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Walter's Dive

Dreamed before 1961 by Walter's father

Once one recognizes that under certain conditions the future can be known beforehand, a question comes immediately to mind. Can foreseen danger be avoided? The answer is especially important to anyone who has an experience that could be a preview of a coming catastrophe. If the impression is a genuine instance of precognition, must the calamity occur no matter what he does? People and circumstances differ and it is only by considering a large number of cases that one can get any idea of what really happens.

Some people may not do anything to prevent the catastrophe. They may forget the warning, as did a man in Maine. He had a fourteen-year-old son, Walter, who was spending the summer with a friend living about a mile from the father's store. Walter was a good swimmer and often went swimming in the stream with other neighborhood boys.

One night the father had a dream. He thought Walter had gone in swimming below a certain big tree above the dam and had been drowned. He dreamed that when he got there the body had not been found but that John McC was diving for it.

He awoke in great fright, crying and scarcely able to control himself. His wife tried to calm him, saying that dreams do not come true but that just to be safe, he should tell Walter, when he came in next day, not to go swimming.

The next morning the father went to his store and was busy and preoccupied there when Walter hurried in and said he was going swimming. At the moment the father did not think of the dream. Soon after someone came running and called, "Come quickly! Walter was diving and hasn't come up."

Then the dream came back with full force. He hastened to the swimming hole; the body had not been found but John McC was diving for it. It was at exactly the same place as the dream, with exactly the same circumstances. The father's torturing afterthought was, "If I had heeded the dream, Walter would be alive today."


Dreams like this are sprinkled through the World Dream Bank to counter the bad habit (promulgated by Freud and followers, though Jung is nearly as guilty) of treating all dreams as symbolic, personal, emotion-based... in a word, psychological. Not all dreams are. A red flag like this dream should first be looked at as a literal warning, for the simple reason that the cost, if one ignores it (or, like Walter's father, forgets) can be so high.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Hidden Channels of the Mind by Louisa E. Rhine, 1961, p. 175-6. Account untitled, author's name witheld; title & byline added to aid searching & indexing.

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