One crucial step in training psychic spies is for the psychic to know themselves so they can recognize what is coming from their own mind or soul versus what they are seeing or experiencing during their mission.
Imagine hearing a conversation in your mind; I'm sure we've all experienced that, especially when we're trying to make difficult decisions. Now imagine separating the two voices - the one that tells you to "Go ahead" and the one that says "This isn't the right decision." This is the dilemma psychics have during their missions. One voice could be their own and the other voice could be what they are hearing outside of themselves.
It could take years for someone with psychic abilities to know themselves well enough to recognize which thoughts are their own and which ones are coming from an external source.
Then once a psychic can recognize their own thoughts, feelings and emotions, they must set them completely aside. It is only then that they can see the scenes they need to, hear the words that are spoken, and report back with objectivity.
Where they run into problems is when they begin to second-guess themselves. This happens with main character Vicki Boyd in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series. In the fifth book in the series, The Pendulum Files, her CIA boss Sam reminds her that she should never question the validity of what she sees. That's his job - or the job of a third party that is not associated with the psychic mission. The psychic scene is one piece of a puzzle, one that boots on the ground would confirm if it is accurate.
For example, psychic spies knew that Saddam Hussein was hiding underground and they were even able to pinpoint the geographic region. Psychic spies used during the Iran Hostage situation in the 1970's knew when the hostages were being kept together - and also knew when they were going to be separated, which prompted the (failed) rescue mission.
Here's an exercise:
Turn around in your chair and look straight ahead for a few seconds. Then turn back to your computer.
What did you see when you turned around? No cheating - can't look behind you again! Write down everything you remember. Be objective; don't start second-guessing. Then turn back around and compare the scene behind you with what you've written.
Pick a room that you are familiar with but one that you're not in at the moment. Write down everything you remember about that room. Then take your writing into that room and compare what you've written.
In both instances, you are seeing the scenes in your mind's eye. When you turned back to the computer, you were recalling what you'd seen "from memory" - same with the room you weren't in at the time you recalled it. Yet for both of those moments, you were there in your mind.
As psychic spies progress through their training, they are sometimes given coordinates (latitudes or longitudes) or specific places (such as a street address in Paris) and asked to describe it. As they become more advanced, someone is on the ground in that exact location, and they are asked to describe what that person is doing. The tasks become more complex as their minds grow sharper and they become more attuned to what they're seeing, even though they are not there physically.
How is that even possible, you might ask?
It goes straight to the scientific principles of time and space. That's covered next week, so stay tuned!