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Are You Ready?

Dreamed before 1961 by a Minnesota woman

What about the successive [ESP] experiences of those people who have more than one? Is a personality stamp visible at least in the form of the experience? Is the second experience noticeably like the first, even if the occasions and events are very different?

Among the people who report two experiences, a woman from Minnesota is typical of many, because her second experience was recognizably like her first.


In the first, she was about to take an elevator in a downtown office building, to keep an appointment which was in actuality set for the following day. She had been in the office building before, so dreaming the actual layout as she did was explainable enough. But in the dream she noticed especially the two elevators in the lobby: one hydraulic, the other the conventional cable type. She dreamed the cable elevator came down and its operator was dressed in funereal black. He opened the door, took some people in, and in a sepulchral voice that "gave me the chills said, 'Are you ready?' " And there the dream ended.

At breakfast that morning she told the dream. The children wanted to know what an hydraulic elevator was. In the ensuing conversation the dream was all but forgotten, though her husband said as he was driving away, "Be sure to take the hydraulic elevator."

When she got to the lobby the cable elevator came down. The operator was wearing a regular uniform, not the funereal black of the dream. Several people got on and she started to do so when, she says, "I remembered that silly dream so I stopped and the elevator man said, not in a sepulchral but a perfectly natural, pleasant voice, 'Are you ready?'

"I said, 'No,' and walked toward the directory on the wall. When the hydraulic elevator came down, I got on. As we went up we passed the other stalled between floors. It took some time to clear up that difficulty. No one was hurt, but I was glad I was not on it."

The funereal clothes and sepulchral tones of the operator show, it would seem, a mind quite ready to make something interesting, perhaps a bit morbid, out of any available material. The incident was rather on the trivial side, one that was to happen as she went about her next day's activities.


In the second experience, she recalls, "I dreamed I was driving along a country road when I saw a man lying in the ditch on the right side. He was dressed in shabby trousers and nothing else. In my dream I thought he must be dead or why would he lie in that very long wet grass. But just then he raised up and turned and looked at me. Then I awoke.

"Later I did drive out and beyond a bridge, in the ditch, a damp, almost wet place, a man was lying dressed exactly as in the dream. He raised up, turned and looked at me.

"There were workers in the field a little way off and he may have been one of them taking a rest. It was very warm, so maybe the damp ditch was cool, inviting. The whole thing was completely unimportant, except for the fact that I had dreamed the scene just before I woke up."

Again, a realistic and precognitive dream, although it lacks the touch of fantasy in the first one. Yet the dreamer "thought he must be dead"—certainly a more exciting idea than the actual fact that he was just a farm worker taking a nap. And, as she says, the whole thing was unimportant. Like the other instance, this too was a slight occurrence picked out of the next day's activities ahead of time. The two dreams are sufficiently alike to suggest a "personalized" aspect.

--Louisa E. Rhine


It's easier, of course, to recognize the character of someone else's dreams in aggregate--psychic or not. But I once had my dreams' difference rubbed in my face. As a college student I read Calvin Hall's sampling of 1000 dreams, all by college students. Hall's point was that most dreams are quite mundane; it's our slipshod recollection and description of them that create much of their disjointed strangeness. But those thousand dreams still shocked me: a gray revelation. Colorless in every sense. None of those thousand dreams resembled mine; I was outside the range.

Reading Rhine's Hidden Channels of the Mind is different. It's a more colorful dreamworld. That's understandable, since the dreamers are far more diverse and experienced; and these are experiences they deemed worth telling. Still, my dreams differ from Rhine's examples in broad ways--more advice, magic and transformations, spirituality, lucidity, false waking, comedy, sex and talking animals (not to mention false waking from comic sex with talking animals). Those differences do reveal my character.

So how do your own dreams--psychic or not--differ from those Rhine compiled, or mine? Can you deduce the character of your dreaming mind? Is it like you awake? Is it someone you like?

I ask for selfish reasons, of course. I want you to remember your favorite dream, a dream that captures what you miss in all our dreams, that you guess may capture you... and send it to me. Add your voice to the chorus. Because right now, someone out there is missing that note.

Are you ready?

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Hidden Channels of the Mind by Louisa E. Rhine, 1961, pp. 163-5. Account untitled and author's name witheld; I added titles and byline to aid searching and indexing.

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