Longtime commenter Bruce Siegel now has a blog of his own. Check it out!
Bruce seems to have attracted one or two hostile commenters already. The only explanation I can think of is that his blog's title, which includes the term "militant skeptic," has raised some hackles. Anyway, he is handling those comments with his usual class and patience.
Here's a small premonition, of no importance in itself, but interesting as an example of how these things seem to work (at least for me).
Yesterday I was relaxing in an armchair in a half-awake state of mind. My thoughts ran, for no obvious reason, to an episode of the old TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The villain in that episode was an older woman known as the Wig Lady, because of the obvious wig she wore. It turned out that the wig concealed a hideous demonic creature that emerged from the top of her head and ate people. Ewww.
Anyway, as I say, there was no obvious reason for me to think of this. The series has been off the air for ten years. I haven't seen an episode of it in a long time, and that particular episode was not one my of favorites.
A couple of hours later, I was making dinner. My habit these days is to work my way through the complete episodes of a sitcom, either on DVD or Netflix streaming video, while working in the kitchen. (I find this much less stressful than watching the news.) At the moment I'm watching How I Met Your Mother via Netflix. I played the next episode in the queue.
And there she was - the Wig Lady! Well, the same actress, anyway, playing a small role in this episode. I don't think she appears in any other episodes; it was just a walk-on bit. I might not have even recognized her if I hadn't been thinking of the Wig Lady on Buffy just a couple of hours earlier.
Coincidence? I doubt it. These things happen to me too often, and with too much specificity, to be explained away so easily. They nearly always involve a dreamy, almost hypnagogic state in which free associations take place. And they are almost always trivial in nature, often involving TV shows and other mundanities.
My guess is that when the mind is sufficiently relaxed, it is open to some degree of "information leakage" from what I call N-space (the information matrix that may underlie our perception of physical reality). This leakage generally is random - hence its triviality. In some cases the leakage does seem to carry a message or a meaning; in those instances I would guess that either our own consciousness can explore N-space and pick out the needed data, or some other consciousness (e.g., a spirit guide) can find the data and impress it on our mind.
By the way, I just looked up the actress. She's Pat Crawford Brown. The HIMYM episode was "Three Days of Snow." The Buffy episode was "Doublemeat Palace."