I never dream about lotto numbers though, dammit.

I’m going to go into slightly more off beat territory today and talk about something that will put at least some of you off- precognitive dreams. Now I’m working on the premise that they are a valid experience despite the fact that my copy of ‘The Skeptic’s Dictionary’ has this to say about them;

“Prophetic dreams are impressive to those who lack understanding of the law of truly large numbers, conformational bias and how memory works’

But I have experienced them all my life and I’m not debating their validity. Just to give you a quick example, the night before the Port Arthur Massacre I dreamt that I was being hunted in a place that may not have had a sign up saying ‘Port Arthur’ but involved enough grassy expanses and sandstone walls for there to be no doubt in my mind as to where I was. A man next to me had been shot and I was crouched at the base of a stone gate hiding from someone who was trying to kill me. Those of you familiar with what happened on that day will recognise all of this*.

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Fortunately my other precognitive dreams haven’t involved horrendous murder (although the dreams leading up to the Boxing Day Tsunami weren’t especially pleasant) but I have many, many dreams that have come true, ranging from the mundane to the profound. I don’t tend to discuss these with people because I don’t really like to have to explain what is going on because I have no freaking idea.

So the big picture question that comes to me when I ponder these is

Does this mean that the future is fixed and we don’t have free will after all?

If I dream that someone is going to do something and then the do it then were they always going to? Are there endless possible futures in endless possible Universes and I occasionally tap into the right one? Are some things fixed yet others still open?

*There are several other synchronicities between me and what happened on that day but I’m going to put them down to the fact that Tasmania is a relatively small place. They’re interesting though.

13 thoughts on “I never dream about lotto numbers though, dammit.

  1. Great questions. I used to be a hardcore skeptic on items such as this but based upon personal experiences over the past several years I now believe that there are dimensions of reality that go far beyond the four dimensional world we appear to live in and that ultimate reality is far stranger and more complex than we can imagine. I definitely believe in free will (with limitations) but I also believe that time is not as linear as it appears and that some people are blessed / cursed with prophetic abilities.

    We have made a lot of progress in the last several centuries in physics, psychology and theology but all this increased knowledge seems only to have demonstrated that Socrates was right when he said “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

    Peace,
    W. Ockham

  2. It’s important to make a distinction between a possible precognitive experience and the question of free will. Example: a friend says they’ll be back at work the next day, and sure enough they’re back at work. This doesn’t prove the future is fixed, only that a friend made a prediction they could control and could make come true. In the same way, if you DREAM the friend will be at work and, when you’re awake, sure enough they’re at work, this _might_ be evidence of precognition (your brain presenting, in a dream, knowledge you didn’t know you had), but it’s not evidence one way or another about free will.

    In short: if you tell someone you’re going to do something and then you do it, or if someone tells you (whether in waking life or a dream) they’re going to do something and then they do it, the free-will question isn’t affected.

  3. Hi Eva, Shakespeare wrote (in Hamlet): “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I have always believed that. So it would be foolish for anyone to tell you definitely this was from God or this was impossible, or whatever. You have reported what you experienced.

    My only suggestion is that you pray and ask God to help you use this gift in the way which he intends.

    But I agree with Jim that I don’t think it affects free will. I can predict I will have breakfast tomorrow, and that prediction will almost certainly be proved right, but I still have the choice not to eat breakfast.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Fascinating stuff. I tend to go with the very lazy option of accepting that things like this happen and it may or may not be meaningful. I am at heart a skeptic, but I also accept that things like premonitions can happen, so …. Now I really seem lazy! But do we need to commit to one stance on things like this? I’m with Shakespeare. And Hulk. Some things are just bigger than us puny humans…..

    I like rational scientific based explanations for things but I haven’t closed the door on the less explainable.

    • Shakespeare Hulk. Awesome! I don’t think it’s lazy, I think that’s the way a lot of people think ( not that you’re not special of course 😉 ) it’s probably a good way to be.

  5. Yes, skeptics have their pat answers ready to go. But as you point out, once you experience this type of thing, it doesn’t really matter. I really enjoyed this post. I, too, have wondered how fixed is the future. Maybe sometimes our acting on premonitions can alter the future. For months now I have been having dreams of a fire in my home. I am not aware of anything being out of order. I don’t smoke or even own a barbecue grill. Are my dreams a warning? Has my mind “symbolized” some problem I am experiencing? Are these dreams merely flukes? I really don’t know, but still feel my dreams are in some way significant.

    • Hopefully symbolic! The sheer uselessness of my prophetic dreams so far leaves me puzzled, although they have convinced me away from materialism so I suppose that’s valuable.

      • I certainly hope the fire is symbolic. But what troubles me is that it is always a fire in my home and always happens as I sleep. Sometimes my prophetic dreams have also been useless. Once I dreamed that President Ford died. I woke up early and went to my computer only to see his death on my news front page. But maybe that’s just an example of my brain somehow tapping into information that is “out there” somewhere. Or maybe I’m nuts!

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