|True skepticism does not begin by being anti-anything. The processes of open consideration and examination (i.e., research) will ultimately establish whether something exists or not. ~ Ingo Swann|
Ingo Swann's Remote Viewing Teaching Method Vindicated
Being schooled in remote viewing by the legendary Ingo Swann wasn’t easy. The Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) methodology that I now teach was originally created for the US military by Ingo and the equally legendary Dr. Harold E. “Hal” Puthoff. As I and the handful of my Army associates were put through our paces by Ingo, we were subject to his rigorous – some might even say grueling – teaching practices.
Ingo used the classical approach, adapted to the requirements of remote viewing. He presented a “lecture,” which was part explication, part interactive discussion, and part interrogation. Ingo demanded that we keep careful, detailed notes – and he often watched over our shoulders and checked periodically to make sure. Once he had passed on everything he wanted us to know on a given topic, he ordered us to write an essay capturing everything we had learned. When we finished our essays – or, should I say, thought we had finished – Ingo would look them over one by one, clucking his tongue at as he red-inked our compositional misdemeanors. “There.” he would say, thrusting an essay back to its author with a sigh. “See what you can do to fix this. I’m sure you will find the correct information somewhere in your notes.”
As I recall, my all-time record amounted to four “do-overs” before Ingo gave me a thumbs up for my essay covering CRV Stage 1.
Arduous as the process was, having gone through it proved invaluable later when I was called upon to oversee input to the Defense Intelligence Agency’s official remote viewing manual and write the final draft. (My dog-eared and heavily annotated original copy of that manual still occupies its spot of honor on my bookshelf, not far from the personal letter Ingo sent commending my colleagues and me for the job we did in capturing the concepts of his training.)
Now, nearly 30 years later, I realize Ingo’s approach to teaching may seem hopelessly old-school to those whose formal education followed supposedly more “up-to-date” methods. But the system worked for me, and I continue to employ it, if somewhat more gently, for my own remote viewing students today.
I’ve had complaints, of course. It is hard work to compose an essay summing up what you’ve learned. You have to consider in what priority to assemble the concepts, then figure out how to bring it all out on paper. But eventually you sort it all out and begin to write. Finally you’re finished, and it’s time to turn your essay in for a critique from the instructor. It can be intimidating, and more than one of my students has balked at the task, moaned, and only grudgingly buckled down.
Over the years I’ve occasionally thought about doing away with the note-taking and essay writing. I have heard of potential customers who might have taken my training, but were put off by the prospect of hard work, and went off to find easier remote viewing training.
Copyright, 2011, Paul H. Smith, RVIS, Inc.
(May be quoted from or used in its entirety with attribution and link fo http://www.rviewer.com)
Still, I could never quite bring myself to get rid of a learning tool that seemed so valuable to helping budding remote viewers embed vital concepts in their subconscious. That is, after all, what the whole process is about. The feeling nagged at me that despite the added work essays made for both my students and me, the learning benefit was worth it. But I had to admit, I had no hard evidence to back up my faith in the process.
Suddenly, my hunch – and with it Ingo’s insistence on this writing-intensive approach – has been vindicated in spades. In a recent scientific study comparing a variety of ways of acquiring and assimilating knowledge, it turns out that writing essays may well be the best way to understand and retain facts, procedures, and concepts.
The prestigious journal Science just reported that researchers at Purdue University compared essay writing to other common study and knowledge-retention techniques and found that essay writing had the strongest impact on later recall of concepts. Tested against essay writing were three standard learning practices: Single-session study; concept-mapping (where the student writes down important concepts and ideas on a piece of paper and connects them in order of how they relate to each other); and the time-honored technique of “cramming,” that is, reviewing material to be remembered many times, hoping to commit the concepts to memory.
Results were surprising. “Retrieval” methods such as essay writing have long been thought to be useful only when you want to see how much learning occurred, but the process of retrieval was believed to have no little learning benefit itself. It turns out not only that writing essays does play a role in learning, but that it is superior to the other methods tested. Essay writing was almost 50% more effective than the two most widely-used study methods, and more than twice as effective as single-session study. In their report, the researchers note that “...the act of reconstructing knowledge must be considered essential to the process of learning” (emphasis added).
Needless to say, essays are even more effective than merely listening to a lecture and jotting down a few notes, as is standard practice in most other remote viewing teaching programs. However, for most people this is not intuitively obvious, it seems. In the Purdue study, when students using the standard methods were asked how confident they were that they had mastered the material, they were more certain that their methods were successful than those writing essays were – just the opposite what turned out to be the real case.
Back in the early 1980s, science was unaware of how important essay-writing was to learning. Yet even at that time, as Ingo Swann and Hal Puthoff were assembling the building blocks for what was shortly to become controlled remote viewing, Ingo got it right. No doubt he was following his own intuition on the matter, and Remote Viewing Instructional Services is happy to continue the practice in bringing to you the best and most thorough remote viewing training available.
Jeffrey D. Karpicke and Janell R. Blunt. “Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping.” Science. Vol. 331: 6015, 21 January 2011.
Defense Intelligence Agency. Coordinate Remote Viewing. DIA: Washington, DC. May 1, 1986.
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