Electric Dreams

Precognitive Dreams

Radostin Pavlov 

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Pavlov, Radostin (2004 May). Precognitive Dreams. Electric Dreams 11(5).

Since ancient times the belief that dreams are either warnings or prophecies has been very common. This idea has been supported mainly by oral tradition and some books like the Artemidorus Oneirocritica written about 140 AD, but causing great impact right up to XIX century.[1]

In more recent times, the concept of dreams telling the future has been greatly suppressed. Partly, this has occurred under the influence of Christian church, which has censured any kind of non-biblical prophecy. On the other hand, conservative scientific thinking has also rejected prophetic or precognitive dreams, probably due to the lack of sufficiently strong proofs for their existence or a scientific hypothesis to explain them. Thus, dreams which in the past could easily be labeled 'precognitive', now are often thought of as mere coincidences or stories invented by people wishing to attract more attention.

Sigmund Freud, himself, founder of a new era in dream analysis, knew about the existence of such dreams, but avoided speaking about them, and explained most dreams as messages from the subconscious mind resulting from sexual desire and traumatic experiences.

Currently, most dream scientists seam to believe that dreams express mainly emotional states (e. g. fear, panic, anxiety, desire) and primary instincts and most investigation is dedicated to elucidate brain mechanisms originating dreams as a consequence of emotions and experiences.

Thus, there are hardly any studies on precognitive dreaming. However, one name, which is worth a mention, is J. W. Dunne, who suggested that the probability that precognitive dreams are mere coincidences with reality is negligible and that they must be a result of time distortion. [2]

Another important dream scientist of our times, Cencillo, expresses a similar idea and adds that there must be a reasonable explanation in modern physics, adducing the basic conclusion of relativistic theory that time and space are interrelated and can be curved. He also argues that human brain processes simultaneously past, present and future events to represent them in a symbolic fused form as dreams intended to alert or make us conscious about things otherwise difficult to perceive. [3]

It should be pointed out that there seems to be certain trend of revival of the interest in precognitive dreams. This trend is greatly enhanced by the extraordinary features of Internet, such as web forums, articles online, chat, galleries, etc. Based on dream communications made in web chat and forums, Wilkerson reported that a large number of people had precognitive dreams about the 11-s terrorist attack.[4]

Many people question the usefulness of precognitive dream interpretation although actually they do not reject the proper existence of such dreams. A common argument is that what is going to happen will happen and future cannot be changed. Nobody knows for sure if this is true or false, but what is sure is that there are dreams that warn or prepare us for the future rather than tell it and it can be really useful to understand their messages. Such dreams can have as a subject almost anything, for example, illnesses, death, political events, financial acquisitions or losses, job changes or problems, making or losing friends or dates, frustration or satisfaction of any origin...

In addition to the personal satisfaction one may get from being better prepared for the future, studying the phenomenon of precognitive dreaming may have other positive consequences on a more global level, such as finding the answers to some fundamental questions about our universe and ourselves.

Creating web forums specialized in precognitive dream analysis could be the perfect way to promote and perform such studies.

[1]  Nerys Dee, Your Dreams & What they Mean, Guild Publishing London, UK, 1988.
[2]  John William Dunne, An Experiment with Time, Hampton Road Publishing Company Inc., USA, 2001. First published in 1927.
[3] Luis Cencillo, Los Sueños y sus Verdades, Sintagma Ediciones, Spain, 2001.
[4] Richard Catlett Wilkerson, Dreams about the Terrorist Attacks on NY and DC, Electric Dreams, online issue, 8 [10] 2001.