Friday, June 19, 2009

TNS#64: Memoirs of a Blind Biker

TheNextStep show #64 was taped 5/11/09 and was an interview with Russell Targ discussing his new book of memoirs: Do You See What I See?: Memoirs of a Blind Biker.
As Russell put it, the theme of the book might be best described as 'Questioning Reality', as it covers lots of material from Huxley's Perennial Philosophy, quantum physics and nonlocality, advaita non-dualism and dzogchen buddhism. Russell was a laser physicist from NY who came to CA and got involved with psi phenomena and started the Remote Viewing project with Hal Puthoff at SRI in the early 70's, which was quite successful for many years. The memoir goes into lots of detail about remote viewing but also integrates his extensive interests in philosophy and spirituality, which I especially enjoyed. Here is a selection of quotes from the book that I liked, from my notes for the show:
"Questioning reality: the essential first step in the evolution of consciousness"
"The first principle is that consciousness is the fundamental building block of the universe – which is more like great thought than great machine."
"Nothing is actually happening in our world except for the meaning we give it. We give all the meaning there is, to everything we experience."
"Our awareness is limitless in space and time – therefore WE are limitless."
"The Perennial Philosophy: the purpose or meaning of our lives is to become one with universal non-local consciousness."
"The essence of the teaching is that there IS no self – it’s all just a story."

I find Russell's work especially valuable because he's incorporating his psi phenomena research into a framework of quantum physics that offers at least the beginning of an understanding as to how psi phenomena can occur, namely non-locality. As a final comment I also really liked his metaphor that remote viewing is like the image of the moon appearing in calm water -- it was always there but the water (i.e. the mind) has to be calm for it to be visible.