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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Monday, August 25, 2014

Does the Future Splash on the Present?

On the morning of August 24, 2014 around 2:00 AM EST I was woken up by a vivid dream. The dream seemed like the simplest dream I had ever had. It consisted simply of an image of a small metallic trash basket moving a few inches on the floor, without anything else being nearby.

I thought about the dream and at first thought that it might be a dream about some ghostly force moving the small trash basket. But then I thought of a simpler idea. Perhaps the dream was about an earthquake tremor. If there were a sufficiently powerful earthquake, that might cause a small trash basket to move around on the floor by itself.

Having previously suggested in a blog post that people describe unusual dreams by sending out a Twitter tweet, I decided I would do just that – as soon as I woke up in the morning. I imagined myself sending out a Twitter tweet in the morning, a tweet about a possible earthquake premonition. That would be proof of my premonition if an earthquake soon occurred, because you can't change the time stamp on Twitter tweets.

After I woke up in the morning and went to my computer, I discovered there was no longer any point in sending out such a Twitter tweet. The earthquake had already occurred. It happened about four hours after my dream, at about 6:20 AM EST (3:20 AM PST). It was the worst earthquake in the San Francisco area in 25 years. I hope all those who got injured will recover fully.

This year I have recorded some 17 dreams I have had that match either events that occurred shortly thereafter, or events that occurred (unknown to me) within the previous few days. The most dramatic case is fully described here. It's a dream I had of a meteor fall that had an uncanny resemblance to something that happened within a week. On June 30, 2014 I had another meteor dream that matched reality well. I dreamed that a meteor made a bright colored flash of light in the sky, and that an observer saw the meteor wearing sunglasses, thinking: I'm sure glad I wore these sunglasses, because that was so bright. That night while I was sleeping a British observatory reported the brightest meteor flash it had ever seen, which witnesses said produced a bright green light (it was a type called a bolide meteor).

On April 10 I had a dream about a senior White House official resigning. The resignation of a senior White House official (Sebelius) was announced later that day. On April 16 I had a dream of a power outage at a stadium. There was such an outage on the previous night (unknown to me), and a week later there were two such outages in different places. On April 25 I had a dream of astronauts on the moon carrying radiation shields (stone umbrellas, to be exact). Later in the day a scientific study was released saying that future lunar astronauts will need much better radiation shields.

On June 12 of this year I had a dream of a non-elderly adult woman completely underwater in a bathtub. The next day there was a news story of exactly such an event (a drowning), an event that only occurs about once a month to non-elderly adult women in the US. On June 13 I had a dream of someone stabbing a robber who entered that person's house. Within 24 hours (before or after) there were two such events in different places.

On July 16 I had a terrible dream of a child falling to his death from about the tenth or fifteenth floor of an apartment building. A day earlier (unknown to me) a 16-year-old described as Turkey's youngest novelist had fallen to his death from the tenth floor of an apartment building. On June 30 I had a dream about homeless people living in a hotel or motel. I learned later that day that there had been a local protest a few days earlier about a nearby motel being converted into a homeless shelter. Then there was the dream discussed here.

What I find is that for every case in which one of my dreams seems to match well something that soon happens (which may be an example of precognition), there are roughly an equal number of cases where one of my dreams seem to match well something that happened one day or a few days previously (but which I had no knowledge of). The latter examples may be cases of what is called retrocognition, which means an anomalous knowledge about something that happened in the past.

It is very hard to mathematically compute the odds of such things occurring randomly. These cases could all be due to mere coincidence. But let us at least speculate: what type of theory of time might allow for both anomalous precognition (knowledge of a future event) and anomalous retrocognition (knowledge of some past event that you never learned about through normal means)?

I can think of a crude sketch of such a theory. Let us imagine time as being like a stream of water. We can imagine ourselves as fish swimming in that stream, or we can imagine ourselves as people walking along the side of the stream. Now let us imagine events as being like rocks or pebbles that fall into the stream. We can imagine that each event causes a little splash or ripple. We can imagine that the bigger and more important the event, the bigger the splash or ripple it produces.

Such a theory might help to explain both precognition and retrocognition. Just as the splash of a rock in a stream travels in all directions, we can imagine that some type of paranormal or psychic “event splash” travels both forward and backward in time. When someone has a dream of something about to happen, it might be caused by a “backsplash” of a future event. When someone has a dream about something that recently happened (something he never learned about normally), that might be caused by a “foresplash” of the event.

I have no idea whether such a theory is valid. But I have at least learned one thing. I must discard my previous policy of waiting until the morning to send out a Twitter tweet when I have a vivid dream of something that might soon be verified. From now on when I have such a dream in the middle of the night, I am going to immediately wake up, turn on my computer, and send out a time-stamped Twitter tweet describing the dream, as soon as my dream is finished. Hopefully if I follow this policy I will one day have a nice juicy case where I can prove I dreamed about something a few hours before it happened.