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ZetaTalk: Premonitions
Note: written on Nov 15, 1995

Almost everyone knows of an instance where a premonition came true. These instances are common enough that the process is not doubted. But what is the process? If the future has not yet been written, how can someone have a premonition of the future? Premonitions are misunderstood, and are judged on their results rather than the process, and thus are seen as fortune telling. In fact it is a high degree of common sense combined with the ability to weigh many factors at once. Those subject to premonitions are not shallow, they are deep, and they listen to and trust their intuition. Where all humans have the capacity to have premonitions, few trust their intuition enough to let them form. An example where a premonition could have formed, but did not, would be the following. A mother has an adventurous child, who has in the past been found climbing high on furniture or creeping out to the edge of drop-offs. The child rushes into things, with enthusiasm, and seems to never hesitate. The child has lately been allowed outside, alone but within a fenced-in yard assumed to be safe. One day the child is found in a neighboring yard, close to a busy street, and everyone is alarmed.

Should the mother have been prone to premonitions this tale would change. About the time when the child was to be freed in the yard, presumably safe, the mother has a premonition that the child is to be beset by danger on all sides. She is so fearful that extra checking and fussing are put into place, yet the child escapes and is in danger, close to a busy street. The extra checking brings this to everyone's attention, so the child is not harmed, but everyone marks the moment - this was a premonition. What occurred was a combination of the mother's knowledge of her child's nature, the agility the child displayed, and perhaps past familiarity with children that age who are anxious to demonstrate to themselves their independence. The mother mulled all this around and the result was a hunch that the child might break out of the yard and go exploring. Rather than dismiss this as merely a possibility, the mother gives her hunch credence, and plays these scenarios over and over again in her head with new factors recently learned. She plays with combinations and nuances, and has great trust in her innate judgment. Thus, she vocalizes her concerns, where another would dismiss this concern as only a mother's tendency to worry.

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