The Premonition Code, by Theresa Cheung and Julia Mossbridge
Theresa Cheung is a successful author, her job was to help Dr Julia Mossbridge make the science understandable. Mossbridge is, among other things, a Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and is known for her interest in precognition. Both authors are excited by precognition and the possible practical applications. The Premonition Code is however not really a review of the research on precognition - more space is devoted to stories about precognitive experiences than to research. Both authors “... strongly believe there is a powerful spiritual dimension to our lives” (p. 97) and sincerely believe that precognitive experiences can enhance lives, hence the subtitle, How Sensing the Future Can Change Your Life. Prof. Loyd Auerbach has contributed a Preface and Prof. Dean Radin has contributed a Foreword.
Many parapsychologists might well hesitate before they endorse The Premonition Code. Watkins mainly publishes New Age and spirituality books. This one, although not written by a psychic or a medium brings the ordinary psychic development books to mind. If Mossbridge had not been co-author a book review would not be warranted. The basic premise, that precognition is useful, is questionable. Certainly, in some cases individuals have benefited from precognitive experiences, but these instances might well be exceptions. People get into car accidents every day, psi is an unreliable warning system. Jule Eisenbud (1983) once remarked: “That psi-derived information is on the whole quite useless in the ordinary sense of the word is one of the most obvious facts of parapsychology” (p. 13). Cheung and Mossbridge disagree and argue that this must not be the case.
The authors offer the reader an unevaluated training program meant to teach the reader to become a Positive Precog and encourage the reader to register at https://thepremonitioncode.com/ to undertake tests and interact with other Positive Precogs in training. A Positive Precog is someone who follows the REACH principles, the Positive Precog Ethics and adheres to the something like the Positive Precog Time Worldview. All this is explained in the book. The authors believe that it is critical to hold to two convictions: “…first, the future is not set in stone, and second, while you can likely affect it, you may not have complete power to change it in the direction you desire” (p. 17). They recommend meditation and believe that a “... positive, loving, supportive environment” (p. 101) is required for success. Dedication is naturally also necessary.
The Positive Precog training program is inspired by remote viewing training, in particular, by Joseph McMoneagle's (2000) book, Remote Viewing Secrets, and by John Vivanco's training. McMoneagle is likely the world's best-known remote viewer, he worked as a psychic spy for U.S. intelligence agencies 1979-1984, and has participated as a subject in numerous studies. Vivanco learnt remote viewing in the 1990s and in the late 1990s he worked with Prudence Calabrese, the director of TransDimensional Systems. Calabrese learned remote viewing from Dr Courtney Brown, who had learned it from Ed Dames, who had learned it from Ingo Swann - needless to say, during this transfer the remote viewing training changed.
Remote viewing turned out to be lucrative for some. There are nowadays numerous trainers and remote viewers eager to be consulted. In addition, remote viewing turned out to be a possible useful tool for capitalists. Cheung and Mossbridge relate that remote viewing can be used to make money, but the papers by Houck (1986, 1991/2001) or by Bierman and Rabeyron (2013) are not cited. More recently, a large failure to make money with remote viewing has come to light (Katz, Grgić, & Fendley, 2018). That said, remote viewing has really been successfully used to make money, but one needs to acknowledge the failures too and preferable learn from them. Some companies allegedly consult precogs and both the Applied Precognition Project and Soul Rider pays precogs for their services. Mossbridge is an advisor to Soul Rider.
Space is devoted to precognitive dreams, but the authors offer little advice about how to cultivate them or about how to recognize precognitive dreams in advance. They do however offer some advice about how to improve dream recall, but given the available literature (e.g., Hearne, 1989; Vaughan, 1991), the coverage is disappointing. This is surprising since at least two of Cheung's many previous books focus on dreams. Some commentary about symbolic dreams was expected. That said, personally I appreciated that the authors decided to not repeat a number of the best-known examples of precognitive dreams. However, ethics need to be discussed more thoroughly. In practice it is often hard to say when one should make others aware of one's dreams or visions. Unfortunately, precognitive dreams can produce guilt feelings even if the events perceived were bound to occur (e.g., natural disasters). Parapsychologists are sometimes contacted by people that prefer to not have any precognitive dreams at all!
In the final chapter the authors touch on Stephan Schwartz's Project 2050. As the name implies Schwartz has asked people to predict how the world will be in 2050, but the authors provide few details. Surprisingly, McMoneagle's (1998) predictions about the future and thoughts about precognition are not mentioned. The authors provide a list of Recommended Reading, but it feels incomplete and some of the books listed are really mainly of interest to researchers. Notable omissions are two of Swann's (1991, 1993) books. In summary, The Premonition Code, is readable, but leaves the reader wanting more. The book is however accompanied by a website: https://thepremonitioncode.com/
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