On Precognitive Dreams
a short introduction to the gift (and possible problems) of prophetic dreaming

June 11th 2017 - On Precognitive Dreams

Some time ago, I spoke with a fellow whom I shall call Carlo. Carlo was plagued by relentless guilt feelings. He told me of a terrible nightmare he had had about a close friend dying in a car accident, while this friend was getting ready for a weeklong road trip.

Soon after his friend had taken to the road, Carlo found out that he had died in a fatal collision.

Carlo was forever blaming himself for not warning his friend. He was convinced that he could have diverted his friend’s fate, if only he had reached out and kept him from going on that ill-omened trip. —

It can be unsettling when the unconscious speaks to us of what looks like predictive certainty in our dreams! But that's just the thing: such a dream bears unconscious consciousness or knowing that could never be manipulated, or turned around. It could be denied admission into consciousness, but that would just be sort of soothing or blindfolding yourself, not a redirection of the future. If there had been room for reaching out to advise his friend, Carlo would have had a different dream.

It can be hard to accept one’s prophetic dream as a gift. This acceptance must not be mistaken with becoming a fatalist, or pessimistic. Fatalism would refer to an approach to life on the basis that everything is predetermined and that “we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do” (Wikipedia).

When knowledge comes to us through a prophetic dream, we are a vessel to receive, perhaps contemplate it, not an instrument to change it. 

Why some people receive prophetic dreams and others not is a mystery. I would suspect that it has to do with a particular vulnerability, sensitivity and in-tune-ness with intuition, but I could be wrong about that. It is quite likely that we all at some point have had precognitive dreams, but only some of us ever register and remember them. Major life transitions that touch our being in some meaningful way (like the death or impending death of a loved one) can trigger prophetic dreams. As if our psyche wants to prepare us at a time of acute need.

We usually find out that a dream was indeed foretelling the future once the future has become presence. Some people however report of dreams that have happened simultaneously with an actual event. Those dreams may more aptly be in the category of “telepathic” than prophetic.

A down side of our inner ability to see a significant future occurrence in our dreams could be that it may feel more like a burden to carry than a gift to treasure. Those of us who are endowed with the gift of precognitive dreaming can choose to resist it (and consequently suffer), or surrender and allow it to move us on the currents of awe and emotion.

When upon waking we consciously surrender will and control to the offering of our Psyche, a prophetic dream doesn't need to get stuck in the run-about of reproach, or lead us to believe we’re responsible for something we are not. We can learn to identify and accept how we feel, harness the emotional energy, breathe into tension of resistance and exhale, and live with growing wisdom.

Surrender helps us
1) bow to the gifts of the dreaming mind
2) differentiate and focus on what we truly are responsible for so that we can make appropriate changes in our lives and relationships.

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Toronto, Ontario M6C 3L2
Photo and article by Ursula Carsen