The Spiritual Implications of Being Psychic
by Russell Targ

Since ancient times, spiritual teachers have described paths and practices that a person could follow to achieve health, happiness and peace of mind. A considerable body of recent research indicates that any kind of spiritual practice is likely to improve ones prognosis for recovering from a serious illness. Many of these approaches to spirituality involve learning to quiet the mind, rather than adhering to a prescribed religious belief. These meditative practices are inherent aspects of Buddhism, Hinduism, mystical Christianity, Kabalistic Judaism, Sufism, and other mystic paths.

What is indicated in the subtext of these teachings is that as one learns to quiet his or her mind, one is likely to encounter psychic-like experiences or perceptions. For example, in The Sutras of Patanjali, the Hindu master tells us that on the way to transcendence, we may experience many kinds of amazing visions, such as the ability to see into the future and to diagnose illnesses and also to cure them. We are admonished not to become attached to these abilities because they are mere phenomena standing as stumbling blocks on the path to enlightenment.

What do many spiritual healers, mystics and scientists have in common? The answer is that they are all in touch with each other and the world through their interconnected minds. In remote viewing research into psychic phenomena conducted at Stanford Research Institute during the 1970's, we observed the in-flow of information that is the hallmark of psychic perception. We also saw an out-flow of intention that occupies a role in facilitating distant healing. Our purpose here is to show that the in-flow and the out-flow reside as dual modalities on either side of the quiet mind, and that self-awareness can arise between these two flows. We have also noticed that narrowly focusing on exotic phenomena, and the seeming omniscience available from ESP, may be just a trap that prevents us from discovering who we really are, and what our actual purpose together here might be.

Psychic abilities and remote viewing are demonstrations of our personal experience with such nonlocal connections in consciousness. Mind-to-mind connections, which transcend our ordinary understanding of space and time, allow us access to expanded awareness, which is entirely consistent with life in a nonlocal world; this connection is what a physicist means by nonlocality. To the healer, it gives rise to what physician Larry Dossey refers to in his book “Reinventing Medicine,” as Era-III healing of a distant patient through the intentionality of the healer. Our knowledge of these remarkable abilities allows us to awaken each morning in wonder at the fact that our expanded awareness is not limited by either time or space. It should have become clear to us by now, that although we reside in bodies, there is more to us than skin and bones. Our quiet moments of self inquiry can reveal what that "more" is.

Stanford Research Institute (SRI) conducted investigations into the human mind's capacity for expanded awareness, also called remote viewing, in which people are able to envision distant places, as well as future events and activities. For two decades SRI's research was supported by the CIA and other government agencies. I was co-founder along with Harold Puthoff, of this once secret program which began in 1972. Our task was to learn to understand psychic abilities, and to use these abilities to gather information about the Soviet Union during the Cold War. We have since found, from years of experience, that people can quickly learn to do remote viewing, and can frequently incorporate this direct knowing of the world -- both present and future -- into their lives.

We do not yet know the physics underlying psychic abilities. However, researchers in the field of parapsychology agree on the undeniable observation that it is no more difficult to psychically describe a picture or an event in the future, than it to describe such a target in the present, when it is hidden from view. It is as though our bodies reside in the familiar four-dimensional geometry of Einstein's space-time, while our consciousness has access to another aspect of this nonlocal geometry that allows us to find a mental path of zero distance to seemingly distant locations. This is how a physicist expresses such an idea, while mystics for the past three millennia tell us from their experience that "separation is an illusion - and we are all one in spirit, or consciousness."

From such experimentation in many laboratories, it is clear that we significantly misapprehend the physical nature of the space-time in which we reside. It is this knowledge, together with our experience, that drives our passion to understand and learn more about the universe and the transformational opportunities offered us.

This article is based on Russell Targ’s new book LIMITLESS MIND (2004: $14.95; New World Library, Toll-free Order: 1-800-972-6657 Ext. 52 or Available at local bookstores and on