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Identity & Suffering

Date: 10-03-06
Host: George Noory
Guests: Russell Targ

Physicist and parapsychologist Russell Targ discussed the new book he's co-authored, The End of Suffering, and also recounted some of his remote viewing experiences. It was back in the days of his remote viewing experiments at the Stanford Research Institute that he first caught on to the idea that he was more than just a physical body. Later, while working for Lockheed Martin, he noticed that engineers tended to die within three years of their retirement. This led him to conclude they had lost the "idea of themselves" and that their lives were overly defined by their work.

In a related vein, Targ commented that some film and music stars such as Elvis and Marilyn had died after their sense of self was stolen by fans. One of the ways to end suffering, he said, is to get away from the notion that the story of your life is who you are. By and large, in our society, suffering comes from inside psychological causes, he argued.

Targ espoused Buddhist approaches to combat this suffering. Happiness comes from not needing anything beyond what you have, he offered. Further, one can get in touch with their true identity-- "a flow of loving awareness," through meditation that switches off the chattering mind. From there, he said, one can move to states of "transcendent" being and doing, and experience the "spaciousness" beyond ego.

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