Trust your feelings | Sunday Observer

Trust your feelings

Last week, a friend in USA sent me a book written by Prof David Loye of University College Los Angeles. Titled “The Knowable Future: A Psychology of Forecasting and Prophecy,” the book examines the science underlying future predictions. It explains how left-brain rationality and right-brain psychic abilities are both used in conjunction with the fore-brain’s governing capacities to make such predictions.

Prof. Loye’s interest in this phenomenon was first aroused in 1976 when he came across two studies conducted in 1936 by psychologists, Douglas McGregor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Hadley Cantril of Princeton. They had sought independently to discover how people think about the future. Each psychologist asked his set of students to predict the future career of Adolf Hitler. They wanted to understand whether the predictions would be based on some special knowledge, or just wishful thinking.

Neither psychologist cared whether the predictions were right or wrong factually - but Prof. Loye, reading them 40 years later, was astounded by their accuracy.

The students had predicted that a European war would break out in three to four years, with Germany as the aggressor; that the United States, at first neutral, would eventually fight on the side of France, Britain, Russia and Poland; that the war would last three to five years and end with Germany’s defeat. The Cantril group was 74-percent accurate on all questions asked; the McGregor group 100-percent accurate.


How can one explain such forecasting precision? Researchers like Loye hypothesize that most people have, in varying degrees, a bundle of faculties and mental devices, trained or instinctive, that add up to a prophetical sense about the future.

Pre-cognition might really exist within humans, at least in some limited form, according to new studies done in United States and European countries. Humans can anticipate near-future events even without any evidence forecasting the event - and apparently without realizing it.

It’s not necessarily extra-sensory perception, but “presentiment” can be real, and it may be based on physiological cues that biology still cannot explain. It’s something we’ve all experienced to some degree - like when you just sense the driver in the lane next to you is coming over, or when you can sense that your boss is coming down the hall and you’d better look busy.

Predicting the near future is not difficult if there is a sign. If we see dark clouds and smell the sharp musk of rain, we can derive that a storm is probably coming. It’s something like “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” logic.

But, even without these sensory clues, humans can react pre-emptively - there’s an unexplained “anticipatory effect.” Though whatever is causing it, the effect is clear - although no one can give us a clue how it happens.


The problem with most of these studies is, they were only focused on the very immediate future. And, while that can be useful for emergency situations – if your instinct suddenly compels you to change lanes on a highway, or even to leave it altogether, it might be for an excellent reason – medium to long term prediction would be useful to many of us.


Firstly, let us see whether you have the following signs that show you can predict the future.

1. You have been proved right many times when you have said, ‘this will happen’ or ‘that will happen.’ You probably attributed it to good guesswork, but it was probably a deeper knowing. Pay attention when this happens and make a note of it. You might be surprised how often you are correct.

2. You’ve predicted important world events, such as, the election of President Trump or Mugabe’s step down as President. People who can do this are called ‘super forecasters’. The next time you are watching a news report on TV, try to predict how a given situation would unfold.

3. On a personal level, you have been listening to a married couple describe their current lives and you sense, without a doubt, how this is going to turn out. Within a few weeks, months or even a couple of years, the outcome you ‘felt’ became real.

4. You just knew there would be a parking space right where you needed it, or the last tickets available right where you wanted to sit. In fact, that kind of thing often happens so that you accept it’s always like that.

5. For some unknown reason you were thinking about insurance cover, perhaps about electronic goods, and the next week, your washing machine breaks down, and you find yourself having to make an emergency claim. Your intuition was warning you that such an event was right ahead.

Emotional Antenna

How can you develop your predictive powers? It depends on what is known as your “Emotional Antenna.”

As kids, we are never taught that our feelings and emotions are to be trusted implicitly. In school, it’s all about the facts. However, ancient man learned to trust his emotional response in any situation and acted accordingly. If he hadn’t, we wouldn’t be here today.

Your emotions shouldn’t be pushed aside whenever you have a strong feeling, whether positive or negative. Give them space, allow them in and pay them their due attention. Don’t let your logical, ego-based mind undermine your subconscious.

Sincerely, trust your feelings. One day, it may help you to make accurate predictions. The psychologists call it ‘the emotional oracle effect’.

Prof. Michel Tuan Pham of Colombia University elaborates on this hypothesis. “When you strictly rely on your senses, those senses will pull out all the information you have acquired regarding some matter (consciously and unconsciously) and categorize them into rights and wrongs. It is this cumulative knowledge, which your senses summarize for you, that allows you to make a prediction.”

In other words, your subconscious, which cannot express itself through recognizable thought, can gather together all the facts, knowledge and ideas that you have experienced in the past and present them to you as your “gut feeling” or prediction.