portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

alternative media

Can dreams (and thoughts) foretell the future?

A look at the wondrous wonders of the mind
This is a recounting of some of my dreams and thoughts which partially foretold future events or circumstances. There are no cases here of my dreams "coming true," however one would define that. Rather, I've noted some cases here where a dream or thought contained a slice of the future--as if revealing a little bit of the future to me before it even happened. All of these instances were this year, except two--one from February 2003, which I stumbled across in my journals, and one I've recounted from memory, which I believe occurred in 1996. Over the years, I believe there were a couple cases of dreams partially foretelling future events, such as a dream or two about my dad which was a precursor to seeing him, (we've been estranged for many years and see each other infrequently). I would have to check my journals to find any of those instances.

But it seems 2005 has been the banner year for dreams and thoughts partially foretelling some aspect of the future. And in all of these cases, 2005 or earlier, the dreams and thoughts foretold an aspect of the immediate future, meaning the same day or the following day (after a dream). Also, I've been careful to only list here dreams and thoughts which I hadn't written or spoken about before they were partially revealed. In most cases, the partial revelation reminded me of the dream or thought, thus prompting me to take note of it.

A final note--I live in an outer edge suburb, a quiet, leafy place which is a far cry from a crowded urban center. In the latter, the level of human chatter and activity is greater, thus it wouldn't be so surprising that some conversation or action seemed to be a partial reenactment of a dream or thought, just given the higher volume of human activity. In other words, in a crowded urban center, the likelihood of coincidence would be greater.

I've started with the earliest instances of dreams partially foretelling the future, or similar scenarios.

1996 (from memory) Sometime around 1996, I can't narrow it down even to the month, I had an early morning dream about driving off a bridge. It was a sudden-ending dream, like "falling" dreams which just kind of end with no resolution. Within a couple days, I heard the news about a woman who drove off a bridge in Portland, and lodged her car in between some railcars. I concluded that the time of that accident and the time of my dream were pretty close, around 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, (the accident, I found out, was around 4:00 am).

Journal entry from Sunday, February 22, 2003:

"I had a dream about raingear. Thin ponchos made from plastic or rubber. They're always too big. (my roommate) asked me if I'd like some raingear this morning." This was my roommate's last day in our shared house, and there were a few things he was leaving behind in his room, including raingear. I wrote this in my journal at the time and wrote no further comments, seeing little significance in it.

From Sunday January 16th, 2005 (this describes a strange dream interrupt):

"A strange thing happened as I was sleeping early this morning. At about 2:45 am I suddenly woke up, as if from a dream, though I can't remember if it was a dream or not, it may have been one of the cats that woke me up, doing something in the apartment. But I woke up from this sound sleep, for some reason, and almost simultaneously, maybe after a couple seconds, the t.v. in (my roommate's) room came on, though no one was in there, and the previews to that movie 'Stealing Harvard' were playing. So the movie was playing in the VCR, and the t.v. came on by itself, as if it had been programmed to, or as if by remote control from an undisclosed location. It's possible, I'm sure, to program a DVD/VCR [either/or] to come on at a certain time, but probably not to turn on the t.v. at the same time. The preview that was playing was for an action/spy movie with Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson [I Spy]. I lightly knocked on the door to see if (my roommate) might be in there, but she wasn't. So by the time I was able to turn off the t.v. [I remember I had to keep pressing the off button] the preview of that movie was at the part where the characters played by Murphy and Wilson are coordinating the use of a type of spy camera which is contained in a contact lense. This scene was one I had been interested in when I played the tape in the living room, and I made a point to rewind it and watch it again. That was about a week ago."

Early 2005 (from memory):

One night I dreamt about a girl I used to work with at a telemarketing place. The next day on the #6 bus headed to downtown Portland, a girl got on who looked like, was shaped like, dressed like, and moved like the girl I dreamt about (thus reminding me of the dream). It wasn't her though.

From Tuesday, April 12th (describing a dream sequence from the previous night, and a dream interrupt):

"The final scene was at the edge of a forest. I was with the lion cub, and I saw a wolf in the forest, then another further in the forest. Then the first wolf came at me, and it seemed as if two more were flanking it. At the exact moment the wolf came at me in the dream, (my roommate's cat) began meowing outside my door, waking me up with her meow/bark. [the cat is old and deaf, and its meow sounds like a combination of a meow and a dog's bark, and at times a simian yelp]. There's the chance that at that point in a dream, I would wake up anyway, then quickly fall back asleep. More than likely, I wouldn't wake up, but the dream would continue in some form."

From Thursday April 14th (describing a dream sequence):

"The bus kept going north, seemed like the #71 going to Salmon Creek, and up in the sky, there were two planes that were doing stunts apparently, it looked as if they were trying to run into each other, to bump each other. Then me and another person approached a group of people next to a bridge, some of whom had bikes. A plane had crashed and was sitting on the bridge. It wasn't a serious crash, and the pilot was standing below the bridge, talking to a group of people, explaining what had happened. He was a tall, strapping, Hemingway-esque character with curly dark hair wearing shorts. His attitude was somewhat contrite due to the crash.

"By coincidence, the large man, heavyset, who was just sitting in front of me, was talking about his fear of planes and plane crashes. Perhaps that's what made me remember my dream, then write it down..." [this was written on the bus. It seems as if my dream had foretold that I would hear about someone's fear of planes the next day].

From Friday, May 27th:

"A man came to get a haircut, sat next to me. Said he was a post office manager. Started telling the whole place about the plague of identity theft. Said people used crowbars to get into mailboxes. Then recounted some well-worn lore about the modus operandi of an identity thief. He made mention of his eyebrows, that he wanted them trimmed. Then I remembered that I dreamt about eyebrows last night. I had a peculiar dream in which I looked at different pictures, as in a yearbook, though the pictures were larger than that, maybe eight or ten per page. I paid close attention to the eyebrows in the pictures. There were big ones, smaller ones, expressive ones...In the dream, I focused almost solely on eyebrows in the pictures." Once, years ago at the same place, an old man asked for an eyebrow trim. While rare, it's not unheard of. Again, it seems as if my dream had foretold a minor detail about my experience at the barber.

Thoughts that partially foretold the future

Friday, February 4th 2005 (from memory, partially noted in journal)

I was riding around Vancouver on a couple different buses, and at least once, maybe twice, I saw a person in a car reaching inside their mouth, apparently grabbing a tooth with their fingers, as if in pain. I clearly remember seeing a young man, I believe in a truck out by Vancouver Mall, exaggeratedly pulling at a tooth, apparently a back molar, and apparently in frustration due to pain. He was moving his hand around, inside his mouth, like he really had a hold of the tooth. It was a quick scene, as he was going by the bus in the opposite direction. But I made a mental note. It made me think of dental problems, (obviously), such as a toothache. I may have seen a woman making a similar gesture that day, but I can't recall clearly. That night, I realized that a piece of mercury filling had come out of one of my teeth, apparently that day, and I had evidently swallowed it. And it was a back molar.

More thoughts that foretold the future 28.Jun.2005 15:40


Sometime around March (from memory):

I was thinking about Rumsfeld, coming home on the bus. I repeated his phrase in my head, "goodness gracious" and possibly I was imagining myself in a press conference situation, using Rumsfeld's signature terminology. Later, at home, my roommate used either the expression "good gracious" or "goodness gracious" but I can't remember which one. It was the first and only time I've heard my roommate use it.

Early 2005 (from memory): Coming home on the Mill Plain bus, I began thinking about what to get at Safeway. I was thinking along the lines of vegetables. Tomatoes and possibly celery. I thought about celery, about having peanut butter and celery sticks, as I've had in the past, (though not for many years). I didn't get celery, but then later that day I noticed a new bag of celery in the refrigerator. It hadn't been there before. My roommate apparently got it that day. (This was probably February/March). The celery sat in the fridge for awhile, untouched, and I don't know what its ultimate fate was.

From Monday, April 18th (the setting is Worksource, and employment resources center in Vancouver):

"As I was job searching on Craigslist, I saw a request for stories about Googling an old friend, about the consequences of that. I thought about that, then I thought about Googling my old friend "John." About ten minutes after that, a young man came in wearing the deodorant that "John" used to wear--it's very distinct."

Sunday night, Monday morning, May 8th,9th (from memory, partially noted in journal): Before going to bed on Sunday night, I clearly pictured the word "condom" in my mind, the letters separately, then the word as a whole. I went to bed with the radio on BBC news, and I was woken up at nearly 3:00 am Monday morning by a report about AIDS in India, which of course mentioned condoms. I'm not sure if I woke up right at the moment when there was information about condoms in the report.

Tuesday, May 10th (from memory, partially noted in journal): On the Mill Plain bus going home, I tried directing my thoughts to a young woman sitting across the aisle from me. "Tap your foot" was the thought I was trying to direct to her. There was no response from her. I got off the bus and went to Safeway, and in the frozen foods section there was an older man standing there, tapping his foot, as if waiting for me to acknowledge the failure of my experiment.

Saturday, May 20 12:41 am (I came home from work that night, riding my bike on SE McGillivray headed west, just past Village Loop St. where there's a sound wall on both sides of the street. On the right side it's actually a sound fence, but the point is that there's an echo on the street due to the sound barriers):

"Tonight I was 'fired upon' by what sounded like a pellet gun. There seemed to be the sound of impact, [on the sound barrier to my right] but this could also have just been the echo of the shot, of an empty shot [blank] or the shooter may have been aiming away from me (with an actual pellet).

[I was thinking earlier] about the possibility that I might need to call the police under some circumstances, for instance if someone or a group of people got into the building [where I work alone at night]. Also, just in general, in some situations. My thoughts about this went further, and I considered how I've always been afraid of cops, and still am, and how I have a complex about it, like a cat and mouse complex. It's a deep complex...Rather than view cops as being useful in a situation, I have only thought about cops being used or acting of their own volition, in order to intimidate me or accuse me of something. So as I was getting ready to leave tonight, I considered that my views about police in this regard should change, and that it would be a burden lifted from me, the psychological burden of being afraid.

"Then, ten minutes later, someone 'fires upon' me with a pellet gun...[which tested] my new thinking.

[Later, after calling 911]

"At 12:57 I called 911 to report the shooting. I didn't think I would do it at first, thinking it would be pointless. But it's important to report it, and make a note of it.

"[The shooting made] me think twice about the usefulness of the police...[and] my new thoughts about being unafraid of police contact (such as calling 911). Earlier tonight I clearly imagined calling 911, imagined having to pick up the phone and call 911.

"My call was from 12:57-1:00 am. I reported that I'd been shot at with a pellet gun on SE McGillibray Blvd. near 164th Ave. just past the Albertson's. I told the dispatch that the car was a newer sedan, black or blue, and that I'd last seen it heading west on SE McGillivray.

"The car was going [somewhat] slow too, though it [sped up a little and] ran the stop sign [at Briarwood Dr.]."