DREAMS-ESP-PARAPSYCHOLOGY

Do Your Dreams Come True?

Do you sometimes have dreams that come true?It is more common than you might think.
This is considered ESP or receiving impressions from other than the 5 basic senses (Extra Sensory Perception.) Some feel that every person has this ability in perception from birth but generally do not develop it.They,rather, educate themselves away from it since in our society it is not considered valid.
.Some especially gifted or sensitive persons are either unwilling or unable to deny or ignore their ability and recognize these “psychic” abilities.The person may consider as may their family as a “gift” or a “curse.”
The study of ESP or Psychic abilities is called Parapsychology.The particular ability of prophetic dreams in Parapsychology will be READ here along with some examples from people who have these dreams which foretell the future…. AMAZING huh?
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EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION(ESP) involves reception of information not gained through the recognized senses and not inferred from previous experience. The term was coined by German psychical researcher, Rudolf Tischner, and adopted by Duke University psychologist J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance, and their trans-temporal operation as precognition or retrocognition. ESP is also sometimes casually referred to as a sixth sense, gut instinct or hunch. The term implies acquisition of information by means external to the basic limiting assumptions of science, such as that organisms can only receive information from the past to the present.

PARAPSYCHOLOGY is the study of paranormal psychic phenomena, including ESP as we said above. Parapsychologists generally regard such tests as the ganzfeld experiment as providing compelling evidence for the existence of ESP. The scientific community does not accept this due to the “disputed” evidence base, the lack of a theory which would explain ESP, and the lack of experimental techniques which can provide reliably positive results.
Among scientists in the National Academy of Sciences, 96% described themselves as “skeptical” of ESP, although 2% believed in psi and 10% felt that parapsychological research should be encouraged.[26] The National Academy of Sciences had previously sponsored the Enhancing Human Performance report on mental development programs, which was critical of parapsychology.[27]

A scientific methodology that shows statistically significant evidence for ESP has not been documented. The lack of a viable theory of the mechanism behind ESP is also frequently cited as a source of skepticism. Historical cases in which flaws have been discovered in the experimental design of parapsychological studies, and the occasional cases of fraud marred the field.[28]

Critics of experimental parapsychology hold that there are no consistent and agreed-upon standards by which “ESP powers” may be tested, in the way one might test for, say, electrical current or the chemical composition of a substance. It is argued that when psychics are challenged by skeptics and fail to prove their alleged powers, they assign all sorts of reasons for their failure, such as that the skeptic is affecting the experiment with “negative energy.”

HISTORY OF ESP
The notion of extrasensory perception existed in antiquity. In many ancient cultures, such powers were ascribed to people who purported to use them for second sight or communicate with deities, ancestors, spirits, and the like.

In the 1930s, at Duke University in North Carolina, J. B. Rhine and his wife Louisa tried to develop psychical research into an experimental science. To avoid the connotations of hauntings and the seance room, they renamed it “parapsychology.” While Louisa Rhine concentrated on collecting accounts of spontaneous cases, J. B. Rhine worked largely in the laboratory, carefully defining terms such as ESP and psi and designing experiments to test them. A simple set of cards was developed, originally called Zener cards[7] (after their designer)—now called ESP cards. They bear the symbols circle, square, wavy lines, cross, and star; there are five cards of each in a pack of 25.

In a telepathy experiment the “sender” looks at a series of cards while the “receiver” guesses the symbols. To try to observe clairvoyance, the pack of cards is hidden from everyone while the receiver guesses. To try to observe precognition, the order of the cards is determined after the guesses are made.

In all such experiments the order of the cards must be random so that hits are not obtained through systematic biases or prior knowledge. At first the cards were shuffled by hand, then by machine. Later, random number tables were used and, nowadays, computers. An advantage of ESP cards is that statistics can easily be applied to determine whether the number of hits obtained is higher than would be expected by chance. Rhine used ordinary people as subjects and claimed that, on average, they did significantly better than chance expectation. Later he used dice to test for psychokinesis and also claimed results that were better than chance.

In 1940, Rhine, J.G. Pratt, and others at Duke authored a review of all card-guessing experiments conducted internationally since 1882. Titled Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years, it has become recognised as the first meta-analysis in science.[8] It included details of replications of Rhine’s studies. Through these years, 50 studies were published, of which 33 were contributed by investigators other than Rhine and the Duke University group; 61% of these independent studies reported significant results suggestive of ESP.[9] Among these were psychologists at Colorado University and Hunter College, New York, who completed the studies with the largest number of trials and the highest levels of significance.[10][11] Replication failures encouraged Rhine to further research into the conditions necessary to experimentally produce the effect. He maintained, however, that it was not replicability, or even a fundamental theory of ESP that would evolve research, but only a greater interest in unconscious mental processes and a more complete understanding of human personality…

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PRECOGNITIVE DREAMS-DISSERTATION

Precognitive Dreams
For her doctoral dissertation, M.S. Stowell completed a deep study of precognitive dreaming. She approached this subject about the only way one can, which is by interviewing people who claim to have had such dreams.

Stowell interviewed five such claimants, and it is remarkable how many precognitive dreams they have had collectively. There are 51, and 37 of them have been confirmed as accurate. In addition, all five dreamers had precognitive experiences while awake. Many of these were also confirmed. It is important to bear in mind that it takes only one solid confirmation of precognition to shatter some sacred paradigms! Here, we might have a couple score of them!

To give the reader the flavor of this type of parapsychological research, we select one dream that foresaw a plane crash. Here is how Elizabeth described her dream:

“It starts out where I’m driving north on the freeway in [City]. Right about by [specific location], going north, heading for the [specific] Bridge, I look up and there’s a big plane coming straight at me, and there’s also an overpass right where I am. My initial reaction is that it’s going to crash on and that I’m in trouble and instead a split second passes in which I realize that I’m going under it, under the overpass, and the plane will go right over me and crash somewhere behind me. And I realize in that time that it will crash on the freeway and that a lot of people will die and that I, I just want to keep driving north and not look back [brief laughter], is my reaction.”
Elizabeth told her husband of her dream in the morning. The actual plane crash occurred a few weeks later just where she had been in her dream.

Many similar, confirmed reports are presented by Stowell in her study.

(Stowell, Mary S.; “Precognitive Dreams: A Phenomenological Study. Part I. Methodology and Sample Cases,” American Society for Psychical Research, Journal, 91:163, 1997.)

Comments. The literature of parapsychology is immense; the above report is just a tiny sample of what’s available. There are scores of parapsychology journals and thousands of books at the Library of Congress. However, we almost never see any mention of all these immense labors in Science, Nature, or even the more adventuresome New Scientist. Why? Mainly because logical positivism, which rules the thinking of mainstream scientists, insists that the only acceptable observations are those that can be experienced by all persons. And we don’t all have precognitive dreams, or, if we do, we don’t recognize them as such! In addition, anecdotal data, dreams, channeled information, and the like are always viewed with suspicion.

Today, some parapsychologists are proposing that science suspend such severe requirements and recognize such phenomena as precognitive dreaming. Only by doing this, they say, will we be able to fully grasp all of reality.

Comment. Mainstream science follows the dictates of “logical positivism,” which insists that the only acceptable observations are those that can be experienced by all persons. Since few of us have precognitive dreams, the rules of science would have to be changed if they are to be embraced by science.

DREAMS,NIGHTMARES AND BEYOND

From Nightmares to Precognitive Dreams

More About Nightmares

Adults have nightmares, too. Nearly everyone (83.7%) reported having nightmares and twenty-one percent reported having nightmares before the age of fourteen. In fact, sometimes people are prompted to investigate their dreams because of a nightmare that is so vivid and scary it really gets their attention! Common nightmares include being trapped or chased, teeth falling out, or being in school and suddenly finding out that there is a test for which you are unprepared. Nightmares occur when the subconscious mind tries repeatedly to relate a dream message but the message is ignored. This might occur when you don’t recall dreams often or when you give little attention to your dreams at all. A nightmare is when the subconscious mind “yells” at you to get your attention to shock you into remembering the dream. By learning to interpret your dream messages, you can understand what your subconscious mind wants to convey. When you apply the message to your life and make the necessary changes, you change, and as a result, your dreams change. You experience fewer nightmares. As you increase in Self awareness you find that you rarely, if ever, will have nightmares because your conscious awareness is aligned with the Truth contained within your subconscious mind.

The common nightmares just related mean the following: when you are being chased by an unknown person, this means that there is some part of yourself you avoid or do not want to face. When you face yourself, admit your insecurities and then take steps to learn what has been previously unknown, this kind of dream will change. You will literally begin to face yourself. Being trapped or unable to move indicates that the dreamer in his waking state thinks that he is limited in his choices or has no choice. In truth, the dreamer’s use of imagination is limited. He probably causes himself to be paralyzed mentally, by negative thinking, doubt, or hesitation. The dreamer could talk to other people to stimulate his imagination, identify what he wants, and set goals. The solution is to make choices that are purposeful and act on them. “Food” in a dream symbolizes knowledge. Teeth are what we use to chew and digest our food; therefore the dream of teeth falling out indicates that the old way of receiving knowledge is no longer applicable to the dreamer. Oftentimes people who have this dream have learned something new in their life but have yet to apply it in all areas. “School” in a dream symbolizes the way that a dreamer learns about him or herself. Frequently adults do not view their life experiences as a classroom; they think of learning in terms of school subjects like geometry or English or chemistry. In our everyday life experiences, we have opportunities to learn about ourselves. When one dreams of being unprepared for a test, it means that the dreamer has lessons in life that keep being presented, but he or she is not learning them. Asking oneself, “Why?” and then answering it with action is one way to apply this dream. For example, suppose a woman who is rather self-effacing and who keeps saying to herself, “I need to believe in myself” has the dream of being unprepared for school. If she examines her life, she will find that she has opportunities every day to be more confident. Perhaps she has a really good idea that she hesitates to tell her boss because she is afraid it is not good enough. Learning confidence and belief in herself requires practice. Therefore, when she musters the courage to voice her idea she is taking some beginning steps to learn to believe in herself. If she does this, that night she might dream that she has a test in school and receives a good grade on it! She is learning in her daily experiences.

When you learn to interpret dreams and use the messages to cause change in yourself, you can mark the progress of your expanding consciousness by seeing how quickly your dreams change in response. They are a very accurate gauge.

Dream Recall

Almost half of those surveyed recall dreaming more than four nights a week, while a small proportion (6.5%) only recall dreaming one night a week. Almost everyone (80.4%) has had nights when they have recalled more than one dream that night. And results were almost equal regarding when people were most apt to recall a dream, on a week day or weekend. Nearly one-fourth (24.9%) reported they were more likely to remember a dream during the week and 22.8% said they were more likely to remember dreams on the weekend. One way to remember your dreams, whether it is a week day or weekend, is to wake up in a leisurely manner, as you might do on a weekend. You can train yourself to wake up automatically (as 26% of those surveyed do), or use a clock radio set to classical music to wake you up gently rather than a harsh buzzing alarm. In this way you can wake up gradually and have time to “move into” your body rather than being “slammed” or “jolted” into your body by loud noises or loud thoughts like “it’s time to get up, I have to hurry.”

Almost everyone (80.1%) recorded a dream by writing it down or recording it on audio tape. Some began recording dreams as a child or adolescent (18.7%) while most began recording dreams as an adult (58.5%). Although a majority or our respondents believe dreams are relevant to their waking lives and have a positive dream philosophy, 3.2% have never recorded a dream. You are more likely to remember your dreams if you adopt the idea that dreams are important and confirm this with action like putting a notebook beside your bed and writing in it, “I will remember my dreams and write them down.” It is important to record dreams so that later you have a complete and accurate memory of the dream. Those who do not write down their dreams oftentimes will remember a dream when they first awaken, but they have forgotten it by that evening. Or they may remember an outline but forget significant details. Since everything we dream is important, leaving out details will change the meaning of the dream so its effectiveness as a tool for Self awareness is diminished.

One of the common debates about dreams is whether dreams occur in black and white or color. Our research and the survey results show that dreams are both in color and black and white. When one is dreaming in a light state of sleep, such as when you first begin to drift off to sleep or just before you awaken, the dreams are in black and white. Over 20% of the respondents report that more than half of the dreams they remember are in black and white. Dreams in color occur during the deeper sleep and dream states, and 43% reported that more than half of the dreams they remember are in color.

Repetitive Dreams

Repetitive dreams occur for the same reasons nightmares occur — the subconscious mind of the dreamer, in its infinite patience, tries over and over again to relate a significant message to the dreamer. The dream may be presented verbatim, or the theme or message will remain the same while the scene and characters change to grab the dreamer’s attention. Nearly 62% of those surveyed reported having repetitive dreams. Oftentimes, like nightmares, the repetitive dreams are those that stimulate the dreamer to keep seeking the meaning of the dream until they finally find some answers. The most common themes were going to school for a class or test and not being prepared or unable to find the class, being chased or someone attempting to kill you. Nearly one-fourth of the people who responded to the survey reported having the same repetitive dream five times or more. When you learn how to pay attention to what these dreams mean and act on the message, the dreams will not continue to repeat. You will have “gotten the message.”

When you have a repetitive dream over a period of months or years, there are similar attitudes that you keep repeating in your waking life. It may be that there is a similar situation or experience coming up in your life. Or it may be that the physical conditions are different but the ways that you think are the same as those you have previously thought. If you can remember when you had this same dream and can remember what was going on in your thinking at the time, it will help you to understand why that particular dream is repeating in your life now. If the recurring dream occurs over a period of days, or one or two weeks, examine your thoughts, attitudes and perceptions and determine what you are focused on or consumed with. This can help you understand and apply the message to your life.

People in Dreams

Dream research conducted by the School of Metaphysics verifies that everyone in a dream is an aspect or quality of the dreamer. For example, a spouse represents the inner subconscious Self, a child represents a new idea or way of life, an employer or teacher represents the dreamer’s High Self and a stranger symbolizes a part of the self of which the dreamer is unaware. The highest percentage of respondents (17.9%) reported dreaming mostly of strangers, closely followed (17.1%) by those who dream mostly of friends. Dreams of strangers indicate a need for the dreamer to know the Self. Only 7.3% reported dreaming of their spouse most often and 6.5% dreaming of children. On the opposite end, 8.9% reported dreaming of their spouse the least. If the dreamer is married and never or rarely dreams of their spouse, it shows that they need to learn to create using their whole mind, to know their inner Self.

A majority (58.5%) said they dream of people who are currently in their life and 25.2% reported dreaming primarily of people from their past. You will dream of people in your current life when you give attention to the people in your day-to-day life and when the qualities you perceive in them are within your own character. Since all dreams relate to you the state of your conscious awareness, the presence or absence of particular people in your dream indicates what you have or have not made a part of your awareness. For example, more than one-tenth of respondents (12.2%) reported dreaming of their minister the least often. This would occur because the minister symbolizes one’s High Self, or spiritual Self, and a dreamer who has not made spirituality a part of their conscious awareness is not likely to dream often of such a person. When your dreams are populated primarily by people from your past, much of your thinking and attention is in the past. When you learn to bring your attention into the present, these dreams will change.

When a family member or friend dies, it is fairly common for the deceased to visit the living in the dream state. Research shows that when a deceased person communicates in a dream through telepathy or other nonverbal means, that entity is communicating to the dreamer in the dream state. If the deceased person speaks and their mouth moves, then that person represents an aspect of the dreamer.

A majority (52.8%) of those surveyed have dreamed of departed relatives or friends. Nearly one-third (30%) believe the dream was a visitation from the deceased and 36.6% said the person spoke to them in the dream, often offering reassurance and comfort. Some of the impressions described from such dreams are, “Comforting, [a] loving experience,” “He spoke to me to comfort me and tell me he was happy — I believed him,” “It felt comforting to have dreamed of my grandfather who had passed away,” “ I felt like they were trying to make me at peace with something going on or a past issue” and “I felt it was their spirit actually speaking to me. It was very positive and loving.” These dreams, as the statistics indicate, are normal and are usually comforting rather than frightening. They can help us resolve some of our questions about death, showing that life exists beyond the physical existence and that we are never truly separated from those we love nor from the love within ourselves.

Precognition

Dreams can relate the potential future. Unlike our physical body which is bound by the laws of physics and the dimensions of time and space, the subconscious mind is governed by the freedom of the laws of metaphysics, which goes beyond physical limitations. The subconscious mind can perceive the probable future by following a stream of consciousness forward. The future is probable rather than predestined because we have free will, and can change the future with our choices. A precognitive dream occurs when the subconscious mind perceives the probable future. Some people experience this as deja vu which is literally translated as “already seen.” When you have had a precognitive dream and then experience the event you dreamed about previously, it seems familiar because indeed you have already seen it in your dreams.

More than half (50.4%) of those surveyed reported having precognitive dreams. Nearly one-fourth (44.7%) reported having multiple precognitive dream experiences. Many (30.9%) are aware they are having a precognitive dream as they dream it and know that dreams are precognitive because they are more vivid or real, “they feel different” or “short, precise and vivid.”

Some people have been urged to learn about their dreams because of these precognitive experiences. One woman who dreamed that her brother would die in a motorcycle wreck two months before he did was so troubled by this dream that she could think of nothing else until she learned that her dream had not caused his wreck. Sometimes people have precognitive dreams as a warning to change their own destructive behavior (for example, if the brother had had this dream, he might have made some significant changes in his waking habits that would have changed the conditions that caused his accident.) When the characters in a precognitive dream are other people, we can still interpret the meaning symbolically for a message for ourselves, but the dream itself can aid us to prepare for an event that would otherwise be a shock for the conscious mind. For example, several years ago a bridge collapsed in a large hotel in Kansas City and a number of people reported dreaming of this disaster before it occurred. As a result, they changed their plans and did not attend the event that was occurring in the hotel. They protected themselves from danger and were able to be of assistance to those who were involved and needed help.

Talking About Dreams

Sharing your dreams with others can help you understand them. Sometimes, just talking about your dreams stimulates your own thinking process and can help you figure out a problem you’ve been pondering. It may also help you to remember the dream. Our survey shows that when people have a dream that troubles them, most (52.8%) prefer to talk to their spouse or a close friend about it. People who have dreams that amuse them also prefer to share this with their spouse or friend (54.1%). And many people (34.1%) talk to their children about their dreams. We have found that sometimes people who do not remember many of their own dreams begin to investigate the meaning of dreams because someone close to them talks about their dreams. If you talk about your dreams, you might just stimulate someone else to begin a journey of Self discovery!

Dream time is a significant portion of your life. By age 75, you’ll log twenty-five years sleeping and nearly one-half that time, twelve and a half years, dreaming. This is time that many of those surveyed use as productive time for their soul growth, whether the dreams seem real or surrealistic. They take the dreams of day-to-day activities and turn them into sources of learning. They transform nightmares into opportunities to face fear and replace it with understanding, and they use fanciful dreams to stimulate their imagination and creativity.

ESCAPE FROM A DREAM THAT WILL BECOME TRUE?

Sometime in the wee hours of August 1, 2007, I had a dream about being in a car accident. I remember waking up with a clear impression of a crash and all the air bags inflating. I don’t often remember my dreams, but this one struck me because of the surprising level of detail, the emotional content, the fact that I don’t recall ever having a similar dream, and because I had never before been in a car accident.

Because of the dream, later that morning I decided to play it safe and drive to work a different way than usual. The most dangerous part of the morning commute for me is getting on 101, one of the major North-South highways in the Northern California Bay Area. The entrance that I usually take has a very short merge lane that often requires you to drive on the shoulder because both of the two lanes of the highway are congested, sometimes by massive trucks going 70 mph. My adrenaline is always in high gear when I use this entrance because if an unthinking driver decides to park on that very same shoulder (it happens occasionally), thereby blocking the only available place to merge onto the highway, then the drivers on the on-ramp — who are accelerating and paying attention to oncoming traffic, and not on who is in front of them — are destined for a bad end.

The safer, alternative entrance is a little out of the way for me, but there is a very long, much safer merging lane. So I took that route.

I’m waiting at the traffic light at the entrance to the highway, along with a few other cars in front of me. The light changes to green, but before any of us have a chance to move, bam!, my car is hit from behind. A Chevy Tahoe smashes my rear bumper and part of the lift gate. The driver saw the green light and his foot responded before his brain realized that there were cars in front of him. The startle I felt on the impact was like what I experienced in the dream, but fortunately it was just a mundane fender bender. The airbags did not inflate.

Now, I had specifically taken the alternative route to avoid what I had experienced in the precognitive dream. But in doing so, I ended up in an accident anyway. Does this mean we cannot escape our destined future? That we have no free will? Or, does it mean that we have potential futures, and that by making this particular choice I had potentially avoided a much worse accident?

PRECOGNITIVE DREAMS

Precognitive dreams are dreams that have been credited with foresight or precognition. It is a phenomenon that has fascinated and puzzled mankind for thousands of years. Precognition is typically defined as knowing or perceiving events before they actually occur. According to Carl Jung, [1] psychic energy might be operative.

Anecdotal evidence
The anecdotal evidence for precognitive dreaming has been documented since before Biblical times. Prior to invading Italy, Hannibal asked for a dream about his future military activities. He was shown winning decisive victories and decided to persevere in his conquest of Italy. An Egyptian prince slept one day in front of the mighty Sphinx and wondered if he would ever become king of Egypt. In his dream, he was told to clear away all of the debris that had buried most of the Sphinx statue and he would then become king. Upon awakening, he had his slaves clear away the debris so that the Sphinx would be totally visible again. The prince later became King Thutmose IV and erected a stone tablet in front of the Sphinx to document that he and the God figure in his dream had both kept their bargain.[2]

Napoleon won many famous battles but his adventures at Waterloo were doomed and foretold in a dream. On the eve of that historic event, he dreamed of a large black cat that moved back and forth between his army and his opposition. Finally this dreaded symbol of bad luck came back to lie down with his French troops. On the following day, his army was dealt a stunning defeat by the opposing armies. Elias Howe labored for months working to invent a practical sewing machine. He was using a needle with a hole in the middle that made good stitches, but they quickly pulled apart. Then in a dream, he found himself surrounded by savages brandishing spears at him. All of the spears had a hole in the point. Upon awakening, he quickly realized that he needed to modify his sewing needle and rapidly completed his amazing invention.[citation needed]

There are hundreds of other dream examples. Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote his famous poem the Kubla Khan in 1797 following a dream during an afternoon nap. The German chemist Kekule discovered the highly elusive ring structure of the benzene molecule based on a dream of a snake biting its own tail. The Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev worked out his Periodic Table after having seen its complete outline in a dream. Abraham Lincoln dreamed of his own death just days before his assassination. Pompey dreamed of defeat and Caesar’s death was foretold in a dream. Descartes’ dreams shaped his outstanding career, and Constantine I dreamed of a flaming cross before embracing Christianity. The San Francisco earthquake and the Jewish holocaust were both predicted by dreams. Numerous people dreamed of the sinking of the Titanic.[citation needed]

Anecdotal documentation for precognitive dreams that did not come true is extremely rare. No doubt the individuals did not like to report on their failed experiences. In some cases, the dream may have been incorrectly interpreted.[citation needed]

Clinical evidence
Dr. Robert Van de Castle summarizes some of the key progress points in the area of psychic dream research in his book Our Dreaming Mind. In 1819, H. M. Wesserman successfully projected messages to experimental subjects while they slept and dreamed. While the general content of the dream was successfully received, some of the characters in the dreams were changed.[3]

An Italian psychiatrist, Dr. G. C. Ermacora, published a paper in 1895 titled “Telepathic Dreams Experimentally Induced”. This work documented successful efforts of a medium to transmit dreams to a young girl. Perhaps the best-known research in this field was conducted at Maimonides Medical Center, in Brooklyn, New York by Stanley Krippner and Montigue Ullman in 1964. These trials clearly showed positive correlations for transmitting information to dreamers who had no prior knowledge of the subject material. Dr. Van de Castle himself was a subject during these sessions and achieved considerable success in having dreams that were closely correlated to the target pictures.

Dr. Van de Castle further documents the evidence for psychic dreaming based on a fascinating questionnaire approach. Survey questions sent to several thousand individuals listed in Who’s Who In America resulted in 430 replies claiming some kind of ESP experience and dreams were involved in 25 percent of these cases.[citation needed]

Dr. Louisa Rhine at the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University compiled by far the best-known and largest body of such dream evidence. Dr. Rhine collected over 7000 accounts of ESP experiences. The majority of these accounts were dream related and were precognitive in nature. The material for this work was collected by advertisements in various well-known popular media.[citation needed]

Dr. David Ryback, a psychologist in Atlanta, used a questionnaire survey approach to investigate precognitive dreaming in college students. His survey of over 433 participants showed that 290 or 66.9 percent reported some form of paranormal dream. Using very rigid standards, Dr. Ryback examined those responding to the survey. He rejected many of these claims and reached a conclusion that 8.8 percent of the population was having actual precognitive dreams. [4]

Skepticism
An early -and perhaps the first formal- inquiry into this phenomenon was done by Aristotle in his On Divination in Sleep. His criticism of these claims appeals to the fact that “the sender of such dreams should be God”, and “the fact that those to whom he sends them are not the best and wisest, but merely commonplace persons.” Thus: “Most [so-called prophetic] dreams are, however, to be classed as mere coincidences…”, here “coincidence” being defined by Aristotle as that which does not take “place according to a universal or general rule” and referring to things which are not of themselves by necessity causally connected, his example being taking a walk during an eclipse, neither the walk nor the eclipse being apparently causally connected and so only by “coincidence” do they occur simultaneously.[5]

Other researchers in this area are more guarded in their reports on the value or use of dreams. In his book The Interpretation of Dreams, first published at the end of the 19th century, Sigmund Freud argued that the foundation of all dream content is the fulfillment of wishes, conscious or not and devoid of psychic content. In his discussions with Carl Jung, he referred to parapsychology and precognition as “nonsensical.”

Phillip Goldberg favors the use of intuition but endorses the idea that dreams are sometimes a doorway to the intuitive manifestation of a prophecy, a solution, and a result. Yet dreams are riddled with symbolism, and only a good dream psychologist together with the subject dreamer can fittingly translate the dream into reality. David Meyers was even more guarded in warning against a reliance on intuition or related psi experiences and found little of any real value in dreams.

Dream researcher Ernest Hartman comments on current dream theories proposed by biologists. One such theory suggests that dreams are basically random nonsense and are the product of a poorly functioning brain during sleep. If there is any meaning to dreams, it is added on later as our brains try to make the best of a bad job. A second theory suggests that dreaming is an “unlearning process in” which our brains bring up material to be thrown out like a computer attempting to clean itself of things we do not need to remember. In either case, the predictive value of dreams is moot.

TIME TRAVELING, POSSIBLE?

The future of time travel
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Various researchers have proposed ways in which backward and forward time machines can be built that do not seem to violate any know laws of physics. Remember that the laws of physics tell us what is possible, not what is practical for humans at this point in time. The physics of time travel is still in its infancy. While all physicists today admit that time travel to the future is possible, many still believe time travel to the past will never be easily attainable. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that humans will never have efficient technology for backward and forward time travel. Accurately predicting future technology is nearly impossible, and history is filled with underestimates of technology:
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” (Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895)

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943)

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” (Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977)

“The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” (Western Union internal memo, 1876)

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” (Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French commander of Allied forces during the closing months of World War I, 1918)

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” (David Sarnoff’s associates, in response to his urgings for investment in radio in the 1920’s)

“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” (New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work, 1921)

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” (Harry M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927)

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” (Charles H. Duell, commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899)
Science fiction spurred humans to go to the moon. Can it spur them to invent a time machine?
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Wouldn’t it be a wild world to live in if time travel devices played important roles in the development of humanity—like the computer and the telephone? Mathematicians dating back to Georg Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) have studied the properties of multiple connected spaces in which different regions of space and time are spliced together. Physicists, who once considered this an intellectual exercise for armchair speculation, are now seriously studying advanced branches of mathematics to create practical models of our universe.

Science-fiction stories about space travel have already inspired humans to travel to the moon. Similarly, will time-travel stories inspire us to create real time-travel mechanisms? Will we ever find a way to overcome the Einstein speed limit and make all of spacetime home?

I wonder what humanity will discover about spacetime in the next century. Around four billion years ago, living creatures were nothing more than biochemical machines capable of self-reproduction. In a mere fraction of this time, humans evolved from creatures like Australopithecus. Today humans have wandered the moon and have studied ideas ranging from general relativity to quantum cosmology. Who knows into what beings we will evolve? Who knows what intelligent machines we will create that will be our ultimate heirs? These creatures might survive virtually forever, with our ideas, hopes, and dreams carried with them.

There is a strangeness to the cosmic symphony that may encompass time travel, higher dimensions, quantum superspace, and parallel universes—worlds that resemble our own and perhaps even occupy the same space as our own in some ghostly manner. Stephen Hawking has even proposed using wormholes to connect our universe with an infinite number of parallel universes. Edward Witten is working hard on superstring theory, which has already created a sensation in the world of physics because it can explain the nature of both matter and spacetime. By realizing that the fundamental laws of physics appear simpler in higher dimensions, string theory can unite Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum theory in ten dimensions. Our heirs, whatever or whoever they may be, will explore space and time to degrees we cannot currently fathom. They will create new melodies in the music of time. There are infinite harmonies to be explored.

TIME TRAVELING, POSSIBLE?

What is time? The question is as hard to answer as whether or not time travel will ever be possible.

Traveling Through Time

What is time? Is time travel possible? For centuries, these questions have intrigued mystics, philosophers, and scientists. Much of ancient Greek philosophy was concerned with understanding the concept of eternity, and the subject of time is central to all the world’s religions and cultures. Can the flow of time be stopped? Certainly some mystics thought so. Angelus Silesius, a sixth-century philosopher and poet, thought the flow of time could be suspended by mental powers:
Time is of your own making;
its clock ticks in your head.
The moment you stop thought
time too stops dead.
The line between science and mysticism sometimes grows thin. Today physicists would agree that time is one of the strangest properties of our universe. In fact, there is a story circulating among scientists of an immigrant to America who has lost his watch. He walks up to a man on a New York street and asks, “Please, Sir, what is time?” The scientist replies, “I’m sorry, you’ll have to ask a philosopher. I’m just a physicist.”

Most cultures have a grammar with past and future tenses, and also demarcations like seconds and minutes, and yesterday and tomorrow. Yet we cannot say exactly what time is. Although the study of time became scientific during the time of Galileo and Newton, a comprehensive explanation was given only in this century by Einstein, who declared, in effect, time is simply what a clock reads. The clock can be the rotation of a planet, sand falling in an hourglass, a heartbeat, or vibrations of a cesium atom. A typical grandfather clock follows the simple Newtonian law that states that the velocity of a body not subject to external forces remains constant. This means that clock hands travel equal distances in equal times. While this kind of clock is useful for everyday life, modern science finds that time can be warped in various ways, like clay in the hands of a cosmic sculptor.

The first science-fiction story about time travel appeared in the 1880s.
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Science-fiction authors have had various uses for time machines, including dinosaur hunting, tourism, visits to one’s ancestors, and animal collecting. Ever since the time of H.G. Wells’ famous novel The Time Machine (1895), people have grown increasingly intrigued by the idea of traveling through time. (I was lucky enough to have chats with H.G. Wells’ grandson, who told me that his grandfather’s book has never been out of print, which is rare for a book a century old.) In the book, the protagonist uses a “black and polished brass” time machine to gain mechanical control over time as well as return to the present to bring back his story and assess the consequences of the present on the future. Wells was a graduate of the Imperial College of Science and Technology, and scientific language permeates his discussions. Many believe Wells’ book to be the first story about a time machine, but seven years before 22-year-old Wells wrote the first version of The Time Machine, Edward Page Mitchell, an editor of the New York Sun, published “The Clock That Went Backward.”

One of the earliest methods for fictional time travel didn’t involve a machine; the main character in Washington Irving’s “Rip van Winkle” (1819) simply fell asleep for decades. King Arthur’s daughter Gweneth slept for 500 years under Merlin’s spell. Ancient legends of time distortion are, in fact, quite common. One of the most poetic descriptions of time travel occurs in a popular medieval legend describing a monk entranced for a minute by the song of a magical bird. When the bird stops singing, the monk discovers that several hundred years have passed. Another example is the Moslem legend of Muhammad carried by a mare into heaven. After a long visit, the prophet returns to Earth just in time to catch a jar of water the horse had kicked over before starting its ascent.

Time travel is possible
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Today, we know that time travel need not be confined to myths, science fiction, Hollywood movies, or even speculation by theoretical physicists. Time travel is possible. For example, an object traveling at high speeds ages more slowly than a stationary object. This means that if you were to travel into outer space and return, moving close to light speed, you could travel thousands of years into the Earth’s future.

Newton’s most important contribution to science was his mathematical definition of how motion changes with time. He showed that the force causing apples to fall is the same force that drives planetary motions and produces tides. However, Newton was puzzled by the fact that gravity seemed to operate instantaneously at a distance. He admitted he could only describe it without understanding how it worked. Not until Einstein’s general theory of relativity was gravity changed from a “force” to the movement of matter along the shortest space in a curved spacetime. The Sun bends spacetime, and spacetime tells planets how to move. For Newton, both space and time were absolute. Space was a fixed, infinite, unmoving metric against which absolute motions could be measured. Newton also believed the universe was pervaded by a single absolute time that could be symbolized by an imaginary clock off somewhere in space. Einstein changed all this with his relativity theories, and once wrote, “Newton, forgive me.”

Albert Einstein, whose theories of relativity changed our understanding of time and space, once wrote “Newton, forgive me.”
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Einstein’s first major contribution to the study of time occurred when he revolutionized physics with his “special theory of relativity” by showing how time changes with motion. Today, scientists do not see problems of time or motion as “absolute” with a single correct answer. Because time is relative to the speed one is traveling at, there can never be a clock at the center of the universe to which everyone can set their watches. Your entire life is the blink of an eye to an alien traveling close to the speed of light. Today, Newtonian mechanics have become a special case within Einstein’s theory of relativity. Einstein’s relativity will eventually become a subset of a new science more comprehensive in its description of the fabric of our universe. (The word “relativity” derives from the fact that the appearance of the world depends on our state of motion; it is “relative.”)

We are a moment in astronomic time, a transient guest of the Earth. Our wet, wrinkled brains do not allow us to comprehend many mysteries of time and space. Our brains evolved to make us run from saber-toothed cats on the American savanna, to hunt deer, and to efficiently scavenge from the kills of large carnivores. Despite our mental limitations, we have come remarkably far. We have managed to pull back the cosmic curtains a crack to let in the light. Questions raised by physicists, from Newton to Kurt Gödel to Einstein to Stephen Hawking, are among the most profound we can ask.

Is time real? Does it flow in one direction only? Does it have a beginning or an end? What is eternity? None of these questions can be answered to scientists’ satisfaction. Yet the mere asking of these questions stretches our minds, and the continual search for answers provides useful insights along the way.

Reincarnation Stories

Regressed to a Previous Life
I went to a hypnotherapist to overcome my fear of public speaking, which I had to do in connection with my work. She put me under so that we could go back to my childhood when this fear was embedded.

As she started to take me down, I became extremely sad. I was crying so much that the pillow beneath me became soaked with tears. I started to feel a sense of floating above a scene. I saw a dirt road on which a huge old fashioned black car was driving. Behind the car, standing in the road, was a woman, inconsolably sobbing. I realized that the woman was me!

I felt the dust in my throat and started coughing. I was wearing worn-out cotton clothing and I felt the wind tearing at my clothes. I was so alone! When the therapist asked me why I was so sad, I told her in a voice which was very different from minutes before, “He stole my baby, he took my son!”

I had slipped, not into my childhood, but to a whole different lifetime. It was mind-blowing, because when I had been in the hospital after having my baby, I was terrified that someone was going to take my child. The doctors and nurses thought I was nuts, but I was actually reacting to what had happened to me in that previous life.

As the session flowed on, I saw myself working in an old-fashioned restaurant. I spent hours in this kitchen that had a long shallow sink which was attached to a red brick wall. I then found my self in a house with a man whom I believe was the same man who had sold my baby. He was very abusive and brutal. I was taken outside after being beaten and raped and placed under a wooden porch. He nailed me inside so I couldn’t escape.

Later, he returned, pulled me from under the porch and took me to a carriage house which was red and like a small barn with a dirt floor. He picked up a spade and proceeded to bash my scull in. I suddenly had no more panic. I felt myself rising above my body and was ecstatic finally to be free. I watched as he dug a deep hole in the dirt floor and buried my body.

The strange thing is that I have always had nightmares about a spade. I would be in the shower or doing something mundane and I would reach for a towel, but instead of a towel bar there would be a spade. I never understood it until that day. After that, my spade dreams faded.

Reincarnation Stories

Flight 93?
Before September 11, I had a recurring dream. I was on a plane and I knew I was going to die. Everything on the plane was crazy. I remember people screaming and crying, and others fighting at the front of the plane. In my dream, I didn’t look like me. It was like I was someone else. I couldn’t see my face; it was just that my body was different. I was sitting by the window and I could see a lot of trees and a field. Then everything went black. I knew the plane had crashed. I was just glad that it didn’t hurt. Then I woke up.

I felt sick to my stomach every time the dream recurred. It was like someone I knew was going to die, like I was waiting for something to happen. Then September 11 happened and I knew my dream was about flight 93. I became pregnant soon after. I had a girl whom I named Leora (which means “light”). She was born in August, 2002. The dream continued to bother me. I didn’t know the connection.

My family had a psychic come to their house to do a group reading. I asked about the dream. She told me that my daughter had been on that plane. She said that I knew about it because our spirits were connected. I really didn’t believe it. I just decided to wait and see if my daughter said anything. She was about three years old.

She slept over at her grandmother’s house one night. She woke up twice crying, saying she didn’t want to be on the plane anymore, that she wanted her parents. She was never on a plane. She also said the plane was going down. There was a woman on the plane named something like Deora. My daughter says her name is Deora, not Leora.

Reincarnation Stories

A Prisoner of the Nazis
When I was in about the eighth grade, I began to experience ongoing dreams after listening to a Holocaust survivor’s story in school. These dreams continued for three or four years. I dreamed each episode only once and I can still remember most of them. Each dream was in great detail and seemed to go on all night.

The first dream was very choppy, something about hiding in a car, being found by two men in uniform and hiding a ring in my mouth. I don’t remember a lot of it but I was being dragged away. Maybe this is when they realized I was of value and put me to work; I don’t know.

I dreamed I was a secretary to a German officer whose makeshift office was located in a tarpaper warehouse. I seemed to be pretty important as a secretary because I spoke English, German and another language and could interpret documents for them. I don’t know if I was a willing employee or had been forced to work there. I was told never to go to the lower level of the building but I once snuck down to see something and stumbled upon a group of people being held there. It was very scary to me and I fled. I feared for my life, knowing that there was Jewish blood in my family. They disposed of the prisoners’ bodies by placing them in the tarpaper rolls and trucking them out of the tarpaper warehouse.

Next, I was traveling with a large group of people and hiding in various places. This dream continued for years, often including the death of different people to whom I had became very attached. I remember hiding in the basement of an antique store, a sewer and a large drain pipe that emptied into an open field or valley. During that dream there were only three of us left and we were starving. The group included me (blonde, wearing a skirt, blouse and sweater, not at all like I look now), and a small-built man and his wife.

Since we had seen German soldiers down in the valley, the woman decided to run to try to get away, even though we told her she wouldn’t make it. We heard shots and the woman made it back into the drain pipe. She told me, “Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt as much as you think.” That was the last dream I ever had. I believe that is because we were all killed by the soldiers. I was born with a portwine birthmark on the left side of my face. I wonder if that has any relation to my death.

All my dreams were in color and some of the language was in German. I don’t speak any language other then English, but in my dreams when I heard German being spoken I understood it. I am now 50 years old. If I ever traveled to Germany and found the town I worked in, I would know my way around.

I am now engaged to a man with a very German name. I looked it up and learned of a German officer with the same last name, same spelling, who was very big during World War II and who worked closely with Hitler. My fiancé and I have joked that we must have known each other before, because when we met, it was like an instant connection.

Reincarnation Stories

Did I know Joan of Arc?
I grew up in a fundamentalist family which thought reincarnation did not fit into our religious ideas. In fact, the only thing that I knew about reincarnation, at age seven, was that people in India believed they could come back as a cow.

My father was in the military and when I was about seven, in the ’50’s, we lived in France. Our family went to Orleans, the town in which Joan of Arc grew up. We were not allowed to drive our car into the town, so we had to walk. My parents were not sure where to go as the signs were in French. I pointed down a street and said, “Joan of Arc lived down there.” When I was asked how I knew, I had no answer. When we started in the direction I had pointed, we saw a sign we could make out telling us we were headed in the right direction.

As we walked up to the area for visitors, I told my mother I didn’t want to go in. She said I had to stay with the family. I felt so compelled to go a different direction that, as the family went into the building with a group of people, I snuck down a side street. I knew exactly what it was going to look like and I knew there was a bridge over a creek around a corner, before I could see it. As I stood on the bridge, I was overwhelmed by sights and sounds and odors that I remembered from some where, but I didn’t know where. I just knew I had lived there when Joan of Arc lived there. I knew I had played with her and we had loved to play in the water by the bridge. There are so many things that come into my mind even now as I think about it. I KNEW I had lived there even though I didn’t know what reincarnation was.

My mother tells the story about how we were the only Americans living in the small town of Noveant. She said I played with the French girls and spoke French with them even though I had had little French in my classes at school. We moved from France to Germany. I again had experiences that aren’t easy to explain. But I do know that I had been a German soldier and that I was killed by a hand grenade that exploded in my hand.

When we moved from France to Germany, I was put in the beginning German class, but after a week my parents were called for a conference. The teacher wanted to move me to the advanced class because I was learning German so fast. She asked them if I had ever been around people who spoke German before. After I left Germany I couldn’t speak German any more. But I do understand German when I hear it spoken sometimes.

Again I knew this when I was a child. I never spoke to anyone about these experiences until I was an adult because they were against the religious ideas I grew up with. Now I am comfortable with them and find them empowering instead of “weird.” I also have found that I can sometimes see other people’s past lives.

Remembering the Old Paths
One balmy evening during our undergrad days, one of my friends, an orthodox Muslim named Esa, and I went out for an after-dinner walk. We talked of various things, and he told me this story. Muslims refuse to believe in reincarnation, and so this was the last thing I ever expected to hear from Esa.

He told me that when he was a young boy of six, he and his family went on pilgrimage to visit the most important Shiite holy town of Karbala in Iraq. Those were the peaceful days under Saddam, even before the Iran-Iraq war. As they wandered around town, they realised that they had lost the way to the most holy Imam Hussein mosque and mausoleum. Unfortunately, no one in their group knew proper conversational Arabic and, before long, they had given up hopes of arriving at the mosque in time to attend evening prayers.

Little Esa, who was tagging along with his mom, was smiling broadly, as if relishing the discomfiture of his family members. Bemused, they turned to him and asked him whether he knew the way. To their surprise, he exclaimed “Yes!”

He led the group through the maze of narrow walkways and alleys and, within a few minutes, they’d reached the main mosque, well before prayer time! Turning to him, his mother asked him how he’d known the way. He still remembers his reply: “I was born here, and I was Imam at this mosque!” Esa’s father’s great-great-grandfather was the chief priest at the famous Imam Hussein mosque sometime in the last century.

Reincarnation Stories

MY DEATH IN EGYPT
This is a past-life I experienced during meditation about five years ago.

I don’t know the year, but I’m betting it’s at least a few hundred years ago. I’m quite positive I’m somewhere in Egypt, as I’m in a temple with hieroglyphics covering all the gold-coloured walls. I’m a girl, but I see I’m wearing suspenders, a white tank top, and long-ish cargo-type shorts (perhaps I was pretending to be a boy to get into the temple?). My hair is long, thick, dark brown, and in many small curls. I don’t know my name, but I feel I’m French, despite where I am, and “Renée” or “Helène” sound like they’re connected to me in this life. I am sixteen years old.

I’ve never seen my life, but only my death – and my death is in that temple. There are a few candles hanging on the temple walls, but the place is still practically pitch black inside. As I stand there, the temple starts to fill rapidly with water, and I look around for a place to get out. (Perhaps I’ve been locked in for pretending to be a boy?) This seems impossible to me, as there’s no way I can be about to die in this temple! So young! And how would one lock someone inside?!

But as the water fills faster and faster, I find myself surrendering to whatever God has planned for me. After my minute of panic, I find myself calming down and lying on my back in the water, readily accepting my fate and staring at the temple ceiling. It’s dark as I calmly watch the water rush all around me, and within seconds, the water level in the temple is over my head.

My eyes still open, the images above me wavy with the water against my eyes, still gazing at the ceiling of the temple, I know my lungs are filling with water – but I feel no pain or fear. Instead, I feel an eerie sense of peace surrounding me. Even though I know I’m about to die, I feel God holding me in his arms, so everything is perfectly as it should be. Where the ceiling was once dark, a small burst of light appears and grows larger and ever brighter – it’s as if someone has lifted the “lid” off the temple and opened it up from the top. But it’s even brighter than the sun – it’s like staring into the soul of the Heavens.

Still lying in the water, still staring at this incredible light, I feel myself being pulled from my body, being lulled into the light. It feels like I’m in the middle of a hypnotic dance. It grows bigger and bigger, and I’m engulfed in the light. In fact, I AM the light – and everything I’ve ever needed to know is now known.