Sunday, January 31, 2010


I don’t believe in ESP, but I do take strong intuitions seriously. They are not always correct, but I suspect that they disclose things that we have either forgotten or not noticed consciously, e.g. body language of someone who speaks otherwise.

I recall 3 life and death premonitions from my childhood.

The first when I must have been about 6 or 7 occurred one night when my father was driving up one of those long uphill roads that one had to travel in Vermont before the super highways arrived. I was sleeping at his side and suddenly awoke and told him that he must pull off the road. He laughed at me at first, but finally yielded to my desperate appeal. Just as he did so, a huge truck came racing down the hill from around a curve on our side of the road. We would have been demolished, had I not acted — perhaps the echo of a dream?

The second occurred when we were leaving Hanover, NH where we would visit my mother’s family on Christmas. As we were leaving my beloved grandfather was waving good-bye and I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness that I would not see him again. He died of pneumonia a week later.

The last occurred on July 6, 1944. A couple of teenage girls had kindly taken me and my friend, David, to the circus that day. A few minutes after events started I suddenly had the thought — what would I do in case of a fire? I figured that we could not make it to the exit through the crowd, but looked around and saw that they had left a gap between the side wall and roof of the tent where I could see ropes dangling down. About two minutes later we saw the flames racing up the inside of the tent near the entrance. I grabbed David and steered him back up the stairs to the gap where we slid to safety. More than 100 died that day:

Website has picture.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

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