Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The science of precognition

user posted image rAnthony North: The ability to see into the future is one of the most enigmatic areas of paranormality. To accept that it occurs we have to abandon our sense of ‘now’, and to accept a merging of all time, including the future, which rationally has not yet happened. This, however, has not stopped a whole host of theories regarding the subject. From pseudoscholars, to philosophers, to scientists, the existence of a ‘future’ has fascinated some of our cleverest minds. Philosophising time: To French philosopher Henri Bergson time is not in the world. Rather, it is a subjective quality, needed for us to place order upon the world. English author J B Priestley went further, arguing that we had to be taught to appreciate time; and once taught, we were imprisoned by it. But these ideas actually tell us little of the mechanics of time. One theory to explain precognition is the ‘bow wave’ effects. As a boat ploughs through water, it leaves ripples which dissipate with the passing of time. Could time be similar, causing ripples that go back to the past from the future? Ripples of knowledge that we can intuit? The time scientists: Prof Paul Davies suggests there are an infinite number of universes. Could we cross into other universes? And if so, could we re-enter the same universe at a different point in time? Cosmologist Thomas Gold suggested that the direction of time is a product of the universe expanding. But what if it is really contracting? If so, it is an illusion that time goes forward. It is really going backwards. Hence, we experience things that haven’t yet happened.

A further idea is the block-universe hypothesis. Here, the four dimensions, including time, are really static. Movement is really consciousness moving through it, rather like a beam of light, illuminating and making it real. But if the unconscious is more like a searchlight, it will pierce deeper and wider, the unconscious appreciating events before they happen. An experiment with time: British engineer J W Dunne was fascinated by the subject, keeping a ‘dream diary’ for many years.

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