Saturday, January 24, 2009

Psychic Abilities, Abraham Lincoln and His Precognitive Dreams

Psychiatrist, and former Harvard professor, Dr. Diane Hennacy Powell was a guest on Coast to Coast AM Radio show this week. Her new book The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena, combines philosophy, physics, and examines paranormal traits like clairvoyance, precognition, telepathy, intuition.

She mentioned how scientists in the field of study of the paranormal often times put their careers on the line by pursuing topics out of the mainstream paradigm. She specifically mentioned the late Dr. John E. Mack, Harvard professor, and how he fought to keep his Harvard tenure while studying the UFO abduction phenomena and writing best-selling books on the subject. He was able to keep his position at Harvard. Dr. Powell was Director of Research at the
John E. Mack Foundation.

Dr. Powell talked of how we all possess psychic ability but some are more psychic than others. Her studies go along with what I believe, that for many, it is genetic and runs in families. There is often a family history covering several generations. She believes there is an undiscovered “psychic” gene. She also mentioned psychic ability may show up after a head trauma. And we know others have had a traumatic event or a Near Death Experience and their psychic ability appears for the first time or is greatly enhanced. For instance,
Dannion Brinkley, Dr. Dianne Morrissey both recovered from NDEs and discovered their new ability. The late Peter Hurkos apparently fell off a ladder, had a head injury resulting in his psychic ability. Dr. Powell also touched on animals' psychic abilities, noting Rupert Sheldrake's work on dogs and their owners. (Read my article, Animal Communication: Animal Smarts or the Gift of Intuition? By Linda Pendleton) People with autism also have a higher probability of psychic abilities, such a autistic savants, according to Dr. Powell.

In a recent online Time interview by M.J. Stephey, Dr. Powell spoke of Abraham Lincoln’s famous precognitive dream of his death, several days before his assassination.

“Lincoln had a very vivid dream of walking around the White House and hearing all these people mourning and asking, "What's going on?" and then having someone tell him, "The president's dead." Then he saw his own corpse. He had this dream literally ten days before he was assassinated. He didn't tell anybody about it at first, but a few days before [his assassination], he told his wife and some friends.”

I just wrote about Lincoln’s dream in my new ebook,
How Thin the Veil! 150 Years of Spiritualism. He apparently often had meaningful and precognitive dreams.

Dr. James Martin Peebles wrote about Abraham Lincoln’s dreams in his 1903 book, What is Spiritualism? and describes Lincoln's prophetic dream as told by Charles Dickens. "When Charles Dickens was in the United States in 1868, he wrote to his friend, John Forster, under date of February 4 of that year, that he had dined by invitation with Senator Charles Sumner, at Washington, on the previous Sunday, when Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War under Lincoln's administration, was the only other guest. The conversation having turned on the assassination of Lincoln, Dickens writes:

'He and Sumner having been the first two public men at the dying President's bedside, and having remained with him until he breathed his last, we fell into a very interesting conversation. ...Mr. Stanton told me a curious little story. On the afternoon of the day on which the President was shot, there was a Cabinet Council, at which he [Lincoln] presided. Mr. Stanton arrived rather late.

'He noticed that the President sat with an air of great dignity and was grave and calm. Mr. Stanton, on leaving the council with the Attorney-General, said to him: ‘What an extraordinary change in Mr. Lincoln!’

'The Attorney-General replied: We all saw it before you came in. While we were waiting for you, he said, with his chin down on his breast: Gentlemen, something very extraordinary is going to happen, and that very soon.

'To which the Attorney-General had observed: ‘Something good, sir, I hope?’

'When the President answered very gravely: ‘I don't know; I don't know. But it will happen, and shortly, too!’

'As they were all impressed by his manner, the Attorney-General took him up again. ‘Have you received information, sir, not yet disclosed to us?’

'No, answered the President, but I have had a dream, and I have now had that same dream three times. Once on the night preceding the battle of Bull Run; once on the night preceding such another,’ naming a battle also not favorable to the North. His chin sank on his breast again, and he sat reflecting.

'Might one ask the nature of this dream, sir?’ asked the Attorney-General.

'Well,’ replied the President, without lifting his head or changing his attitude: ‘I am on a great, broad, rolling river, and I am in a boat, and I drift and I drift...but, this is not business,’ suddenly raising his face and looking round the table as Mr. Stanton entered. ‘Let us proceed to business, gentlemen!’

'Mr. Stanton and the Attorney-General said, as they walked on together, [that] it would be curious to notice whether anything ensued on this, and they agreed to notice. That night Lincoln was shot by Wilkes Booth, at Ford's Theatre and died the following morning.'"

Another interesting story about Lincoln's spiritual awareness is given in Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln, where he reports that Lincoln was often haunted by his dreams. Sandburg relates Lincoln's own words, "It seems strange how much there is in the Bible about dreams. There are, I think, some sixteen chapters in the Old Testament and four or five in the New in which dreams are mentioned; and there are many other passages scattered throughout the book which refer to visions. If we believe the Bible, we must accept the fact that in the old days God and His angels came to them in their sleep and made themselves known in dreams. Nowadays dreams are regarded as very foolish and are seldom told, except by old women and by young men and maidens in love."

Mrs. Lincoln, Mary, remarked that the President looked dreadfully solemn and asked him if he believed in dreams.

Whereupon Lincoln replied, "I can't say that I do, but I had one the other night which has haunted me ever since. After it occurred, the first time I opened the Bible, strange as it may appear, it was at the twenty-eighth chapter of Genesis, which related the wonderful dream Jacob had. I turned to other passages, and seemed to encounter a dream or a vision wherever I looked. I kept on turning the leaves of the old book, and everywhere my eyes fell upon passages recording matters strangely in keeping with my own thoughts,–supernatural visitations, dreams, visions, etc."

Responding to a complaint by Mrs. Lincoln that this kind of talk frightened her, the President apologized for upsetting her, explaining, "...the thing has got possession of me, and, like Banquo's ghost, it will not down."

This was President Lincoln's dream:

"About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers. 'The President,' was the answer; 'he was killed by an assassin!' Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since."

This dream came to Lincoln just days before he was shot on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, and he died the following morning.

It is obvious that Lincoln was very strongly connected and often aware of that whispering presence from beyond the veil. And he referred to those spirits on the Other Side as "our friends from the upper country."


Edith Newell-Beattie said...

Very fascinating! Thank you for sharing this.


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