How many times have you experienced a dream that later transpired in your waking life? Some people have this experience repeatedly, noticing strange elements from dreams of the night before showing up in apparently unrelated activities of the day.
I recently attended a business meeting in a building I had never visited before. As I entered the huge meeting room, I froze at the entrance, appreciating that this room had been the setting of my dream the night before. The action of the dream seemed unrelated to the events that took place during the meeting, but the ornate and elaborate boardroom was one of a kind. Many of my clients and students report similar occurrences. I call these "snapshots of the future” and find that for people who make a habit of recording and studying dreams they are almost inevitable.
Some dreams follow themes of future scenarios that offer important glimpses into the future. One student told me she dreamed of driving down a darkened road when a horse dashed out in front of her car. Startled, she awakened just before she could react to the situation. A few months later, while driving to pick up her daughter from a visit with friends, something about the darkened country road she traveled struck her as familiar. A nearby horse pasture reminded her of the dream she’d had. Thoughtfully she slowed the car, and noticed the fence to the pasture was down. Just then a horse bolted from the shoulder right into the road. Had she not been slowing and remembering the dream, she might indeed have hit the horse. Thanks to the eerie feeling of familiarity she had slowed down enough so that a collision was averted.
In my book Dreaming Insights I tell the story of a man who dreamed of being attacked and run off the road by hoodlums. To escape, he dashed off the side of the road into a nearby meadow. The following day, as he went on his daily walk, a passing truck veered toward him. The driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and the truck careened wildly toward my friend who was forced to jump from the roadside into a nearby meadow. The truck went crashing off the road and landed in a gully. The driver was unhurt but shocked, and my friend was astonished and grateful for the dream that had helped him respond so quickly.
Many people are concerned that their frightening dream may contain shadows of future events. Many dream workers, although well aware of how often dreams do contain fragments of the future, believe it is wiser to downplay this characteristic, and treat it as an extremely rare occurrence. I respect the valid concern that people could become frightened of every disturbing dream they experience; when in fact many of our dreams are tense or unpleasant because they focus on challenges and unresolved conflicts in current life. Strong feelings, and important content tend to be woven into highly dramatic and memorable dreams, so how can you determine if a startling dream might contain precognitive or paranormal information?
Here are a few commonalties I have observed among the people who have shared their precognitive experiences with me:
- They have strong feelings about the reality of the dream. It did not feel dreamlike, it seemed like an experience.
- They have frequent incidents of dream elements later unfolding in waking life. Although the dream can be explained in symbolic terms, this explanation feels incomplete.
- There may be concern about the dream, but these people are not consumed with anxiety about it. Excess anxiety clouds judgment; clear perception of paranormal elements appears related to calm assessment and clarity.
I believe this type of dream is both natural and common. By cataloging and noting the precognitive dream incidents you experience, you may come to recognize a pattern and broaden your perception of how dreams may assist us.
Dr. Gillian Holloway holds M.A and Ph.D. degrees in psychology from The Rosebridge Graduate School of Integrative Psychology. (Now known as The American Schools of Professional Psychology, Rosebridge Campus.)
Dr. Holloway is a recognized expert in the field of dream interpretation and is frequently invited to be a guest on television and radio programs throughout the United States and Canada. At home in the Pacific Northwest, she teaches classes in dream analysis and intuitive development at local colleges in Washington and Oregon. She leads small private dream groups and appears as a trainer and speaker for groups interested in dream analysis and activating intuition.
Dedicated to making dreams more accessible to everyone, Dr. Holloway has been involved in dream analysis for more than 20 years. Visit her website.
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