PRECOGNITIONS COME not only through mediumship but also by other methods; many are spontaneous, coming in dream or by an overwhelming impression. The Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research contain numerous such cases, and readers who lack the time for perusing that long series of Preceedings can find a selection of striking cases in Dame Edith Lyttelton's book, Some Cases of Prediction, chapter 4, and also in Zoe Richmond's book, Evidence of Purpose, pp. 53-57, and 84.
Let us now look at a special type of precognition which has been observed, and observed repeatedly, under conditions of strict experiment.
Three Seconds into Future Time
The forecasting of events yet in the future and unknown to anyone on earth is, as we have seen in the foregoing pages, a fact. It is a fact for which we have not as yet found any all-embracing explanation.
Even those who, speaking from the Beyond, give these forecasts, cannot always explain how the information reaches them. They can sometimes only offer opinions.
It might be thought that if we could find one who had this gift of "reading the future" we could obtain from him information to satisfy our curiosity. But that is far from certain; in the case about to be cited the percipient was unable to explain. He only knew from experience that he could sometimes succeed.
Like many other discoveries, this one came to light while the investigator was looking for something else. Mr. S. G. Soal, D.Sc., Professor of Mathematics in London University and an experienced member of the Society for Psychical Research, had been devising means for testing whether or not telepathy was in action. He experimented with many persons without success. but finally found, in a Mr. Basil Shackleton, one with remarkable psychic ability. Repeated trials showed that this gentleman frequently guessed correctly which card would be looked at by Mr. Soal's
assist ant in two seconds time. That card meanwhile was lying face downward with others, and, although it was not yet chosen, Shackleton was able to say which card it would be! And the card was then selected by a chance process and momentarily glanced at by the assistant. Each successive card was selected by this chance process, an ingenious process which excluded all possibility of trickery or leakage of information. This was an astonishing achievement. But more was to follow.
When the assistant quickened the pace for looking at the cards, increasing it from 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 seconds a card, it was discovered that Shackleton was now guessing the card next-but-one ahead! It was as if his mind grasped an idea of the card which the assistant had not yet seen, but would be looking at three seconds later!
Not that every guess was correct, but the average of accurate guesses was vastly above chance. Dr. Soal says, "I do not think these experiments are open to any attack. The mathematical theory of probability has been in use for a great many years in checking results of card-guessing experiments... Any critic who tried to demolish our work on mathematical grounds would first find it necessary to overthrow the accepted statistical practice of the last fifty years... More than twenty intelligent observers took part in the experiments, including philosophers like Professor Habberley Price of Oxford and psychologists like Professor Mace of London; but no one could find a flaw... In our experiments the 'message' was received by Shackleton and acted upon before it could have been conceived, let alone transmitted, by the agent. I have no doubt that materialists will maintain that such things cannot happen, since they upset their idea of physical causation. Of course they do, and that is just why they are to me so stimulating and important. There is no reason whatever to suppose that the material world embraces the whole of reality. Our experiments are to me pointers to a universe of reality which lies outside the physical order... There are non-physical realities. I believe that in this extra-physical world of mental images in which telepathy operates, our human personality has its deepest roots, and in this world it may still survive after the physical organism has ceased to function".
A detailed description of these experiments was published in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research for December 1943.
My Communicators have often expressed the opinion that such special powers as they manifest are already existing in mankind, although it is only after our transition that these powers will awake, into full activity. May not the above experiment illustrate on a small scale the ability to foresee, an ability usually dormant within us, yet which occasionally to some slight degree awakes and functions?
> Next > Previous