From time immemorial humankind has tried to gain advance knowledge of things to come. The Old Testament has numerous books of prophecy, though strangely many Christian fundamentalists now denounce fortune telling as a sin. Today many of us consult psychics, hoping for a glimpse of what tomorrow has in store. Popular newspapers and magazines invariably feature a horoscope column, and who wouldn’t like a sneak preview of next week’s winning lottery numbers.

Does the future already exist?

Is it really possible to tell the future? To answer that question we need to examine the fundamental nature of reality.

Let’s suppose that we really can predict the future with certainty. Our first reaction might be one of excitement and joy. Those winning lottery numbers are out there somewhere, ready for the taking.

But let’s think again. This means the future already exists, and our existence is a bit like being in a(n already made) movie. What we perceive as now is simply the frame currently being projected on the screen. But tomorrow, the day after, next week, next year and so on, until the end of the universe, are already in the can. Nothing we say, or think, or feel, or do really matters a jot. We are powerless puppets enslaved within an inflexible and inescapable destiny.

Wouldn’t that be nightmarish?

Fortunately. I don’t believe the true nature of reality to be that of fixed destiny. Despite the world appearing to be orderly and obeying the laws of cause and effect, science has discovered that at its most fundamental level the physical world is anything but orderly with each basic particle appearing to behave randomly. Usually, because we observe zillions of these tiny particles acting together, their individual randomness averages out and we perceive the illusion of order.

Examples of Precognition

Having concluded that the future doesn’t exist, it follows that it cannot be predicted. However, history is littered with examples of apparently amazing precognition.

Around 200 people reported having premonitions including choking, coal dust, and children screaming shortly before the 1966 Aberfan disaster in which a pile of coal waste slid down a mountain burying a school and killing 144 children and adults.

J W Dunne, a pioneering aeronautical engineer of the late 19th, early 20th century, began noticing that some of his dreams were prescient. Not only did the dreams foretell major events, but also frequently predicted life's trivia. Applying his scientific training to the phenomena, Dunne began recording and analyzing his dreams. He found that his dreams contained images of the past and of the future in equal measure. Dunne published an account and possible explanation of his experiences in the classic An Experiment With Time (Studies in Consciousness).

The most famous prophet is surely Nostradamus, the 16th century French physician. Nostradamus's predictions were written in somewhat obscure language in the form of quatrains, published under the title Centuries. Due to their obscurity it is usually only after the event that their accuracy is recognized. An example appearing to relate to England's Princess Diana is:
The last son of the man with the prophet's name
will bring Diana to her day of rest.
At a distance they wander in frenetic grief.
Delivering a great people from ruin.

The father of Diana's partner in her fatal car crash, Dodi, was named Mohamed. Her passing caused an outpouring of grief around the world. How it may have delivered "a great people" from ruin remains unclear.

And from the author’s own experience:

One Saturday as a child of about ten I became convinced that I would win the football pools (a kind of English lottery based on soccer results). All day long I repeated my belief to my family. On checking the football results I found I had won a minor dividend, an event of somewhat less than a 2% probability. I have never felt such a conviction before or since.

My father and grandmother were very close, and my father often used to drive my grandmother to various places. Shortly after my grandmother passed away at 91 my father suffered a recurrence of a long-standing stomach condition. As he had the problem several times before we expected him to make a full recovery as usual. I had to leave the country but was not unduly worried as my father was under medical treatment. One night I dreamed my father was again driving my grandmother somewhere, a dream which I remarked on to my wife. Shortly after the dream we were informed that my father was very seriously ill and we had to return home at short notice. Less than two weeks later he passed away.

Quite often I find parallels between my dreams and (usually insignificant) events that happen shortly after.

Common sense (and for me the certainty of experience) suggests these accounts can’t possibly all be wrong. So what is going on?

Can psychics and mediums predict the future?

Actually, we can all predict the future to a degree, simply based upon our general understanding and knowledge of present conditions. If Manchester United (a leading English soccer team) plays a non-league side we may reasonably predict that United will win easily. And we will most probably be right.

We should also note the possibility of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Where we believe that something will happen we consciously, and/or subconsciously, create the present conditions that increase its likelihood.

Psychics, and mediums by virtue of their contact with the Spirit world, have access to more information about the present than might generally be known through purely physical/sensory means.

Perhaps they can pick up an internal conflict in one football team, but a much greater sense of purpose and harmony in their equally matched opponents. Then the psychic has an edge in predicting the result of a match between the two, but might still be wrong.

Similarly in premonitions of disaster perhaps some sensitives might become aware of a loose bolt in an aircraft wing, or “see” a terrorist manufacturing a bomb is some dark cellar. Their own higher self has only to extrapolate to create images of doom, but of course the plane might survive its journey without incident, or the terrorist may be thwarted in his attempt to carry out his ghastly act.

According to this model mediums and psychics can't predict the future with 100% certainty, but they can predict with an accuracy significantly in excess of that suggested by the laws of probability.

Author's Bio: 

Abracad is editor of and exploring the true nature of reality and human experience, helping you fulfill your complete potential. Contact abracad at