Take it or leave it.

Monday, March 14, 2016


In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth says to her lover: "Thy letters have transported me beyond this ignorant present, and I feel now the future in the instant." To feel the future in an instant is not exclusive to those who lived (whether in fact or in fiction) during the Bard's time. A variation of the line appears in Savage Garden's "I Knew I Loved You" when the duo sings, "I feel the future in an instant." By the way that song is one of the sweetest ever. Check it out below.

It is quite possible to glimpse the future in the present moment. Indeed we often do it in dreams, when the unconscious mind, which perceives everything, presents to the conscious awareness the present played out into a scenario that is yet to come. Of course we often dream of what we hope for or fear, and these outcomes don't always come true, thankfully in the case of our fears. And also of our hopes. There is after all truth to the saying, "You better watch what you wish for 'cause you just might get it."

As a lad of 12 I experienced the predictive powers of dreams. A baseball fanatic who followed the hometown Dodgers with religious devotion, my day was often made or broken by the prior night's box score. Luckily for me the Dodgers made the playoffs the following year. And when they struggled in the standings, there was always the Angels to root for. I often considered myself a bigger fan of the "Halos" as the Angels are called, even when they were the California Angels and not the Anaheim Angels, or Los Angeles Angels, as they have been called subsequently. Because the Halos were more reliable front-runners during my youth. Call me a fair-weather fan. I don't watch baseball anymore.

But back in the summer of '85, it was "true blue, true Dodger" blue pretty much through and through. One night early that summer I dreamt of a game involving the Dodgers and their cross-country rivals, the New York Mets, pitting the respective clubs' aces against each other. Doc Gooden, the Mets' hard-throwing right hander, faced Fernando Valenzuela, the Mexican lefty and hometown hero. In my dream the score remained locked 1 to 1 until the 9th inning, when the Dodgers scored a run to win 2 to 1. In real life, the Dodgers and Mets had played the week before, on May 25th, and Valenzuela had bested the Mets' star 6 to 2. 

The following morning I ran out of bed and tracked down the sports section, wherein I learned that (surprise!) the Mets and Dodgers would be facing each other again that same night, June 4th, which was also my brother's birthday. And, guess what, Gooden once again would go head-to-head against Valenzuela. You can guess that when the game started that evening I was glued to the radio. The Dodgers were playing at home and back then home games were blacked out, or not aired, I guess as a way of luring fans to the ballpark. Foremost on my mind was the question: Would reality mirror my dream? Would the two clubs be deadlocked in a low-scoring fight to the finish until when, late in the game, the Dodgers would stage a dramatic victory? If I were a betting man, I'd have laid my life on the line, such was the vividness of my dream. 

I listened as the Mets scored a run in the 2nd inning on a home run by Ray Knight. The Dodgers came back with one of their own in the 6th, when slugger Pedro Guerrero (my idol) went yard. One to one the score remained heading into the seventh. And then through 8 innings, it was still 1 to 1. My dream was about to come true. All the Dodgers had to do was hold the Mets in the top half of the 9th and score a run in the bottom half and I'd be like a psychic puppy. Next they'd probably call me to predict the Super Bowl. Forget being a major league baseball player. I could be a professional prognosticator. I'm sure the pay is just as lucrative, right?

Anyway the Mets wound up scoring 3 runs off Valenzuela in the 9th, and Gooden held the Dodgers scoreless in the final frame for the win, 4-1 Mets. Alas! Now, what can explain my dream and its proximity to reality? Well, going into the game the two aces were quite equally matched, and each was known for giving up few runs each game. In their previous match-up Valenzuela and his counterpart had given up only 2 and 3 runs, respectively. And the two teams were pretty evenly matched. Everything about the game screamed low-scoring pitchers duel. But dreaming of a Dodgers victory was where my unconscious, which sees everything, has no preference, takes no sides, gave into my conscious, which wanted the home team to win. So my dream began as intuition and ended with a bit of wish-fulfillment. Hard to keep out. Who knows, if I had been a Mets fan I'd probably have dreamt that they won 2-1, maybe even 3-1 or 4-1. And then I could say move over Otis the hedgehog, there's a new guy in town.

You too can see the future in an instant, whether in dream or with eyes wide open. If you allow your unconscious to speak to you, and unlike me keep hope (and fear) at bay, you can predict events with greater accuracy than meteorologists forecast the weather. To use the baseball analogy, if you know as much about a person and surrounding events as possible, you can like the astute fan who judges whether a fly ball will go out of the park based on factors such as the crack of the bat, the ball's velocity and trajectory and the relative position of the outfielder, know whether to cheer or boo before the day's events even ensue. 

Case in point. I recently met a really nice person. (Okay, saying nice is probably a give-away.) We considered getting together and going for a run. But I opened my eyes really wide and saw the future, extrapolating from what I had gathered in our brief interaction, and I knew that the association wouldn't lead anywhere. Things like physical attraction, viewpoints, and personal history all indicated that our first run together would be our last, and I prefer going it alone anyway. So we (I) opted out. Now you can say that this is a close-minded attitude. That I didn't keep myself open to possibilities. I have tried the open-armed approach hundreds of times before. And in the laboratory of life I have learned to trust my gut, and let my unconscious (intuition) speak, as in dreams. Because the future often plays out as I had predicted. Self-fulfilling prophesy. Call it what you will, but by my inner guide (just another name for me) I am never led astray. 

Try it some time. Open your eyes, and see, really see. Just not in the realm of professional sports. Unless you bet on the Warriors, who can't seem to lose. And I'm not even a basketball fan.

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