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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Can we see into the future?

When I tell people that I am a futurist, the first question people typically ask is, “What is going to happen in the future?” In fact, predication is not really a key element of Futures Studies, and most futurists stick to the position that the future is ultimately unknowable. Instead, most futurists like to engage in scenario work, where they attempt to contend with the issues and problems related to several possible paths which may unfold. Another process is horizon scanning, where futurists gather together as much data as they can about a particular issue, and then extrapolate the possible and probable futures which appear to be emerging. All this involves standard logical and rational ways of knowing, and the processes are conducted in normal states of consciousness. To do otherwise would invite the possibilities of ridicule and the questioning of professional credibility. Such is the nature of dominant culture in science and the professional/corporate world.

I am thus a little unusual for a futurist, in that I am also a mystic. Besides writing and researching, and gaining the preferred academic qualifications (a doctorate), I also spent many years working on the intuitive and emotional dimensions of mind. It’s not so easy to develop both the intellect and the psyche, as the cognitive skills required are completely different. Most academics have little or no understanding of the deeper mind, except at an intellectual level. This makes my attempts at communicating insights gleaned at a first-personal experiential level quite difficult. Many in mainstream culture are quite hostile to the attempt. My perception is that this largely stems not only from the challenge to their worldview, but also from the fear of the vulnerability required to move beyond the intellectual mind, and to explore the deeper emotional and psychic realms.

Which brings me to the question, “Can we see the future?” To answer this I am not going to refer to philosophical arguments or empirical evidence, but to personal insight.

The answer is yes, we can sense the future, although it may not be an inevitable future. What we can sense is a possible future.

Sometimes Spirit will gives us warnings about the possible future. Let me give you just one example. While in New Zealand some time back, I took a nap on a lazy Saturday afternoon,. When I awoke, and was still in the drowsy (hypnogogic) state, I suddenly saw a scene appear in my mind’s eye. It was a beach panorama, and the sea was cold, turgid and rough. A strong, disembodied male voice said clearly, “Be careful”.

This was a rather obscure warning, as it was late winter in Auckland, and the thought of going to the beach was the last thing on my mind. Yet just a short time later, the phone rang. A friend of mine invited me for a picnic at the beach the following day. I accepted, and the next day we drove out to the coastal region just east of Auckland. When we arrived, the beach scene was precisely what I’d seen in the vision. The surf was rough. I told my colleagues about my vision, and warned them not to venture too far out into the surf. I did go for a swim, but stayed close to the shore, even though I am a strong swimmer.

I might add that my friends had no problem with my “advice”, as we were all members of the same spiritual group, and we worked extensively with Integrated Intelligence.

In Sage of Synchronicity I mentioned a friend of mine named Glenn several times, and I also had a rather profound premonition involving him, which I did not write about in that book.

In mid 2004 I was riding a bus from Leshan to Chengdu, in Sichuan province in southern China. The journey was about 90 minutes, and I drifted off to sleep. As I slept a vision suddenly popped into my mind. I saw a setting sun, and the words “The End” appeared, as if it was the end of a movie. The strangest thing about the dream was that I perceived it from the perspective of a person who was actually floating through the air, heading towards the sun.

I awoke suddenly, and knew immediately that it was a symbolic representation of death. Somebody had died. Or was I about to die? I tried to get an intuitive sense of who it might be, but nothing came to me. The vision spooked me.

That night I slept in a hotel in Chengdu, and when I awoke I went to check my email on a computer at the hotel. When I clicked open my yahoo account, the first email was from the long-time girlfriend of a very good friend of mine in Australia. The title read “Some sad news about Glenn”. My heart sank, and even before I opened the email, I knew what I was going to read. Glenn has committed suicide, hanging himself inside his home.

I was shocked. I had been communicating with Glenn via email, and he was preparing to come and join me in China. I knew he had been having some psychological issues, so was worried about his coming over. China can be a stressful place. Now I wouldn’t have to worry about that. His death left me feeling sad for weeks. We had known each other for well over a decade.

Beyond premonitions, there is a far more practical aspect of sensing the future, and I call this Foresense. This is the intuitive feeling that derives from deliberately projecting the mind into a specific future. Here’s a very specific example.

Not long after completing my doctorate, while living in China, I was involved in a negotiation regarding a university job with one of Taiwan's best universities. Via email, the dean of the department was clarifying what subjects I would be able to teach. Something didn't feel right about the situation, so I did a Quick Check. I got out a bit of paper, and drew a horizontal line across the page. I put out a question to the universe: "What is the energy on my accepting a position to work at this university?"

Then I ran the index finger of my left hand across the line, from left to right, measuring the energy on making the jump across the Taiwan Strait (a divination tool I call The Quick Check). My finger just wouldn't go anywhere much past the beginning of the line, indicating that there was no energy on my going there. This was not as I'd expected. I was excited by the prospect of working at a university, and being rewarded for all my years of hard study.

I wasn't dissuaded just yet, however. So I decided to use the Feeling Sense to double-check things. I sat down, closed my eyes and focused upon my breath, putting myself into a light trance state. Then, when I was sufficiently relaxed, I projected my energy into the campus of the Taiwanese university, feeling my future self walking about as if it was in the present moment. I was pulling the future towards me, merging my consciousness field with my possible future self in Taiwan. I immediately felt lost, disconnected, like I was not meant to be there. I felt myself wondering over and over "What am I doing here?" There was an overwhelming sense of frustration, because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I opened my eyes, knowing that it wasn't meant to be. I then wrote down the results of my experience in my Intuitive Diary.

The next day I sent an email to the dean, thanking him for his help, but telling him I would not be able to accept any offer.

The story above is typical of the way that Integrated Intelligence can permit you to peer into possible and probable futures, and sense the results of decisions you are making.

It should be clear from these anecdotes that the future can be sensed. Sometimes it happens without conscious volition, while at other times we can consciously “tune” into the future. Foresense is a skill that is open to all people. It’s one of the things I teach people in my workshops.

As with any skill or cognitive ability, it is a case of “use it or lose it”. Unless you take the time to develop and use your Integrated Intelligence, it will remain a mere potential.



  1. Yes, it has happened many times for me too.Most especially with warnings.

    I am interetested in your 'quick check', what a great tool to have. :)

  2. Great post! It seems that premonitions about near-future events are often accurate. Precognitive leaps to more distant futures, however--even six months or a year--aren't always as accurate. The farther out you go, the more variables come into play, hence more possible futures.

    For example, if a psychic tuned into my life and said I would die at a certain age, she might be right from that point in time. But maybe she doesn't see the drunk swerve his car in front of me at a much earlier date because that scenario hadn't developed yet.

    What you said about the academic perspective on the intuitive mind is cetainly accurate from the perspective of mainstream science. But it seems there are more and more breakthroughs developing in academia. For instance, this fall Yale University - one of the Ivy League centers of intellectual life - is holding a synchronicity symposium. Trish and I have been invited to speak, probably the only non-academic participants.

    We would love to meet you there, Marcus. Would you like us to inform the symposium coordinator about your book and work? I think you'd make a great addition. We also want to send you a copy of 7 Secrects of Synchronicity - two of your stories are in it - especially since you gave us a digital copy of yours. Just e-mail us your mailing address. (

  3. Hi Natalie,

    Probably most people can refer to at least one premonition of some kind.

    I actually mention a few of these tools, including the Quick Check in "Sage of Synchronicity". If you are interested, just click on the book's image on the right-hand side of the blog, near the top. Or just to go to Amazon and search for it.


  4. I totally agree that things are changing. I know there are some people that are open to the things I talk about, and some are not. But there seems to be more now than ever before.

    Marcus, what you discuss in this post is probably what draws me to your books and blog. You have an academic background, which appeals to me, but you've incorporated Spirit in a simple and meaningful way. That, in itself, is extremely useful and forward-thinking. You should really think about the symposium at Yale suggested by Rob .

  5. Hear, hear. That symposium sounds like a great piece of synchronicity in itself! I hope you'll be able to make it too.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, folks. Sometimes I really need some!

    BTW, I sent Rob an email saying I'm definitely interested in the symposium. It sounds like a great place to meet some fascinating people. I'll see what I can do to get there!