As a pan of the human survival ability, the capacity to predict the future is a well-developed everyday pan of life—so much so we often fail to notice it. When crossing a road we quickly take in factors related to sounds, car speeds and our own physical condition, and predict the likelihood of being able to cross the road without injury. Based on information gathered, often unconsciously, we also attempt to assess or predict the outcome of relationships, job interviews, business ventures, and any course of action imponant to us.
If detailed observations were made of the habits of ten people, one could predict fairly accurately what they would be doing for the next week, perhaps even pinpointing the time and place.
For instance some would never visit a pub, while others would be frequently there.
Because the unconscious is the storehouse of millions of bits of observed information, and because it has a well-developed function enabling us to scan information and predict from it, some dreams forecast the future. Such predictions may occur more frequently in a dream rather than as waking insight, because few people can put aside their likes and dislikes, prejudices and hopes sufficiently to allow such information into the consciousness. While asleep some of these barriers drop and allow information to be presented.
Ed Butler’s dream is about his work scene. Each detail was real and horrifying. Shonly afterwards, Rita was burnt just as in the dream. Example: ‘I was stanled by the muffled but unmistakable sound of a nearby explosion. While unexpected, it wasn’t entirely unusual—the high energy propel- lants and oxidisers being synthesised and tested in the chemistry wing were hazardously unstable. When I heard the screams I froze for an instant, recognising that they could only be coming from Rita, the one woman chemist in the all male department. I rushed to the doorway of her laboratory. Peering through the smoke and fumes I saw a foot sticking out of the surrounding flames. I was only in my shirt sleeves, unprotected, not even wearing my lab coat, but I had to go into the flames. I grabbed Rita by the foot and noticed with horror that her stockings were melting from the heat. I pulled her back into the doorway and tugged at a chain which released gallons of water on her flaming body. When satisfied the fire was quenched, even though my own clothes still smouldered, I ran for the emergency phone’ (from Dream Network Bulletin, June 1985).
Some precognitive dreams appear to go beyond this ability to predict from information already held. So far there is no theory which is commonly accepted which explains this.
A not too bizarre one, however, is thai our unconscious has access to a collective mind. With so much more information available, it can transcend the usual limitations when predicting from personal information.
The next examples are all from Shirley G. Because of space, only three of the dreams are quoted. Nevertheless, they are typical of dreams which do not seem to fall into the category of precognitive dreams arising from unconscious scanning or information already known. Example: ‘1 set out to dream the winner of a horse race each day for a week. I was driving down a country road and suddenly saw a glimpse of Emmerdale Farm down a side road. Following day: chosen horse Emmerdale Farm came in first. 2 Was working in a room when a man popped his head around the door and shouted excitedly “John, John, your uncle’s here” and disappeared. I carried on working. Chosen horse: Uncle John. Came in first. 3 Was walking down a road, called into a house by a friend to have a chat. On the way out she opened the door and I saw a completely empty room except for a huge black fireplace. Door closed and I left the house. Chosen horse Black Fire—which I insisted would only be placed due to a fireplace. Came in 2nd.* See ESP in dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences