Divination, Astrology and Dreams
Updated June 1, 2003
“A couple of hours ago, I was getting ready to go down and pick up my airline tickets. The trip’s not until next week, but you know me, I never like to wait until the last minute. But when I hopped in my car, guess what? My battery was dead. A brand new battery and not enough juice to start a motor scooter. Naturally, no one was around with a set of jumper cables. But I figured, ‘no problem!’ So I grabbed my bike. I know you won’t believe this, but both tires were flat. And of course I had loaned my pump to a neighbor. Inasmuch as he was out of town for the week, I was flat out-of-luck. I thought about hitching a ride with Sarah across the way, but when I looked over at her house, she was just pulling out and driving off. Just missed her!” I mean the whole thing was weird! It was like I was not meant to pick up those airline tickets.” Alex smiled slightly. With his story finished, he looked at Marie for her reaction. When she said nothing, Alex became a little anxious. “Well?”
Marie was hesitant. “I’m not too good at omens, and that’s what that sounds like.”
“An omen. Something that happens which foretells the future. Can be good or evil.”
“What do you think it means?”
“Maybe you should avoid flying.”
“And not go to Seattle next week?”
“Maybe that’s what it’s telling you. I’m not sure.”
Alex frowned at the lack of direction from Marie. Then he tried to make light of it. “I really need to go to Seattle next week.”
“I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to what you’re calling an omen, but it reminded me of my dream.”
“Oh? Tell me about your dream. I’m better at dreams.”
“It was about three nights ago. I dreamed I was going to the airport, and kept going down the wrong streets. I could see the airplanes taking off and landing, but I could never find the entrance. I must have been to that airport a hundred times, but in my dream I just couldn’t find my way. At one point I thought about climbing over the fence, but when I started toward the fence, it seemed to grow taller.”
“Definitely sounds like you shouldn’t go to Seattle.”
“But if I don’t go next week, I won’t get another chance.”
“Let me look at your astrological chart for a moment?”
“Okay, but what’s that got to do with anything?”
“It depends on what's happening in your ninth house with the transiting planets. Ah yes, here it is: ‘Good time to stay home and avoid traveling.’ Just as I thought. You’d better cancel the trip.”
Alex looked very hesitant. With little conviction in his voice, he replied, “Right.”
If Alex cancels his trip, we may never know if by doing so he saved himself from some disaster or merely saved the cost of an airline ticket to Seattle. If nothing happens to his flight, we can all smile smugly and dismiss his fears as nothing more than superstitious drivel. On the other hand, if his flight ends up a crumpled heap on the side of a mountain, we might want to investigate a little more carefully as to the meaning of his omen, dream, and/or astrological chart, particularly before we take another airplane (or other) trip.
We have seen in the previous chapter that given the nature of time, it is possible to predict the future, if only, at the very least, in terms of probabilities. It follows that it should be entirely possible for one to predict their own future, or at least certain probable events. On a personal basis, each of us might be able to base our decisions on our own psychic foreknowledge of the future.
Psychic potentials may be thought of as the ability of human beings to predict the future, understand the present, and clarify the past; and then to modify or change the future. The latter point is very important in that it allows free will and the ability to avoid an undesirable future and/or to create a preferred future. These psychic potentials that we supposedly all possess, fall into a wide variety of different areas, of which we will in this chapter briefly discuss divination, dreams, and astrology.
Divination can be thought of as the ability to “know” the present and predict the future. As such, it has been practiced throughout the world since the dawn of history (if not before). The question is, of course, does it work? Can it be relied on? Is it even a good idea? Let us not forget that in Dante’s Hell, fortunetellers were doomed to look forever backward. [Obviously, Dante was not a big fan of divination.]
Nevertheless, there exists a multitude of stories that give us pause to wonder. King Croesus of Lydia, famous for his wealth (“as rich as Croesus”), was said to have checked with the Delphic oracle prior to his launching a military campaign against Persia in the sixth century B.C. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Croesus first tested the oracle with several requests, and then when he had become a believer, he asked for a prediction concerning his planned attack on the Persians. The oracle told Croesus that if he did launch such an attack, the king would “destroy a great empire.” Croesus, quite pleased with the news, happily charged into Persia. Unfortunately, the Persians were no pushovers and Croesus ended up succeeding only in destroying his own empire. Naturally the Delphic oracle took full credit for another accurate prediction.
Omens, ill and otherwise, have also come to haunt many a man and his plans. A black raven, such as celebrated by Edgar Allen Poe, was often thought to signify the imminent arrival of bad luck. The royal house of Hesse with its links to the British and Russian royal families, has become thoroughly disgusted with the appearance of black ravens, as each appearance has always been an omen of impending ill fortune or death.
Birds, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, fish, rats, mice, and even spiders have been known to bode good and ill fortunes to come. They have also shown an ability to perceive the onset of specific large-scale weather changes or natural calamities. In attempting to predict earthquakes and the like, scientists have noted, with some wonderment, the abilities of animals and insects to sense the coming event, hours or even days ahead of time. Such ability may, of course, be the result of the animals simply using their five senses, with special sensitivities to early warning signs, or it may be something else. The “something else” is the item in which we’re interested.
Science seems capable of handling an animal’s ability to sense an earthquake, but the arrival of a raven signifying the imminent death of a relation is not something for which modern theories can account. If the arrival of the raven and the early departure of the relation were not coincidence, how do we explain the raven’s arrival? Did the raven know what he was doing? Do ravens get advance word about human deaths? Was the raven merely a pawn sent by someone else? Is there a central dispatcher for ravens? Did the raven sense something from one or more of us that prompted the raven’s extracurricular flight?
Of all the “non-coincidence” possibilities, the latter idea seems the most plausible and is typically the alternative given the most credence by non-traditional thinkers. There is, for example, the well known fact of vultures arriving at the scene of an expectant death. The vultures are either very keen observers, or else they may be reacting to the thoughts or actions of the weary traveler. Are omens of death just another form of a vulture with a keen eye or is there more to it?
If you have a pet dog, try this experiment. Sit down to read a paper and when the dog has settled down to merely watching you, start thinking about taking him for a walk. In most cases the dog will pick up on the idea (without any apparent action on your part) and will be ready to go. Some dogs will even retrieve their leash as a convenience to you. Alternatively, if you rise in order to turn on the TV, the dog will probably ignore you.
The obvious question is how did the dog know? Was the dog a student of divination? Better yet, is it possible for a human to develop or utilize some sort of latent talent and thereby devise his own divinations? Is there a way that a human being could regularly use his senses, a sixth sense, or something akin to intuition in order to “sense” the future? Don’t bet the farm on the answer being “no.”
History and literature is replete with such possibilities. When Julius Caesar was told to “beware the ides of march,” the soothsayer was either an astute political observer, someone with “inside information,” or a person capable of divination. While Julius’ soothsayer was fictional, there are a fair number of people today who believe divination to be a very real possibility. These proponents would suggest that the soothsayers of yesterday, as well as today, might be simply “tuning in” to other sources of information via an altered state of consciousness. Given the predictability of the future, such altered states might be just the ticket for divination.
It should be noted that one’s ability to achieve an altered state of consciousness is relatively straightforward. Besides the use of some forms of meditation or drugs, practitioners have used everything from intense staring into a bright light (a fire, candle, or crystal ball), to Tarot cards, pyramids, and various forms of Numerology. Virtually all of these methods appear to use the exotic and not-so-exotic equipment as simple tools with which to tap into their subconscious mind.
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, dates back to the third millennium BCE of very ancient China. The basic technique of the I Ching is the throwing of sticks -- the divination being linked through a series of complex philosophic principles. The use of the I Ching allegedly requires deep thought and self-examination, and may be used to induce a deeply meditative state. Concentration by the subject appears to be essential, because of the potentially obscure nature of the sayings. Carl Jung, utilizing his concept of synchronicity has thought of the I Ching’s ability to parallel events in space and time as implying something more than mere chance, potentially an interdependence of objective events among themselves.
Similar to the I Ching is the deck of Tarot cards. These cards may have originated in Egypt or northern Africa as early as 1200 CE or even earlier. Divining by tarot cards is as individual as crystal gazing, because the cards tend to indicate something other than the interpretations of the diviner who is utilizing an altered state of consciousness.
Don’t assume an altered state of consciousness to be some deeply hypnotic state. It can be, but such a deep state is not necessary. Many tarot card readers, for example, appear normal, even while in the midst of predicting future events. At the same time, altered states can include hypnotic, waking, sleeping, fear or shock (traumatic), somnambulist, or trance states. Children in their teenage years, for example, move in and out of a variety of trances. That you might have already suspected.
Dowsing, the ability to locate underground sources of water has been around since the Middle Ages. The sheer strangeness of the event is often enough to send critics into a state of total bewilderment. The American Society of Dowsers has pointed out that the reasons the procedures work, are entirely unknown. This lack of a guiding set of principles has not endeared the concept to its critics.
Nevertheless, dowsing has claimed credit for giving the Occidental Petroleum Company (currently a multibillion dollar corporation) its start in the petroleum industry by helping to bring in ten producing oil wells, all of which had been successfully dowsed. Even the U. S. Marine Corps has used dowsing at its Camp Pendleton base in California. As the editors of Reader’s Digest pointed out in their book, Into the Unknown, On the basis of performance, no other form of divination has so severely challenged its scientific skeptics.
The multitude of successful prophecies and predictions that have been made over the ages, has stretched the imagination of many a skeptic. The key ingredient has always been the diviner himself. The tools of trade appear to be nothing more than a means to stimulate the diviner’s unconscious mind or as a focus for his “intuition”. The ability of humans to read the future lies almost certainly in their own minds and not in any external symbols. Or as Shakespeare put it, “not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
With the array of successful predictions has come the realization by many modern executives of the need for psychic assistance. Most executives appreciate fully the necessity to make critical decisions on what is often insufficient data. If divination can clear up some of the mysteries, it will certainly be welcomed. Whether “operating by the seat of their pants” or asking for a reading of the cards, businesses and individuals may have taken divination and renamed it decision-making.
Policeman, firemen, and ambulance drivers have often noted that the busiest days, or more specifically the busiest nights, occur when the moon is full or new. During these two nights, all manner of murder, mayhem, suicides, crimes of passion and other aberrant behavior seem to crest. Arnold Lieber, author of The Lunar Effect, in reviewing the homicides occurring in Dade County, Florida, between 1956 and 1970, found a statistically significant lunar periodicity in that more murders took place at times of new and full moons than at any other times.
The movement of sunspots toward the sun’s central meridian has been correlated with measured changes in men’s blood by Maki Takata, a Japanese doctor. Furthermore the extent of the change was greater when the man was closer to the sun. John Nelson, an engineer for RCA in 1950, noted that whenever two or more planets formed a 90o or 180o angle with the earth (what astrology deems to be "challenging" aspects), disturbances in radio transmission always occurred; but that radio transmissions were much improved when the planets were in the angular relationships (60o sextiles and 120o trines) that astrologers consider to have a benign influence.
The idea the sun and planets somehow influence man in his day-to-day life is not a new one. Evidence indicates that the Chaldeans were using astrological studies of the skies to make predictions for their kings as long ago as 4000 years. Some believe the earlier Sumerian civilization may also have practiced an early form of astrology. Early Egyptians, Indian religion and philosophy, and the emperors of China were already fine tuning the art as long ago as 2000 B.C. Even the Mayan civilization in the western hemisphere had produced its own class of astronomer priests.
The use of astrology to predict the fate of nations, kings, and harvests, is called mundane or worldly astrology. It was left to the ancient Greeks to make the science available to the common man (provided of course the common man was willing to pay for it). In true democratic fashion, the Greeks insisted that the portents of astrology could influence human actions, but did not rule them! In effect this catarchic astrology avoided conflict with later theologians and philosophers by indicating favorable times for projects, but not guaranteeing their success. The idea was, “The stars impel; they do not compel.”
This latter view has turned out to be quite convenient in explaining why some predictions go sour. It also allows for free will. For example, if during the next full moon you feel like punching someone’s lights out, you always have the choice of refraining from doing so. Maybe just a low growl would be sufficient.
The question remains, however, can astrology predict the future? On the night of a given full moon, is it really going to make a difference if you are a Scorpio born on the 19th of November or a Saggitarius born on the 23rd of the same month? What can the moment of birth have to do with predicting what you will do in the future?
Physics has slowly come to realize in the last several decades that the solar system is virtually awash in an electro-magnetic field. The discovery of the Van Allen Belts around the earth was one of the first indicators, but it has now become clear that all planets have their own electromagnetic signatures. The sun, of course, has a much more intense and stronger field and as a consequence allows the planets to make only slight modifications to the solar system’s overall EM field.
A multitude of experiments have shown that microwaves and other electromagnetic wavelengths can have observable effects on the health and mental development of human beings. At one point the Russians were directing intense microwave broadcasts toward the American Embassy in Moscow and causing a rash of headaches among the personnel.
Is it possible that the solar system’s electromagnetic field could have some effect on the early, very rapid changes in infants as they enter this world and begin to develop? With the planets modifying this same field by their positions with respect to earth, could such a modified field cause certain “alignments” in the basic blueprints of DNA, and could this in turn tend to establish definite personality characteristics? Why not?
Scientific American, for example, has published articles on the variable nature of cells in a fetus, which upon being born is solidified into a precise nature. It's as if the cells had antenna of various configurations which the moment of birth influenced into a specific configuration -- one undoubtedly connected to the geometry of the situation at the time of birth, and potentially connected to the electromagnetic configuration of the solar system.
The why not, from traditional science’s point of view, is that the magnitude of the electromagnetic fields involved would be insufficient to accomplish anything. Roger Culver, in his book, The Gemini Syndrome, makes an excellent argument against the idea of EM fields being the connecting link between the sun and planets, and the actions of men. [Curiously, Dr. Culver later married a professional astrologer. Clearly some professors really get into their research!]]
The act of dowsing may use similar fields and the fact of dowsing’s success might suggest that traditional science’s inability to detect such fields is science’s problem! Or that science has failed miserably to recognize the influence of geometry on the subject
Precession of the Axis
Reader’s Digest, in its book, Into the Unknown, along with countless other skeptics, describe what is believed to be a serious contradiction in astrology. Numerous parties point out that the precession of the earth’s axis (a gradual shifting) over the last two thousand years has resulted in the fact that the first day of spring arrives when the sun is entering Pisces, and not Aries (as was the case in ancient times). In effect the whole sequence of the sun entering each constellation is off by about one month now. Thus if astrologers today are now dealing with the zodiac as it was determined thousands of years ago, things must be seriously wrong.
The flaw in this argument is astrologer's lives are not “ruled by the stars,” but according to the dictates of astrology, are governed in part by the sun and to a lesser degree the planets. The sun’s electromagnetic and geometric field will be influenced by the relatively nearby planets, but the effect of other stars trillions and trillions of miles away can be considered to be virtually nil. Astrology considers the relative position of the sun and the planets, but never the stars. The precession of the earth’s axis would have virtually no effect on the solar system’s field. The fact that the Sun Signs are named after star groups, in no way implies it is essential for the sun to be in the constellation Cancer, for a person to be born with the personality of a Crab.
Shakespeare and Augustine
From the viewpoint of the ability of astrology to predict the future, it would appear that a knowledge of a person’s personality could give some clues as to future actions and events. If astrologers are simply tapping into the plans for a soul’s current incarnation, then the predictions may potentially take on even further authenticity. Furthermore the fact astrology provides only probable futures (as do other forms of forecasting) is clearly in its favor.
Shakespeare, in King Lear, takes a jab at astrology, when his Edmund says, “This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune -- often the surfeit of our own behavior -- we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars... an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star.”
It is noteworthy William attributed much of our fortune to the “surfeit of our own behavior.” Reincarnation, and to some extent, astrology readily acknowledges the responsibility of the self in determining our fortunes.
Perhaps the bard had taken his cue from Saint Augustine, who found it impossible to reconcile the fact that two people born at identical times (which astrology calls astral twins), could lead such dissimilar lives as that of a nobleman and a peasant. Of course, Saint Augustine was also having trouble with the idea of reincarnation or that that same nobleman and peasant may have switched places in a past life.
In the case of identical twins -- with obviously the same DNA and typically the same early childhood environment -- the astrology is also fundamentally similar. There is the slight variation with respect to the exact time of birth (and the order of birth), but such lives should be quite similar. And, as it turns out, they often are. Even twins separated at birth end up marrying people with the same names and characteristics. Hmmmm...
Another use of astrology is in what can often be a precise determination of an individual’s characteristics based on the date of his or her birth. An astrological natal chart can provide a relatively nice description, which allows a person to “know thyself.” It might even come in handy in attempting to explain to someone else, your point of view. As a matter of fact, if you just mention that you’re a Scorpio, they’ll probably know. And they'll run in the other direction. Or if you're a Leo; they may curtsy to your royal favor.
One advantage, which should not be dismissed too easily, is the ability of perhaps understanding other people. For example, a stubborn Taurus father will have a much better chance of understanding and dealing with his Leo daughter, if he is willing to accept her as having the characteristics of a Leo. She’ll probably want to be a princess, and he might as well accept that inevitable fact. For the Cancer husband, whose wife is a Gemini, it will help a great deal, if during those times when the “depressed twin” is in charge of her mood, that he just back off and wait for the “vivacious twin” to once again reappear.
If nothing else, the twelve signs of the zodiac tell each of us that as a bare minimum,11/12ths of the human race is not like us and cannot be expected to have the same goals and priorities. Astrology may, if nothing else, breed tolerance of others and their different personalities.
In reality, of course, we are often categorized into 16 types by such modern psychology tools as Myers-Briggs Personality types. A technique called Destiny Cards, which identifies each person with one to three specific cards of the deck, based on the day of birth allows for 366 distinct personalities. Astrology -- because of its need for the exact time of birth -- has an enormously larger repertoire. Nevertheless, an understanding of another's astrology can do a lot to foster tolerance. The really curious aspect is that I've never met someone who did not like their sun sign, or wanted to change it. Fascinating!
No discussion of divination or astrological predictions would be complete without some mention of Nostradamus. Born on December 14, 1503 in St. Remy, France, Nostradamus became a well known doctor of medicine, herbalist, magician, creator of fruit preservatives and cosmetics, “celestial scientist” (i.e. astrologer), and prophet. His name has come down to us through the last four hundred years because of The Centuries, written by Nostradamus in the years from 1554 to 1564. In this remarkable document, Nostradamus predicted critical events occurring in the next several thousand years. His predictions were based, apparently, on astrology and some form of prophetic trance, and were normally written in cryptic poems called Quatrains.
Many researchers have attempted to interpret Nostradamus’ predictions, but are often unable to do so before the fact due to what is believed to be Nostradamus’ intentionally cryptic and subtle manner of writing. Some of these researchers believe that because of the sensitive nature of many of the predictions, Nostradamus specifically avoided a clear and definitive language in his work. At the same time, these researchers also believe Nostradamus utilized certain conventions in his writings which would allow others to discover the specific dates and events to which a particular Quatrain referred.
Not all of Nostradamus’ predictions were cryptic and difficult to interpret before the fact, however. One example is what has come to be known as, perhaps, Nostradamus’ most famous Quatrain:
It was understood, even in Nostradamus’ day, that the prophecy concerned King Henry II. In 1559, the King, carrying his great lion-decorated shield, had his golden visor pierced by the splinters on a broken lance in a joust. He died after ten days of agony. The Count of Montgomery, with his own lion-decorated shield, had tried to avoid the joust, knowing of the prophecy.
Nostradamus subsequently predicted the fates of virtually all of Henry’s remaining royal family members and all of the predictions were fulfilled. Nostradamus, who died in 1566, even predicted his own death and wrote a Quatrain warning against desecrating his grave. In 1700, the city fathers decided to move his illustrious corpse to a more prominent wall of the church. Knowing of Nostradamus’ warning, they nevertheless took a quick look inside, being careful, naturally, not to disturb the remains. There they found, around the skeleton’s neck a medallion inscribed simply with “1700”.
John Hogue, in his book, Nostradamus & The Millennium, has credited Nostradamus with accurately predicting, among other things:
1. The death of Mary, Queen of Scots,
2. The rise and fall of Charles I of England,
3. The London fire of 1666 (“the year 66”),
4. Numerous details of the French Revolution,
5. The rise and fall of Napoleon (whom Nostradamus referred to as the first "anti-Christ" of three. [Adolph HItler is construed by many to the the second, while everyone from Bill Gates to every imaginable political opponent has been suggested for the third "anti-Christ". Gates is currently the odds on favorite, however.]
6. World War I,
7. The electric light bulb, newspapers, the 1929 crash,
8. Hitler (the second “anti-Christ”),
9. Mussolini, Franco, and De Gaulle,
10. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
11. The assassination of John Kennedy,
12. The space shuttle Challenger disaster,
13. The fall of the Shah of Iran, and
14. The Russian invasion of Afghanistan.
It is important to realize that while many of the predictions were fairly specific, many were much more open to interpretation. The London fire of 1666 was predicted in terms of “the year 66”, which gives some leeway. Hitler was spelled Histler, while Kennedy was referred to only as “The great man”. Others, such as those relating to predictions 13 and 14, you may wish to judge for yourself. I.e.:
Persia is, of course, the older name for Iran, and Khomeini had been exiled to Paris for years before the Iranian Revolution actually succeeded in overthrowing the Shah.
The latter Quatrain not only predicts the invasion, but also goes on to suggest the ultimate defeat of the Afghan resistance. While it is true that the Afghan resistance was “buried” for many years, more recent events might suggest the Afghan resistance had won the day. At the same time, the jury may still be out on this one! Afghanistan is still under foreign domination -- even if it was the American bombs that were doing a lot of the "burying."
Meanwhile, in Chapter XV, we will be dealing with more of Nostradamus’ predictions, all of which may make the predictions thus far, seem rather tame!
For ten nights in a row, David Booth had the same nightmare: an American Airlines passenger plane swerving, rolling in the air, and then plunging to the ground inverted, where it burst into an inferno. On May 22, 1979 he contacted in turn: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a psychiatrist, and American Airlines. The FAA took Mr. Booth seriously enough to guess the description of the airliner was that of a DC-10, but could not identify the airport. On May 26, an American Airlines DC-10 departing O’Hare International Airport, had one of its engines break away from the wing, thus causing the jet to roll over and crash in an inverted position. The accident killed 275 people in the worst aviation accident in U. S. history.
Just before his 1947 welterweight title fight with Jimmy Doyle, Sugar Ray Robinson had a vivid dream of hitting Doyle with a few good punches and then watching Doyle on his back, to all appearances, dead. Even though Robinson wanted to call off the fight, it proceeded after a hastily summoned priest eased Sugar Ray’s concerns. In the eighth round, Robinson dropped Doyle with a left hook to the jaw. Doyle fell, hitting the back of his head on the mat. Doyle died the next afternoon.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge gives credit for the inspiration of his famous poem, Kubla Khan, to a vivid dream. After waking with 200 to 300 lines of poetry in his head, Coleridge quickly begin writing it down. Interrupted after 54, he returned later to discover his inspiration had vanished like the images on the surface of a stream.
Giuseppe Tartini tried in vain to compose a magnificent musical composition after dreaming he had made a pact with the devil in return for the devil’s playing of a sonata of exquisite beauty. The piece he did compose, The Devil’s Sonata, was what Tartini considered to be the best he ever wrote, but far below the one he had dreamed.
Dreams of impending disaster have involved Abraham Lincoln, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and Adolph Hitler; and have been included by Shakespeare in haunting dreams of Richard III and Julius Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia. The ancient Egyptians developed a papyrus dream book about 1350 B.C. as a means of interpreting good and bad messages (apparently Joseph’s success inspired the Egyptian scholars). Greek philosophers such as Heraclitus and Plato viewed dreams as a product of an individual’s own private creation.
In the 2nd century A.D. a Greek soothsayer, Artemidorous, considered dreams to be very individualistic, complicated, and varied. Because of this, Artemidorous carefully studied the dreamer as well as the dream and viewed dreams as either the product of day-to-day living or as a means of predicting the future. His books on dreams have continued to serve as a basic reference for almost two thousand years.
In 1968 the Central Premonition Registry was established for prophetic dreams. Of over eight thousand dreams registered, the registry had found 48 that were sufficiently detailed and clear to allow correlation with actual events. Nearly half of these correlations were found to have originated from just six people. Many of these “heavy hitters” have claimed that a prophetic dream is easily distinguishable from other dreams by the unmistakable, almost oppressive impact and the repetition of the dream night after night.
Dreams of Prediction
Any attempt to explain prophecy (dreams, psychic “knowings,” etc.) must ultimately depend upon our ideas of the future. If the future does not yet exist, it seems unlikely the future can affect the present. If, on the other hand, the future does exist (as many proponents of reincarnation maintain), then it seems a simple if not esoteric concept that one could easily predict major events. If future events are based on probability (and thus allow for free will), then predictions are still possible, but with somewhat fewer guarantees.
Is the contrary argument viable? Does the very existence of prophetic dreams imply the future already exists (at least in probabilities)? Not necessarily. It may be that events cause a slight probability change at a subatomic level, in the form of what Cambridge mathematical physicist Adrian Dobbs has termed a psitronic wavefront. As the waves spread out and impinge on a person, the brain’s neurons may actually register their impact in such a way as to allow interpretation. Not unexpectedly, no one has ever found any physical evidence of any so-called psitronic wave. The question remains moot.
Dreams are not necessarily the stuff of prophecy. They can also provide insight and understanding of one’s own psyche. If we in fact have guides (who can see the “big picture” from their heavenly viewpoint), dreams would seem to be a perfect means with which to communicate with the physically bound souls still on earth. (If nothing else, in a dream state we’re less likely to give the guides a lot of back talk.)
Many proponents of psychic potentials strongly emphasize the desirability of recording our dreams. Over a period of time, they believe that a wealth of information can be gained. (It might also help during lulls in party conversation.) But, if you are so inclined, please be aware of one problem: Dreams are fleeting at best -- write them down immediately upon awakening and without any delay or interruption. Otherwise your next poetic masterpiece may be as short as Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”.
One other piece of advice from someone who might even know: “It’s much better for someone to interpret their own dreams, rather than have someone else do it.”
How are divinations, dreams, and astrological predictions related to reincarnation? Consider two possible rationales:
Reincarnation theory describes a series of lives for each soul. From the details of birth experiences and other evidence, we can conclude that each soul, while in the bardo, plans to some degree his or her future life. These future plans are prepared in order to provide certain learning experiences during the incarnation. In our discussion of time, we saw that all such future plans may be based more on probabilities than clear certainties. It would therefore be possible that chance events could interfere with our achieving the preplanned learning experiences.
Many reincarnationists have also strongly suggested the possibility that each soul has a “Higher Self” (or some type of “guide” or “over soul”) who monitors and assists the soul while that soul is incarnated. In order for the Higher Self to be able to assist the incarnated soul, some form of communications would appear to be necessary. Divinations, dreams, and astrological predictions may indeed be the means by which the Higher Self can communicate with the incarnated soul.
Given that our plans may be influenced by probabilities, and that occasionally the improbable may occur (and thus cause the best laid plans of mice and men to go astray), it would appear desirable to allow for Higher Self prompting in order to get back to a life’s plan. Dreams, astrology, and divination (DAD) may just be one of several means to remind each soul of “who knows best.”
Secondly, such arts as astrology may be nothing more than a basic script under which all souls operate. In planning their lives in the space between lives, astrology would provide the general framework, with which each soul could follow. Thereafter, during one's tenure on the planet, that same soul could stay with the script, interact with others as preplanned, but also ad-lib, forget entrances, and on more than a few occasions, get into all sorts of unplanned situations.
Dreams, divination and astrology therefore appear to complement reincarnation and again to provide details on the operating conditions. Belief in any or all of them is not a requirement for reincarnation, and reincarnation may not be essential to any of the three. Nevertheless, it all fits together amazingly well.
Chapter Twelve: It’s About Time
Chapter Fourteen: Communication with the Other Side
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]