The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives

The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives

by Larry Dossey
     
 

The doctor-and bestselling author-who first demonstrated the healing effects of prayer now offers an unprecedented look at the science of premonitions.

When Larry Dossey was in his first year of medical practice, he experienced a week of premonitions about patients, all of which came true. He had never had them before; they seemed to have come out of left

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Overview

The doctor-and bestselling author-who first demonstrated the healing effects of prayer now offers an unprecedented look at the science of premonitions.

When Larry Dossey was in his first year of medical practice, he experienced a week of premonitions about patients, all of which came true. He had never had them before; they seemed to have come out of left field. After the sensations stopped, writes Dossey in The Power of Premonitions, "It was as if the universe, having delivered a message, hung up the phone. It was now my job to make sense of it-which I try to do in this book."

The four parts of The Power of Premonitions take readers through documented cases of premonitions, including a remarkable instance when an entire Nebraska community skipped church the very day it exploded; an examination of recent science studying what is known as "presentiment"; a discussion of what it all means to daily life; and practical, field-tested techniques for inviting premonitions.

Just as he did in Healing Words, the groundbreaking book that propelled Dossey into the public consciousness, in this compelling new book Dossey uses cutting-edge science to prove the value of what had long been considered spiritual mumbo-jumbo. This is a book for the skeptical mind, but it's also for the believer's heart-because its author possesses the rare gift of having both.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525951162
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/30/2009
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
9.34(w) x 6.32(h) x 1.14(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

When Should We Pay Attention to Premonitions?

When premonitions are accompanied by physical symptoms, they should be listened to.

One of the most famous premonitions in modern history took place in a meeting between two titans of twentieth-century psychiatry, Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung.

In 1909 Jung visited Freud in Vienna. Although Jung had been Freud’s student and confidant, things were not going smoothly; their collaboration would end three years later. One point of disagreement involved psychic phenomena; Jung was open to them and Freud was not, perhaps because he did not want his fledgling psychosexual theories further burdened by association with yet another controversial area. In their meeting, Jung pressed Freud for his opinion on psychic happenings. Jung described what happened as their meeting drew to a close: “While Freud was going on this way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm was made of iron and was becoming red-hot — a glowing vault. And at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase, which stood right next to us, that we both started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over us. I said to Freud: ‘There, that is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorisation phenomenon.’ ‘Oh come,’ he exclaimed. That is sheer bosh. ‘It is not, Herr Professor. And to prove my point I now predict that in a moment there will be another loud report!’ Sure enough, no sooner had I said the words than the same detonation went off in the bookcase. To this day I do not know what gave me this certainty. But I knew beyond all doubt that the report would come again. Freud only stared aghast at me.”

Whether we experience an extreme sensation like Jung’s red-hot diaphragm, or something as minor as a headache, physical symptoms can alert us that premonitions are lurking should be seriously considered.

Pay attention to premonitions if they are intrusive and insistent, as if clamoring for attention.

Again, an example from Jung’s rich experiences.

During World War II, as he was returning home by train, he opened a book but could not focus on it because he became overpowered by the image of someone drowning. He attributed to the memory of an accident that had occurred while he was in military service. Try as he might, he could not put the memory out of his mind. This seemed so weird that he began to wonder if there could have been an accident. On reaching home and walking into the garden, he saw some of his grandchildren looking upset. They told him that one of the boys had fallen into the deep water in the boathouse. He could not swim and almost drowned, having been saved by his older brother.

Pay attention to a premonition when it indicates death, no matter how fuzzy the details may be.

In a dream of Jung’s, he was attending a garden party and saw a woman he knew well, who lived in Basel. He knew instantly she was going to die. On waking, however, although he remembered the dream in detail, he could not manage to recall her name no matter how hard he tried. A few weeks later he received news that a friend of his who lived in Basel had been killed in an accident. He knew at once it was the woman in the dream who had been marked for death, but whose name he could not recall.

Jungian psychologist Jerome Bernstein, who has described many premonitions that preceded the tragedies of September 11, agrees. He suggests that when a dream premonition is extraordinarily vivid and deals with the body, physical health, and life or death, we would be wise to regard it as a literal message and take action, for we may not have a second chance.

Pay attention to premonitions when they seem intensely real.

This happens particularly during premonitory dreams, as opposed to waking premonitions. The dream premonition may “light up with glowing significance,” as one individual put it, as if it is “realer than real.” The dream can seem so important that one has the urge to record it, or to wake one’s spouse or partner and share it.

In addition to these criteria, many people simply develop an intuitive feel for when to pay attention to a premonition and when to ignore it. Their sensitivities become refined and calibrated with increasing experience.

I’ve found, too, that reading about others’ premonitions speeds the learning process, such as those described in The Gift, a compendium of cases from the files of the Rhine Research Center.

Moreover, there are Internet discussion groups where people can share and compare their premonitory dreams, such as the Web site of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD).

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What People are saying about this

Deepak Chopra
"For anyone who is interested in knowing about the deeper meaning of our existence, this book is a must read. Once again, Larry, being the pioneer that he is, has written a classic."--(Deepak Chopra, MD, Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment)
Joan Borysenko
"Dr. Larry Dossey is the world's leading expert in space-time mystery. In this compulsively readable, thoroughly researched work, you will be left with tantalizing questions. Can there be free will and premonitions both? What is the nature of time? Rarely does a book come along that keeps you on the edge of your seat and stimulates thought like this one. Don't miss it!"--(Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Your Soul's Compass and Saying Yes to Change)
Woodson Merrell
"Larry Dossey, one of our greatest medical sages and admitted informavore, takes us on a wonderful journey from non-local mind and consciousness to the power of understanding our abilities to have not only intuitive thoughts, but premonitions. Read it to feel fully awakened to a deeper understanding of your mind and a greater connection to the universal consciousness."--(Woodson Merrell, MD, Chairman Department of Integrative Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, NYC, and author with Kathleen Merrell of The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel Ten Years Younger)
Dean Radin
"In his crystal clear style, he explains why the paradoxical idea of knowing the future is no longer based on mere conjecture or fantastic stories, and why cultivating this startling ability is perhaps your most important birthright."--(Dean Radin, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences)
From the Publisher
"The long-awaited seminal book on this topic. A crowning achievement."
-Marc Ian Barasch, author of Healing Dreams

"Larry Dossey, one of our greatest medical sages and admitted informavore, takes us on a wonderful journey from non-local mind and consciousness to the power of understanding our abilities to have not only intuitive thoughts, but premonitions. Read it to feel fully awakened to a deeper understanding of your mind and a greater connection to the universal consciousness."
-Woodson Merrell, MD, Chairman Department of Integrative Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, NYC, and author with Kathleen Merrell of The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel Ten Years Younger

"Dr. Larry Dossey is the world's leading expert in space-time mystery. In this compulsively readable, thoroughly researched work, you will be left with tantalizing questions. Can there be free will and premonitions both? What is the nature of time? Rarely does a book come along that keeps you on the edge of your seat and stimulates thought like this one. Don't miss it!"
-Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Your Soul's Compass and Saying Yes to Change

"For anyone who is interested in knowing about the deeper meaning of our existence, this book is a must read. Once again, Larry, being the pioneer that he is, has written a classic."
-Deepak Chopra, MD, Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment

"In his crystal clear style, he explains why the paradoxical idea of knowing the future is no longer based on mere conjecture or fantastic stories, and why cultivating this startling ability is perhaps your most important birthright."
-Dean Radin, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences

"I think Larry Dossey is one of America's most important thinkers. When he talks, I listen; when he writes, I read. He presents compelling evidence that the power of the mind is so much greater than we had previously realized."
-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

"This wonderful book brings reason and wisdom to bear on experiences that no one understands, yet which really happen. Thank goodness that Dr Larry Dossey is not afraid to wrestle with a subject that most scientists prefer to ignore, but which tells us that there is more to life and mind than our philosophies have dreamed of."
-Rupert Sheldrake, biologist and author

"This book will help to open minds and lead to an acceptance of what we experience while overcoming our being limited by what we believe. I know from personal experience, in my life and work, that the future is unconsciously prepared and known and, therefore, can be revealed through dreams and drawings and I have the evidence from my practice to prove it."
-Bernie Siegel, MD, Love, Medicine & Miracles and 365 Prescriptions For Living

Marianne Williamson
"I think Larry Dossey is one of America's most important thinkers. When he talks, I listen; when he writes, I read. He presents compelling evidence that the power of the mind is so much greater than we had previously realized."--(Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love)

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Meet the Author

LARRY DOSSEY, M.D., is a leader in bringing scientific understanding to spirituality, and rigorous proof to alternative medicine. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Healing Words, the first serious look at how prayer affects healing. He has been featured several times by Oprah – her TV show, radio show, and magazine – and is an international advocate for the role of the mind in health and the role of spirituality in healthcare. He lives in New Mexico.

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