PRECOGNITIONS and PERSPECTIVES
Arthur C. Hastings
Precognition is classified by parapsychologists as a form of extrasensory perception. It means awareness of a future event without using either logical inference or any sensory mode of perception. Controlled experimental studies have confirmed the occurrence of precognition. In these studies, subjects have attempted to predict the order of symbols or cards chosen randomly at a later time. They were able to do this more accurately than could be expected by chance guessing (1). In recent experiments on "remote viewing" at Stanford Research Institute, a subject was able to describe precognitively outdoor physical locations that were selected 30 minutes later from a pool of 100 different locations (5). As yet, however, there is no satisfactory theory to account for precognition, which would seem to imply a transfer of information from the future to the present, and which questions our usual assumptions about free will, the flow of time, and the existence of the future.
Dreams are the most common altered states of consciousness in which ESP phenomena appear, and apparently precognition is the most frequent type of ESP in dreams (3). Louisa E. Rhine reports that 40 percent of the real life cases of apparent ESP reported to her involve precognition, and two-thirds of these occurred in dreams (4). The occurrence of precognition in dreams has been documented experimentally in a series of stunning experiments at Maimonides Medical Center (6).
In observing my own dreams and in working with dreams of other persons, I have noted that some precognitions fall into patterns and that sometimes they combine with other elements of dreams to provide functional information for
Arthur Hastings is a consulting psychologist, noted editor, and lecturer, who is frequently called upon when the state of the art of consciousness research is discussed. Write to him at 2451 Benjamin Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043. The above article also appeared in the Journal of the American Society for Psychosomatic Denistry and Medicine, 1977, 24(2), 51 -60.