Stephan Schwartz is one of the world’s foremost researchers of consciousness, one whose interests and areas of expertise cannot easily be pigeon-holed by category. He has published dozens of scientific papers on topics including remote viewing, creativity, consciousness, intuition, therapeutic intent, as well as earlier works on the history and philosophy of science and on geopolitical and strategic analysis.
In 1971, after serving on the editorial staff of National Geographic magazine, and as editor of Sea Power magazine, he was offered the position of Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations. In this role, he wrote speeches for political figures including the Chief of Naval Operations and the President of the United States. He left government to write his first book, The Secret Vaults of Time, which has been in continuously in print for over 30 years, and is considered a classic in the field. He, then, began his own work as an experimentalist, along the way co-founding The Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, now a subset of the American Anthropology Association, as well as being a co-founder of the International Society for Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, and the founding editor-in-chief of Subtle Energies, the society’s peer-reviewed journal of the. Much of his seemingly boundless energy is currently devoted to the Schwartzreport, (www.schwartzreport.net), a website with over 60,000 readers that he updates daily, focusing on trends he considers vital to understanding where human society is headed.
In addition to Secret Vaults, Schwartz is the author of several books including Remote Viewing: The Modern Mental Martial Art; Mind Rover: Explorations with Remote Viewing; and The Alexandria Project. On his personal website, www.stephanaschwartz.com, he makes available, at no cost, a selection of his papers as well as magazine articles for publications such as Smithsonian, and American Heritage. His website also has links about his many CD and DVD presentations and courses.
Schwartz is best known for his studies of remote viewing. In this interview with Daniel Redwood, he describes the rigorous scientific methods he has employed, first to confirm the reality of communication at a distance, and then to determine that it occurs by some means other than electromagnetic sending and receiving. Among his many projects, Schwartz has also used remote viewing to locate previously undiscovered archaeological sites including the site of Columbus’ caravel from his fourth and last voyage, the Ptolemaic Palace Complex of Cleopatra, Mark Anthony’s palace in Alexandria, and the remains of the Lighthouse of Pharos, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Schwartz’ intriguing 2050 Project involved interviews with over 4000 people, who were guided into a state of nonlocal awareness and asked to project forward to the year 2050 and answer a series of questions about what they saw there. A discussion of the remarkable agreement among participants on a wide range of future developments comprises the second half of this interview.
Schwartz hosts an annual conference. The Fourth Annual Schwartzreport Conference on Issues in Consciousnes will be a two-day practicum, Accessing Nonlocal Mind Through Remote Viewing: The ‘How to’ Intensive Seminar. The conference will take place November 3-6, 2005 at the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach. For information, call (800) 428-3588 or visit www.schwartzreportconference.com.
REDWOOD: What first led to your interest in using the scientific method to study consciousness?
SCHWARTZ: I had a number of personal experiences that made me aware that there was more to consciousness than I had previously thought. I had been raised in an utterly secular house and had not ever thought much about issues of consciousness, or if I did, I probably thought it was just the result of biochemical processes in the brain. I didn’t see anything extending outside of your skull. So my worldview at that point – this is when I’m about 23 – was materialist, to the degree that I thought about it at all. Then I had some altered state of consciousness experiences, spontaneously, nothing to do with drugs, and I realized that in the timelessness of the moment of the experience, there were other ways to think about consciousness.
So I started reading metaphysical literature very extensively. It took me about four years. I read all of the Edgar Cayce readings from start to finish, I read Rudolf Steiner’s works, Blavatsky, Ernest Holmes, as well as many more writers from what, in the early 20th century, was called the New Thought Movement. I found this curiously unsatisfying because it sort of lived in a parallel world with science. They didn’t really have very much to say to one another. But what I extracted from those years of immersion was not the things that were specific, but the things that were general to all of these people.
Because when you strip away the speculative or personal biases that each of them have, you get a sort of essence that is common to all of them: that there is an aspect of consciousness that exists outside time and space, that people who have these experiences experience them as a timeless time, that there is a sense of connection with a greater whole. And a sense that all consciousness, in whatever form, is related, whether it’s single celled organisms or human beings. So as I read the material and extracted these fundamentals out of it, it seemed to me that it ought to be possible to use the tools of science to find out what was really going on.
REDWOOD: Did you find a body of work already done by other people that you could draw from, or did you have to start from scratch?
SCHWARTZ: Yes, I found that parapsychology was a discipline specifically set up to design protocols that would extract the aspect of this expanded consciousness from normal waking awareness. And that there were protocols for blindness and randomizing and ways in which you could tease out the information from the background noise. In physics as well, there was a lot of material that was beginning to develop. This is 1965 or 1966. There was starting to be a lot of discussion in physics and biology about consciousness. I was struck by the quality of the people who had gone before me – William James, J.B. Rhine, Charles Richet (who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1913 and who founded the Institute Metaphysique in France), and many others. Sinclair Lewis, who we usually think of as a social commentator, had done a number of experiments with his wife, which he had written up as a book, for which Einstein wrote the introduction. Harold Sherman, a writer in New York, had worked with Sir Hubert Wilkinson, receiving impressions that Wilkinson was sending back from the Arctic. I discovered that there were bits and pieces of stuff that had been done for quite a long time, at least dating back to the 1870s. Significant players in science had taken this very seriously, had looked at it and made attempts to help us understand how these aspects of consciousness work. Following in their footsteps I thought would be a very useful thing to do. I had been working at the National Geographic and then got drafted. When I came out of the service, I was primed, I think, to have these timeless experiences that I mentioned earlier.
REDWOOD: Primed how?
SCHWARTZ: I was working in New York as a screenwriter and I broke up with a girl I had been courting for seven years, I finished my job, and I went to a party that Truman Capote gave out at Fire Island. I looked at all these people and I looked at my life, and in an instant, in a timeless moment, I saw that I was wasting my time; that most of the things I thought were important really weren’t, and other things, which I had dismissed as of not much consequence, actually were very important.
So I left New York and came back to Gloucester, Virginia, where my family lived, and through an odd set of coincidences was introduced to the Edgar Cayce material. Reading this material helped me to see a way through. I thought it would be a really good thing to make a contribution to understanding this aspect of the self. I thought there was no reason that you had to abandon science to understand expanded awareness. In fact science offered a way through that gave you both intellectual rigor and access to this expanded awareness. So that’s what got me started. I discovered I was happiest as an experimentalist, and began thinking about how to do consciousness research. I decided that the way to get at the problem, for me, was to begin what I then called distant viewing.
REDWOOD: Among your early ventures in this realm were some archaeological explorations using remote viewers.
SCHWARTZ: I got interested in archaeology, not because I’m an archaeologist but because I wanted to find a scientific protocol in which you could very clearly isolate the perceptions of the viewer so that fraud or fakery was eliminated. There were obvious benefits to the archaeological approach. Everybody agreed that everyone was blind to the correct answers to the questions I was asking, so the only way you could get the answer was by moving into this expanded awareness. In an archaeological experiment the answer will only be known in the future. Actually, before archaeology I had in mind locating black holes [in space], which were just beginning to be talked about at that point. But I discovered very quickly that no one was going to give me time on a telescope to do that.
What else could you do, I thought? Pondering this I realized that almost every time I read something about archaeology, the discoveries seemed to be mostly serendipitous. You know, a bunch of peasants are digging a well and discover a tomb, or hunters take shelter in a cave and discover an Early Man site. Most of these archaeological sites at that time were not found by design, but by serendipity. For archaeologists the game really got interesting only when they had the site. Then, there were lots of things they could do to figure out what it meant, what the site was telling us. But the location part seemed to be a real problem. And I thought, that’s perfect! I could get viewers to describe where a site was located, and then describe what would be there, what things looked like at the site. For instance, if a man tells you, “You go to a place 200 miles away and there you’re looking for a big oak tree, and underneath the oak tree you dig down and you find the carbon zone where the fires were, and you’ll find the axe heads and the remnants of the pottery.” And then you actually go those 200 miles to that location and discover that there is such a tree and that the surface geographical description is accurate, and you can locate the place that they described, and you locate the carbon zone and the axe head and the pottery. You’ve got to ask yourself, “How did they do that? What part of them understood where that was? Because it’s clearly not something they’re doing with their intellects. And so archaeological research just seemed perfect for this sort of task and I began developing a protocol for using this awareness in the service of locating and reconstructing archaeological sites.
REDWOOD: What success did you have?
SCHWARTZ: We had a lot of success. That was part of what kept it going. By the early 1970s I had developed the protocol for how to do it . . . Along the way, I discovered that scientists had been using nonlocal awareness for a long time in locating archeological sites. Norman Emerson, the founder of Canadian archeology was one . . . I wrote a book called The Secret Vaults of Time, which I finished in 1976. It essentially was the textbook I wrote to teach myself how to design the archeological protocol.
REDWOOD: Then what happened?
SCHWARTZ: If you read the research literature of the period, and still today, you will see much of it is couched in what might be called the electromagnetic model. People talk about senders and receivers and signals. I’m sending you a message, or I’m receiving what you’re sending. One consciousness is sending something to another consciousness. But the more I thought about it the more that seemed wrong. I understand now, looking back on it, why that view developed. Many of the people who were pioneers in the development of radio and electromagnetic research were also very interested in expanded consciousness. It is the nature of human beings to try to get an explanation for things. So they developed a radio model, that we were all radio receivers, like walkie-talkies, going around sending stuff. But that didn’t make sense to me. There’s only so much electrical energy the human brain can generate. How can it possibly be sending it out all over the Earth? It just didn’t make sense.
But the fact that it didn’t make sense to me didn’t mean that it was wrong. You have to prove that it’s wrong by experimentation. When I was the Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, I had learned about some classified research done by Academician Leonid Vasiliev, in the old Soviet Union. Academician is the title accorded a kind of super-professor in Russia. I think there are less than a hundred of them in the whole country today. Vasiliev had asked what I saw as a fundamental question: Is this sense of heightened awareness an electromagnetic phenomenon?
And to answer the question he had begun doing experiments with people in Faraday cages, which are a kind of electromagnetic screening cage that blocks out radio waves. He had put people in Faraday cages in the bottom of caves and mineshafts, only to discover that such shielding didn’t make any difference. The people who were providing the nonlocal consciousness data did just as well as they had when they were on the surface just sitting in his lab.
REDWOOD: So there had to be some other means of transmission.
SCHWARTZ: Not transmission, but let me get to that. Vasiliev was a very methodical guy, a very fine researcher. He broke the electromagnetic spectrum down and he began shielding for each little piece of it. And finally, he got down to the point where the only thing that was left was ELF, extremely low frequency. These are large wave forms, huge, on the order of miles, as opposed to smaller wave forms in higher frequencies. What made ELF interesting to both Vasiliev and me was its tremendous penetrating power. It has the ability to go through physical barriers. Only deep submergence in sea water provides a shield against it. And Vasiliev said, what you really need to do [to test it] is do experiments in a submerged submarine. He started in the Fifties and Sixties. This was around when Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, had been built by the U.S. Navy.
There was a story reported by French journalist in which he wrote that there had been a [United States military] telepathy experiment in a submarine. While I was working for the Navy I had gone looking for this experiment. I even asked Admiral Hyman Rickover if it was true, and he said no. I kept trying to track it down and confirmed that this experiment had never been done, although it had been canonized by repetition in many popular magazines. Like the Philadelphia Experiment — the idea that the Navy dematerialized a ship — the submarine experiment had never happened.
But these things get repeated, they become like urban legends. What happened is that Vasiliev is working away and the KGB [the Soviet intelligence agency] gets wind of this experiment, and they believe that it hashappened. So they think, oh my goodness, the Americans are developing this program and we need to develop a program, too. So they develop a program of which Vasiliev becomes a part. He keeps going but he can never quite get to the submarine part. He finally eliminates everything but ELF. And he says ELF is the only explanation, if the phenomenon is electromagnetic.
I’m working at this point in the Navy. I go to Rickover and ask if he’ll put a remote viewer aboard a submarine to do some experiments. He listens to me but he finally says no, that the media will get hold of it and make it a scandal. It will cause a lot of problems and there’s no upside. So I was not able to do it while I was in the Navy. But I talked to a lot of people about this experiment . . .
REDWOOD: And eventually you got access to a submarine.
SCHWARTZ: I had written The Secret Vaults of Time, and had gone to Los Angeles to take a fellowship when I ran into two friends, Don Walsh and Don Keach, who are two of the legendary figures in deep ocean engineering. Don Walsh had made the deepest dive that will ever be made, to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench in the Philippines. Don Keach was the guy who found the lost hydrogen bomb off Palermo, Spain. They had retired from the Navy and had taken over the Institute of Marine and Coastal Studies of the University of Southern California. They knew of my interest — we had been friends for a long time — and they let me know that they had a submarine coming down to do its sea trials off their facility in Catalina. They said, “We’ll give you a submarine for three days.” This is 1977.
That was incredibly exciting, because it meant the experiment both Vasiliev and I longed to do could finally be carried out, which would answer the question, “Is psi electromagnetic?” And I thought that as long as I’m doing that, I’ll also see if it is possible for remote viewers to locate a previously unknown wreck on the sea floor, because that’s a wonderful blind experiment. Everybody can agree on what we don’t know, so if they find something that we didn’t previously know, there’s no way someone can claim that they snuck out at night [and cheated]. The water’s too deep.
Also, I had an idea that it was possible to get information from the future, a testable bit of information from the future that could be acted upon.
The submarine experiment, which became known as Deep Quest, took place in the summer of 1977 in the waters off of Santa Catalina Island which stands off the Los Angeles coast. Using a small submarine called the Taurus, a little research submersible, the research had three parts, the archeological part, the electromagnetic question, and what I was calling associative remote viewing. Anyway, as I was planning this experiment, I met Russell Targ and Hal Putoff, two laser physicists who were running a classified government program at SRI [formerly Stanford Research Institute], as well as a third, nuclear physicist, Edwin May, who was beginning to work with them. Russ and Hal had just published a very fine paper which paralleled much of my own thinking. So I invited them to participate in the experiment with me.
To begin, I got a standard basic sea chart from a sailing store and asked several people to locate a previously unknown wreck on the sea floor, to mark it, and to describe what would be found there. They sent back their charts and there were a number of locations, some of which we knew to be correct. But there was one for which the Bureau of Marine Sites of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the organization responsible for knowing where all the wrecks were, had no record. It was a location that all of the people had picked, and they had described the same thing. They had described a sailing ship that had a small steam engine on the deck,
REDWOOD: You’re saying that all of the people tested identified this exact same location?
SCHWARTZ: Yes . . . the remote viewers, some of whom are now very well known, picked a number of places, but they all picked this one place and described very specifically a sailing ship that had sunk about 90 years before. The steam engine had caught fire, the ship had sunk, and they said we would find the aft helm of the ship lying with the wheel down and the shaft coming out of it, and they drew pictures of these things. They said that we would find a block of granite (5 by 6 by 7), something you would never expect, and that we would find a steam winch at the site. I had a clear location and clear descriptions of what ought to be there if it was correct. On the first day of the experiment we put two of the viewers down in the submarine and got them to describe where Hal and Russ, who were up in Palo Alto, California (while Taurus was underwater off Catalina), were hiding. They had had a computer generate a bunch or targets, places where they could go hide, and in one case it was a great tree on the edge of a cliff. And one of the remote viewers said there’s this great big tree and they’re climbing in the tree. And, of course, that’s exactly what they were doing.
Now we were submerged in the submarine, so that the seawater was all around us and filtered out the ELF. Because, as it happened, just before we did this experiment, the U.S. Navy was also interested in ELF, because they wanted to use it to communicate with the “boomers,” the submarines with missiles that stay down a long time. The Navy didn’t want them to come too close to the surface because then the [Soviet] satellites from overhead would pick up the heat signature from the reactors. So the Navy had spent about $100 million studying how deeply ELF penetrated seawater and how such a system might work. So we knew exactly how deep we had to go to get past the ELF threshold. And that’s what we did. When we got there, Ingo Swann [a remote viewer] said, “They’re hiding in a shopping mall. There are big glass windows and there are people all around. There’s red tile on the floor. There’s this big turning wheel.” And it was exactly right. That was a big success, because it meant we now knew that these aspects of consciousness were not electromagnetic, and that we are not like walkie-talkies. Nothing is being sent, nothing is being received. There is just a sense of knowingness.
REDWOOD: What about finding the sunken ship?
SCHWARTZ: The next day, we had the surface ship drop a radio homing device at the site where the wreck was supposed to be, so that we would only home in on that wreck. And, in fact, the submarine crew, who had been diving there for weeks before we got there, said, “We have been all over this area and there’s nothing there, nothing remotely like what you’re describing.” So the homing device is going “ping, ping, ping.” When the signal gets louder, you’re going in the right direction. When it gets fainter, you’re going in the wrong direction. Well, low and behold, “ping, ping, ping,” and there it was!! Everything exactly as they described it. The big block of stone, the steam winch, the aft helm with the wheel down and the shaft pointing up. I think everybody, including me, and certainly the people the submarine, crew, and the guys at the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies, everyone was kind of stunned by this.
I should mention that I filmed all of this, made a movie out of it, which is still showing either on the History Channel or the A&E Channel.
REDWOOD: What’s it called?
SCHWARTZ: Psychic Sea Hunt. It was all filmed real time as it happened. I originally filmed it just to make an archival record, just as I invited Ann Kale of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, then the head of Earth Applications Satellite Research Group, a senior scientist there, to come along and witness everything and to hold all the records. I wanted to be certain that we had a clear, unimpeachable chronology of when they made the predictions, what the predictions were, and what was discovered on the site.
The Deep Quest experiment set me in motion for what has become, really, a life’s work. There was the Alexandria Project, where we discovered Cleopatra’s Palace, the Caravel Project, where we found remnants of Christopher Columbus’ caravel [sailing ship], and others. They set in motion this approach, and what we have learned is that it’s as easy to see something that is far as something that is near. Distance doesn’t make any difference. It is as easy to see something that happens tomorrow as it is to see something that happens today.
Seen from this perspective the world is organized differently, but it is still lawful, and that’s the important thing.
REDWOOD: Can you give us an example of how things are different?
SCHWARTZ: In nonlocal awareness the emotional charge associated with a target might prove to be more important than its physical characteristics. Also that the emotion associated with a target makes it easier to see. For instance, it is easier to see a religious shrine than a rice paddy. Why is that? Because the religious shrine is numinous, a term coined by Carl Jung.
REDWOOD: Can you expand on that a bit?
SCHWARTZ: Individual acts of intentioned observation, particularly when they occur when you are in a heightened emotional state, create a kind of field effect, and the aggregate of thousands and thousand of little acts of intentioned observation make a target shine in nonlocal consciousness. [This is also true] where there is entropy (that is, where there is some transmutation, such as matter to energy), like a nuclear reactor. Those kinds of things make very good targets; they’re very easy for people to see. So there are rules, it’s lawful. Once you get the rules, you can design experiments that are better able to yield good information.
REDWOOD: Anything else?
SCHWARTZ: We know, for example, based on work done by Michael Persinger in Canada, James Spottiswood in Los Angeles, Ed May in Palo Alto, that geomagnetic field strength, the magnetic field of the Earth itself, has an effect on your ability to perform well. When the earth’s geomagnetic field is strong and there is a lot of solar turbulence — which affects the earth’s field — people don’t do very well when asked to access nonlocal awareness. When the field is quiet and unruffled, they do better. People who meditate, for instance, do better than people who don’t meditate. The reason, we think, is that this kind of awareness is partly a function of your ability to focus; it’s a coherence phenomenon. It is not a coincidence that almost every training that attempts to teach how to make contact with this aspect of the self emphasizes focus, whether it’s a martial art or a meditative art, or some sort of spiritual path.
REDWOOD: Many roads leading to the same destination?
SCHWARTZ: Yes. When you strip away the differences, you get down to the commonality. And the commonality is focus. There are two ways to achieve it. One is neurotic obsession. If you think about all the psychics you have known over the years, you will probably remember that many of them have weight problems, or alcohol or drug problems. They have very complex emotional family situations. They develop neurotic behaviors, personally relevant rituals that they become very protective of, and the reason they become very protective is that they associate their ability to access this aspect of their consciousness with these obsessive focusing behaviors. It’s the focusing that’s the important part, not the behaviors. But they often don’t see it that way.
The other way to get at it is through the disciplined development of some kind of technique which allows you to focus your consciousness. Meditation, whatever kind you do, turns out to be the best of all these techniques. It gives you the ability to sit quietly for a period of time, without constantly having the chatter of your mind going on, and it’s in those quiet spaces that these experiences of access are most easily achieved. So meditators do better than non-meditators. We have learned over the years that extraverts and introverts have very different ways of accessing nonlocal awareness, but they get to the same place. I say to people, particularly when they get fixated on “this is the only way it can be done,” that there’s only one mountain in town and it’s an illusion, so how you get up it is purely a matter of personal taste.
REDWOOD: The project of yours that I find most intriguing is the 2050 Project. Could you tell us about that?
SCHWARTZ: That’s another variant of all this. When I was in government, I was asked to participate on a committee that the Secretary of Defense and the president of MIT put together, called, “Innovation, Technology and the Future.” And then I was asked to host a television program called, “Conversations at the Smithsonian: Innovation, Technology and the Future.” So I began reading a lot of futurist stuff. And if we all look back at what we were concerned about in the 1970s, the great fear was overpopulation, that we would run out of natural resources, nuclear war, just dreadful stuff. That was the settled wisdom of the futurists. If you read the futurist literature of that period, the Club of Rome or Paul Ehrlich’s work, that’s what it was saying. Well, none of it turned out to be true. So by 1978 I could see that pretty much all of what we had said about the future was wrong. And as I began to look at it, I realized that almost all predictions about the future are wrong. Not just details, but even the broad trends are not correct, despite the fact that people who write them up are very smart and diligent.
So I thought that if we could use remote viewing to accomplish all that we had already done, why couldn’t we get it to look at the future? This made me think, well, how far into the future would you go? Reading about various kinds of predictions, I realized that if you get even a century or so down the time line, things change so much that they become incomprehensible. As an example, if you had tried to explain the Internet to your grandmother 80 years ago, what would you say? I have this box on my desk and it links me up with a box on every other desk in the world, and it also stores all the information, and I can get it all and transmit. It’s incomprehensible. If you were talking to a 17th century thinker, how would you possibly explain either the technology or the cultural effect of television? “There’s a box that sits on a table and it’s got dancing people in it.” The whole concept is very hard to get hold of. In the late 19th century, before Pasteur, people couldn’t think of germs.
REDWOOD: Somewhat along these lines, I read in the paper today that last year in Boston a paralyzed man became the first person to send an email with his thoughts. There was a chip implanted in his brain that enabled him to do this.
SCHWARTZ: Really! Well, all of these kinds of things led me to realize that I should not go too far down the timeline, because I wouldn’t understand what I was being told. So I settled on the year 2050. And in 1978 I began collecting this data, and I’ve gotten about 4000 people to do this. I asked them to go forward in time to the year 2050 [while in a state of nonlocal awareness] and to describe what they see, what people wear, what kind of health care is there, very mundane stuff. How do you pay for things, what does your house look like, how many people live in your area. Not big, grandiose questions, just mundane stuff. How many children do you have? How do the children communicate? How do people travel? And I began to get, immediately, a view that was utterly different than the view that I had expected. It contradicted just about everything that I thought the future was about.
REDWOOD: What did they see in 2050?
SCHWARTZ: First of all, virtually every single person said that there is no overpopulation. Now this was very, very surprising. Because all of the predictions of the futurists were that we were going to have ten billion people and the world was going to crash. The 2050 viewers said no, overpopulation’s not a problem, but underpopulation is a problem in many parts of the world. I couldn’t figure out what that meant. But now we know that no Western democracy has a sustainable birth rate. The only reason America has a sustainable birth rate is because of immigration. The Japanese, for instance, are beginning to really seriously consider what happens when Japan becomes a fragment of its former self. There are now about 130 million Japanese, and the Japanese ministries are producing studies projecting that by 2050 there’ll be about 60 million, about half the population they have today. That produces a very different looking country. The Italians don’t have a sustainable birth rate. It goes on. The Islamic countries are among the only ones that do have sustainable birth rates.
REDWOOD: These projections don’t factor in major epidemics or wars.
SCHWARTZ: The 2050 viewers also started talking about this blood disease. They said it came out of Africa and it crossed over from primates into human beings because they killed the primates and ate them. They said it swept across the world and killed millions and millions of people. This was the late 1970s, and I had no idea what that was. When I kept getting this I went to a friend who was, I believe, the Deputy Director of Cardiovascular Research at the National Institutes of Health and asked him, “What is this?” He said, “I haven’t a clue.” Not a clue. Then a few years later AIDS entered the scene, and of course we now know that AIDS crossed over from primates and came out of Africa, exactly as they described.
I asked them, “ Has there been a huge nuclear cataclysm?” Because, if you remember, this was during the Nuclear Freeze period when everybody was really seriously worried about nuclear exchange, atomic war. And these people said, “Nope, that didn’t happen.” They said one of the great powers has fallen (this is before the Soviet Union fell). Can you imagine anyone in the 1970s talking about the Soviet Union falling? So I said, “Oh, so things get better.” They said, “No, they get more dangerous.” Now, instead of having relatively stable conflict, you have all these little pockets of conflict that grow up, and they “tear the world apart,” is the way they described it. Now we can see the process. But at the time I was getting this in the Seventies and Eighties, the idea that international terrorism and fundamentalist Islamists were going to become a major issue in the world, there was no one who predicted that.
REDWOOD: What were some of the other key areas of agreement among most of the people involved in this 2050 project?
SCHWARTZ: That there has been an energy revolution, that energy is no longer an issue. There’s some decentralized kind of energy. This is a case where even though I was only looking less than a hundred years into the future, the descriptions don’t mean anything to me or anyone else that I’ve shown them to. All I can tell you is they describe this thing, that’s probably three feet high and maybe three feet wide, like a big box. There are various sizes of them. They sit in either individual homes or in neighborhoods and they provide power. In 2050, nobody thinks much about power anymore. I can’t tell you what it is. I thought for a while that it was cold fusion, but we don’t know yet whether cold fusion is real. I just don’t understand. They try to describe it to you, but the technology has not yet been invented, the concept is not here yet. People say, “Well, it’s a box.” I said, “Does it get very hot?” thinking there might be something inside the box. They said, “No, it just kind of hums along and produces power. So I said, “How does it do that?” and they said, “Well, there are these wires.” The net of it is, there has been an energy revolution, that’s a big one, and also a medical revolution. Most illnesses, most chronic illnesses have disappeared. Multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy. The chronic genetic diseases have largely disappeared because they’re engineered out at birth, or at pre-birth.
REDWOOD: Engineered out a birth worldwide, or just in areas of affluence?
SCHWARTZ: That’s a really interesting question, Daniel. I think that is one of the central questions that we face. You know, when we think about what’s going on in the world, we get lost in the local epiphenomena of the news, and we don’t really see the bigger trends. That’s why I started the Schwartzreport (www.schwartzreport.net), to look at long range trends.
One of the things I’m very concerned about is that I foresee the rise of a homo superioris, that another species is going to be created. That the affluent technologically advanced countries will have access to this and that the non-technological countries won’t. You can already begin to see this, as genetic engineering continues to develop. The genome has been mapped, and we’re beginning to figure out where the switches are that turn things off and on.
People are going to order up children. You know, you want to have a child, so you go in, and you’ll see some kind of health professional whose specialty doesn’t exist at the moment, and they’ll flip the switches. You’ll say, “I want a child that’s as smart as Stephen Hawking and as athletically endowed as Michael Jordan, and is as good looking as Angelina Jolie.” Out of that will come this race of people, this subspecies of people who get engineered. And they will in turn pass this on to their progeny, and over centuries (this isn’t all going to happen by 2050), what’s going to happen is that the human species is going to diverge. So that people who do not have access to these technologies will continue to have illnesses, but people who are affluent will be able to avoid most of the chronic illnesses. People won’t be born nearsighted anymore, diabetes will disappear, heart disease and hypertension, all of that. That’s going to get tweaked. So our children or our children’s children will benefit from that and will look very different.
REDWOOD: So revolutions of the future might involve trying to spread this democratically to all. Or, more ominously, might also involve dealing with the side effects of what you have been describing.
SCHWARTZ: Unintended consequences are the reason we really need to think about these coming changes. It’s almost impossible, but absolutely critical, for a democracy to do this. In our system, we haven’t really done very well with regard to unintended consequences. We need to do better and could do better. But I could paint you a scenario where the ‘naturals” rise up against the “engineered” and there is a new kind of racial conflict. The 2050 viewers said that racism doesn’t exist anymore, in the way we think of it. Think of the difference in just our lifetimes, how much that issue has changed. When I was a boy seeing an interracial couple was very unusual but today no one would remark on it. For most young people it’s not an issue anymore. There is a meritocracy arising that trumps race. Not for everyone, I should add, but as a generality. So I think we’re going to be looking in 2050 and beyond at a world where it is much more important whether you got the benefits of genetic engineering than what race you are. And that the more affluent countries are going to control this and benefit from it in ways that lesser developed countries are not.
REDWOOD: The more affluent countries then may or may not be the ones that are the more affluent countries now.
SCHWARTZ: Back when I was in government, everybody was yelling about the Japanese, but from my perspective the real issue was the Chinese. However, I did not see the Indians. The Chinese were obvious, because China is so big and the Chinese have a long history of private sector activity. It was only briefly interrupted by Communism. But if you look at the world that is emerging now, you look at a world where China and India become much more powerful factors in the world than, for instance, France.
REDWOOD: In your 2050 Project, to get from what is relative overpopulation now to relative, or absolute, underpopulation . . .
SCHWARTZ: In some areas.
REDWOOD: . . . was there some sense of what shifted, if it wasn’t a nuclear catastrophe?
SCHWARTZ: Oh, yeah. They said this blood disease (which I now take to be AIDS) is just the first of several that sweep across the world. That’s one of the reasons that I think we need to be paying much more attention to the World Health Organization’s current concerns about this avian flu virus. Because I’ve seen projections [from WHO and others] that it could kill up to a quarter of the human species in less than six months.
I was concerned, being an intellectual futurist, about nuclear war. As I said, this was in the 1980s, around the time of the nuclear freeze movement. So I go to these people and do these sessions — I did hundreds and eventually thousands of them — and they all say no, that’s not what you need to be concerned about. You need to be worried about these diseases that come up and that we’re completely unprepared for. These “bugs,” as they called them. These are non-technical people I interviewed for the most part, ordinary folk, so they don’t use complicated words.
REDWOOD: How did you find these viewers?
SCHWARTZ: They’re self- selected, people who came to conferences or read about it in magazine articles and called me up and I did a session with them. And they very consistently said what you need to be concerned about are these diseases that sweep across the country and kill millions of people.
Aside from the changes I’ve already mentioned, they also said that [in 2050] people don’t travel much anymore. Businesses don’t have to travel anymore. I asked why. The answer was that they have this kind of thing that you put on, and it sort of hooks up with your nervous system and it allows you to project your consciousness into an electronic place, and other people meet you there, and that’s where you have meetings. What? What do you mean? Well, you know, it’s like this thing, and it has wires, and you put it on and it’s like an extension of your senses and you’re not in the reality you’re in, you’re in this other reality, and other people are in there with you. That didn’t mean anything to me.
Soon after, I went up to MIT and I was invited to go up to their computer lab, where they were doing the early virtual reality work. As soon as I saw it, I got immediately that the viewers were talking about virtual reality. You put on something, you project your consciousness into another place, other people can join you there, and it’s interactive. What was happening was, business travelers didn’t physically travel. It takes a long time to fly to Hong Kong. You don’t need to fly to Hong Kong. The people in Hong Kong and you can each go into virtual reality and you can have your meeting. As this gets more and more sophisticated, I can already see this emerging. But when I first started getting these descriptions, they were so incomprehensible to me that I would go over and over this stuff with these people. What do you mean, you put on a thing and project your consciousness? Are you, you? Well, yes, you’re you, but you could also be somebody else. You could be whoever you want. And in virtual reality, that’s true. You could be a wizard or a princess or a pussycat. You can define yourself and the people see you as the princess or the pussycat or the Zorgonian warrior, whatever it is. So they say that in 2050, a lot of business travel is done this way.
REDWOOD: So this is beyond what we call teleconferencing?
SCHWARTZ: Beyond teleconferencing, a next step. They also say that money has almost disappeared. That there’s some sort of central accounting system, not even requiring that you have a card. I can’t figure out whether it’s that you use your thumb print or what it is. But they’re all electronic transactions.
The 2050s say that many people have left the cities, that cities are now quite small.
REDWOOD: Did they say why?
SCHWARTZ: Yes. Because people have organized themselves according to personal taste. Because there has been an energy revolution and there has been another information revolution, which I now take to be the wireless revolution.
Again, this is the 1970s or early 1980s. I got my first computer in 1978 so I understood the idea of computers. They said no, you can carry your computer around with you. I had an early computer called an Osborne, which had a very small screen and weighed as much as a full suitcase. It was a sort of metal box and seemed very slick at the time. I said, “Oh you mean like a portable computer.” And they said, “No, it’s like this little tiny thing.” I’m looking back through this data now, and I think they’re also talking about a national identity chip that gets implanted.
So they said that people didn’t have to be in cities anymore. You could live anywhere you wanted to live because you had energy and you had information access, so a lot of the reasons that people lived in urban settings were no longer operative. What happened is that people sorted themselves out by personal taste. They live in, for want of a better term, colonies, or communities.
REDWOOD: What about the United States as a nation?
SCHWARTZ: They say that the United States doesn’t exist as it presently does. That it still exists as a kind of overarching federal structure that does certain things, but that much control has devolved back to the more local level. There has been a schism, a really fundamental split about how things ought to be done. At the time that I was doing this, no one knew about the red-blue split that increasingly dominates our political landscape today. In the 1970s and 1980s when we were doing these interviews, it wasn’t there. I mean, it was nascently there, but not fully expressed. Anyway, they say that in 2050 the United States does not exist in the sense that it does today. That people have moved out into small communities that are spread out all over the country, because energy and information transmission are no longer restrictive influences. Some of these are like hippie communes and some are militaristic. It’s a kind of re-tribalization process. People like to hang out with people that agree with their point of view and don’t like to hang out with people who don’t agree with their point of view. I think we see that happening. You don’t see a lot of fundamentalists hanging out at bars, for example.
So you sign up for that and find a community that does what you want to do. You can see that already happening on the Internet; you see people sorting themselves out in discussion groups. What happens with greater information transparency is that people who have common interests find one another and they align with those people.
The 2050 viewers describe these communities. Some of them are domed so that they can even control the weather. The weather has become a big deal. This was before global climate change [became a news item], but they described these huge weather changes and I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about. Huge droughts that have rendered parts of the country uninhabitable.
REDWOOD: Which parts?
SCHWARTZ: The Southwestern United States. Look at Phoenix. This week for five days in a row it was over 119 degrees. I mean, imagine living out there if you had to experience that weeks at a time? I worked in the Libyan desert with the Bedouins. When it gets to be over 114, they quit. They don’t work. They go back into their tents, “Come see us tomorrow.” They work from dawn until about nine o’clock in the morning. By 10 o’clock, it’s the full heat of the day and they don’t come out until late in the afternoon.
REDWOOD: So Phoenix as we know it would become unsustainable.
SCHWARTZ: I can’t imagine how they’re going to maintain a city where they’ve got temperatures in the summertime that could typically run 110 to 130 degrees. It’s like breathing oven air. Even now, they’ve got people dying. Then look at Europe, where they’re having a drought and a heat wave, and they lost 15,000 people last year in France, because there’s no air conditioning. The effects on the settled patterns of societies are going to be dramatic. Europeans don’t have any air conditioning in their subways or in most houses. When it gets to be 100 degrees, [some] people die, old people particularly.
I would say as a generality, that as time has gone on the descriptions that the 2050s gave me, have become more and more real to me, more and more accurate. So I’m re-examining all this data to get a sort of second order of information out. Because when I was analyzing a lot of it in the Seventies and Eighties and early Nineties, I just couldn’t understand what they were talking about.
REDWOOD: Were there other significant changes widely agreed upon by the 2050 viewers that we haven’t yet touched upon?
SCHWARTZ: Let’s see. The fall of Russia, global climate change, the diseases, no nuclear war, the energy revolution, the virtual reality revolution. Oh, yes, health care! Very interesting. In the experience, I asked them to go to a place where health care is delivered. Stand outside of it, describe it, now go to the door. When you go in, who do you meet? What do you smell? Odors, textures? And what is it like, health care in 2050? First of all, there is emergency care. You fall off a ladder or have a car accident. There’s trauma medicine which has become very highly evolved. Pharmacological medicine has almost disappeared, because most of the things that people take pharmaceuticals for no longer exist. That was of great interest to me, because I have hypertensive disease, it’s a genetic predisposition. And they say, “Oh, no, all those diseases are gone.”
REDWOOD: Because of genetic engineering.
SCHWARTZ: Yes. We don’t have cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes. Those things are gone. They describe hospitals as being very peaceful and very organic, in a way.
REDWOOD: A bit of a change.
SCHWARTZ: Yes. There’s crisis medicine, it’s clear. One viewer, a rock climber, said she had a bad fall. “I broke my leg and one of my arms, but they took me there and they didn’t have regular casts. They had this thing that they use to put your arm in the right position, and they put it in a little trough, and they spray this stuff and it kind of hardens, kind of like very stiff Jello, like a stiff plastic of some kind that breathes and there’s something they put in so it doesn’t itch.” And she said that they use electricity and thereby cause the bones to heal very quickly. And, of course, there’s now research on this, so that makes sense.
So there’s acute medicine, but the chronic conditions that people are heir to have largely disappeared. So the hospitals are much smaller. Most care is given on an outpatient basis. There is much more emphasis on preventive and maintenance care than on post-illness care. And people don’t stay in hospitals for long periods of time. And they’re not cold, sterile places; they’re nurturing places. But there is this mix of biological, organic medicine, genetic engineering, and mechanical technologies. So it looks very different. And there are lots of little clinics.
They describe a kind of extended village life. The communities sound to me like they are in the 5000-10,000 people range, towns.
REDWOOD: Did the 2050 viewers say much about the economic arrangements in this decentralized setup?
SCHWARTZ: People get together who are interested in the same thing in a town, and they work as a group to produce something.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. As I look at the outsourcing that is going on, where jobs are going overseas, what I think the 2050s are talking about is that people develop skill sets and they market them all over the world because of the information revolution. So it’s a kind of re-tribalization and guilding. It produces a very different social order.
It is not a bleak vision of the future. When you see movies about the future, like The Matrix, it’s always so mechanistic, cold and machiny and inorganic and deadly. I don’t get any of that. Housing is much more energy conserving. I’m just posting an article on the Schwartzreport today about materials we can make buildings out of that will suck pollutants out of the air. So this has already begun. The 2050s are describing constructions that are much more energy efficient, with much better insulation, more organic. They are scaled to people size. And you don’t live in a place where you don’t know your neighbors. People are much more engaged in the community. So it’s not a bad world.
REDWOOD: Did these future viewers talk at all about diet and what we will be eating?
SCHWARTZ: In a way. They talk about communal growing of foods. Also, sanitation is handled differently. They describe something like what is done now in Davis, California where sewage is purified by plants, with pools of organisms that eat the stuff, and out flows fresh water. But not all of them. There are also these militaristic communities where people are very rigid about everything. It all depends on the people.
REDWOOD: You are hosting a conference this fall in Virginia Beach. Tell us about it.
SCHWARTZ: Eight years ago I started the Schwartzreport, which is a daily web publication that focuses on the trends that will affect your future. So it’s not news in the sense that most people think of as news. I don’t do polemics, politically partisan ideological pieces. I do developments that I think are creating trends. In 2001, when I moved to Virginia Beach, I began a conference to focus on one topic area of trends that would affect our future. We’ve done 21st Century Medicine, The History of Remote Viewing, The Physics of Consciousness, and this year on November 3-6, we’re going to do the second part of Remote Viewing. The ‘How to” part. It will be an intensive seminar designed to teach you the techniques that enable you to open to the possibilities of nonlocal awareness. Several of the seminar sessions are experiential so that you directly come to know that aspect of yourself which exists outside of time-space. I suppose I should mention that the protocols taught in this seminar are completely neutral in any religious sense. [For information, call (757) 428-3588 or visit www.schwartzreportconference.com]
REDWOOD: What is the subject of the current book you’re now completing?
SCHWARTZ: I’ve just finished Remote Viewing: The Mental Martial Art, which is everything I know about how you open yourself and allow nonlocal awareness to emerge in your consciousness. The book will be out in the fall of 2005. It’s hard to talk about these sorts of things. The words are hard, you get trapped in the words, because they’re all time and space words. Part of the problem in writing this book was to think about how to conceptualize it so that you could get people to see a way through to how to think about it. Anyway, I have put together everything I know about this subject, and how you can do it.
REDWOOD: Is there anything else to which you can compare Remote Viewing?
SCHWARTZ: The “aha! moment” of genius (when people have breakthroughs), the epiphany of the religious ecstatic, and the experience of the remote viewer describing the place, all appear to be three different forms of contact with nonlocal consciousness, modulated by expectation and intention. By which I mean, the religious ecstatic seeks to see God, and so that’s what the experience comes as. The scientist trying to find a fundamental principle is seeking an insight that will give him an understanding of how the world works. The remote viewer just wants to describe something.
One of the nice things about remote viewing is that it allows you to have an experience of nonlocal awareness that does not disorient you. I hadn’t really realized that until I wrote this book. You know, if I ask you to describe a commonplace object like scissors or a thimble, you have to use nonlocal awareness to do that, but the object is commonplace and ordinary, so it’s not threatening. Whereas, if you have an experience that filters through as God talking to you, it’s extremely disorienting. And so with remote viewing, because it doesn’t have all of that affect, we can study how it works without having to get so involved in the context in which it occurs.
It’s very hard to talk to a religious ecstatic about the physiological dynamics of their experience. They don’t care about that kind of thing. “I’ve talked to God! Who cares?” Geniuses are better, and often do describe the process. But they too, are focused less on that aspect than on what they have seen. Remote Viewing research, because of the relative mundaneness of its targets, allows the process to be studied. And what all of this suggests is that we are all linked in a vast network of life, from the smallest cell to the highest and most powerful person. We are all not only linked but interdependent. That the well being of the one affects the well being of the many, and that as we seek to that which is life affirming, we evoke the best that is within us.
Daniel Redwood, a writer for the past 25 years, practices chiropractic and acupuncture in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Redwood is the author of the textbook Fundamentals of Chiropractic (Mosby, 2003), and Associate Editor of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. A collection of his writing is available at www.drredwood.com. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
©2005 Daniel Redwood