FEEDBACK AND SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION
Before Cleve and I could really get to work trying to zap metals and gasses, I had a serious bout with the flu. At the time I attributed this to the shock of the "new reality" I had experienced -- that plants, of all things could intellectually distinguish between real and pretended intentions.
But more likely the flu came about because of the junk food we ate. Backster was a junkfood junkie, and the Times Square area had an adequate supply of this.
Cleve spent the time recording base line charts of the electric potential shifts of the targets we were going to use. He did not tell me what these were to be, since I was not supposed to know ahead of time.
I took advantage of the flu time spent in bed to consume two new books. As it turned out, the information contained in both of those books was to have tremendous importance in the years to come.
I remind that the concept of remote viewing did not yet exist in anyoneís mind. I also remind that the real story of remote viewing must contain mention and reviews of the technical factors which contributed to its discovery and development.
As you will see ahead, the better part of the contributing technical factors which ENHANCED remote viewing were drawn from scientific papers and sources ALREADY published -- not, however, with remote viewing in mind.
The elements which aided in developing remote viewing were NOT pulled out of thin air, but from published documents of sufficient merit to be accepted by the many oversight committees of the sponsors soon to collect around the remote viewing project.
When this book is finished, it will contain a bibliography of all of those authoritative sources -- and which will greatly aid any other nation wishing to understand and develop some of the superpowers.
The first of those two books was the paperback version of Charles Hampden-Turnerís RADICAL MAN: THE PROCESS OF PSYCHO-SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT [New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1971].
At the time, Hampden-Turner was described as an expatriate Englishman who had graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University. Thereafter, he attended the Harvard Business Schoolís MBA Program, experiencing thereby a culture shock which had "radicalized" him.
At the time, although I was interested in sociology formats, I was not yet very interested in psycho-social development or in radical formats largely because most of them were focused in political formats. But when I had leafed through the book I saw it contained lots of diagrams and organized lists of phenomena associated with creative processes.
Indeed, the blurb on the back cover indicated that Hampden-Turner "brilliantly analyzes the psycho-social development of the creative minority who stand against the dominant modes of their society. He supports his study with a fascinating and impressive array of evidence . . .".
As Iíve established earlier, diagrams and organized lists, especially regarding creative processes, really turn me on -- and Hampden-Turnerís book proved to be a paradise in this regard.
The concept of "Integration of Feedback" is one of the creative process phenomena which plays a very important role in Hampden-Turnerís thinking. And, in the future, THAT concept was to become one of the fundamental structures which enabled the development and enhancement of remote viewing.
It is frustrating not to be able anywhere to find a clear-cut definition of FEEDBACK, or the FEEDBACK LOOP, even in Hampden-Turnerís book. That everyone possesses knowledge of what feedback consists of seems to be taken for granted.
Basically it means that if you do something, then you will experience a reaction or a response because of it.
For example, if, not knowing any better, you touch a hot stove you will get burned.
Thereafter, the knowledge that you will get burned by touching a hot stove is the integrated feedback loop now installed in your awareness and thinking processes. In other words, by experiencing something and by being certain what the result is, we have integrated the feedback into what is also referred to as a "learned AND accurate response."
Basically, we all learn by experiencing feedback. We learn whatís right or wrong by the responses of phenomena we experience as feedback.
In all probability, we learn nothing if no feedback is experienced or available.
I now invite you to remember this feedback thing throughout the rest of this book.
In Backsterís lab, whether I was indeed influencing the plant was indicated by the output of the polygraph. This is called "hard" feedback, and does not depend on my own personal convictions or imaginings.
Such feedback creates certainty that my harmful thought was being received or registered by the plant -- with the result that its electro-chemical response systems got disturbed (i.e., worried).
In his book, Hampden-Turner indicates that feedback results in much higher memory of the significant experiences. No feedback results in less or no memory being stored within the bio-mind systems.
If the feedback loop is examined and dissected, such results in increased intellectual and emotional understanding. The understanding permits integration of whatever is involved.
The feedback loop also permits the organizing of experiences along three distinct lines -- intellectually, aesthetically and functionally -- and thereby enlarges the capacity for further growth and development.
If there is one information point you should remember in this book more than any other, you have just read it -- for the FEEDBACK LOOP was to become THE central issue regarding the development of remote viewing in the years to come.
The second book I consumed while down with the flu was to become on of my many bibles.
I had discovered it one day while browsing in Weiserís occult book store which had two copies of it. I had postponed reading it, even though it contained very many diagrams mostly in the form of box-and-flow layouts.
This was SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION: THE NATURE OF A CONTROVERSY, by Dr. Norman Dixon [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971]. At the time, Dixon was a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Reader in psychology at University College, London.
In my opinion, however, the bookís title was a little misleading. It might more aptly have been entitled INFORMATION-TRANSFER PROCESSES WITHIN THE BIO-MIND SYSTEMS.
The definition of SUBLIMINAL: "Inadequate to produce a sensation or a perception in conscious awareness; existing or functioning outside of conscious awareness."
The idea here is that there is a THRESHOLD which demarks between what we can be consciously aware of and what we are not. This threshold is referred to as the LIMEN.
In a diagram, the limen would be pictured as a line (threshold) with the consciousness awareness above it and the subconscious beneath it.
CONSCIOUS PERCEPTION AND AWARENESS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .LIMEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SUBLIMINAL ACTIVITY CONSISTING
OF PERCEPTIONS AND PROCESSES
NOT PERCEIVED BY CONSCIOUS PROCESSES
- ALTHOUGH CONSCIOUS ACTIVITY OFTEN EXPERIENCES
THE RESULTS OF SUBCONSCIOUS ACTIVITY -
Under other nomenclature, the existence of the subconscious had long been accepted before it was named that in modern times and then somewhat unfairly postured as a new discovery.
But Freud was one of the first to dissect, so to speak, the subconscious and divide it into different areas of activity -- such as the Ego, Id, Anima, Animus, Shadow, etc. -- all functioning beneath conscious awareness of them.
It was proposed, and correctly so, that the elements within the subconscious WERE active ones in their own right, and that they therefore must be incorporated into explaining the sum of human psychological behavior.
This concept was controversial at first, but subsequently accepted.
A new controversy began erupting after World War II, and consisted of two major factors. The first has had very wide exposure; the second very little.
The first factor arose when certain subliminal researchers opined that the subconscious could be influenced by means too subtle to register directly on consciousness awareness -- and that the influences will modify not only subconscious but conscious responses and mental behavior.
Historically speaking, there really should not have been a "controversy" here, because the evidence for this is monumental, and this concept was easily accepted by psychologists.
But the second factor, the one which produced the controversy, had emerged not from conventional psychologists, but from those studying the topics of mind-control, behavior modification, and, above all, the elements of brain-washing.
Those topics WERE controversial, largely because they moved the subconscious too close to -- well, too close to psychological mind-control possibilities and societal management via methods the general public were not aware of.
It can quite easily be shown that public knowledge of this kind of research was suppressed largely by common and unspoken consent among the conventional sciences, and which suppression has been documented by other researchers.
This particular controversy raged mostly behind the scenes until 1973 when a particular book attempted to blow the lid off of it. This was the famous book by Wilson Bryan Key unambiguously entitled SUBLIMINAL SEDUCTION: AD MEDIAíS MANIPULATION OF A NOT SO INNOCENT AMERICA [New York: New American Library, 1973.]
This book gave copious evidence that subliminal "seduction" was indeed being utilized by money-makers to sell products.
The bookís information was produced to little avail, however, since Americans donít really care about such complicated topics, and anyway deeply believe that their minds canít be influenced in such obviously unfair and nefarious ways.
There exists another important factor regarding the subliminal, the one which IS COMPLETELY avoided like the plague even by those wishing to expose subliminal tactics and agendas.
That factor involves the distinct probability that "psychic signals" are received via the subconscious.
This can be explained as probably true. Psychic signals, so called, do consist of very subtle factors too weak to register directly into the crudities of conscious awareness.
The few researchers who have dared to work with this situation, usually Japanese ones, have established that psi, or "psions," are received by subconscious receptors -- and that if the psion-information is to reach conscious perceptions and awareness, then it must somehow penetrate the liminal barrier in order to do so.
In other words, such signals, received by the hypersensitive subconsciousness, must cross the subliminal threshold in order to be detected by conscious awareness.
Since such signals are usually too weak to do this, they can be available only to those with very highly sensitized and refined senses or receptors.
But THIS topic moves dangerously close to the concept that minds CAN be influenced by invasive psychic signals emanating from others -- and as such clearly touches upon the fear the superpowers of the bio-mind engender.
This particular fear was what mostly caused the initial interests of the American intelligence community regarding the mysterious work going on in the Soviet Union -- the possibility of "psychic" mind-control at a distance. And it was in this regard that a "threat analysis" had to be undertaken.
However, so feared is this factor regarding subliminal perception that it is almost completely obliterated.
For example, IF psychic signals are perceived by the subliminal subconscious, then it would seem that the subliminal processes would be of extraordinary interest to, say, parapsychologists.
However, and to my direct knowledge, subliminal perceptions do not figure very importantly anywhere in parapsychology research.
Inclusive of these factors, the controversy regarding subliminal perception had raged since about the early 1950s. In my omnivorous reading I had more or less been keeping track of it since then -- largely because I felt that subliminal information and processes had something to do with creative processes.
Indeed, this aspect had not gone unnoticed by subliminal researchers. [See, for example, SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION AND THE CREATIVE PRE-CONSCIOUS by K. Katz, October 1965, in DISSERTATION ON ABSTRACTS INTERNATIONAL, 34 (4-B), 1751.]
"Pre-conscious" is but another name for sub-conscious, but with the inference that there exists systems of information processing which are "pre" regarding "post" conscious awareness of the information.
Back in the 1950s, along with the revelation of doors of perception, it had already dawned on me that "psychic" signals were seldom consciously perceived because they were too weak or too subtle to register directly in the conscious mind. I believed, during the 1960s, that this connection was surely to be made in the future.
And indeed, as of the 1970s, many subliminal researchers began giving at least brief mention of the relationship of the subliminal subconscious to "extrasensory perception." And such was referred to in Dixonís book.
To my knowledge, Dixonís book was the first to really examine the concept and, most importantly, the FACULTIES, of subliminal perception. Many diagrams in his book give names to a large number of subconscious and conscious faculties which are involved in the processes of subliminal-to-conscious perception.
As he stated, "the hypothesis that stimuli which are too weak or brief to enter conscious experience may, nevertheless, affect a personís NERVOUS SYSTEM (emphasis added) and therefore influence aspects of his behavior" by being processed through a number of information transfer entities.
Here I will direct your attention back to the content of Chapter 2, in which affects on a personís NERVOUS SYSTEM played the seminal role in Kazhinskiís original research, followed on by other early Soviet researchers.
If actual living human beings are considered, there can be little doubt that Dixonís hypothesis is true. We live in an ocean of stimuli we donít perceive or recognize -- and our moods, physical and mental activity, and our behavior can very easily be modified or changed temporarily or permanently by those stimuli.
But what was most electrifying to me about Dixonís book were the many box-and-flow layouts which showed how the human bio-mind PROCESSES INFORMATION of all kinds -- for example, from input of subliminal stimuli to output of cognitive awareness. Iíll not dwell on those processes here because some of them will be illustrated later on in this book.
The concepts in both of the books briefly reviewed above were to play significant roles in the years ahead -- even though at the time I didnít at all conceive of years ahead.
I thought my participation in Cleveís lab would be over when he got tired of me -- and then I could concentrate on my art and efforts to become a writer.