The most common and well-known phenomenon is sleep precognition. Most people can experience it if paying sufficient attention to their dreams. Unfortunately one usually does not have control over these experiences. Moreover, dreams usually introduce distortions, often referred to as symbolism. Different elements of the dreams are often morphed, others are distorted, others are analogous to but different from the real ones for which they stand, etc. While sometimes precognitive dreams can be surprisingly precise and literal, many dreams are not like that, and this makes them somewhat unreliable.
How do professional diviners obtain reliable information (the ones that do)? Many books about psychic training (or as it is often more subtly called “intuition development”) suggest that the road to follow is systematic meditation combined with vivid visualization. Some examples of such books are:
However, in practice, it appears that although psychics sometimes get in a trance, usually they work in a state of awareness allowing them to talk and listen.
Star Gate researchers developed for over 20 years (1972-1995) a reliable clairvoyance method for military intelligence purposes (read more here), which allows virtually everyone to become a clairvoyant (today some of them teach it to the public). While they explored many traditional techniques, involving virtually all of the above-listed states of awareness, the definitive approach they developed, called coordinate/controlled or remote viewing (CRV) implies being in a wakeful but relaxed state of awareness, usually working with eyes wide open.
This method is laborious and implies generating spontaneous associations, starting from a simple code with no meaning to the viewer but associated with a particular question by the tasker. The information is slowly collected, starting from an initial automatic motor response of the writing hand to the code, called pictogram, and elaborating on it through a 6-stage procedure involving automatic writing, drawing, and modeling.
However, the remote viewer cannot get rid of distortions either. They appear to be unavoidable and are attributed to both the subconscious and the conscious “layers” of the mind and are called analytical overlay (AOL) in Star Gate terminology. Nevertheless, the technique provides a way of identifying and separating AOL from the relevant information. As a result, detailed descriptions and drawings of physical objects, persons, and events can be obtained. However, viewing letters and numbers using this methodology is usually difficult.
A variant of CRV, called extended remote viewing (ERV) implies a similar procedure but with the viewer being in a state of hypnagogic dreaming and usually with the assistance of a monitor guiding the viewer and keeping him/her awake. This approach was found less reliable, due to the more difficult control over the analytical overlay. For the same reason, the consumption of drugs as a means of inducing psi-experiences was also discarded.
One of the many other mental states explored by Star Gate researches for getting access to otherwise inaccessible or hardly accessible information was lucid dreaming, consisting of dreaming while preserving awareness. This technique is nowadays widely acknowledged and very popular even among individuals disregarding psi phenomena, due to the extraordinary and fantastic experiences that it offers. While it is interesting from the point of view of precognition as it is a sort of a bridge between the conscious and subconscious, it is also characterized by a lot of distortion introduced by the subconscious mind.
There is a variant of lucid dreaming, called out-of-body-experience (OOBE, OBE) or astral projection (also researched by Star Gate, needless to say), which is especially interesting as it allows the mind to break free and to travel to any point in space-time without any limitations. In this case, the environment in the dream is almost identical to the real one, AOL being almost absent. The dreamer sees with absolute clarity and feels his/her body but these sensations have nothing to do with the real physical body but with a “virtual” one, called astral body). Moreover, the dreamer can consciously move as freely as a spirit, levitating, flying, passing through walls, teleporting him/herself, etc. Many people report having observed in that state events that turn out to have happened or to happen later in reality. A classical book about OBE is Journeys Out of the Body by Robert Monroe. Today there are many other books on this topic.
While OBE rarely occurs spontaneously during normal sleep (somnambulism might be an unconscious form of this), it can be readily achieved by special training, starting from a meditative, lucid-dreaming, or REM-sleep state (upon awakening). Reaching the state is often preceded by strange and somewhat scary, but inoffensive sensations, such as noises in the head, vibrations all over the body, paralysis-like feeling, etc.
OBE is also known (and well-documented) by medical professionals as many patients experience it spontaneously during a coma. After recovering from the coma, these people often describe real events, conversations, etc., which they had witnessed while levitating or flying. Sometimes, they even describe events or objects impossible to observe from their physical body’s location.
Now, it turns out that there is no need of going to sleep in order to see reality without eyes, as in the OOB state. There are several schools around the world teaching essentially similar techniques under different names, such as inner vision and eyeless vision/sight, as well as several other names implying that the perception occurs through the skin, which is most probably wrong. A particular training technique called Infovision has been patented although the patent is not active anymore.
That method implies using one’s mind (or what some people call the third eye) to see objects, read texts, avoid obstacles, and anything that can be done using the normal physical eyesight. That’s why many blind people learn to use it as a substitute for normal vision. The easiness in reading texts contrasts with the experience of Star Gate researchers who suggest that only the most gifted psychics can read letters and numbers, and even they do it with limited success.
People practicing inner vision (to name it somehow) or providing training for it consider it an absolutely normal phenomenon and try to keep a distance from associations with paranormal phenomena. A good illustration of what it allows one to do can be seen in this video.
This method can be taught to anyone, but children learn it especially easily due to their lack of prejudices as to whether doing that is possible, too spooky, or just plain stupid. Another family of especially proficient students is that of non-congenitally blind people. Their condition is a strong motivation for them to learn quickly, and they are already used to the state of mental concentration and visualization required to harness the skill. It does not require meditation, sleep, or drugs and there are no strange experiences such as in REM sleep and OOB. It is 100 % reliable, there is no confusion due to AOL, and one can see objects, which are far away in space and time just as with “conventional” clairvoyance.
The training provided by most schools specialized in that method allows almost anyone to start seeing color cards, letters, and other symbols placed in front of the blindfolded viewer within less than 20 hours (children achieve spectacular results in much less time). However, the training can be extended to allow the viewer to see beyond his/her immediate surroundings and the present time.
Here is a list of some blindfold-viewing schools (source: Wendy Gallant and Rob Freeman):
So what is that “magical” state of consciousness? Apparently, there has not been much research into it yet, but some of the requisites for attaining it, appear to be a relaxed, positive, happy, and prejudice-free attitude. It is also speculated that it involves mostly a right-brain mode of operation, possibly with a predominance of alpha-waves, implying being on the border of consciousness. However, the individuals, skilled in it present no apparent signs of sleepiness and move around with total normality, while observing the surroundings with closed eyes or while wearing their blindfold masks.
This strongly reminds the ease with which some remote viewers and clairvoyants view objects, subjects, and events, which are far in space and time while being completely conscious. There is a remote viewing technique (not mentioned in the corresponding paragraph above) called HRVG (after the initials of the Hawaii Remote Viewers Guild https://hrvg.org/bakdefault.php) which appears to involve an inner vision similar or identical to the one practiced by so many children and blind people. HRVG, unlike CRV, involves getting visuals of the target from the very beginning.
One of the classics and the most detailed account existing about inner vision is Louis Farigoule’s book Eyeless Sight, which he published under the pseudonym of Jules Romains. He relates in it how he initiated his study of the phenomenon in 1917 after reading some reports suggesting that some sleepwalkers walked perfectly fine with eyes completely closed and even blindfolded. Based on his meticulous studies he developed a methodology that returned the vision of a number of blind people. The authenticity of that achievement was validated by a board of experts from Cochin Hospital (Paris) and in 1927 Farigoule was awarded a prize for his achievement by the International Eye Congress in Edimburg.
Mind Sight and Perception by Loyd Hopkins is another good book, which is somewhat more specific about eyeless-sight-training methodology. There is also a short paper in Spanish by Mexican psychologist and neurophysiologist Jacobo Grinberg, describing his studies on children. Apparently, the above-mentioned Mexican eyeless sight academy's methodology is based on that scientist's research. There are a couple more books, which, however, do not provide much more information.
So, let us return to the questions at the beginning of this article. What is the best state for exercising precognition and clairvoyance and can everybody learn to get into it? Based on the information discussed, one is inevitably conducted to the surprising conclusion that the optimum condition is the normal wakeful state. If most of us are not aware of that and do not normally experience psi while awake, it is just because we ignore that possibility and it has been repressed by our society for a very long time. For the moment, the reigning stubbornly materialistic philosophy, conservatism, and paranoia regarding anything unusual (read more about that here) manage to hide the evidence of such phenomena from the public’s eye but hopefully, the Internet’s capacity of making almost anything go viral will change that soon.