While the events so far narrated were subtly beginning to incorporate me into their circumstances, a peculiar reality shift regarding ESP and other psi phenomena had commenced within the public at large.
This needs to be introduced into the history of remote viewing for what it was BACK THEN, and doing so will aid in understanding nuances that were at work behind conventional mainstream knowledge.
The book PSYCHIC DISCOVERIES BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN, by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, had been published in the autumn of 1970.
Since the topic of PSYCHIC discoveries in the Soviet Union was considered nonsense, the book at first got off to a slow start. After all, "behind the Iron Curtain" was the citadel of Marxist-Communist territory, and the science and sociology prevailing there were adamantly based in the philosophy of materialism.
In particular, the adherents of this philosophy stringently (and somewhat frivolously) reject anything which is supposedly tainted by immaterialism -- and which rejection includes, among other important phenomena, the phenomena of psi. This was as true of American materialists as of Soviet materialists.
It needs to be vigilantly pointed up that materialism was the dominant mainstream philosophy of the modernist twentieth century -- at least until the mid-1980s when the concept of post-Modernism arose. Within post-Modernism was recognized that perhaps some factors rejected, arbitrarily and without anything resembling due examination, within the auspices of pure materialism ought to be reexamined.
Something along the same lines had already been going on within, of all places, the cutting edge of physics, that former bastion of pure materialism.
In any event, the publication of PSYCHIC DISCOVERIES... presented the mainstream Western world with something of a dilemma -- and within which certain real, but inconvenient issues were permitted to remain obscure.
In any event, it was largely believed that the Soviets, as entrenched materialists, would vigorously denounce any psychical activities in their Empire.
In fact, though, the book showed that such was not the case, and probably had not been the case for some time.
When the initial shock of all this sort of wore off, the book then quickly became a best-seller. I, of course, ran, not walked, to the book store, obtained my copy and began not only reading it, but studying the hidden "texts" in it.
When I felt thoroughly exposed to its contents, I discussed the whole of it with one of my prized mentors -- Martin Ebon -- who not only had written many books about psi, but who was and still is one of our nation's leading experts on Communism, Sovietology, Russia, all other East European nations, and the KGB before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain. [See, for example, his KGB: DEATH AND REBIRTH. Westport, Conn. Prager, 1994.]
It was from Ebon that I first learned that there "would be," as he said, a distinction about what foreign writers, such as Ostrander and Schroeder, were allowed access to, and what they were not allowed access to. The KGB "would have" no goal of permitting Western access to hidden information, in an Empire in which ALL information was controlled by the KGB machine.
One of the puzzling things about the book was that it did not contain much in the way of the nomenclature which the internal Soviet scientists were openly known to be using -- such as "bio-information," and "bio-information transfer processes." The more correct term for "psychic powers" would probably be "bio-mind powers."
In a certain sense, Ebon said, this shifts the emphasis from immaterialism to materialism, with the added advantage that it incorporates whole-body processes versus thinking of psi only as strange mental phenomena.
This information byte came as a thunderbolt for me. For in spite of ALL I knew about psi phenomena, it had never dawned on me that the phenomena could be referred to under other nomenclature.
But I had known that "psi" was an arbitrary term coined by latter day parapsychologists to incorporate NOT ALL psychic phenomena, but only some of them. "Psi" meant nothing in itself, being only a letter in the Greek alphabet.
I was thereafter introduced to Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder by Mrs. Ruth Hagy Brod (whom we'll intimately meet ahead.) "The girls," as they were fondly called, then came to dinner at my place and we had long talks about what really was going on in the Soviet Union.
As to the title of their book, it differed grossly from their original title. I don't remember what the original title was, but the girls said that the published title was the product of their publisher who thought it a more sexy title and would help sell the book. Which it did.
I may be putting words into the girls' mouths, but a more apt title would have been something like "Power-of-Mind Research Behind the Iron Curtain."
The reason at this point for this slight digression is this. When I commenced work at the lab at the ASPR, I found I was already thinking more of "bio-mind" rather than psi, ESP, OOBE and other Western nomenclature whatnot. Somewhat later in this book, I will show that there is a great functional distinction between bio-mind and mind.
I now invite readers to shift their understanding from "psychic" phenomena to concepts of "powers of bio-mind." Doing so will make it easier to comprehend almost the whole of what lies ahead.