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A dream out of time

  1. Aug 13, 2010 #1
    I had a dream that goes like this:
    I was involved in some activity or other and suddenly I looked up at a clock on the wall and saw it was 3:20 and I exclaimed to myself “Oh no, I’m late for my guitar lesson!”. (Note: I was giving guitar lessons at the time and actually did have one scheduled at 3pm that day).

    I remember it vividly as the dream occurred just before I woke up. The clock was in a oblong wood frame on a wall. It had black hands pointing to 3:20. I had to look upward slightly to see it. I noted my surprise at realizing I was late for my lesson.

    I chuckled as I woke up, thinking what a silly dream that was. Also, I couldn’t imagine what I might be involved in that would make me lose track of the time and be late for my lesson. Yet the dream had a compelling aspect.

    Later that day I had forgotten all about the dream. I was at a relative’s house playing a board game. For some reason I got up and walked into the kitchen. I looked up on the wall and there was the same exact clock, same exact time and me exclaiming to myself, “Oh no, I’m late for my guitar lesson!”, with the same exact surprise and emotion.

    Any comments? Anyone care to proffer an explanation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2010 #2
    " Anyone care to proffer an explanation? "


    As far as sleep and time goes, the only experience that I have is that if I set my alarm for the same time for over one month I start to wake up from dreams concerning it being time to wake up, or just abruptly 5-<1 minutes before my alarm sounds. From talking to friends I have found this is fairly common. I find it totally understandable because patterns can be learned and predicted; however dreams predicting an otherwise unknowable future event are highly unlikely based on current understanding.
  4. Aug 14, 2010 #3
    Something in the matrix changed.
  5. Aug 14, 2010 #4
    Possible Explanations (varying in probability):

    1: Coincidence.
    (highly improbable imo) If you read the 'Spooky or Fluky' thread it is explained that due to the laws of averages (i think its called) with enough people every day all having to get to appointments someone, sometime, is bound to have a dream about being late and looking at a clock and then later on actually being late and seeing that clock. So many opportunities for it to happen that it was bound to happen eventually.

    2: Self Fulfilling Prophecy.
    Somewhere deep in your subconscious you made yourself late deliberately. I imagine you have been to your relatives house before? And so will have seen that clock before. Perhaps you wanted to be late and so your subconscious conspired against you to plan and execute your extended gaming session at your relatives. It even went so far as to construct a dream scenario around this event, perhaps as a simulation to test how well it will work. lol.

    3: Simulation.
    Your mind wanted to test how well you would react to the negative experience of being late and so constructed a simulated scenario where you are late for you lesson. To make it more believable your mind took imagery that it knew would be relevant to you being late at that time. Namely the clock that it knew you would be seeing at your relatives house if you where late on that day/date. Note: this is different to 2. In 2 it was deliberately trying to make you late. In this explanation you where accidentally late.

    4. Fallible Memory.
    Your memory of the original dream is hazy. The original dream was actually being late for a 13:00 appointment and the clock was a round plastic one. Getting into a similar situation when you where later conscious your mind re-remembered your dream incorrectly. And remembered it as a 3:00 appointment and oblong wooden clock.

    5: Assimilation.
    The amazing computational power of your mind was able to calculate, based on its knowledge of events, that today you would be needing to get to an appointment but would be visiting a relative. It was able to discern that today you would be playing a board game (perhaps you often play these) and, perhaps because your relative had a particularly bad week on the stock market, he/she would be playing more aggressively/competitively making the game extend in time and you late. Your mind was able to work out where you would be when you were late and what clock you would be looking at. It was also able to work out, based on your usual speech patterns/habits, exactly what you would say when you are late. If your familiar with Frank Herbert's Dune stories this is similar to the sooth-saying properties of 'the spice' which basically allows you to predict the future based on knowledge of the past/present. We are always predicting the future this way... Throw a ball and I bet you predict where it will land - before it lands. Same thing.

    6: Premonition.
    Your mind was somehow able to gain prior knowledge of being late down to the fine details of what clock you would be looking at and what you would say and you presented yourself this information in your dream. Later when the event came to pass you experienced the amazing revelation that you had dreamt it before. Nobody knows if this is or isn't possible.

    7: Manipulation:
    Someone wanted you late. Knowing you would be at your relatives later they put a tape recorder in your bedroom that played a loop of the words "Oh no, I’m late for my guitar lesson" and "oblong wooden clock" and "Forget the lesson. Just play the game" in the hope that it would coerce you into playing the game, forgetting about the lesson. And it worked.

    8: Dream Hijacker.
    Someone/something knew that you would be late on that fateful day and tried to warn you by implanting a dream in your mind to tell you so. Perhaps it was your student that did it.

    I have absolutely no idea why/how you had your dream. But there are eight possibilities for you to think about :smile:
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  6. Aug 14, 2010 #5
    Lots of interesting things to chew on:
    Coincidence It's easy to casually dismiss something as random, not inspect it and ignore it. I have had the experience of waking up just before the alarm goes off and didn't think much of it. This is different. The incident was some 8 hours after the dream and was a replay of it down to the smallest detail. Coincidence doesn't throw any light on the subject for me.

    Assimilation I find this one extremely interesting although I can claim no connection here with the dream. But that spice from Dune sounds like great stuff. I'm going to have to find some and check it out. lol

    The ones concerning the subconscious make interesting reading, but to me they are too vague - at least until we figure out what the subconscious actually is. I think I am leaning toward Premonition because of the exact and specific nature of the occurrence. But then what is premonition?

    For me this calls into question our understanding of the nature of time and how an observer interacts with the universe.
  7. Aug 14, 2010 #6
    Premonition is the ability to know the future before it occurs.

    Try this, keep a dream journal. Write down in detail what you dream about. At the end of the day, check your journal and see if you got any hits for premonition. Don't accept anything as hit if it's vague and could be interpreted in many different ways. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that, if you did this, you will never have such a specific experience again. The reason I think that is because I would lean towards infallible memory as an explanation. People have deja vu all the time. It would be impressive if you dreamed about the lotto numbers.
  8. Aug 15, 2010 #7
    For sure it was a one time thing, I can't claim any special ability there.
    I'm not sure what you mean by an "infallible memory" as an explanation, can you amplify this?
  9. Sep 17, 2010 #8

    People tend to forget dreams that don't have something interesting in them or if it doesn't happen in reality. Then it seems that dreams can predict events in the future.
  10. Sep 17, 2010 #9
    Definitely this one.
  11. Sep 27, 2010 #10


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    The image of the clock was already available to your unconscious mind. The fact that you had a guitar lesson the next day was already available to your unconscious mind. Perhaps you've been late for a lesson before, therefore this concern for being late was already available to your unconscious mind.

    The amalgamation of information inside of a dream itself is not really the coincidence, rather the fact that it coincided with the particular event is.

    I would certainly chalk this up to a combination of coincidence and malleable memory. The interesting thing about keeping a dream journal (or a UFO or ghost journal, incidentally) is that it will really show you how memories can easily change over time.

    I used to be a strong believer in the paranormal (ghosts, especially), and had a ghost hunting hobby with a friend. If you adopt the rule of recording your experience before sharing it, you'll often find that your experience is irreconcilable with another person's. However, after only a few minutes of discussion you will each adopt details from the other's explanation. Finally, you will converge on a mutual agreement of what happened and your memory will forever be compromised. Now, when you look back at your journal entry, you'll be flummoxed at your own description of the event. (Like Deepak Chropra trying to describe a game of ping-pong.)

    It's really quite startling the first time you experience it, but psychologists understand the effect well and it often flies under the flag of "confirmation bias" although there's really quite a bit more to it than that.

    I suspect here, your unconscious mind and reality conspired to create this event for you from nothing but a fuzzy dream and a few experiences. Confirmation bias took hold of your memory and quickly filled in the gaps for you with the information you were seeing. This created the false illusion that your dream had actually contained all of this information at a much earlier time.

    Works with pigeons, too.
  12. Sep 28, 2010 #11
  13. Oct 11, 2010 #12
    All items common to deja vu. There have been numerous explanations provided, so far, none of the "future prediction" theories are plausible.
  14. Oct 11, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Only mainstream scientific explanations are allowed.
  15. Oct 11, 2010 #14
    Don't delete them or our responses won't make sense.

    Studies conducted is one thing, published science is another.

    I think you'll find that none of the studies provided any evidence to support precognition and as such it is not a valid explanation for this forum.
  16. Oct 11, 2010 #15


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    Ivan's been here a lot longer than us (I'm sure he has his reasons), but you have a point, Jared. Sometimes simply silencing the "lunatic" isn't enough, you need to explain to him or her why his or her ideas aren't realistic and why people are rejecting them.

    Simply shutting out non-scientific discourse gives rise to "conspiracy thinking."
  17. Oct 11, 2010 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Note that it is a violation of the guidelines to refer to another member as a lunatic. Insulting other members is a two-point infraction. Beyond that, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. We can't state that precognition never happens, but we have no scientific evidence to support such claims. There are thousands of years of anecdotes supporting claims of precognition.

    As for the deleted posts, we can addresss questions about claims not supported by science, but is it a violation of the guidelines to offer them as explanations.
  18. Oct 11, 2010 #17


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    Sorry, Ivan, I wasn't trying to refer to ANYONE here as a lunatic. I was trying to build a hypothetical model including a "lunatic." Perhaps like one you might find on the street waving a sign warning you of the latest impending doom.

    The picture I was trying to paint, was one where an individual has a "crazy" idea, but will not be heard or discussed by anyone. They begin to think they are "on to something" and profess that there is a conspiracy to keep their idea hidden.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply anyone on the forum here fell into that category but was trying to promote the idea that it would be okay to discuss their ideas anyway.
  19. Oct 11, 2010 #18
    Sorry, this is what I was trying to avoid.

    My don't delete them post wasn't speaking to Ivan, but actually to the person who mentioned the precognitive issue (quoted in my previous post lj19).

    S/He said they would delete the posts and I said not to otherwise it won't make sense what we're talking about.

    Now, as you can see, they deleted them and they don't make sense (hence you replying thinking I'm telling Ivan not to delete them).

    What fun this is, the very issue I was trying to prevent.
  20. Oct 11, 2010 #19


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    Understood. Sorry to all involved, I guess. Just got confused with the deleted post.
  21. Oct 11, 2010 #20
    Well on the upside, I found it rather amusing! :biggrin:
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