“Remote Viewing” as “Nondual Prehension”: towards greater descriptive precision
I have never liked the term “remote viewing,” because it is not actually a form of “viewing” at all, which involves sense-perception, and I don’t like the word “remote” because it implicates the spatial realm, whereas remote viewing is a practice that implicates the nonlocal realm that transcends space, time and sense-perception. Instead, I prefer the term nondual prehension, because “nondual” implies that we are dealing with a realm beyond the discrete, in which numerical, sequential and metric distinctions have no relevance, since it involves dealing with reality as a cohesive whole without separation of its contents. Indeed, Whitehead himself saw “ Physical facts such as electromagnetic phenomena are single, relational wholes, but they are spread out across the cosmos”, and this pervades his entire metaphysics:
“Whitehead called the failure to appreciate this holism and the relational connectedness of reality, “the fallacy of simple location.” According to Whitehead, much of contemporary science, driven as it was by the dogma of materialism, was committed to the fallacy that only such things as could be localized at a mathematically simple “point” of space and time were genuinely real. Relations and connections were, in this dogmatic view, secondary to and parasitic upon such simply located entities. Whitehead saw this as reversing the facts of nature and experience, and devoted considerable space in SMW to criticizing it.
A second and related fallacy of contemporary science was what Whitehead identified in SMW as, “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness.” While misplaced concreteness could include treating entities with a simple location as more real than those of a field of relations, it also went beyond this. Misplaced concreteness included treating “points” of space or time as more real than the extensional relations that are the genuine deliverances of experience. Thus, this fallacy resulted in treating abstractions as though they were concretely real. In Whitehead’s view, all of contemporary physics was infected by this fallacy, and the resultant philosophy of nature had reversed the roles of the concrete and the abstract.”
Meanwhile, “prehension” draws on the epistemology of A.N. Whitehead and provides us with a much more neutral account of the process of interfacing with the relevant data.
In zoology and psychology, the word “prehension” refers to “the action of grasping or seizing.” but in Whitehead’s more specialized terminology, he has in mind “ an interaction of a subject with an event or entity which involves perception but not necessarily cognition.” Such interfacing could indeed entail some degree of cognitive comprehension or sensory perception, but it does not need to entail either, and in the case of remote viewing, it does not entail either. Prehension, for Whitehead, is a form of “uncognitive apprehension,” and it opens up a more precise mode of analysis in which we are able to do justice to various “kinds and layers of relational connections between people and the surrounding world”:
“ these relations are not always or exclusively knowledge based, yet they are a form of “grasping” of aspects of the world. Our connection to the world begins with a “pre-epistemic” prehension of it, from which the process of abstraction is able to distill valid knowledge of the world. But that knowledge is abstract and only significant of the world; it does not stand in any simple one-to-one relation with the world. In particular, this pre-epistemic grasp of the world is the source of our quasi- a priori knowledge of space which enables us to know of those uniformities that make cosmological measurements, and the general conduct of science, possible.”