Are Premonitions For Real?

We have often heard of animals reacting strangely before dangerous situations like earthquakes or other natural disasters. And yet when we talk about humans' premonitions we tend to be sceptical, dismissive or even ironic.

The question that naturally arises is: if animals have the ability to sense the future, why human beings, considered superior from intellectual and spiritual point of view, wouldn't have at least the same capacity?

It is a common tendency to associate any intent of foreseeing events to empiric practices and beliefs, unsupported by science and generally embraced by people with a poor education.

But what if, one by one, all these misconceptions would be blown away?

Premonitions from a scientific perspective

New Views On the Time Concept and a Possible Explanation for Premonitions

When talking about time, we use clichés like "time flies", "time flows" implying that time is unidirectional and irreversible. From this perspective – the only one generally accepted for the moment – past and present are accessible, while future is not.

In the recent years, the classical theory about time began to be more and more challenged. One of the most elaborated is the "block universe theory" developped by Dr. Brad Skow, philosophy professor at Massachussets Institute of Technology. He argues that we are spread all over "spacetime" and therefore, past, present and future co-exist in parallel. According to Dr. Skow, if someone would look down upon universe, he would have access simultanously to past, present and future events. And althought the idea of someone looking down on the universe was just a figure of speech to better explain the block universe theory, it is not at all far from reality.

A man "looking down upon the universe" can be the one who has reached a high level of detachment and objectivity. A human being spiritually evolved might be the one capable of accessing information from different spaces and timeframes.

Based on this theory, the notions "past", "present" and "future" become obsolete and we are entitled to think that we have only events occurring in different parts of space and time in this universe. Even time can be seen in a different light, as a human invention meant to try to control and measure what in reality is uncontrollable and mostly beyond our knowledge.

A Few Famous Premonitions that Make You Think...

  • In October 1966, a huge landslide occurred in Aberfan village, Wales, distroying, among others, Pantglas School. It is said that the disaster has been foreseen in various ways by many people living in the area. One of them was the little Eryl Mai who told her mother one day before the tragedy that she was not afraid to die and that she "shall be with Peter and June"[her school mates]. All three were buried alive the day of the tragedy.

  • Two weeks before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Logan Dryer, a five years old boy refused to go to classes claiming that the school was not a safe place. His behaviour was labelled as panic attacks. A small biographic detail though may change your opinion on what determined Logan to refuse to attend school the days before the shooting: his grandmother had extra-sensorial capacities.

  • Abraham Lincoln is said to have dreamt his burial a few days before his death. In his dream, he was attending a burial at the White House and asked people who had died. They have answered him that the dead was the president.

  • 9/11 attacks were the object of many premonitions. Barrett Naylor, a Wall Street executive, saved his life twice: first time in 1993 when he decided to return home one morning while heading to work, due to a strong bad feeling. Second time, on September 9th, 2001, he did the same and watched the attacks on TV.

  • In 2013, a tragedy shocked the world: The South African model Reeva Steenkamp was deadly shot by his boyfriend who claimed to have confused her with an intruder. After Reeva's death, her parents made public one of ther paintings from childhood. In the painting, a man points a gun towards a woman with angel wings. Judge for yourself if it's pure coincidence or pure intuition of her tragic death.

  • Carl Jung has repeatedly had bad dreams including blood, killings, floods in 1914. One month after his last nightmare of this kind the First World War started.

Reeva Steenkamp painting

The Main Questions About Premonitions

When? How? Who?

When? We tend to think that premonitions are mostly related to tragic events in our lives.The truth is that we can sense not only tragic events, but alo the happy and fortunate ones. However, it is a psychological fact that people react more quickly and intensively towards negative aspects of life. That's why, most probably, people tend to relate to visions they had, dreams, feelings when they are confronted with negative events and report them in a higher number.

On the other hand, the way to many scientific discoveries was paved with premonitory dreams. The birth of a child or a pregnancy are also events that women (mostly) become aware of in advance through premonitory dreams.

How? Most of the premonitions take the shape of dreams because it is during our sleep that we leave our inner self free to reach its full potential.

But they can also occur while awake as a vision or as a feeling that we cannot explain through real-life circumstances.

Who can have premonitions? The fact is that anybody has the potential to experience premonitions but it depends a lot on how evolved we are spiritually and what type of relations we have with people around.

As seen above, many premonitions are reported by children. Unlike adults, children' spirit is clean and genuine; a perfect ground where precognitive experience can develop.

People engaged in solid relationships are more likely to experience premonitions about each other. For instance twins, mother and child, solid couples but in fact participants in any strong interpersonal connection.

How Do We Recognize Premonitions?

  • They are intensive. You will spend an entire day or even several days under the influence of a premonitory dream. Ordinary dreams, even the nightmares, tend to fade in the daylight, but premonitory dreams persist and are remembered in details.
  • They can be recurrent. Although not all premonitions repeat, a recurring dream should make you ponder on it.
  • They deal with death. According to specialists, any vision, feeling or dream dealing with death should be taken seriously as it is likely to be a warning (not always on a real death, but also on endings, like a divorce, a separation or other type of loss). As Carl Jung advised us, we should pay attention to dreams involving death because we might not get a second chance to do that.
  • Synchronizing. If you happen to find out that your dream is the same or very similar to other people's dreams and happen at the same time, there are high chances that you are having a premonition.
  • Unconsciousness. Contrary to what most of us think, premonitions are not always conscious and straightforward as an image depicting the foreseen even in front of your eyes. Sometimes, premonitions operate at an unconscious level and according to Dr Larry Dossey, this is when they are the most efficient because people don't spend time assessing whether they are valid or not. In his book "The Science of Premonitions", Dr. Larry Dossey talks about the explosion of a church in Nebraska. For the first time, on the night of the explosion, none of the members of the church choir came to rehearsal for apparently objective reasons (they were too busy, they didn't feel like etc). The author points out that, in this case, people had a form of unconscious collective premonition, that prevented an entire community from being part of a disaster.

It is not easy to detect premonitions and act based on them, but one step towards making them work in our lives is to let go of misconceptions. They are not voodoo, but rather evidences of the human mind's potential to reach superior levels of knowledge. Premonitions never pump in randomly, but at key moments of our lives on the purpose of helping us in a way and opening up new options for us.

Dr. Larry Dossey on Premonitions