Neuroscientist discusses precognition—or ‘mental time travel’

November 22, 2017 1:10 pm, Last Updated: November 22, 2017 5:37 pm
By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times

There are rules of the physical world that don’t apply to the mental world. You can fly in a dream. You can imagine a squirrel talking to you. The realm of dreams and imagination is, however, often thought of as self-contained. It has no tangible bearing on the world at large.

Precognitive dreams have taught Dr. Julia Mossbridge otherwise. “I think that precognition is a kind of mental time travel into the future to get information,” she said. “We’re just so used to applying the rules of the physical world to the mental world that we don’t really get it that there are different rules. That’s a different domain.”

She continued: “The separation that we have between people in space and the separation we have between events in time in the physical world, who says that has to apply to the mental world?”

Precognitive dreams suggest the mind doesn’t follow the rules we usually apply to the physical world, says Mossbridge.

Mossbridge is a cognitive neuroscientist. She has been working with physicists and psychologists to figure out the rules of mental time travel. Her book, “Transcendent Mind,” co-authored with Dr. Imants Barušs, was published last year by the American Psychological Association.

Having a major scientific institution publish this book is a significant step forward for the many scientists who have seriously studied precognition, a “shared mind,” and other phenomena that suggests the mind exists beyond the brain.

Mossbridge’s personal experience with precognitive dreams started her on this research path. She said that one such dream, “knocked my socks off.”

Mossbridge had a dream that accurately predicted an event in great detail.

At the time she had the dream, she was going through a divorce. She had a 5-year-old child and didn’t know where they would live. She thought of an area where she used to live and thought it would be nice to return there.

In her dream, she called a landlady in the area that she knows. The landlady told her she had a two-story rental property. The upstairs unit had been recently refurbished and was already occupied. The downstairs unit was being refurbished and would be ready in two months. The landlady said she could show Mossbridge around the upstairs unit so she could get an idea of what the downstairs would look like when finished. If she were to sign the lease right away, she could pick the color of the paint.

In waking life, after the dream, Mossbridge didn’t call the landlady; she ran into her instead. But every other minute detail of her dream came true—the two-story property, the refurbishing, the two months until the bottom floor would be finished, picking the paint color, all of it.

“People both have dreams that seem mundane and dreams about things that are really important in their lives. Precognition works that way,” Mossbridge said. “But I’m kind of starting to get convinced that the things that seem mundane are not. That they’re more like signposts in your life. You don’t recognize them as important events, but later you go, ‘Oh yeah.'”

For example, the first precognitive dream she remembers was one she had as a child. She dreamed that her friend lost her watch on the playground, and it really happened the next day. It was a mundane event, but looking back on it, it seems important to Mossbridge. The watch represents time, a topic that would be central to her studies later in life.

As a scientist, Mossbridge asks herself whether it’s confirmation bias. In science, confirmation bias generally refers to interpreting information in a way that will confirm a preexisting belief. A meaningless dream could become “precognitive” if you look back on it and intentionally search for connections to events in waking life.

That’s why Mossbridge tests these things scientifically.

Experiments have shown people unconsciously know what’s going to happen in the future.

A file photo of a man wearing an Electroencephalography (EEG) cap. (Ulrich W.)

For example, she conducted a meta-analysis of experiments from seven independent laboratories indicating that the human body reacts to future stimuli. When something is about to happen, a person unconsciously already knows it’s going to happen. This unconscious response can be tested in a lab by measuring reactions in the nervous system, sweat glands, or heart rate.

Mossbridge described how this presentiment works with an analogy of a stick being dragged through water. The stick represents an event. There are ripples on both sides of it, representing the emotional disturbance we feel from the event. The ripples before the stick aren’t as pronounced, the ripples after the stick are bigger. Similarly, the emotional response to an event is more subtle before the event occurs than afterward.

She is also working on experiments to show that people can use remote viewing and precognitive dreaming to predict stock market events.

What if we could predict terror attacks?

A file photo of a reported suicide car bomb attack by Islamic State (IS) in Kobani, Syria. (Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)

Predicting mass-shooting or bombing attacks could especially help people. In 2015, Mossbridge had a precognitive dream about an Islamic State (IS) bombing in Kuwait.

She had the dream the same night it happened and a lot of the details matched up. She saw it happening during midday prayer; she saw the number 27, which was the number of people killed; she saw the letters “IS.” Some of the details didn’t match, like she thought it was in Israel, not Kuwait.

Dr. Julia Mossbridge’s journal, where she recorded an apparently precognitive dream about a bombing on July 26, 2015. (Screenshot/Skype)

Nonetheless, Mossbridge thinks that if people could share their premonitions via an online registry, it might help. If the registry receives dozens of premonition accounts that all match up in certain regards, it could indicate an event is likely to occur.

People could avoid a certain location if a lot of people have premonitions of an attack at that location at a certain time.

Envision a future with a central premonitions registry.

Although there have been some attempts to create a premonitions registry, Mossbridge said, “They don’t seem to catch on because people can’t be out of the closet with this stuff. People are scared. If I were to tell someone about that dream about the bombing, if it was too much detail, they might be coming up to my house and saying, ‘So, you did this bombing,’” she said.

Since we don’t know how to deal with this information, she said, we say that people with premonitions are crazy, “Or more generously, those people are seeing coincidences as something that’s meaningful, but they’re just coincidences.”

While thinking about time and transcendent mental abilities are some of Mossbridge’s favorite things to do, she also works on all kinds of other cool projects. Her roles include research director of the Mossbridge Institute, director of the Innovation Lab at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and visiting scholar at Northwestern University.

Her daily work includes using compassionate robots to make people happy, developing apps to help people listen to their intuition and test their psychic abilities, and teaching Silicon Valley programmers to take care of their minds.

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