Communion Of Dreams

Psychic abilities?

[This last part of this post contains mild spoilers about Communion of Dreams. You’ve been warned.]

I tend to look at things with a skeptical eye. For all that I would love for magic, or psychic abilities, or even religion to be real, there is very little good, reproducible evidence that it is so.

Still, I do like to poke around in this stuff. One off-beat website I check occasionally is The Daily Grail (TDG). And today they had a link to this piece:


We use words such as premonition and precognition with certain belief systems attached. These belief systems come in two forms. First, that they imply foreseeing the future; and second, that they are a specific type of phenomena.

I dislike these approaches. Rather, I feel that often an answer can be found in the present; and they do, infact, cover a multidude of possible causes. In this essay I will explore just one of many possible explanations, found in the present.

It’s an interesting essay, and I would encourage you to read the whole thing. The author comes down on the side of rational explanation, but leaves some thought-provoking ideas out there.

I’ve always considered that people looking for psychic abilities were going about things somewhat incorrectly by focusing on the individual. Why not take a statistical approach to such research?

[OK, here come the spoilers.]

This is why in Communion I have Seth, the AI ‘expert’ who aids my main character, seek out possible patterns in discussion fora and in published articles which would indicate an up-tick in dream references which may be tied to the discovery of the alien artifact on Titan. My thought there was that a type of ‘leakage’ was occurring, though the characters in the story would not understand the full ramifications of what was happening.

Why do this? Well, because I am intrigued at how often certain ideas will seem to spring up simultaneously in wildly divergent individuals in a culture. Or how something like a meme will suddenly pop up and spread like wildfire in society. It is almost like we are all connected to some common source beyond our conscious level. This idea fits in perfectly with the underlying reality of Communion – which I will not explain, just in case someone who wanted to risk mild spoilers still wants to be surprised by the book.

Jim Downey

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[…] written previously about psychic abilities, and specifically addressed how they may function in the way I use them in Communion. Via TDG, another perspective on how a […]

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