A Precognitive Reality: Anomalous Mental Phenomena, II

Posted in Anomaly, Consciousness, Parapsychology, Religion on  | 9 minutes | 22 Comments →

I typically don’t keep jobs too long. At last count I’d worked over 50 jobs by the time I was 30. I was 19 when the following incident happened, and it was my fourth job.

I’d been working for a few months at a private club atop the county’s most prominent skyscraper. It was really a fun gig, to say the least. The day shift basically consisted of lunch for the elite. I was an upscale busboy, complete with a suit, a “crumber” and the whole kit. The clientele consisted of everybody from real estate moguls to business tycoons to sports team owners. Even some Hollywood types. There was a private gym up there where some of these types would congregate for various non-athletic activities, if you catch my drift. The club and the gym took up the entire top floor and you could see out over the Pacific or out over the mountains. Sunsets in wintertime were amazing. The whole setup was just so high-class and… just weird.

As far as mixing work and pleasure, the night shifts were where it was at. They had regular dinners, but more often than not there was some sort of banquet going on. Rich people often waste untouched food and drink, so me and the other busboys often had ourselves a great time during downtime. Anywhere from moderate to too-much-to-be-on-the-clock amounts of wine were the usual perk, and the dinners superb.

One particular afternoon I was finishing up a lunch shift like I would any other, which obviously means not drinking wine with the rest of the busboys. It was a little past two in the afternoon, and I was doing what we’d call “rolling butters,” which consisted of shaving butter into thin, aesthetically-pleasing curls, then putting them in the refrigerator for the next shift.

I’m willing to bet most people have heard the phrase train of thought. In “normal” thinking, our thoughts tend to flow causally from one thing to the next. Feelings may come and go apparently without reason, but as far as the content of our thoughts and conscious intentions and visual imagery in our minds, it tends to be rooted in the current task. Take for example our reinforcement of any given event sequence X we wish to undertake: we begin where event sequence X is most likely to begin if all the conditions are sufficient for us to be there, which leads naturally to the first significant incident we expect to encounter during event sequence X, which leads to the second, then to the third and so on.

For example, before dinner we might find ourselves thinking that after dinner, we will go to the coffee shop, then stop by the store for some bread, then say “hey” to our friends on the corner, and then return home. In running these events through our mind, we’ve programmed an event sequence into our immediate future. After dinner, we might run the steps through once again as we’re putting on our sweatshirt and walking out the door. Such is an entirely rational and logical use of the mind that follows an ordered and sequential pattern. Presuming the event sequence turns out as planned, each of these things functions as a sort of causal antecedent to the next, and these relations are evident in our thinking: we said “hey” to our friends on the corner because we stopped by the store because we were first at the
coffee shop because we went there after dinner, and so on.

This is not to say that thoughts or visual images never arise spontaneously in our minds, as quite the contrary is true. One might be high off medication and suddenly have thoughts of colors, or one might spontaneously think of a previous event from the day while falling asleep, or one might be resting momentarily at the bus stop and think randomly of this thing or that. These things happen all the time and I do not wish to imply the idea that any and every spontaneous thought constitutes evidence for spiritual or psi experience.

The salient point is that the linear reasoning we typically use in daily routine follows an ordered and sequential pattern. It is the basic problem-solving mindset and it tends to work in steps. Returning to the example, you would certainly think it odd if, directly after thinking about going to coffee shop, you suddenly found yourself thinking of detailed travel plans Paris, or an elegant explanation of some cosmological problem. Such thoughts would have no logical causal antecedent while in the context of event sequence X. We’d already told ourselves that after the coffee shop, we’d be going to the store to get bread. When we’re re-running the program in our heads on the way out the door, we’d logically expect it to the be the same. To suddenly find ourselves thinking about travel plans in Paris or cosmological problems would be odd.

But back to the story. I was finishing up the butters, and was really hyped up to go skate a certain spot, with a particular trick firmly in mind: backside tailslides (in case anyone that actually skates reads this stuff). While rolling butters — just like whatever you think about right before you get off work — I was reinforcing the event sequence of going to the spot and learning backside tailslides: I was to go there, park the car, get out, warm up, say “hey” to whoever was there and then start trying them. I’d been thinking about it all day, and running it through my mind one last time before making it a reality.

Then something really strange happened. In the middle of re-running the program, I suddenly found myself not thinking about driving to the spot or learning backside tailslides, but instead viewing distinct visual imagery that had absolutely no relation to the current train of thought. It was as if this new event sequence Y had suddenly just imposed or interjected itself into my intentional thinking about event sequence X, which was completely suspended.

What I saw was two businessmen coming in for a late lunch. I can still remember certain details with crystal-clear lucidity: one of them was in “full work attire” and the other a bit more relaxed, as if he’d just gotten off. I saw them come in, and I saw the hostess seat them at a particular table, centered in the room but not far from the entrance. Specifically, one of the men moved his silver to the seat directly to his left, opposite his associate. I then saw the hostess pouring water, and that man refused lemon with a negative “hand-waving” motion. Then, the imagery stopped as suddenly as it started, and I found myself a tad “disconnected” of sorts, but still right there rolling the butters. I immediately realized the anomalous nature of the incident, and sat there for a moment trying to trace back and explain the intrusion of this apparently random event sequence in my mind. It was odd, but not life threatening or anything, and weird things happen to people with brains, so I just sorta shrugged my shoulders and went back to thinking about backside tailslides.

Then, the hostess popped her head in the door to tell me we had a two-top for lunch. I got some bread and butter, while she grabbed the water vase and lemon, and as soon as I got onto the dining room floor I was flooded feelings of synchronicity and I realized: the event sequence that was unfolding was exactly the event sequence that had imposed itself on my mind just moments earlier! Everything was met down to the finest detail: the “full work attire” guy moved his silver to the left, refused the lemon with the wave of his hand and everything. I was completely taken aback and really did not know what to think about this. I was reluctant to explain it to the hostess, but I did anyway, and her reaction was pretty much the same as mine: “that’s weird!”

Earlier we mentioned the fact that spontaneous thoughts arise in our minds quite frequently. We gave examples of being drunk, half-awake or momentarily relaxed. However, if you look closely at those examples, you’ll notice that in each case the spontaneous thoughts bubble to the surface from a state of relaxation or mental passivity. In each of those cases, the subject is not logically reinforcing some event sequence X they’re about to undertake. This is an important point we’ll return to when talking about the difference between spirit and soul as called for in the tripartite model of consciousness.

It’s worth mentioning that at the time this happened I was particularly interested in reading what the average Westerner refers to as occult literature, and not just reading it, either, if you know what I mean. This was not the only precognitive experience I’ve had, but it is by far the most detailed and undeniable one. I realize this story remains an anecdote, and while I submit that every detail herein is true, by no means do I offer this story as an intended scientific proof of anything. How can something like this be “reliably repeated?” What sort of predictions can we possibly draw? I did not even seek the experience in the first place. Still, the fact that this incident can’t be repeated in a laboratory does not absolve us of our responsibility to explain it as scientifically as possible.

Which model of consciousness best explains this incident? That’s certainly a tough question, one we may or may not be able to answer conclusively. However, one thing I think we can say conclusively is that this incident does not cohere with sCCH (strong cerebro-centric hypothesis). If consciousness is simply the effect of neurons firing in isolated brains and we’re not invoking any sort of strange A-field of waveform theories into our model, it’s hard to see how we could “be informed” of a future event. To contrast, both wCCH and TMC can easily account for the data, and I think the question of how each can do so merits a subsequent post.


  1. Hmm … I wonder if I’ll precognize that juicy turkey waiting for me today.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. cl


    LOL hey thanks Sung Jun! While I wasn’t lucky enough to precognize a juicy turkey, I did manage to get by with a chicken teriyaki Bento Box from Shabu Shabu. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  3. Dominic Saltarelli


    One quick question, was what you remember seeing with your own eyes exactly the same as the “vision”, or was the precognitive vision from more of a detached 3rd person viewpoint?

  4. cl


    If you mean to ask if I saw myself in the vision, no.

  5. Dominic Saltarelli


    No, I mean, for example, if you had a recording of the precognitive vision and what you remember seeing first hand, would they be exactly alike, perspective wise? I’m asking if the vision of what happened prior to the event could itself be considered a memory of the event, literally what you ended up seeing with your eyes.

  6. cl


    No, I mean, for example, if you had a recording of the precognitive vision and what you remember seeing first hand, would they be exactly alike, perspective wise?


    I’m asking if the vision of what happened prior to the event could itself be considered a memory of the event, literally what you ended up seeing with your eyes.

    Yes, it’s literally what I ended up seeing with my eyes. No, I don’t say that we can call that a “memory” without totally re-inventing the English language.

  7. Dominic Saltarelli


    Call me crazy, but that’s what I was quite sure it was, hence the way I phrased the question. It was a memory. You don’t have to reinvent the English language, just realize that time is a very strange
    thing that we don’t at all understand.

  8. cl


    It was a memory.

    Well there you have it folks! Precognitive experiences are memories! Even though every dictionary that defines the word memory defines it as recollection of a past event! Seriously though, if we can just redefine words to our heart’s content, why even aim for truth?

  9. Dominic Saltarelli


    Then how else was it that I was so very on the mark by expecting the precognitive vision to be analogous to what you saw with your eyes? Chew on it for a bit.

  10. cl


    No amount of chewing can rewrite the English language, Dominic. Memories are recollections of past events.

  11. Dominic Saltarelli


    You don’t find it at least a little disconcerting that I had such a clear idea ahead of time what you saw?

  12. cl


    Not one bit. I find it disconcerting that you’d redefine the English language such that memory can now refer to future events. If you want me to believe that my experience was a memory, well.. I’m not gonna close my mind to quantum weirdness, but you need to do the work of explaining such that it might make sense, without arbitrary re-defining of words.

  13. Dominic Saltarelli


    In spite of this redefinition on “past” that allowed for an accurate prediction of what you saw, even though we’ve never even so much as met each other. To each his own, I suppose.

  14. cl


    I’m still not sure what you think you’ve accomplished, here. You seem to want to dismiss the anomalous nature of this event by simply redefining the word memory. How is that useful or accurate? How could it be a memory? That’s what I’m getting at: you have to do the work of explaining this positive claim you’re making. I’m not hating on your idea; rather, asking you to justify it. Make it make sense.

  15. Dominic Saltarelli


    It sounded like a recollection of an event. I wasn’t entirely sure, but from your description, it sounded as though you were experiencing an anomalous experience of an event “out of order” so to speak. Hence the reason I was relatively certain the vision was the one you would end up seeing with your own eyes. That’s the important part.
    It’s pertinent to the matter at hand of whether the sCCH is still valid to explain the phenomenon. The vision was literal input from your eyes, just received at an unexpected time.
    Without aimless speculation over the linear or non-linear nature of time, if we frame the situation such that your thought process was interrupted by an experience of actual visual input, then the sCCH still applies.
    Since thought processes in the sCCH are fundamentally driven by external stimuli from the body (sight, hearing, smell, etc…), and your precognitive vision was literal input from your own eyes, then if all we do is simply remove the assumption that our conventional experience of time is the only one possible (not replacing it with anything mind you, just removing the assumption), then the sCCH still applies.
    Our experience of the world is a series of recollections of events (sensory stimulus, the time delay has been documented and others have linked to the research on this blog already), and you had a recollection of an event.
    If the precognitive vision was from a different perspective, then I’d say we could safely toss out the sCCH to explain the situation, since there would be no clear mind/body coupling to explain where the vision came from and thus how it found its way into your brain. However, as I said, the important part is that your eyes were an necessary component, I’m saying you had to physically see the event. Your thought process was interrupted by externally provided, material, visual input.
    Now, as far as why it happened, I’m not in a position to argue one way or another, any more than I could speculate why my own thought processes are periodically interrupted by Eric Cartman singing “Come Sail Away”. It just happens.
    In the interest of fairness, I haven’t thought on it too hard, but precognitive dreams may be a better approach to dismissing the sCCH. They are far less distinct (so its hard to call them memories) and also much more common. Never had any myself, but I do know someone who dreams things that end up happening the next day on a fairly regular basis.

  16. cl


    That’s funny you’d mention Cartman. I was going to tell you last comment that what you were doing with memory reminded of the episode where Cartman and the rest of the gang redefine the word “fag” to refer to anyone who rides a “big, loud Harley.” Not that I agree with the little idiots, it was just funny.
    That said, thanks for giving the work a decent go. I figured you’d have no way around it than to appeal to non-linear concepts of time.

    Without aimless speculation over the linear or non-linear nature of time, if we frame the situation such that your thought process was interrupted by an experience of actual visual input, then the sCCH still applies.

    Well yeah, if the input precedes the interruption of the thought process. In this case, the visual input did not precede the interruption of the thought process, so I’d say that if we are to be responsibly bound to currently established constructs of space and time, these and all other genuine precognitive / retrocognitive experiences contradict sCCH, but cohere with wCCH and TMC.
    Even with the time assumption removed, I still think this incident contradicts sCCH, which proffers the brain as a sort of “data-sponge” among other things. I’d still need a lot more work to see sCCH cohering with genuine precognitive / retrocognitive experiences. Though, I think they are compatible with wCCH and TMC, and that without removing the assumption.

    Our experience of the world is a series of recollections of events

    That’s only part of the story, though. Our experience of the world is also a series of experiences, observations and feelings, and everything in our current world teaches that experience and observation precede recollection.

  17. ttch


    Here’s a relentlessly materialistic possible explanation: You had seen these guys before, doing the same routine as what you saw (I myself do roughly the same things as you describe). However you’d seen hundreds of customers and had no special reason to consciously remember these. Then, while doing a repetitive task and repetitiously mulling over something else, you hear a fragment of one of their voices or perhaps catch just a glimpse of one of them through a swinging door — again, in either case consciously irrelevant thus forgettable — and your mind suddenly and vividly constructs what it expects to happen. And behold! It’s right, because everyone is behaving exactly as you’d expect them to behave.
    Our minds are generally good predictive engines — otherwise we’d have no reason to attempt to do anything. So a good prediction in this case does not necessarily require any non-physical cause.
    As to why your brain/mind chose to show you this prediction in such a vivid way, that is itself interesting but might be accountable for by a strictly materialist theory. Your article conflates the mystery of why you had this experience with how you could have had it. Only the latter is problematic to a materialist theory of mind.
    Another materialist explanation would involve the phenomenon of “déjà vu”, where current happenings are experienced as also being remembered. Since one’s memories aren’t normally all recorded, it is impossible after an event to know whether or not a particular memory preceded it. But since the feeling of something being remembered is itself a neural event, the phenomenon probably has a neural explanation: People who suffer recurrent bouts of déjà vu haven’t been shown to be able to predict the future.
    In your case, perhaps you felt something very strange, and only afterward “filled-in” that time with the events that followed, that themselves had a feeling of being remembered. I know you’re sure that wasn’t the case, but people’s perceptions and memories are very malleable. (I myself have clear memories of a few things that I know could not have happened.)
    Your spiritual exploration at the time also might have made you more suggestible.
    You don’t state whether or not you had ever used drugs before that time, but even without them, brains sometimes do funny things.
    As you say, since this was a one-time occurrence, we’ll never know.

  18. cl


    Hey there. Sorry to get back so late. I finally had some time to sit down and address the backlog
    of comments that had built up over the holidays and preceding weeks.

    Our minds are generally good predictive engines — otherwise we’d have no reason to attempt to do anything. So a good prediction in this case does not necessarily require any non-physical cause.

    I agree with both of those statements, and I certainly appreciate your willingness to offer rational explanations. I also agree that with or without drugs, “brains sometimes do funny things.”
    The problem is that your first materialistic explanation is completely implausible; I could not have caught a glimpse of them, or heard their voices from where I was, in the loud and enclosed kitchen without a direct line of sight to the table they sat at. That’s precisely why the hostess came to inform me.

    As to why your brain/mind chose to show you this prediction in such a vivid way, that is itself interesting but might be accountable for by a strictly materialist theory.

    Certainly, but..

    Your article conflates the mystery of why you had this experience with how you could have had it. Only the latter is problematic to a materialist theory of mind.

    How so? Unless I’m just off in left field or misunderstanding you here, I don’t see how I’ve conflated the former with the latter.

    People who suffer recurrent bouts of déjà vu haven’t been shown to be able to predict the future.

    Then perhaps we’re dealing with something that’s distinct from déjà vu? That’s actually exactly what I’m arguing.

  19. DreamSayer


    I have experienced precognition ever since i percieved consciousness. Your description is right on. The debate here is a strong one. As these can only be explained to be pre-recordings or Pre-memory. I have woken up at 3 hours REM by means of alarm clock. I was a bit of an insomniac, as i only left myself 3 hours of sleep before work. I awoke to the strangest ?dream? It was full press coverage of the before & after of balloon boy, it then started to unfold 5 days later. This is the strange part, it played back what i was seeing & even news coverage on later days all in what felt like 15 minutes of dream time. But what had played back was roughly an hour or more. A definate time variation in consciousness that allows us to streamline outside of traditional time/space measurements. This may be in speculation as many quantum theories are available for boggling your mind & potencially missleading you. But time/space factors do play a profound role when dealing with EM field intensity. This has been observed for lack of description from EM wave variations as we step away from another attracting/repeling object. This can be best seen when a shuttle breaks orbit from the Earth. With the absence of EM field interaction, time is a completely different model than Einstines ‘E=mc2’ as other factors begin to interviene, such as background radiation & gamma pools(moon?). The prospects of quantum integration then becomes an obtainable concept to the snub nozed Modern physicist who want hard facts. As we can only question these same physicists that claim facts still play around with a non-working function called gravity. Yet, gravity is still unproven & has no relevance to actual falling objects. Jewels intensity of impact still remains the same, which outlines the clear relation to EM fields playing a profound role in the coined “gravity”. The fibonnacci(Phi) represents this not as polarity, yet vortexes going in opposing/equal directions. So who is drawing these models??? I mean, our whole basis of sound is drawn on a A=440HZ measurement. But i can here the damn guitar & i clearly hear the A=432HZ. So maybe perception is this aspect which forms our views of reality. Maybe by even being the one actually projecting it ourselves, instead of just random as most would have you believe.

  20. cl



    Thanks for an interesting and thoughtful comment. I welcome many more, of course, presuming I write anything else that piques your interest. If you’d care to explain, I do have a few questions. You wrote that gravity was a “non-working function,” and that it was “unproved.” What exactly did you mean by that?

  21. DreamSayer


    Its a rather complicated subject that i generally do not have the credentials to debate successfully, but i will give it a try. First off i would like to state that i have NO religious motivations, as i am more of an agnostic. I outline this do to it being a driving force behind some mad scientists bent on creationism. The current model of gravity outlines motion as the acting force, well this is just completely wrong. The reason it is wrong is because all objects solid & non solid contain an electromagnetic charge. This is proof that all objects are already in motion. We all know this not from quantum particles, but it is a well known in the physics community & was taken from the 7 hermetic principles & made to be basic functionality of understanding motion in general science. The phrase is, “All vibrates”. This has been proven on a molecular level. Atoms do infact vibrate. Thus discovering a distinct signal of everything ranging from sound & into light. This is commonly measured in HZ ranges. So as we can see all atomic particles in a vortex of resistence, we must realize that this is not the case, as atoms mingle as well. This can be seen in balancing of electrons in chemical compounds. This balance is an electrical fussion. These exchanges can take on advanced properties or require much more extensive means of bonding such as ionic & covalence. These vortexes can switch, act violently, or merge. So now we come to the conclusive evidence that it is TENSION that is this working model. By creating or releasing tension on bodies in motion. This is why if you have a shuttle out in space, that space debree doesnt stick to the sides of the craft unless electromagnetic(static) charge takes effect. So clearly a more dominant vortex would drag in smaller objects, but we know thats just wrong. As tension plays the key role in clockwise & counterclockwise forces. Imagine that, a theory that aligns with time/space itself. So for this model of gravity to work, these variables must be taken into account for the expansion of the universe, as a vaccuum of space doesnt outline exactly WHAT is keeping it all together. I would hate to fuel the dark matter/dark energy/string theory tin foil hat wearing, but there is an obvious force unseen. It cannot be pinned down by an equation that only seems to have an effect primarily on atmosphere based celestial bodies. So we separate variables of ozone & other friction based laws as if they were toolbar add ons to your favorite browser, instead of calculating in all accounts of forces being acted on. A kind of half ass way of selling an idea of gravity with minimal steps at proving any causality, as it becomes far from mutable with other adjacent sciences. This then creates a competing environment where discoveries are based on beating out that other physicist you went to school with or weighing credibility by guidelines that are nothing short of paradigms. You can see what happens to ones career when they take on a metaphysical realm, or refuse to use carbon-14 in dating methods, to gain better accuracy with zirkonium/uranium systems beyond the 60,000 year mark. As the carbon paradigm has thrown out several predated skulls for just this reason(prehistoric). If you spent thousands of dollars on knowledge that wasnt true, would you let someone tell you everything you learned was wrong?? And why are these proffessors acting like children with masters degrees, as if they made the discoveries themselves or that they couldnt stand the embarassment of being wrong?? Because education does not outline your level of maturity no more than it outlines your level of perception. Infact our brains are in simple design of storing memory, so why do our schools revere this as some higher intelligence framed in standard IQ tests?? When clearly all the knowledge in the world will do you no good if you do not have the comprehensive understanding to percieve those elements. As we cram for tests, we store this un needed information into short term memory just long enough to pass our finals. All the while not really grasping its meaning. We live in a world where few actually percieve beyond there own face. So basically what we are dealing with is rebuilding a new model outlining EM field interaction & calculating all variables into the equation with proper understanding of ALL forces involved. If they would like to slap a sticker on it afterwards & call it gravity, then thats fine with me. But a simple gravity model does not outline tension,friction,etc. at current design, this can be observed by the JEWELS during impact, which seems to be a variable unlooked. as 2 objects dropped at different hieghts still produce the same amount of energy output. This can only be explained by ozone density & EM field intensity. By simply reversing this vortex would simulate what THEY refer to as anti-gravity. This factor cannot be overlooked.

  22. Vivek narain


    Precognition is a very profound phenomena but there are profounder phenomena. I have experienced about half a dozen precognitive dreams numerous hyper synchronicities eerie incidences of spontaneous wish fulfillment, but i want to tell one incidence which can be laughed away,yet has a sobering effect. A fortnight after death of my friend i met him in a lucid dream and asked how was he feeling he replied that he was enjoying, i reported the incidence to his family, his wife requested me to ask him a question next time, and lo we met after a month and i did ask the question and he did reply. Its been 5 years and i haven’t met him again.

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