The most common response I hear when I tell people I research time and precognition is “Wait — you mean knowing the future? Oooh…scary.” Often people actually shiver with fear. Then they say, “psychic stuff? or more scientific stuff?” And already I realize I have three different major myths I need to bust in order to have the conversation. So I’m taking this opportunity to bust them.
The 3 Most Common Myths about Precognition
- MYTH: Precognition is knowing the future.
Nope! Precognition is gaining information about future events through means other than through the five senses, conscious or unconscious logical inference, or directly causing the events to happen. I use the phrase “gaining information” precisely because most of the time precognition isn’t conscious. Most of the time, information is gained by the unconscious processes in our brain/mind — and we can’t say we “know” anything with any conscious certainty. Sure, all of the spontaneous cases of precognition that get us interested in precognition as a phenomena are necessarily instances in which we have a conscious knowing of something — but what we know isn’t always — or even often — knowledge about what an upcoming event “is.” These experiences are more commonly like glimpses or hints that something important is about to happen, though we can’t define exactly what it is. In any case, as my colleagues and myself have pointed out multiple times and as discussed in The Premonition Code, spontaneous cases are very difficult to verify, and in the laboratory it is clear that unconscious precognition is going on in humans and even in animals, much of the time, without alerting the conscious mind (also see First Sight by Jim Carpenter). So unless “knowing” refers to some broader and more inclusive sense of the word that includes unconscious knowing — precognition is not knowing the future.
- MYTH: Precognition is scary, because knowing the future is scary.
Not my experience — and not the experience of many Positive Precogs I know. And that’s not just because they’re slanted toward having positive experiences — it’s because even when people do consciously or unconsciously get information about a future event that seems negative, they tend to report that the experience leads them to prepare better for the event and be more present in their day-to-day experience. In more spiritually-oriented words, it helps them connect with their future selves, which feels enriching and powerful, not fear-inducing.
- MYTH: Precognition is not scientific, because it has to do with “psychic stuff.”
I just returned home from an academic conference where I was talking about technology development. The focus was not on precognition, but I’m not in the closet as a precognition researcher, so I mentioned that interest to a medical researcher at the conference. She said, “Oh you mean unconscious processing of subliminal cues, right? Not — not — not –” …I completed her sentence, “psychic stuff? Yes, yes. I mean psychic stuff.” Then we began the conversation that I have with about 75% of academicians when they hear about this work. “Just between you and me, I had this experience I can’t explain…” She already knew I was a competent thinker and a skeptical data analyst, so she was willing to share her experience with me. But 60 seconds earlier, she couldn’t bring herself to say the word “psychic.” That’s why we think psychic stuff isn’t scientific — because scientists hide their psychic experiences and are afraid of shame and retribution from other academics when they come out of the closet. But it’s not because precognition is not scientific — it’s because we have a misunderstanding of what “scientific” means. A process is scientific if it is compatible with the scientific method. For instance, religious faith is a non-scientific process — it does not include hypothesis creation and testing. However, the precognitive process is compatible with the scientific method. Not only has the scientific method be used to study it (see my recent review and rebuttal) but precognition itself is a process that can be experienced using the scientific method — you can learn controlled precognition and develop hypotheses about future events, then test them — and you can develop hypotheses about how to better gain information about future events, then test those.
So please keep these relevant pieces of information in mind when you chart your course in relationship to your understanding of precognition.
And enjoy the future!
Julia Mossbridge, MA, PhD
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CLASS NOTE: There’s only FOUR (2^2!) spots left for Controlled Precognition 101, which starts Tuesday. Check it out and see if it’s for you by clicking on this link.
ALSO: My co-author Theresa Cheung and I have been doing a lot of media interviews and classes. Check them out on the events page on the website at ThePremonitionCode.com.