by Ingo Swann

08 June 2002
from BiomindSuperpowers Website


A previous essay having to do with superpower processes and layers of meaning discussed concept that all situations and all things have several layers of meaning.

These layers range from the obvious through several kinds of meanings that become increasingly so subtle that they may not at all impinge on the processes of recognition.

The several situations that encompass remote viewing cannot escape from the difficulties this implies, in that information achieved via remote viewing is clearly one of the things that can have multiple layers of meaning.

To get this present discussion started, it needs to be pointed up that what is being referred to does NOT fall into the area of semantic difficulty.

The principal definition of SEMANTICS is given as:

“The historical and psychological study and classification of changes in significance of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development.”

Rather, what is being referred to in this essay is that things and situations have multiple meanings that differ in significance, purpose, or connotation, or in import and implication.

Recognition of such meanings has to be achieved by deducing or inference, or via insight or intuition, etc.

For example, if a fifty-ton rock is tumbling down the hill toward you, the meaning rapidly to be deduced or inferred is that you rapidly better get out of its way – this being a rather obvious meaning.

The one complexity that enters into this discussion is that aspiring and ostensible remote viewers are expected to detect meanings independently of the five physical senses, these senses being considered, in conventional terms, the only real source of deducing and inferring, and which are arrived at via reason and logic based upon a fixed set of postulates.

The contexts of this essay escape the foregoing, and largely dreary, debate simply by accepting that remote viewing is possible - and it is therewith that we can turn attention to the problems of multiple layers of meanings within the contexts of remote viewing processes.

As it is, remote viewers are expected to view things, situations, and meanings without depending on the limited ranges of the five physical senses. This constitutes an activity thought impossible in modernist conventional terms, but accepted as possible in most pre-modern cultures.


To jump into this as quickly as possible, a woman named Hella Hammid proved to be a rather efficient natural remote viewer within the early part of the remote viewing project at Stanford Research Institute in the 1970s.

Hella was an extremely cultured person, a great photographer, and usually a joy to be with.

One day in keeping with a long line of experiments she was participating in, she was given a certain target to remote view. She ultimately sketched a large, hot, steaming teapot with a lid on it, and placed on some kind of crisscrossing tripod support.

However, the designated distant target was a small nuclear reactor.

In standard parapsychological terms, this was a clear miss, and it could be concluded that no remote viewing had taken place, even though she had been very successful in earlier experiments.

Someone (guess who) thought to ask Hella if she had ever seen a nuclear reactor. Except for pictures of nuclear reactor out-buildings, it was thus determined that she had not, nor had she ever studied drawings, photos, or blueprints of nuclear reactor interiors.

So, as an enjoyable outing, we all visited the small nuclear reactor, examined it closely, and then collected schematic examples of other kinds of reactors – which are relatively the same except for size and dimensions. And, when on line, they all produce heat and steam, as well as radiation which must somehow be contained.

At a later date, another nuclear reactor target was sandwiched into her random target pool, and when that target came up she promptly said “Oh, that’s another of those nuclear reactors.”

Now, the reader needs to pay close attention to the following - because this first experiment with Hella proved to be one of the most important benchmarks that ultimately led to training routines being discovered for increasing remote viewing efficiency.


As already mentioned, when Hella did not get the first target correctly, in the standard contexts of parapsychology,, she missed the target, except for some few descriptive similarities in the case of the teapot.

In those parapsychology contexts, such matters as clairvoyance and remote viewing are considered as matters of perception, and so Hella had not perceived the target.

However, when her “failed” experiment is considered not in the contexts of perception, but in the contexts of the signal-to-noise ratio, her “failed” experiment can be analyzed differently.

  • FIRST, in response to the target, she sketched a hot steaming teapot with a lid on it, and on top of some kind of tripod.

  • SECOND, since she did not get the target, her response could be considered as some kind of noise, because her response generated an image that was not an image of a nuclear reactor.

  • THIRD, some of the descriptors in her drawing, i.e., hot, steaming, contained in a pot, are also analogous descriptors of a nuclear reactor if it is on line. A nuclear reactor is hot in several ways, produces steam, and its rods are surrounded by some kind of containment unit. Furthermore, such containment units are seriously supported on foundations of metal struts fixed into cement, etc.

  • FOURTH, the only thing out of place in Hella’s response is that the target had been incorrectly identified as a teapot.

  • FIFTH, when asked if she had ever seen a nuclear reactor or knew anything about them, she replied in the negative.

  • SIXTH, she and others were then exposed to study and orientation regarding facets of nuclear reactors.

  • SEVENTH, when in the future she was given a nuclear reactor as a remote-viewing target, she quickly identified it correctly.

  • EIGHTH, when, in discussing both RV sessions, Hella was asked if she knew why she drew the teapot, she replied something like: “I guess it was the next best thing in my experience, for I had no experience of nuclear reactors.”

Put another way, her meaning-memory banks contained no experience of nuclear reactors, but very good experience of hot, steaming teapots.

The mix of the eight aspects outlined above now needs to be considered.

In studies of how perception works, it has long been held that mental images are formed first, and only then do estimations of their meaning take place.

But, and very briefly, in signal-to-noise theory when applied to the human nervous systems:

(1) Signals first come in
(2) The signals are then, in pre-conscious processing, translated into information-meaning categories, usually by some kind of comparing with meanings already stored in memory banks
(3) If memory-meanings comparable to the signals are found, then mental images can be manufactured and rise into consciousness
(4) However, if no comparable or comparative memory-meanings are available, then the pre-conscious systems segue over to the next best memory-meanings – and mental perceptions and images are then constructed in the light of those
(5) When this happens, the resulting mental-image impressions can be at some distance from the real import of the original signals, but can carry bits of information contained in the original signals

Hella’s first reactor RV experiment was an exact replica of the five steps outlined above.

RV signals had come in, but her memory banks had no comparable meaning-memory storage, and so her pre-conscious meaning detecting processes segued over to the next best memory comparison – which happened to consist of a hot, steaming teapot.

Another way of putting this is that the second best pre-conscious analysis of meaning OVERLAID the import of the original signals – and it was this revelation that ultimately engendered the descriptive phrase of ANALYTICAL OVERLAY within the SRI RV research program.

Within the contexts of that research, neither meaning nor mental images come first.

Rather, signals come first, then meanings of them, and then mental images based on the meanings.

Within the scope of the human nervous systems, signals in-put via any of the sensory detectors are electronic in nature.

The electronic signals are then decoded, via pre-conscious processes, into meaning categories and specifics, and it is the results of this decoding that, in turn, trigger on mental perception of them.

Save to say that signals ARE somehow translated (transduced) into pre-conscious meaning, and then into mental awareness and perception, no one yet exactly knows how any of this takes place.

For clarity, three steps are involved here:

(1) Signal in-put
(2) Meaning comparison within the contexts of meanings already stored in memory
(3) Mental perceptions (feelings, images) built upon the meanings

In any event, within the contexts of RV research at SRI, it turned out that meaning (of things and situations) was the fulcrum of functioning BETWEEN signal in-put and mental images of them.


This is to say that remote viewing does not begin with mental perceptions, whether in the form of feelings or images that are propelled into the state of conscious awareness of them.

Rather, these are the end products of the two preceding steps, both of which are contained in functions that are pre-conscious beneath conscious awareness of them.


As to types of meaning, these may be numerous. But there certainly are at least two general types, i.e., meanings that can be deduced about things and situations in general, and meanings that in particular arise from meaning-memory storage at the individual level.

In explanation of this, it is generally thought, in philosophy anyway, that all things are redolent with intrinsic possible meanings.

But at the individual level, any deducing of meanings is principally confined to the contexts of meaning that have accumulated and achieved storage in the individual’s memory banks.

Therefore, meanings outside the range of the individual’s meaning-memory banks might have little chance of being recognized at all, or might be interpreted only within the contexts of analogous meanings that HAVE achieved memory storage.


Efforts to research and dissect what memory consists of have proven to be extremely difficult.

An excellent consideration of those difficulties is described in a fascinating book published by George Johnson in 1992 entitled IN THE PALACES OF MEMORY, with the subtitle HOW WE BUILD THE WORLDS INSIDE OUR HEADS.

The book sums up the excruciating, but often humorous, difficulties in researching memory, and the very little real understanding that has downloaded from such research.

But the three major parts of the book, “Mucking Around in the Wetware,” “A Brain in a Box,” and “The Memory Machine,” are splendidly readable and should be studied very carefully by anyone interested in remote viewing.

Indeed, if aspiring remote viewers were to read and study only one book, IN THE PALACES OF MEMORY would be it.

The reason is that although it reviews memory research per se, what is discussed in it goes on in the heads of every aspiring remote viewer. And what goes on in the heads of each remote viewer is directly and fully significant with respect to all attempts at remote viewing.

The book is an excellent clear read, easy to understand, and is absolutely hilarious here and there.


Each specimen of our species, each individual, possesses innate and very basic hard drive functions via which “the worlds inside our heads” are built, and are thence characterized by whatever achieves some kind of imprint in the wetware of memory storage.

At some point, usually early in life, the imprinted contents in the wetware begin altogether to function as a memory machine – and can actually do so even if dimensions of the contents are, well, quite sparse, narrow, or thin.

But even so, quite strong reality boxes are formatted within the resulting memory machines, and these are specific to whatever meaning-information has achieved memory storage.


Now, with regard to the processes of remote viewing, some issues that are additionally important need to be pointed up.

The first of these issues is that viewers do not view a remote “target” via their five physical senses.

Remote viewing provides information about things and situations distant in space and time from local surroundings, and if such information proves to have some degree of correctness, it is clearly legitimate to wonder what senses and sensing systems have made the distant information accessible.

Prior to the onset (in the latter three decades of the twentieth century) of discoveries of thousands of cellular information receptors extant throughout the biological networks of human nervous systems, there was hardly anything that shed any light on how interactions with distant information could be possible.

The topic of such receptors has already been discussed at some length in other essays. And so there is no need repeat details here – except to mention that such receptors exist because they are a full part of the human genome – and thus download into all individuals of the species.

Once the combined dimensions of human information receptors are appropriately grasped and understood, it can be seen that the human receptor range is quite astonishing.

As but one example, sensing receptors in the pineal gland, if it is good health, are continuously busy sensing the sun and its changing conditions. This particular sensing is usually taking place beneath conscious awareness of it. But apart from that, it is safe to point up that the sun is at some great distance from Earth, and so it can be thought that pineal gland receptors are remote viewing the sun.

In addition to pineal gland receptors (which also function at the X-ray level), many other receptors of a similar nature have been identified with respect to distant sensing.

And so not only are various kinds of “remote viewing” possible, but they are already taking place throughout human nervous systems, albeit at levels usually beneath conscious awareness of them.

And so arises the second issue mentioned above. This has to do with what does and what does not get into conscious awareness.

This, in turn, has to do turn with how parameters of conscious awareness are conditioned to function.


It is quite evident that the concept of conscious awareness looms exceedingly large in our appreciation of ourselves.

However, it has been scientifically understood since the 1950s that conscious awareness is but something like one part to a million parts that are never incorporated into it – even though the million parts are in constant activity beneath conscious awareness of them.

Furthermore, it has been understood (probably from the Year One of our species) that the small conscious awareness parts of our otherwise incredibly complex and magnificent systems, are entirely susceptible not only to all kinds of environmental conditioning, but also to social conditioning practices erected by humans themselves.

It is commonly thought that social conditioning results from social force, or by selectively educating in certain areas but not others.

And it is in those contexts that people sometimes object to this or that kind of social conditioning, and thereby seek to overthrow or escape from them.

A good example of this consists of the “need-to-know” principle, i.e., who needs to know what, and who doesn’t need to know it, and then preventing the latter from ever knowing it.

But a deeper study of social conditioning easily shows that social control of meanings is at its strategic heart – for socially conditioned individuals can act on meanings they understand, but cannot too much act on whatever meanings evade them.
Indeed, no one, including aspiring remote viewers, can act on meanings that evade them. In this sense, it is not too much to say that the meaning-less is invisible.

It thus emerges that control of meanings is the most active principle not only within the contexts of social conditioning but also within the contexts of whatever the individual does and does not achieve conscious awareness of.

The reader might think that this brief discussion about social conditioning is a needless detour with respect to remote viewing issues.

But an in-depth study of social conditioning practices ultimately reveals that all individuals of our species not only have scads of information receptors, but also have inherent systems for meaning detecting and deducing.

If this were NOT the case, then there would be no need for social conditioning practices whose central objective is to modulate and contain the innate existence of the meaning detection and deduction systems that are inherent in our species.

In 1983, the very world-wise John Kenneth Galbraith published a book entitled THE ANATOMY OF POWER, in which he indicated two things.

First, that social conditioning is set up on behalf of achieving and maintaining social power, and second, that the significance of social conditioning is seriously underestimated.

What Galbraith did not point up, however, is that social conditioning is effective only to the degree that it is successful with respect to modulating and controlling the meaning detection systems that are inherent not only within specific societal groupings, but within our species itself.

Indeed, we know that our species possesses sensing systems that access millions of bits of information, but we also attribute intelligence to the species.

Well, one cannot exactly go directly from inherent sensing systems to inherent intelligence in the absence of inherent meaning detecting systems AND inherent memory-meaning storage systems that accumulate and retrieve meaning bits.

It thus transpires that whatever meanings are imprinted into AND not imprinted into meaning storage systems of individuals has a great deal to do with what does or does not emerge into their conscious awareness.


What all this boils down to in the case of remote viewing is that absent meaning-memory storage can have serious repercussions.

This was demonstrated in the case of the Hella Hammid RV experiment where she got a steaming teapot.

Well, it is fortunate that her RV experiment was only an experiment – for imagine what would have happened if the effort had been an operational one, and intelligence analysts were interested in what was actually at the target location.

In such a case, the analysts would have been told that the remote viewer says there is a big teapot at the location they were interested in.

As it turned out, Hella’s experiment was by no means a failed one, because it brought to light a central problem relevant to the larger scope of all remote viewing processes.

For when it was determined that she had no intimate meaning-knowledge of what nuclear reactors actually looked like, it could also be determined that her meaning-detecting systems segued over to the next best thing her systems held meaning of.

With Hella’s help at SRI, a number of previous “failed” experiments of her’s and of others were reevaluated. It was discovered generally that the “failures” lay in the contexts of absent or misplaced meaning relevant to what was being remote viewed.

In other words, the remote viewer was NOT missing remote viewing, but his or her meaning-memory systems had pockets of absent meanings.


As one last reference here to Hella Hammid, she took a deep interest in this problem, and one of the results was that she became very expert in detecting absent meaning problems in target responses of other remote viewing test subjects.

But as she, herself, first observed, she could not see her own absent meaning contexts because they were, after all, missing in herself.

Well, there are many remote viewing examples of this. And indeed, in the larger picture of all things, it is difficult for individuals to see what is missing in themselves – because whatever it is, IS missing.

Even so, there was yet another significant development with regard to Hella.

After a while in continuing RV experiments, she began to sense elements of targets she was missing.

This enabled her to say one of two things: “I’m missing something about this target,” or “I don’t know what the target is” – and, most importantly, to express this BEFORE her systems segued over to the next best analytical overlay.

There is only one way to explain this change in her pre-conscious processing systems.

Because she had become consciously aware of and interested in this problem, it had taken on meaning within her.

As a result, it is possible to think that new connections had sprouted within and among her synapses and neurons, and a new circuit had formatted thereby. This new circuit thence created jabs of recognition regarding the absence of meaning-memory.

There is only one way to account for this – that the pre-conscious meaning circuits are SELF-CORRECTING when new and meaningful information is added into them – which they absolutely have to be in order to function at all.

Otherwise, there would never be any additive memory growth regarding what can emerge into conscious awareness of them.

It was this particular self-correcting aspect that made an RV training program feasible.

So, this breakthrough of understanding placed the developmental RV project at SRI on very solid grounds with respect to, believe it or not, conventional terms acceptable to the project’s very serious oversight committees. This needs a bit of explaining.

It had long been understood that a tiny portion of the brain is always PHYSICALLY changing at its cellular levels with respect to what is newly experienced or to new meanings that are recognized as such.

The physical changes involve the sprouting of new connections being made among and between neurons and synapses, and elsewhere in the nervous system, that end up as a new circuit that will produce a jab of meaning recognition if and when the experience or meanings are encountered again.

Something along these lines indeed turned out to be the case with Hella after she had consumed a fair amount of written and especially of visual information relevant to nuclear reactors.

From all of this, and specifically from the remote-viewing point of view anyway, it was slowly understood that meaning-memory already incorporated into individual reality boxes, although important enough on average, was not as important as was absent meaning-memory.

But here was a situation that had long been understood in educational systems everywhere: i.e., absent meaning-memory can be filled in by exposing individuals to meaning-information packages that were absent before.

And if the exposure is sufficient enough and seen as meaningful enough, then the synapses and neurons of the brain and nervous systems will do the rest - and the resulting new circuits will be incorporated into the meaning-detecting systems already innately existing in everyone beneath conscious awareness of them.


Now, the whole of what has been discussed so far in this essay might seem somewhat distant to the project of teasing seven layers of meaning out of any given situation or thing.

But don’t count on any permanence of that distance too much, for as will be discussed in a forthcoming essay, meaning-memories are RECOMBINANT.

Therefore, meaning-memories can produce new combinations among themselves, and do so all on their own – and which recombinant process is one format of the superpower we presently refer to as intuition.

This aspect of our species is wondrous, indeed.