November 25, 2009
I typically don’t keep jobs too long. At last count I’d worked over 50 jobs by the time I was 30. I was 19 when the following incident happened, and it was my fourth job.
I’d been working for a few months at a private club atop the county’s most prominent skyscraper. It was really a fun gig, to say the least. The day shift basically consisted of lunch for the elite. I was an upscale busboy, complete with a suit, a “crumber” and the whole kit. The clientele consisted of everybody from real estate moguls to business tycoons to sports team owners. Even some Hollywood types. There was a private gym up there where some of these types would congregate for various non-athletic activities, if you catch my drift. The club and the gym took up the entire top floor and you could see out over the Pacific or out over the mountains. Sunsets in wintertime were amazing. The whole setup was just so high-class and… just weird.
As far as mixing work and pleasure, the night shifts were where it was at. They had regular dinners, but more often than not there was some sort of banquet going on. Rich people often waste untouched food and drink, so me and the other busboys often had ourselves a great time during downtime. Anywhere from moderate to too-much-to-be-on-the-clock amounts of wine were the usual perk, and the dinners superb.
One particular afternoon I was finishing up a lunch shift like I would any other, which obviously means not drinking wine with the rest of the busboys. It was a little past two in the afternoon, and I was doing what we’d call “rolling butters,” which consisted of shaving butter into thin, aesthetically-pleasing curls, then putting them in the refrigerator for the next shift.
I’m willing to bet most people have heard the phrase train of thought. In “normal” thinking, our thoughts tend to flow causally from one thing to the next. Feelings may come and go apparently without reason, but as far as the content of our thoughts and conscious intentions and visual imagery in our minds, it tends to be rooted in the current task. Take for example our reinforcement of any given event sequence X we wish to undertake: we begin where event sequence X is most likely to begin if all the conditions are sufficient for us to be there, which leads naturally to the first significant incident we expect to encounter during event sequence X, which leads to the second, then to the third and so on.
For example, before dinner we might find ourselves thinking that after dinner, we will go to the coffee shop, then stop by the store for some bread, then say “hey” to our friends on the corner, and then return home. In running these events through our mind, we’ve programmed an event sequence into our immediate future. After dinner, we might run the steps through once again as we’re putting on our sweatshirt and walking out the door. Such is an entirely rational and logical use of the mind that follows an ordered and sequential pattern. Presuming the event sequence turns out as planned, each of these things functions as a sort of causal antecedent to the next, and these relations are evident in our thinking: we said “hey” to our friends on the corner because we stopped by the store because we were first at the
coffee shop because we went there after dinner, and so on.
This is not to say that thoughts or visual images never arise spontaneously in our minds, as quite the contrary is true. One might be high off medication and suddenly have thoughts of colors, or one might spontaneously think of a previous event from the day while falling asleep, or one might be resting momentarily at the bus stop and think randomly of this thing or that. These things happen all the time and I do not wish to imply the idea that any and every spontaneous thought constitutes evidence for spiritual or psi experience.
The salient point is that the linear reasoning we typically use in daily routine follows an ordered and sequential pattern. It is the basic problem-solving mindset and it tends to work in steps. Returning to the example, you would certainly think it odd if, directly after thinking about going to coffee shop, you suddenly found yourself thinking of detailed travel plans Paris, or an elegant explanation of some cosmological problem. Such thoughts would have no logical causal antecedent while in the context of event sequence X. We’d already told ourselves that after the coffee shop, we’d be going to the store to get bread. When we’re re-running the program in our heads on the way out the door, we’d logically expect it to the be the same. To suddenly find ourselves thinking about travel plans in Paris or cosmological problems would be odd.
But back to the story. I was finishing up the butters, and was really hyped up to go skate a certain spot, with a particular trick firmly in mind: backside tailslides (in case anyone that actually skates reads this stuff). While rolling butters — just like whatever you think about right before you get off work — I was reinforcing the event sequence of going to the spot and learning backside tailslides: I was to go there, park the car, get out, warm up, say “hey” to whoever was there and then start trying them. I’d been thinking about it all day, and running it through my mind one last time before making it a reality.
Then something really strange happened. In the middle of re-running the program, I suddenly found myself not thinking about driving to the spot or learning backside tailslides, but instead viewing distinct visual imagery that had absolutely no relation to the current train of thought. It was as if this new event sequence Y had suddenly just imposed or interjected itself into my intentional thinking about event sequence X, which was completely suspended.
What I saw was two businessmen coming in for a late lunch. I can still remember certain details with crystal-clear lucidity: one of them was in “full work attire” and the other a bit more relaxed, as if he’d just gotten off. I saw them come in, and I saw the hostess seat them at a particular table, centered in the room but not far from the entrance. Specifically, one of the men moved his silver to the seat directly to his left, opposite his associate. I then saw the hostess pouring water, and that man refused lemon with a negative “hand-waving” motion. Then, the imagery stopped as suddenly as it started, and I found myself a tad “disconnected” of sorts, but still right there rolling the butters. I immediately realized the anomalous nature of the incident, and sat there for a moment trying to trace back and explain the intrusion of this apparently random event sequence in my mind. It was odd, but not life threatening or anything, and weird things happen to people with brains, so I just sorta shrugged my shoulders and went back to thinking about backside tailslides.
Then, the hostess popped her head in the door to tell me we had a two-top for lunch. I got some bread and butter, while she grabbed the water vase and lemon, and as soon as I got onto the dining room floor I was flooded feelings of synchronicity and I realized: the event sequence that was unfolding was exactly the event sequence that had imposed itself on my mind just moments earlier! Everything was met down to the finest detail: the “full work attire” guy moved his silver to the left, refused the lemon with the wave of his hand and everything. I was completely taken aback and really did not know what to think about this. I was reluctant to explain it to the hostess, but I did anyway, and her reaction was pretty much the same as mine: “that’s weird!”
Earlier we mentioned the fact that spontaneous thoughts arise in our minds quite frequently. We gave examples of being drunk, half-awake or momentarily relaxed. However, if you look closely at those examples, you’ll notice that in each case the spontaneous thoughts bubble to the surface from a state of relaxation or mental passivity. In each of those cases, the subject is not logically reinforcing some event sequence X they’re about to undertake. This is an important point we’ll return to when talking about the difference between spirit and soul as called for in the tripartite model of consciousness.
It’s worth mentioning that at the time this happened I was particularly interested in reading what the average Westerner refers to as occult literature, and not just reading it, either, if you know what I mean. This was not the only precognitive experience I’ve had, but it is by far the most detailed and undeniable one. I realize this story remains an anecdote, and while I submit that every detail herein is true, by no means do I offer this story as an intended scientific proof of anything. How can something like this be “reliably repeated?” What sort of predictions can we possibly draw? I did not even seek the experience in the first place. Still, the fact that this incident can’t be repeated in a laboratory does not absolve us of our responsibility to explain it as scientifically as possible.
Which model of consciousness best explains this incident? That’s certainly a tough question, one we may or may not be able to answer conclusively. However, one thing I think we can say conclusively is that this incident does not cohere with sCCH (strong cerebro-centric hypothesis). If consciousness is simply the effect of neurons firing in isolated brains and we’re not invoking any sort of strange A-field of waveform theories into our model, it’s hard to see how we could “be informed” of a future event. To contrast, both wCCH and TMC can easily account for the data, and I think the question of how each can do so merits a subsequent post.