THE MIND RACE: Understanding and Using PSI by Russell & Keith Harary Targ

THE MIND RACE: Understanding and Using PSI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Mind Race, we're told in conclusion, is between ""your own consciousness"" and ""other forces"": organized religion, cults, materialist critics, mass media, politicians, and all the dehumanizing influences of machine society. Part I of this multi-purpose volume is an update of the remote viewing experiments that physicist/psi-researcher Targ and his colleague Harold Puthoff described in Mind-Reach (1977). Essentially, Targ and collaborator Harary, a clinical psychologist/psychic, report the high success-rate of a few individuals (and themselves) at describing remote sites or small objects hidden in boxes arbitrarily chosen by a random-number generator. Canny readers will raise numerous questions--such as the need for a second experimenter to be at the site (the beacon). Later reports, indeed, show that this presence is not necessary--and that, plus other variants, leads to elaborate, sometimes muddled discussions of what kind of psychic phenomenon is involved, rime reversal, causality, and the like. Clearly Targ is no longer looking for some rational explanation, such as low-frequency radio waves, as a basis. Part II deals interestingly and sensibly with cults, describing Harary's first-hand experiences with Jonestown survivors and with Jeannie and Al Mills, ex-People's Temple members who were later round murdered. There is a good analysis of media coverage of psi--the spate of films and TV shows that add their own bizarre obfuscations--as well as of the problems serious researchers face with the crazies, the incredulous, and the unscrupulous. Part III is an attempt to explain to readers how to develop their own psychic powers: mainly a lesson in relaxation and paying attention to all sensory channels, and fine for its type. But instead of leaving well enough alone, Targ and Harary raise the sinister specter of psi being used for evil. They allude to the Russian psychic Kulagina (considered a fraud by some), who could cause animals' hearts to stop; they let a Russian psi researcher add an epilogue suggesting that Soviet psi research is largely directed toward remote-influencing of people's behavior. Uneven in the aggregate--with nothing on the remote experiments themselves that will shake belief. . . or disbelief.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Villard/Random House