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BOOK REVIEW
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 58-59

The reality of ESP: A physicist's proof of psychic abilities


Division of Yoga and Physical Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication17-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Hassan Alibalaei
Division of Yoga and Physical Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, 19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, K. G. Nagar, Bengaluru - 560 019, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijny.ijoyppp_11_19

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How to cite this article:
Alibalaei H. The reality of ESP: A physicist's proof of psychic abilities. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol 2019;7:58-9

How to cite this URL:
Alibalaei H. The reality of ESP: A physicist's proof of psychic abilities. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 20];7:58-9. Available from: http://www.ijoyppp.org/text.asp?2019/7/2/58/269476



Author : Russell Targ

Year : 2012

Publisher : Quest Books

Pages : 312

ISBN : 0835608840, 9780835608848




  About the Author Top


Russell Targ (born: 1934, USA) is a physicist and a cofounder of Stanford Research Institute (SRI), involved in the investigation of psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s. SRI is a research and development think tank in California. Russell Targ has authored nine books dealing with the scientific investigation of psychic abilities and Buddhist approaches to the transformation of consciousness.


  About the Book Top


There exist a wide variety of books in the field of extrasensory perception (ESP), such as “Entangled Minds” by Dean Radin (2006) and “The ESP Enigma” (2008) by Diane Hennacy Powell, posing a challenge for prospective readers to select an appropriate book. However, “The Reality of ESP” is one of the books that gives some proof about the existence of ESP and describes the usage of psychic powers in science, military, police activities, and medical science. It also covers in detail some of the remote viewing experiments.

Russell Targ attempted to provide proof for various psychic abilities not through theoretical or mathematical approach, but through published empirical experimental evidences from SRI and from laboratories across the country. Based on all these decades of data, he believes it would be logically and empirically incoherent to deny the existence of some kind of human ability, commonly known as ESP, for direct perception or experience of distant events that are generally blocked from ordinary perception.

Three types of remote viewing tests have been described in his book. In these tests, the individuals were asked to describe: (1) somewhere, which was completely unknown for the test organizers too, (2) some hidden objects those were chosen by the test organizers themselves, and (3) a place that one of the co-testers was looking at that place in the same time.


  Book's Contents Top


The book comprises 12 chapters as described below:

  • Chapters 1, 3, 4, and 6 deal with some remote viewing experiments at SRI with some special subjects. In addition, some precognition experiments are described in Chapter 4
  • Chapter 2 is about how the NASA and the CIA were convinced to support ESP Research at SRI
  • Chapter 5 covers NASA's program for an ESP teaching machine and distant brainwave communication
  • Chapter 7 discusses precognition tests and feeling. In addition, Targ describes one of his precognition tests that made $120,000, by forecasting the silver price for 9 successive weeks
  • Chapter 8 focuses on various mental abilities, including distance hypnotism, telepathy, distance healing, influencing the minds of others, and the matter
  • Chapter 9 provides evidences for survival after bodily death, and other similar phenomena such as mediums and souls, reincarnation, and changing personality after organ transplantation
  • Chapter 10 contains nonlocality theory that is the base for quantum mechanics. Targ has also suggested a geometrical model of space–time (eight-dimensional metric), to describe the idea of how ESP works
  • Chapter 11 is about teaching remote viewing. According to him, a remote viewer has to reduce his/her mental noise and learn to separate the psychic signal from the mental noise, which is considered as the biggest problem in remote viewing. Targ has given some solutions based on many experiments. Another challenging and exciting topic that is “out-of-body experience” has also been discussed in this chapter
  • Chapter 12 demonstrates psychic abilities as found in the history of the Hindu and the Buddhist cultures. The author raises a concern in this chapter: “whether psychic abilities are sacred, or a secular expansion of our sensory awareness?”


The main text is supplemented with epilogue, glossary, bibliography, and index. In the epilogue, again, the author discusses the word “proof” and concludes by reviewing five demonstrations described in the book. His purpose is to appeal to the scientific community that admires empirical data supported by strong statistical evidences.

The ultimate objective of the book is to give empirical evidences that have emerged from many people under controlled laboratory conditions, and also teaching remote viewing to make it experienceable for everyone who is curious but bewildered. People who are familiar with ESP may build on these suggestions and can discover new methods for their own practice or research. This objective has been sufficiently achieved.


  Book's Features Top


A number of unique features of this book make it user friendly and distinct. It is a well-organized and structured book in the field of ESP, especially remote viewing for parapsychology enthusiasts. It could also be used by psychology and physic students to get more information about mind's states and concentration and about the anomalies described in science. Further, the book is a helpful reference for parapsychology researchers to know the various types of investigations that were conducted at SRI for two decades.

It is worth noting here that the text is written in an open learning style, making it accessible to readers that do not have a strong parapsychology background. Every chapter has specific objectives. In addition, some of the works are suitably supplemented with pictures for easy understanding of readers. Several insights from empirical ESP research that have been done by others are included in the text, as an additional support of proof in ESP investigations, for instance, Braud and Schlitz's findings regarding mental influence in Chapter 8.

The author has made a good attempt to illustrate the application of ESP in real life with suitable examples based on the experiments conducted by himself and others. From the users' perspective, this is very important because it highlights the strength of empirical proof to the common man and instills a sense of possibility to the curious minds. The author has also highlighted the prevailing consensus about the convergence of science and ESP. Convergence would provide a universal set of standards that would enhance the comparability of ESP reports across the relevant scientific disciplines.

This book can be considered as a comprehensive work in the area of parapsychology, and I strongly recommend this book as a valuable resource for an audience interested in acquiring skills in reading and interpreting ESP phenomenon.






 

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