Connections Through Time, Issue 9: October - December 2000
Once upon a time, there were three coworkers who had lunch together every workday. Their discussions had turned to whether there was such a thing as free will. Jim was a talented remote viewer who believed that there was no such thing as free will since he knew he could predict the future, most of the time, and was constantly improving. Jim reasoned that if he could know in advance what someone would do, then that person was not really free to do otherwise. Mary disagreed with Jim on two counts, firstly, she believed that the future was not knowable because there were too many variables and built in uncertainties; and secondly, people had free will so there could be no way to predict their future actions. Pat, who was also a talented remote viewer, was not sure what free will really meant, especially when applied to future predictions.
Mary summarized her position, "I've heard you two discuss this RV stuff for so many lunches now, and I've even read some of the info you gave me. So, I'm willing to believe there's something to it. "But," she continued seriously, "the implications of someone knowing my future, so that I don't have any free will, so that my future is predetermined, is simply more than I can accept as being real. Come on, Jim, you can't be serious."
She saw Jim shrug, and knew that he believed he could foretell her future and he believed that she had no free will. "That's ridiculous", she said. "Okay," an idea had sprung into her mind to trap him, "prove it. Let's see you predict the shoes that I will wear to work next week?"
Jim, who had a crush on Mary, smiled at her and knew that this was risky, but because he felt very motivated to impress her, he felt he would actually do very well. "You're on," he said.
Mary was surprised at his ready acceptance of the challenge, but she felt quite confident that Jim was going to embarrass himself. "He does have the courage of his convictions...as crazy as they are," she thought.
Jim proposed the following, "I'll use this weekend to remote view the details of the shoes that you will wear Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. I'll put my descriptions, with some sketches, in sealed envelops labeled with the date. I'll give the three envelopes to Pat on Monday morning to be opened during our lunches. Also, I think Pat should act as the judge to determine if my predictions are correct."
"I can wear any shoes?" asked Mary. "I can buy new ones if I choose to?"
Jim nodded in agreement. Pat agreed to hold the envelopes and to act as judge - the experiment was set.
Mary walked into the restaurant after Jim and Pat. She was wearing a designer white party dress with a red belt and bright red shoes with silver bows and high heels. She looked fabulous, felt fabulous, and was quite confident that Jim would not have a clue about her shoes since this was the first time she had worn a fancy dress since she began working at this internet company.
"Wow, you look great," Jim said. "I must admit that when I RVed your shoes for today, you tested my ability to accept what my subconscious provides."
Mary's smile and confidence waned a bit. She asked Pat to open the envelope even before she ordered her meal.
"I am impressed with both of you," said Pat, as he looked at the single sheet of paper inside the envelope. He handed the paper to Mary. "I have to judge this as a success."
Mary could not believe the summary Jim had written. "How could you possibly have known about the high heels?" she asked with true amazement in her voice, "And the sketch with the ribbon and the right colors..." Her voice trailed off with true astonishment and some fear as she began to question her own views on what was possible and not possible.
Jim saw her fear and said that he didn't really know how this info about the future came to him, "All I do is open myself up to getting this info using the remote viewing techniques that I have been taught."
Mary walked into the restaurant wearing a casual outfit with brown sandals. She looked quite tired since she had been up most of the night figuring out what shoes to wear. She sat down with a tired sigh. "Boy, you clearly got my attention."
Jim didn't like Mary's sigh and obvious discomfort with this experiment. "Let's just forget this whole thing," he said.
"No," Mary was determined to finish this experiment, but on her terms. "I figure that you must have used some sort of telepathy and read my mind. I was thinking about wearing the dress and high heels over the weekend, and you could have easily picked up those vibes. So, I figured out a way to choose shoes where no one, not even me, knew which ones I would wear until I arrived at work."
Both Jim and Pat looked very puzzled.
"I have three pairs of shoes that go with this outfit," she continued, "so I let the throw of the dice determine which shoes to wear. I drove to work wearing my slippers and brought the three pairs of shoes with me and one die. I decided that if the die came up with 1 or 2, I'd wear running shoes; 3 or 4, I'd wear the sandals; 5 or 6, and I was going to wear my Birkenstocks. Anyway, I threw a 4. Pretty clever, huh."
"Random choice," said Jim, "interesting."
Pat opened the envelope, handed the summary sheet to Mary and said, "Pretty clever indeed, but Jim nailed this prediction as well."
They ordered their meals and were all silent for a while. Then Pat said, "You know, the fact that this was done randomly says so much about precognition. The randomness takes the time factor out of the predictions. Time can't matter here since the randomness was introduced after Jim made his prediction. The passage of time is just another type of randomness when it comes to predictions."
"That's right," said Jim, "when I RV, I simply describe the final target. I don't particularly care what happens in between. My target was the shoes I would see Mary wearing as she walked into this restaurant on Tuesday, today."
"Right, right," Pat was getting excited about really getting this new insight, "Precog has nothing to do with time itself, it's all about getting tuned into the future target as a real event with the same full reality that this very moment has. This moment is so real and radiates that reality, just as all future moments are real and radiate their reality."
Jim looked at Mary's tired face, "I'm so sorry Mary," he said, "you see, even the throw of the dice can't hide the future...the future is predetermined. The future is set in stone. You have no more free will to choose than the die did."
Mary didn't say anything, but she intuitively knew, somehow, that she did have free will. Yes, she was changing her mind about precognition. Somehow Jim was able to tune into the future. However, she knew that she had free will with a feeling that was stronger than this or any experiment.
"That's going too far," Pat said, "the die had no capability of influencing it's own future."
"Right, right," said Mary, "I know that I am free to choose."
"How can you two take that position." said Jim, "Haven't I shown you that I can foretell the future. So, how can you believe that you're free to choose. I admit this bothers me sometimes too, but we must face reality."
Mary walked into the restaurant wearing another casual outfit and a pair of comfortable purple flats. She looked very relaxed and was full of smiles.
When Jim saw Mary's shoes, he knew he had missed this prediction. He was partially relieved because he was concerned about Mary, but he was also disappointed in his RV ability - he really felt that he had nailed this prediction too. "You know," Jim said, "even if I'm wrong it doesn't change the fact that you have no free will. A better RVer could still be right."
"Let's order lunch," Mary said confidently seeing Jim's reaction to looking at her shoes. Mary looked at Pat and Pat smiled. "What's going on here?" asked Jim.
"Free choice," said Mary, "is about the present and not the future. You have demonstrated that you can predict the future, even involving random events - bravo. My problem, and I admit it was mine, was that I originally bought your argument that if you could know my future then I was not free to do otherwise. That's bologna."
"How can you say that," Jim said. "I knew about your sandals, even before you did. The information is already out there, how does that leave room for free choice? I wish you could explain that to me."
"Yes, the information is already out there," said Mary. "And now I see that this whole issue is about information. The key is that free choice is about now, not the future. It is clear that you can have both free will and precognition. I am even willing to accept that the "future is written in stone", as you so grossly put it yesterday, from the perspective of, say God, who has complete information. But, so what. We, mere physical beings, must accept that we do not have complete and perfect information. With this acceptance comes the ability, and responsibility, to freely apply our will to make choices. Isn't that great!"
"Huh,' said Jim.
"Let me try," Pat chimed in. "Mary called me late yesterday, and told me that she knew deep in her gut that her free will was more powerful than any precog predictions. I listened to her ideas politely, but said that I was still not clear how we could have free will and still be predictable. She was way ahead of both of us, she had totally accepted that precognition was real, and yet, she was also convinced of her, your and my free will. She said she knew this because your predictions were also written in stone.
Jim had a confused look on his face, and asked, "What am I missing here?"
"Well," Pat continued, "you are missing the fact that Mary was free to work to gather your prediction information. She came to me and said that she knew it would be unethical for me to open the envelope, since I had agreed to open them at lunchtime. However, she then asked me if I would RV the summary page inside the envelope. That question was the key to my understanding of this apparent paradox - there is no paradox. The information is out there, and we can use our time to access some of it for making choices. I RVed your summary for Mary and told her I believed that you predicted that she would be wearing tennis shoes today. She now had additional information to use for freely choosing her actions."
"Hmmmm....so," said Jim turning to Mary, "you freely chose to make me wrong."
"Right," said Mary with a smile on her face. "And I hope you have learned that you too have free will. The power of free will is the ability to make choices in the present moment, and then accept responsibility for the moments that follow."
"I have to accept responsibility for my choices," said Jim who also broke out in a smile, "what a bummer, especially when I have only partial information."
"The power is in the present moment," Pat added in a rather theatrical voice, "that is when we gather information and apply our free will." And they all laughed.
Jim and Mary were married. Mary learned to RV. Pat became president of the internet company. The internet company became very successful using applied RV. They all lived happily ever after.
Go to another section of this issue:
Physics: Faster than the Speed of Light Applications: Year 2000 plus/minus 50