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@Bruce: Imagine what would happen if all the honest, kind, generous, forgiving, compassionate, loving people in the world lived on one side of a fence and everyone else lived on the other side. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but the idea is that with all those people effectively removed form the environment, the ones who remain will control and shape that environment. This is a bit like group projects in the classes I teach. What tends to happen is that most groups have several slackers and each also has one or two people who do most of the work. If you take those people out, then all the teams are composed of slackers and less work gets done. In the dream, it wasn't the hardest-working people who were sorted to another geographical location, but the people who most influence our ability to enjoy our life. Added to that, the people not included in that group had an intense awareness that God was real, yet their activities to date had been a repudiation of God in many ways--this would include so-called 'believers' who behaved in a callous or nasty way to others (in other words, religion had nothing to do with the sorting process). This knowledge shamed them collectively and most felt pretty bad about it. To use a financial allegory, it was as if God had given every person a winning lottery ticket at birth, but the majority of people didn't believe they had any value so they used them as toilet paper then threw them away. And then God comes to redeem the tickets, they see the people who kept theirs (primarily due to their good conduct and thoughts) and these people get the biggest jackpot they could imagine. Worse, they could have had the same thing, but they not only threw it away, but soiled them as well. So, the environment is now populated by people who have missed their big chance and have to live with the result. They become somewhat apathetic, but not so much that society crumbles. Instead it is more like a society for whom the joy has gone. No matter what they have, they know it is better on the other side of the wall. No matter what they are doing, they are constantly distracted by what they missed. When they talk with their neighbors, they are consciously embarrassed to be there because they know the mistakes they made that led to being excluded and that everyone else knows what those mistakes were also. It is like a criminal having his rap sheet stapled to his forehead for everyone to read. In this case though, criminality was not the defining characteristic used for the sorting process. Although I don't remember this specific example from the dream, based on what I do remember, it is plausible to me that some criminals would have been sorted to the "good" side of the wall, while some law-abiding citizens aren't. The reason is that love, kindness, and compassion were much more important qualities, beside which abeyance to other laws is less important. I really have a hard time discussing dreams that have strong religious overtones (as this one does) because I am not particularly keen on any given religion, though I recognize and do appreciate some of them for what they offer. This particular dream sounds more Christian than anything else to me, but it isn't totally inconsistent with Islam or Judaism either. In it, after some trials on earth (principally war of the type we see going on with ISIS), angels come to earth to make it ready for God's return. Some people are forewarned of the event and told where God will be when he returns. If they are there when the time comes, they will live with God in his holy "City of Truth". Please keep in mind that this is a powerful dream I am recounting, that does not mean that I accept every word as literally true. As far as I am concerned, I'm just the typist for these things, even if I do find them interesting. So there is a time and place, and some people have been given this information, including me, apparently. When he arrives, I sense, then see, the leading edge of his aura, which is overwhelming. Then I black out and wake on the other side of the holy city, four months later. In that time, the city has been established and only those who were given the warning are allowed in. The rest of the world is the same, except that the wars seem to have ended and almost everyone feels like they've really blown it by living their lives the way they did. As I make my way to the holy city, I witness changes to the environment: the mood, the degraded city services, less innovation, the sullenness. There is some crime, but I don't know if it was more or less than we have now. It may have been less because everyone was now aware that nothing they did escaped God's notice. Those who wanted to harm others felt themselves somewhat constrained by this knowledge and that made them antsy also. Anyway, I hope that answers your question. AP
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2015 on Shadowlands at Michael Prescott's Blog
For what it's worth, I've had a couple of (powerful) dreams on this subject, and they disagree somewhat with this vision of the future. In these dreams, there is first tremendous strife, war, etc. After this, everyone is forcibly made aware that God is real. At this point, atheism effectively ceases to exist. However, some people are allowed to live in God's presence on Earth while all others are excluded. This changes the proportion of honest to dishonest people in many regions, causing an overall degradation of living standards. It does not reduce them to Mad Max-like levels. In many ways life goes on much as it does now, except the excluded population endures the knowledge of what they have missed by their thoughts and actions prior to the events that preceded a return of God to earth. This on its own creates an overall sullen mood that is pervasive whenever other thoughts do not occupy the attention of the excluded people. Keep in mind that this is simply a record of a bit of a couple dreams that I have had. I do not claim that it is literally true or even symbolically true, just that it is what I dreamed and that it is a plausible alternative perspective to the one presented in the Astral City movie (based on your description) and the other examples discussed here. AP
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2015 on Shadowlands at Michael Prescott's Blog
Hello Bruce, sorry for the late reply. To answer your question, I have just loaded my dream database in FileMaker Pro. According to it, there are 414 veridical scenes as of this date. That is out of a total of 11,944 scenes. That number does not distinguish between strongly veridical (multiple independent confirmations of details) and 'veridical' because a witness has agreed that the dream is correct, without providing any details. For that reason, I am most comfortable saying that there are no more than 414 known veridical dreams at this time, but the number of persuasive examples is omewhat less. As for precognitive, 191 are coded as precognitive, 18 are coded as prophetic. 115 are coded as OBEs. Best regards, AP
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2015 on A lot of malarkey? at Michael Prescott's Blog
My impression of this is that the initial book was heavily influenced by the parents, and this recantation is demanded/influenced by parents also. The wording of the press release makes me think that the boy did have an NDE, he did think he went to Heaven, and then from there it got massacred in the attempt to make it conform to Christian doctrine. The initial version in the book is probably too close to the real thing for the mother's comfort, though she was willing to be talked into it by her husband at first. However, she grew more and more annoyed by the "non-scriptural" elements. In quotes because I have found that "non-scriptural" frequently refers to things that are in the Bible after all. Eventually she started demanding, she got divorced, and her totally dependent son was either persuaded or coerced into his recantation. The way it is written suggests to me that the father did exaggerate by making it sound more Christian and this is the basis for describing it as "made up" though the underlying NDE was real. In the end, this example doesn't make a difference, but I will mention one thing that has bugged me about the copy for this book, the line about the boy hearing heavenly music that he didn't like. I would just about bet that the father threw that in gratuitously because I have never read anywhere else anything but an awed reaction to music during NDEs. In my own experience, though not in an NDE, I have heard this astral music in dreams and have never found it anything other than unearthly and beautiful to the greatest degree.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2015 on A lot of malarkey? at Michael Prescott's Blog
"I think that these predictions are a mix of suspicion based on the present and luck." I wouldn't describe it this way though I agree the "correlations" (if they can be described that way) are not compelling. This is because, in my own experience it is quite possible to have two equally compelling dreams, one of which does convincingly connect to a later real world event and the other doesn't. In both cases, there is no strong justification for a claim that either was influenced by wishful thinking. The question why they don't match up is valid, but from the available information, it is premature to assign a cause. AP
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2014 on Reconsidering Dannion at Michael Prescott's Blog
Cyrus, this is one of the most interesting OBE descriptions I've ever read. Thanks for sharing. AP
What we have here is excellent evidence of rarity, and that is worth the price of the study all by itself. This is because if skeptic complaints were accurate, that various types of physical factors cause NDEs (or NDE-like memories), then we would expect to see them more regularly, particularly among a cohort that is selected on the basis of their membership in a group that supposedly meets at least some of the skeptic criteria for having NDEs. This is like the old skeptic claim that dreams at about the time of a given person's death are not precognitive or after death communications on the basis of the large number of dreams we all have, and the large number of those dreams likely to be similar enough that chance alone can explain seeming correspondences. I checked my records on that to see how well it played. Out of over 11,000 dream entries, I found 8 examples that appeared to contain paranormally obtained information about a specific person's death. Moreover, most involved people who appeared only once in the journal and then never recurred. In that case, like this one, rarity is just as interesting, if not moreso, than abundance. AP
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2014 on Flatliners at Michael Prescott's Blog
For what it's worth, here's a link to a dream I mentioned on Skeptiko that could easily be interpreted as related to current events in Syria: http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-lions-of-syria-the-syrian-lion.1214/ A drawing of the image in the dream can be found here: (image 4/15) http://www.paqart.com/578920/dream-journal/ AP
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2014 on The widening gyre at Michael Prescott's Blog
I have to say the article makes sense to me. I've had two dreams that are relevant. Here are the relevant portions of them: 1) This is part of a handful of what I call "big dreams" from my journal. In it, I was lucid and was given a symbolic description of how reincarnation is related to the route our soul takes to learn things. A guru/spirit guide showed me this, but then brought me to a different spirit guide who explained what the dream meant. From the journal: "She tells me that the tent and the metaphor of our Earthly trials being represented as a video game like layout was the idea of the Guru who led me to the tent. I get the idea when she says this that he is a playful sort of spirit, but is sometimes so far removed from the ways of Earth that it is difficult for those who are much less below him in their knowledge of spiritual things to understand his meaning. For this reason, he set up the wayfarer's tent and asked this woman, who is but one of many spirit helpers, to be here to explain the dream to me when I arrive." 2) In another lucid dream, but not a "big dream", I am brought to a place where I am shown a symbol representing the trials of life as a vehicle for transitioning from lower to higher levels of knowledge and greater access to previously inaccessible domains of the spirit. A spirit guide then "...brings me into the building. Inside, she tells me that I am asleep and my body is on earth. She shows me my sleeping body, but it is separated from me by a kind of barrier. She tells me that my dreams are created in this place and then they are sent to me. This surprises me a great deal, because the way she describes it, many of my dreams are direct communication between this place, which I understand to be heaven, and me on earth. The angel stressed that what I considered to be 'my' dreams, were not actually mine. They were made for me, and given to me for a certain purpose, though I don't remember what that purpose was." I didn't write it in my journal notes, but when this spirit guide gave the explanation quoted above, I had this impression of different spirits collaborating to make the dream communications. Some were better at it than others, and some were better able to send certain types of messages. Some might be good at coming up with a logotype symbol representing something (like the present dream) where others prefer to explain things in a way that includes a time element (like the previous dream) or by simply saying what is meant, though that type of communication was generally regarded as weak because images, feelings, and experiences are all more memorable than words. AP
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2014 on Through a glass darkly at Michael Prescott's Blog
@Kathleen: Your "millions of people having millions of dreams" comment is easy to say but not easy to check. That said, I made a stab at checking it in my most recent paper. It is still in review, so I won't say too much here. However, though there are billions of people who can have dreams, and trillions (or more) if you include animals, on an individual level you are not talking about "millions" of dreams but thousands. When you look at the thousands as I have done, one thing that comes across very strongly is that very few of the thousands involved can be checked. That is to say, even if they were completely accurate in some objective way, there is no way to check their veridicality due to various factors such as unknown dream characters or lack of access to anyone who could verify the dream. Once you remove these from the group, you are left with hundreds--not thousands or millions. You can contend that you still have your billions of individuals having dreams (the trillions of animals are excluded due to a lack of common language), so the number of potentially veridical dreams any individual might experience is irrelevant. No matter how small that number is, multiplied by the number of individuals it is still a big number. However, on examination dreams sort themselves into different types of content categories. This limits the "millions and millions" argument more because only certain categories are of interest to the field of parapsychology. Then you need to look at how frequent veridicality occurs in any one person's dreams over a lifetime of record-keeping. If it happens quite often, the statistical edge no longer favors chance, but connection of some kind between dream content and objectively real events. Very few people have ever collected enough of their own dreams to make such comparisons. I have done this and can say that on a statistical level, randomness as an explanation does not match the data. Put another way, predictions by skeptics on this subject are exactly the opposite of what I find in my data. We are not talking about correlations in numbers that tend toward non-significance as the number of dreams increases, but the opposite. I'll give one fast example, then refer to the paper later when it is out: In dreams of people who have died, though their death was unknown to me at the time I started the study, in most of the interesting cases they are people who either appeared exactly once in the journal (out of over 11,000 entries). or the first dream that mentions them and the subject of their death is meaningfully close to the actual date of their death (and usually is only one of two or three dreams that mention them). People who appear often, and there are people who appear in hundreds of dreams, have no dreams of death connected to them. In other words, the less often a person appears, usually once or twice, the more likely the death dream will be meaningfully near to their actual death date. The more dreams there are, in contradiction of skeptical pronouncements on this exact subject, the less likely any such correlation will be found. AP
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2014 on Out of body at Michael Prescott's Blog
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