I believe that this story came from a short story written by
Robert Heinlein, but am not certain. I do not have the
original, so I will paraphrase here.
There was once a man who invented a time machine. He had always said that when he got it done, the first thing he wanted to do was to go back through time and meet his grandfather, about whom he had heard so many good things. This inventor even carried his grandfather's special pocketknife with him at all times. He knew that the pocketknife was considered special because it had come from a special place and had once saved his grandfather's life. But that was all he really knew about it. Perhaps, when he met his grandfather, he could find out more.
He finally got the time machine working and, just before jumping back in time to meet his grandfather, he noticed that one of the adjustment screws was slightly out of line. So, he took out his grandfather's pocketknife and tweaked the adjustment. There. Just right. He then hit the start button and went back through time.
But the adjustment had not been just right. He wound up at the place he wanted, but many years too soon. He suddenly appeared there to see a very young man about to be mugged and killed by a gang of hoodlums. He could see that the young man would lose the fight, so he yelled to him and threw him the knife. The young man (in actual fact, the inventor's grandfather) caught the knife and defended himself. The sudden appearance of a strange man sitting in a machine and tossing a knife to their victim scared the hoodlums away. About that time, because of the bad adjustment, the inventor's machine returned him to his normal time, and he and the machine disappeared from the sight of the young would-be victim. Because of this, the inventor's grandfather lived to have a son and grandson, and to pass the very special knife on to them as his most prized possession.
The story is a nice one, but poses some very difficult questions:
1. Who manufactured the knife? Where did it come from in the first place?
2. What happens to the knife over the history of all time?
3. Will the knife one day wear down from use, over its many trips from past to present to past to present, only to one day fail to save the grandfather, who then does not live to have a son and grandson?
The Meaning of the Analogy:
The story is, of course, one of those paradoxical stories of science fiction lore. However, it has a very real application when it comes to the science of remote viewing.
Remote viewing, whether people realize it or not, deals a lot with "loops in time". Most beginning viewers jump forward 30-45 minutes in time and view their feedback picture instead of viewing the actual target site. So, from the very beginning, they are jumping into a future moment and bringing back information to the present moment, causing the session to have the success which ultimately rewards them at the future time, when they see the feedback picture. Are we confused yet? Time loops are that way. The beginning viewer must, with experience, learn how to view the target site instead of the feedback picture. The reason for this is that when, say, you work for a police department, or for some customer who deals with classified information, you may never get feedback. If all you can view is your feedback, and there isn't going to be any, then you don't stand a chance at having a good session.
Associative remote viewing (ARV) is a formalized time loop. You go to the moment of feedback, gain information, bring it back for, say, winning the lottery, and then work forward through time until the moment of feedback, to physically get the information you have already mentally taken into what is now the past.
The confusing nature of time loops is suspected to be one of the reasons why a person, working ARV will do well, but then lose interest and quit working it, sometimes in spite of great success. The mind just doesn't want to deal with such a paradox.
Time loops also figure greatly into the process of Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV), as the viewer is pulled back and forth through time to different aspects of the target.
The analogy also symbolizes the tendency of a viewer to aim for one time, but instead, be drawn to a more important one - whether they know it is important or not. Just as a series of unconscious events led the time-machine inventor to make the error which would set up the time loop in the first place, so a remote viewer will tend to go to that time which is most important for the mission at hand. The general rule of how a viewer moves through time during a CRV session is:
When a viewer views a site, he/she tends to default to present time, unless there is a temporal attractor. If there are more than one temporal attractors, the viewer will tend to default to the strongest.
Therefore, if a viewer is given a target without feedback, he will tend to go to present time at the target. If there is to be feedback (such as a picture from a magazine), the feedback's moment of interest tends to be an attractor and will draw the viewer in time to the moment of interest (the moment the picture was made). If, however, there is a much stronger attractor, the viewer will tend to be drawn to that. For example, if the target is a picture of, say, Pearl Harbor, taken last year when your aunt and uncle were on vacation there, the moment of the picture (them standing at the memorial) will be more attractive than the present moment, but the moment of the attack on Pearl Harbor will be an even stronger one, and will attract you to that moment, rather than the moment of the picture. It is hard for any viewer - especially a novice - to view Pearl Harbor the day before the attack.
Time loops and temporal attractors are very important aspects of the remote viewing process, no matter what methodology is used.