It was comfortable, human . . . warm, soft-leather chairs in a quiet room away from the lasers and bevatrons and whatever else was going on at SRI’s center in Menlo Park. Somehow I hadn’t expected it to be human. I had expected to be plugged into a big steel machine with blinking lights, with white-smocked doctors watching dials and frowning over germ-masks at me, because that’s what advanced paranormal research is in the movies.

I didn’t even change from my civilian clothes. I sat there on the couch and Russell Targ said, “We don’t care what you do outside this room, but while you’re here, you have permission to be psychic.”

He looked at the clock and reached for a miniature tape recorder. “Hal should be there in three minutes,” he said, and switched the machine on.

“It is eleven o’clock on Tuesday, July 18, 1975. This is a remote viewing experiment with Richard Bach as the subject, Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff as experimenters.”

He clicked it off and handed the machine to me. “You can start anytime. Press the button there on the microphone and tell me where Hal is.”

My throat went dry. “You know, Russell, I’ve never been in Menlo Park before.”

“That’s okay,” he said cheerfully.

He did not tell me to close my eyes or open them or to breathe or meditate or anything of the sort. He just asked me to describe where a man was who had been in this room half an hour before, who was now somewhere 300 square miles in some direction, across, roundabout. Describe where he is, please, in detail. I forced myself quiet. I did not remind him that what he asked was impossible, that psychic things are fun to talk about but to sit in this chair, no matter how comfortable, and somehow leave my body – are you asking me to leave my body, Russell?

Hal’s last words as be left to drive to his secret destination were not much help. “See you in the aether,” he had said cheerily, and I had laughed. Now he was waiting for me in the aether and I somehow had to find him, no excuses accepted. I closed my eyes and pressed the switch on the microphone.

As soon as the dark fell behind my eyes, I saw city streets, gray watercolors of asphalt and concrete, as though I hovered on some noiseless gliding carpet a thousand feet over the ground.

My imagination, of course. There’s no place Hal could be that wasn’t on some city block, somewhere. I was just imagining the logical.

But my carpet stopped, and looking over the side I saw Hal’s car pull to the curb just past an intersection. “Got him in sight,” I said in total fake confidence. It was a surreal television picture that I watched in my mind, and all I had to do was to tell the machine what this other me was sending – no incense required, no dim lights, no magic words.

My other me sometimes sent me wrong pictures. What he showed as a tiny steep-roofed building was in fact a gigantic steep-roofed building, and what he showed as parks were tree-lined residential streets. But everything else he sent turned out to be a clear description of a place I had never been.

Mystics for years have smiled mysteriously and told us that we are limited by the world only because we believe that we are limited by it. That it is all illusion for our eyes to accept.

Today, the teachers who once chalked diagrams of matter in solid unsmashable protons and billiard-ball electrons tell us that matter is energy, that space is time, that an electron is not so much a particle or a wave as it is a field of probabilities, not a thing as much as an energy event. That behind solid matter is nothing touchable at all. Modern physics, in short, is no longer physical, and the new scientific method shows up surrounded in adventure.

It is okay to be right, it is okay to be wrong. Let’s pretend it is possible and see what happens. Out of this method we begin to meet aspects of our being that have powers next to which nuclear violences are faint cat’s-puffs in the air.

When I first reaised the implications of the Targ/Puthoff research, I was afraid for their lives – these were established scientists who had found a principle that has made secrets impossible. But it is too late now to burn their files; what they’ve found is already being duplicated and expanded in laboratories and private organizations around the world. As I am coming to know more of the powers that I have, so are thousands of others, so will the readers of this book.

This world-changing, I think, is going to be fun.



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