Presentiment — Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue?

A murmuration of starlings, formation flying over the Scottish border — but how do they stay in formation? picture: bbc.co.uk

Psychics and fortune tellers have been claiming ability to see the future for years and sensible people have always taken their claims with a very big pinch of salt especially if those claims were accompanied by offers to part you from your hard — earned cash. When serious neuroscientists at respectable universities start claiming success in experiments aimed at proving humans do have precognitive abilities, maybe we ought to be thinking again. In fairness I have to acknowledge I have not been kind to neuroscientists, but that was in cases where they have captured electro — magnetic emissions from the brain and nervous system and claimed they can infer what the subject is thinking from the collected data. Though not a biologists I know a lot about digitising electro — magnetic radiation and contsructing sounds and images from it, and I can say quite categorically claims to be able to interpret side emissions from brainsare so strongly skewed by Bayesean inference they should be treated as total bollocks.

Recent work at the outer limits of scientific enquiry has had some success in looking at the phenomenon of presentiment (knowing stuff is going to happen before it happens) Research in this area that mainstream science has previously been dismissive of is discovering that our bodies anticipate events below our level of normal conscious awareness. This, if translated down to the cellular level is entirely consistent with the work already done in the physics associated field, Quantum Entanglements.(search of the Schwartz Report archives on “quantum biology”).

Though I am a sceptic (A true sceptic who questions everything, not a science pseud who sneers at and dismisses everything that does not fit neatly into a mathematical model of reality) I therefore reserve judgement on this because findings as yet are far from proof, I do not reject it because as a true cynic I look to my own experience of pre cognition and those described to me by perfectly rational, level headed people for confirmation that evidence exists to show there is more to being human than can be expressed in a mathematical formula. Many people scoff at the idea that our bodies might have precognitive ability and thus are able to prepare us for future events that could be very important in our lives, even if there’s no clue about what those events will be? WOW, that would be almost as good as being a Jedi Knight, how can I get such powers? you might well ask. Well you could try using The Force but first you’d have to know what The Force is.

Maybe you have already have experienced such abilities at work in yourself or observed them in others. Chances are you will only have talked about your experiences to people you trust implicitly for fear of being called a nutter. But what if I were to tell you work carried out by the science faculties of several respectable universities has produced results which suggest presentiment without any external clues may, in fact, be a reality. According to Northwestern University research that analyzes the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010 this is the case.

I can almost hear the scienceology cult and mathematics worshippers screaming in outrage already, but remember Mathematics is not a science it is an art, an artifice, not a thing of nature but a creation of the human mind. And those who claim to have greater faith in science to provide answers to the universal unknowns need to be reminded there is no room for faith or belief in science. So where does the research on presentiment stand? Researchers already know that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. Physiological measures of subconscious arousal, for instance, tend to show up before conscious awareness that a deck of cards is stacked against us.

p>Research in to human precognitive abilities is loosely related to the theories of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Resonance. Sheldrake, a biologist who earlier in his career was involved in research on decoding the human genome, proposes all self-organising systems are wholes made up of parts which are in turn lower-level wholes themselves — such as organelles in cells, cells in tissues, tissues in organs, organs in organisms, organisms in social groups. At each level, he says, the morphic field gives each whole its characteristic properties, and coordinates the constituent parts.

The existence of such fields was actually proposed as long ago as the 1920s and the concept is widely used within biology, indeed my friend Ann Marcaida, a research biologist was investigating the possibility of plants communicating through morphic fields (known as morphic resonance) when she died in 2015. But despite evidence that something is going on, the exact nature of these fields has has eluded investigators.

According to research there are different types of morphic fields including behavioural and mental fields that organise animal behaviour and mental activity, and social and cultural fields that organise societies and cultures. For examples of communication through morphic resonance think of a flock on birds of certtain species, or shoals of some types of fish, which at certain tomes seem to move as one creature, not following a leader, but all moving in a syncronised manner at the same instant. Watch a huge flock of starlings give a display of synchronised flying (murmuration,) which, even without any mystical connotations, is a spectacle worth seeing.

The most controversial feature of the morphic fields hypothesis is that the structure of morphic fields depends on what has happened before. Morphic fields contain a kind of memory. Through repetition, the patterns they organise become increasingly probable, increasingly habitual. The force these fields exert is the force of habit.

Whatever the explanation of its origin, once a new morphic field, a new pattern of organisation, has come into being, the field becomes stronger through repetition. The more often patterns are repeated, the more probable they become.

The fields contain a kind of cumulative memory and become increasingly habitual. All nature is essentially habitual. Even what we view as the fixed “laws of nature” may be more like habits, ingrained over long periods of time. Though Sheldrake was lauded as a genius in the days when his work was ‘on message’, he is now regarded as a maverick, although his theories are gaining support in the academic community. If proved correct, this would support

Julia Mossbridge, lead author of the study and research associate in the Visual Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern said, “What has not been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen,”

Ms Mossbridge gives an example. A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones, for example, can’t hear when his or her boss is coming around the corner.

“But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your video game,” Mossbridge said. “You might even have a chance to open that spreadsheet you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room.”

This phenomenon is sometimes called “precognition,” as in “knowing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.

“I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”

The study, “Predictive Physiological Anticipation Preceding Seemingly Unpredictable Stimuli: A Meta-Analysis,” is published in full at scribed.com (linked) and other sites specialising in provinding public acess to research results. In addition to Mossbridge, co-authors of the study include Patrizio Tressoldi of the Università di Padova, Padova, Italy, and Jessica Utts of the University of California, Irvine.

I probably haven’t convinced anyone we all possess the power of precognition in this article, at least I hope I haven’t, that was not the intention. The desired result is to have whetted the appetites of open minded people for more thoughts and information on the mysteries of the human mind, and maybe prised open a few closed minds to ideas they would not previously have considered.

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