A twist on an old Hindu proverb goes something like this: “There are a million paths to God (or enlightenment or heaven); it doesn’t matter which one you take, as long as you get there.”
It’s this quote that makes me think of FRED HOLMES ATWATER, best known as Skip Atwater. Here is a man who found his personal path to enlightenment, but ah, what a strange road he took.
Think back to when the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was grinding away. Both sides are harboring enough nuclear weapons to not only destroy the other – but take out the whole world in the process. The hate and enmity of these two behemoths threatened swallow our beautiful blue-green planet in a nuclear fire of mutual madness.
Now imagine that one of the key warriors in this global stalemate of loathing is working diligently to ensure that his side prevails. He is a member of the most feared corps of elite warriors – an operative in the dark, seamy, paranoid, dangerous world of military intelligence -- he's a spy.
Skip Atwater could fairly be described as a kind of elite “super spy,” not because he was traveling the dark corridors of the world collecting information or performing assassinations – but because of the amazing assignment he landed.
It became Atwater's task to study, and possibly develop, a team of psychic spies that could use ESP to snoop on the Soviet Union, or any enemy of America. Even today this sounds like an insane idea –- a mixture of New Age or occult voodoo mixed with the militaristic paranoia of the Cold War. It sounds more like a paranoid Philip K. Dick novel.
Except that it's all true. Skip Atwater was the spearhead that led the U.S. Army to spend millions of dollars and years of manpower to develop elite super corps of spies who could reach out with only their minds to get behind any wall, bunker or secret hidden base the Soviets might be hiding anywhere in the world.
By all accounts, Skip Atwater would seem to be the opposite of anyone’s definition of a Cold War spy. He is a gentle man by nature – sweet, kind, humble, unassuming, blonde and handsome – a guy with a natural but quiet charisma -- the kind of guy that makes everyone feel strangely good when he enters a room.
That’s the way I bet you will feel when you read Atwater’s book, CAPTAIN OF MY SHIP, MASTER OF MY SOUL: LIVING WITH GUIDANCE.
These pages are part autobiography, and part detailed record of what Atwater did to develop the now famous (or infamous) PSI method known as remote viewing as a tool for U.S. intelligence.
Atwater starts with his childhood, telling of strange mystical events he experienced, but which his metaphysical-minded parents encouraged him to think of as “natural.” These experiences including things like out-of-body experiences, seeing auras and even an instance of levitation!
The middle part of the book is a fairly detailed and exacting account of how the remote viewing program was developed, including some pretty terrific “how to” information for those interested in trying their own hand at this esoteric process.
For me, the juicy part of the book (to borrow a phrase from DEAN RADIN who wrote an intro) is the latter third where Atwater describes his work at the Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia, his post-military job.
It was here that the now also famous HEMI-SYNC TECHNOLOGY was developed – an audio system using something called binaural beats – to enhance brainwave activity, enabling people to explore alternate or advanced states of consciousness.
Atwater's is probably the very best book I have read about remote viewing (though I have only read about a half-dozen). It goes well beyond remote viewing itself to discuss issues of spiritual growth and expansion.
Like another early remote viewing pioneer – physicist Russell Targ – what began for Atwater as a hard-nosed attempt to bring scientific understanding and military application to ESP ended up a journey of profound spiritual transformation -- and his story is beautifully and eloquently told in these pages.
Ken Korczak is the author of THE FAIRY REDEMPTION OF JUBAL CRANCH