflection on on year of remote viewing.
More strange posts to come as time permits.
Peace, Love and Constructive Discomfort.