Thursday, May 10

When is a premonition not a premonition?

She ran down the stairs, taking them two at a time and then the last three with a jump. As she rounded the turn and continued down the next flight, she had a sudden premonition. She saw herself tripping on a stair, falling, lying sprawled at the foot of the staircase, right next to the door. Like a scene illuminated by the flash of an old-fashioned camera in one of those old black and white murder mysteries. She slowed down without realizing it, taking the steps one at a time decorously. There had been something unsettling in that flashing scene. She reached the bottom of the stairs safely and walked out of the building into the sunshine. Sunlight fires neurons: known scientific fact. Oh fuck! Why had she stopped hurtling down the stairs? Now she'd never be able to decide if it had been a premonition or not.



Is it still a premonition if you see it happening and then take steps to prevent it from happening? Which would stop it from happening. Which would make the premonition false. Since it didn't happen. Right?

16 comments:

??! said...

Think of it like a forecast (weather, financial,what-have-you).

It's a suggestion/estimation of what might happen, but the actual event could be quite different.

And in a sense, premonitions are quite possibly subsconcious estimations of future possibilities - your brain taking random leaps to a probable point in the future.

Sunshine said...

Girl, you sure ask tough questions!! :D

Anonymous said...

isn't a premonition just a warning?
so if you're warned and take precaution - it IS a premonition. if you don't and trip instead, it ceases to be one
Wow! where did that come from? :O

Revealed said...

@??!: Ha, the science of it. I can't argue with that :)

@ss: And never get any answers! Gah!

@anon: Hmmmm. Interesting. You, as usual are saying the opposite of what I'm saying :). When you're warned about something that doesn't happen, is it still a warning? Cos if there's nothing to warn you about how can it be a warning? No? So basically if I have a feeling I'm going to fall and then walk slower and then *don't* fall, it means that the feeling was wrong? Cos it portended something that never happened. See the problem?

Wow! where did that come from?

From reading this blog too much :D. Also does that mean you *didn't* have a premonition that you were going to say this?

Confused & Baffled said...

erm...old people are weird!

Anonymous said...

its stays a warning even if you tackle the 'eventual problem'. so you see even if you avoided the so called problem by moving around it, it still served the purpose - it warned you. it never intends to predict - and it never does. all it does is warn you of the impending doom, which you avert. so when you say 'there's nothing to warn you about how can it be a warning', you don't seem to realise that there *had been* something to warn you of. that is where premonition differs from prognosis.
you're getting the two confused, i think :)

sloshed silly said...

the problems with epiphanies is there's no one to appreciate it in its infancy.

wiseling said...

q: when is a premonition not a premonition?

a: when its not.

simple, really.

Revealed said...

@sloshed silly: I hear you, I hear you.

@rest: Tsk, people. You shall be replied to in a bit. Sloshed silly was the only one who made *immediate and complete* sense!

Anonymous said...

a reply delayed is a reply denied

Revealed said...

@Cnb: Are they? I wouldn't know, really. They say familiarity breeds misconceptions.

@anon: No, no. Suppose I tell you watch out for the man eating lion that's at the backdoor and so you always use the frontdoor you'll never know whether there was actually a maneating lion at the backdoor, no? So how dya know it was a warning?

@wiseling: Ha! A reductionalist. Welcome, welcome, your company is absolutely vital in this place.

@anon: But, better late than never.

Anonymous said...

i was just warned of the man-eating lion's existence and there were no prophecies that told me I'd see one eventually. cause if I'm not warned - it doesn't end up being a warning. it becomes an 'accident'

Revealed said...

@anon: You're doing this on purpose, arent you? :)
A warning suggests the intimation of adverse events. If there were no adverse events it would be a lie, not a warning. No?

Anonymous said...

it suggests. does not predict! :)

Revealed said...

Tsk! Who said it predicted????!!!!!????!!!!

Kim said...

my partner claims to have premonitions quite often. These things never have come true, it's merely things she thinks will happen. She gets very annoyed when I tell her they're not premonitions, they're actually paranoid delusions...huge difference.