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Intuitively knowing about my father in hospital's condition

  1. Jun 15, 2009 #1

    I thought I'd share a couple of the as of yet scientifically unexplainable experiences I have had in my life.

    This will be my first one to share. Usual disclaimer: I'm certainly not making it up.

    My father went to the hospital because he was spitting up blood.

    I asked my intuition: "what is wrong with my dad?, and is he going to be alright?", intuively the word "intestines" flashed into my mind. Then after that the overwhelming feeling that he would be quite fine and good as new.

    I find out later than he had some kind of twist in his intestines that needed to be fixed with surgery. He got the surgery and has been perfectly fine since.

    The simple explanation is that the human mind has access to millions of impulses of information, and somehow was subconsciously able to deduce the source of the problem and his future health by reading these subtle cues.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2009 #2


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    Exactly, its the SIMPLE explanation, and probably the right one. There's no magic, just common sense. When you see coughing up blood you have pretty much two impulsive choices, lungs or stomach. The fact is, both may have run through your mind at the time, but once you found out intestines your subconscious focused on you previously thinking intestines, and forgot that you had thought about other possibilities as well. Selective memory like that can be self-reinforcing as well.
  4. Jun 15, 2009 #3
    Stomach or lungs (or intestines) did not occur to me consciously. I didn't think about this in advance. Your debunkings assume I just misremembered how it happened.

    It wasn't selected memory. I asked my intuition for an answer, then it flashed to me. The answer made no sense to me consciously. I never considered what might be wrong, because I'm cold like that and don't care, I'd rather wait until the doctor says what the situation is, rather than hypothesize.

    My first and only inquiry into the condition was asking my intuition.
  5. Jun 15, 2009 #4


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    That experience seems ordinary enough that, by chance alone, I would expect dozens* of PFers would have experienced it (father in hospital, guessed diagnosis and prognosis before learning of them).

    There were very few possibilities here: you could think of lungs, intestines, stomach, or some less-likely organ; you could imagine him being fine, having a long hospital stay, or dying. A person's father might be hospitalized under similar conditions several times. It just doesn't strike me as unusual -- and it's a far cry from paranormal.

    * If not hundreds. Depends on how you count them.
  6. Jun 15, 2009 #5


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    Lungs would be unlikely because you said spitting, not coughing up blood, so that leaves the stomach and intestines. Stomach is somewhat more likely than intestines, (I think), so perhaps your odds of guessing right were 30% or so. No reason to consider that kind of correct guess to be anything out of the ordinary.

    For the other prediction, I'm guessing he didn't leave your house in an ambulance, so your odds of correctly guessing that he'd end up being fine were probably quite high.
    I'm sorry, but people don't have that kind of specific control over their brains. You did consider what might be wrong. When you hear about a situation like this, your brain will automatically start considering possibilities and jumping to conclusions. This may take only a fraction of a second, but your brain will hand you a guess whether you want it or not. It's an automatic function that you are conscious of if you are paying attention (sorta like breathing). Now you may choose to ignore it (and in this case, you didn't), but you can't prevent your brain from doing that. It's a hard-wired, reflexive function.

    I'd also rather wait and see - I don't like jumping to conclusions either, because they can be wrong. But you don't have the power to prevent your brain from doing it or query your intuition on demand. That just sounds to me like you need to get more comfortable with/understand better how your mind works. That said, the fact that your asking the question means you are intelligent enough to consider the issue of how your mind works. I perceive that many people don't understand how their own minds work and it leads to problems, particularly when it comes to emotional reactions. By understanding such things, you can at least begin to control their effects on you.

    Whether you care or not is a separate issue.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  7. Jun 16, 2009 #6
    You said a couple of things that don't make a lot of sense to me.

    1) "When you hear about a situation like this, your brain will automatically start considering possibilities and jumping to conclusions." There are many situations that come up in one's life. Why don't they ALL automatically cause my mind to jump to some conclusion. They just remain in neutral. If they all did that my mind would be overwhelmed with information. To me you are just jumping to conclusions of how I must be reacting to stimuli, when there are stimuli that effect us everyday that don't fall into the claims you are making.

    2) "But you don't have the power to ... query your intuition on demand" How do you know this? You state it as a known truth. You are well-aware that it's impossible to prove what isn't possible 100% conclusively. But you can prove something is possible by having just one example of it. I obviously disagree with you, but would like to know what the basis for your blanket assertion is.

    All the Best
  8. Jun 16, 2009 #7
    Yes, this one situation could be discounted base don statistical likelihood. And I would if I didn't have many other similar experiences.
  9. Jun 24, 2009 #8


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    Bold formatting #1: Please clarify "They just remain in neutral." This statement is pretty ambiguous.

    Bold formatting #2: Are you saying that you have sufficiently backed your statement which is contrary to his? You claim that something is declared possible by "just having one example of it". Where is this written? Are you stating that all things that have ever been claimed to be possible by anyone, no matter what the source, are indeed 100% possible? Using this logic; your analogy is akin to a person claiming that they have moved objects with their mind, and by presenting this phenomena as an example, has given it sufficient testing to be declared a fact and proven "possible".

  10. Jul 7, 2009 #9

    There is an even simpler explanation. There were a very few possibilities, of which one occurred to you. You may have subconsciously felt you knew the answer because of a (possibly consciously forgotten) complaint your father had voiced recently or something of the sort. Or maybe it was just a guess. Then, it happened to be true.

    But what is not taken into account--and is almost always immediately forgotten--are the many, many times that our first thought in a situation is downright WRONG. We dismiss it because, after all, "we couldn't have known, anyway." We don't consider that as a disproof of psychic phenomena. But then ONE correct thought as you described seems so astonishing that we give it much credence as demonstrating a supernatural event. But the thing is, statistically, WE ARE GOING TO BE RIGHT once in awhile! And our minds are eager to find a cause-effect (even if supernatural) relation to the event, even though it is just chance mixed with a bit of intuition of the ordinary sort.

  11. Jul 8, 2009 #10

    Take a class and learn about the human brain...

    You'll realize that your brain is constantly experiencing EVERYTHING, it just focus' on what's important and "dumps" the rest. There are a lot of things going on in your brain that you're not aware of. You're constantly experiencing the feel of your clothes, but after you put them on you pretty much forget about them, until something out of the ordinary happens with them and you redirect your attention to it. Same thing with smells. That's why when you first walk into a room that someone baked brownies in (mmmmm...), you're overwhelmed by the smell, but after about 10 mins you can barely smell it anymore. MILLIONS of things like this are constantly swirling around your brain, but this "dumping" process is how it protects itself from getting overwhelmed.

    You're wrong. Look it up.

    That's what reactions are. You don't think about it, your mind decides for you, and you "react".
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