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P is for Precognition #AtoZChallenge

Precognition is a glimpse into the future. It’s knowledge of events that have yet to happen.

These visions can appear in dreams or during waking hours, and they’re not necessarily images. There are four main channels of psychic communication, and you can receive precognitive information via any of them.

A common way of receiving precognitive information is through dreams. The problem with these dreams is that they’re difficult to recognize as precognitive until what was foretold happens. But if you are aware, it’s possible to work with the information and prevent something you don’t want or encourage something you do want.

The implication here is that the future is not set.

Near-death experiencers sometimes receive precognitive information during their NDE. In my thesis on the after-effects of near-death experience, I include an example of this from Kenneth Ring’s work that he discusses in his book Heading Toward Omega:

One of the examples Ring cites in his discussion on PFs relates to a woman named Janice who viewed future events in her life review during her NDE. Two of the incidents she described involved accidents that would befall her. The first incident involved her car sinking into water and the second involved a jack-knifed tractor trailer.

That foreknowledge compelled her to change her plans and avoid those accidents when the time of their occurrence drew near. The aftermath of both incidents was reported in the news, and Janice knew she had escaped because of what she’d seen during her NDE (188). It is interesting to note that while Janice didn’t take any action to prevent the accidents from happening, she was able to avoid her involvement in them.

In Ring’s example, the woman was able to change the outcome only for herself.

In The Experiencers, I used dreams as a way to weave in backstory of past lives, and in one instance, to provide a precognitive glimpse (NOTE: mild spoilers follow):

… Carolyn and John are in a cab, driving near the ocean. The cab heads for a pier and drives onto it. John protests, telling the driver to stop the car. They yell at the cab driver, while the car gets closer to the edge of the pier, with no indication the driver is planning to stop.

The cab flies off the end of the pier and into the water. Carolyn finds herself outside of the car, swimming towards the shore. John is with her. There’s no sign of the driver. When they drag themselves up onto the beach, Carolyn realizes the agency she works for is trying to kill them. She realizes they’re also trying to kill her mother. They’d all become expendable and were to be erased.

They go to the hotel to check out. Carolyn remembers they’ve left their suitcases in the room and insists they go back for them. When she steps out of the elevator, John is no longer with her. She panics.

She wants to run to her room, but can’t remember where it is. The elevator opens and agents step out. They’re coming to kill her. Carolyn tries to run, but they grab her. She screams and struggles, grabbing at their hands, trying to get them off her. The terror intensifies. They’re smothering her. She can’t breathe and opens her mouth to scream again …

The above dream was a retelling of a dream I’d had with details modified to suit my story. In this case, Carolyn was the dreamer, and, while much of it has that sense of absurdity most dreams have, there was a precognitive component hidden in it.

Analyzing the dream would take too much space, but if you care to do it, it provides some insight into Carolyn’s unconscious. For instance, this is the only time in the novel we have mention of her mother. It’s significant that John is with her and that she’s superimposed Michael’s job onto herself. One more item about dream interpretation: if you dream you are in a car, the driver is significant. Is someone else driving you around?

When Carolyn wakes from that dream, she has a lingering sense of terror and aloneness. The precognitive part is what impacts her, but she doesn’t realize it’s because she’s been given a message about the future.

The prophecy of the dream is fulfilled, and when it is, Carolyn recognizes it. The following scene echoes the final segment of Carolyn’s dream:

Carolyn fled down the hall, towards the elevators, which were about fifteen metres away. The stairs should be nearby. Or perhaps there was a utility room or closet to hide in. The elevator pinged, and the doors opened. A man stepped out, did a double take when he saw her, and ran at her.

She realized she’d left the gun in the room, and her panic escalated. She turned and ran back to her room. No choice now. The only place to go was back to her room. She reached the door, yanked the key card out of her pocket, and shoved the card into the slot. After a second, she slid it out. It didn’t work. She’d pulled it out too fast. Frantic, she jammed it in again.

The indicator light on the door changed to green. She opened the door and rushed into the room. She shoved on the door, but the man had reached it and was pushing it open.

Somehow, with an adrenaline rush perhaps, she forced the door closed. She locked the deadbolt, flipped the latch on and jumped back. Then, to her horror, she heard him kick against the door. The latch rattled, and wood splintered. She ran to the phone to call 9-1-1. Instead of picking up the phone, she grabbed the gun from the table. She pointed it at the door with shaking hands.

Point and shoot. Don’t hesitate. Her heart thudded, and she thought her knees might buckle. The door shattered away from the jamb and the latch went flying.

The man burst into the room. He was big, shorter than Michael, but not by much, and he was stockier and more brutal looking. He lunged at her.

She pulled the trigger. The shot went wide. She tried to bring her arm down again to take another shot, but he was on her.

He knocked the gun from her hand and punched her in the stomach.

Carolyn dropped to the floor and doubled over, tears leaking from her eyes. She couldn’t breathe, and her mouth opened and closed, opened and closed, like a stranded fish. The dream she’d had this morning flashed through her mind. She was alone with this man, and he would kill her or take her away. Michael wasn’t there after all.

The dream and the reality aren’t exact duplicates. But the basic components are the same, and the feelings elicited are identical.

Precognition fascinates me because of its implications. If it is a glimpse into the future, but you can do something to alter it, then the future is not set. But does that mean there is no such thing as destiny? Or is destiny like a pantser’s story arc — a beginning point and an end point with many possible paths to that end, which aren’t set until they’ve been written?

Works Cited:

Ring, Kenneth. Heading Toward Omega: In Search of the Meaning of the Near-Death Experience. New York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1984. Print.


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