Sun Ra - Column for 11/19

5000/20 Foresight

I see the future. I don't mean rhetorically, I don't mean that I predict things, I mean that, every now and then, I see the future. Usually when I am just waking up, which basically means in dreams. When I dream, every now and then I experience a split second that hasn't happened yet. And then, months or years later, it does.

You are free to disbelieve me, and most of you will. Frankly, it's such a useless ability that it really doesn't matter. I'm not claiming wacky psychic powers. I don't believe in psychic powers, anyways. But it is absolutely a fact that I have split second future memories. I think of it as advance deja vu, because of course when that moment actually occurs, I get a powerful sense of deja vu - because I am actually remembering that experience from before.

Here's what it's like. Think about microscope slides. That's about the thickness of time I get. It's a second or less, possibly much less. For just that long, I have the full set of experience from some time in the future - smell, feel of the air, what I'm looking at, etc. And, most interestingly, what I am thinking. Just for a tiny amount of time - just the information in my head at that moment.

Of course, it happens either when I am daydreaming or waking up. How well do you remember your dreams? Yeah. Quite soon after, I forget about it, and then when the actual time flashes by, I get deja vu, only I actually remember having experienced that (one can hardly say "lived it", for under a second) before. No no no - this isn't a cop out. Keep your shirt on. I've taken to writing these things down, just after I have them. I'm just saying that on their own, they are as ephemeral as dreams. And often the two are hard to separate, in truth.

Let me give you my two most concrete examples. First - Prophetic Burrito. This one is, sadly, uncorroborated. Jasona and I were walking together down the street, in winter, towards our local comic book store. The scene was very similar to a fresh forward-look I'd had, and I realized that, at some point, he and I would be walking along the street in a similar fashion, and the air would feel like This and the trees would be in just This state of new leaf and I would be talking to him about this new burrito place that had just opened on the corner we had passed.

Like I said - the entirety of an instant. The feel, the sight, the awareness that jasona was with me (though I couldn't see him), the awareness that we were headed to the comic store, and thinking about the conversation we were having involving the new burrito place. That's what I get. An instant of experience.

Of course I told him, but, alas, he forgot, and when that spring the moment happened, and I stopped and said "Holy shit - that's it! That's the moment!", he was unable to recall my telling him about it months before. However, the new burrito place was called "Planet Fresh Burrito", and bless his soul he was willing to suspend his credulity enough to dub it "Prophetic Burrito" in honor of my insistance of that particular foresight.

My more solid example has a very definite witness, but as she is my fiance (well, she is now, she wasn't at the time) she does lack some credibility as unbiased. At some point, she and I were lazing around my bedroom, and I had a forward-look wherein we were at a movie, and the characters in the movie were trying desperately to chase or force some evil thing out of a house, but they had to do it by sweeping. So they were running around, sweeping this evil out of the house. It was really weird, and I didn't understand what could possibly be going on that any movie characters would be doing that, but I told her about it. And, bless her heart, she remembered.

It was 'Practical Magic'. At the end of the film, the moment happened, and I sat bolt upright in the theater and whispered to her "This is it! This is that moment!" and mentioned the time I'd seen that - no, been there - before. And she remembered. Weirded her out pretty thoroughly, I might add.

Now it's your turn. That's right, I'm putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak. A few weeks ago, I had another one of those moments (at about one a.m.) and wrote it down. As usual, it's wholly useless for any practical reason. And it's as vague as usual, because I have no context for it whatsoever. I don't know anything but what I thought and experienced in a split second. But it's descriptive enough that you might find it of interest.

It's Star Trek. The captain in the new series, Archer, played by whassisface Scott Bakula, is walking down a corridor with a higher-ranking officer, an admiral or some such. I think they just turned a corner. The higher-ranking admiral is fairly portly, and they two of them are walking towards camera, Archer on the left (viewer's left), the admiral on the right. The admiral has just said "You know, Archer, a lot of people are saying (bad things) because I picked you for this job." There's an implication that politically, someone else should have been chosen. And Archer replies "(Something.) Starfleet isn't about (something), it's about-". That's where it ends - future me is anticipating him to say the something else that Starfleet is about, but that happens after the moment. And, as you can see, I don't recall it with crystal clarity. It was a dream, after all. Frankly, ten or twenty percent of that may be incorrect, my mind extrapolating things that would make sense after getting just that split second. But I'd say it's enough for you to go on. Watch for it.

Anyways, as I observed, it's remarkably useless. A movie, a burrito place, and a teevee show. I keep hoping I'll flash on reading the Wall Street Journal or watching CNBC or something, but hey - how much of your life do you spend doing that sort of thing? And if you pictured yourself at work, or at the gym, or at the grocery store, in a dream, would you be able to tell when it was? So, useless. Interesting, but not very exploitable.

Nor can I explain it. My personal theory is merely a vague awareness that we actually know damn little about Time in a fourth-dimensional sense. Someone at one point hypothesized that time may be a wave, and that deja vu was seeing from one peak to another. I don't really believe that, but it captures the essence of my theory, which is as I observed just a vague awareness that Time may behave in very odd ways, and that the brain may, when its not paying attention, pick up on those. Time is really just how we keep everything from happening at once, right? What if in some sense it can tesseract? In some way everything is happening at once? Like I said, I'm satisfied with a very hand-wavy "well, time is actually not very well understood" explanation. If you have a better one, let me know!

Anyways, that was the clearest one I've had in some time, so now we can all see how valid this thing is. There are at least a half dozen that I can think of which haven't happened yet but are too vague to really describe. Sitting in a movie where the title comes on the screen flying in from the edges in sharp, triangular red bits to the sound of scissors. A large, low ceilinged lecture hall, just barely sloped, with old-style school chairs and desks, empty but something will happen there soon. A woman singing a song that has "Dark Castle" in the refrain. And those are just ones that I know weren't plain old ordinary dreams. (The only way I have to tell is that "normal" dreams actually have things happening. Deja Vu dreams are that split second in time, and don't move thereafter.) There are lots that I will just get to say "hey, yeah, I remember that!"

Because I do.

- Sun Ra

Columns by Sun Ra