from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Random #52: Dreams Come True

with 6 comments

Sometimes it feels like I’ve had “psychic” or precognitive dreams. It’s not a rational thought, but there have been many instances in my life where I’ve been in a certain situation and have been almost certain that I’ve dreamt of being in that situation several years prior. The feeling is akin to déjà vu but it’s qualitatively different. Of course, I haven’t had proof because every time I’ve decided to keep a dream journal, I’ve lost interest before long. I haven’t had proof but the other day I stumbled upon something that made me re-think the topic.

The last time I felt that feeling was in Afghanistan. I was standing in the Tactical Operations Center, a B-hut, which is basically a wooden structure covered with a military tent. I was facing the wall, holding a piece of paper in my hand. Something about that instant made me stop in my tracks. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d dreamt of that scene years earlier. Afterward, I started jotting down some of my dreams in my journal.

The other day I was looking through some of my e-mail from around that time for the book and I ran across an e-mail that I sent to my friend Jen, dated 10 November 2004. I was telling her that I had a dream of her being on the news and the show was on Arirang TV, a Korean channel with English programming. I don’t remember why I decided to share it with her.

Around that time, Jen had been working at a UN organization in Vienna and had returned to school to study. After I finished my military service, she entered graduate school to study international studies. Several years later, she told me she had quit school and was preparing for a career as an anchorwoman. I remember being surprised because she had never expressed an interest in it before. A couple of years ago, she asked me to help her out with something and asked me to meet her at the Arirang building in southern Seoul. I’ve known several people who’ve worked at Arirang doing voice acting or radio broadcasts so I didn’t think anything of it, but she led me into an editing booth in her office to edit an interview she had done as part of the news. She’s now the anchor of an Arirang news show.

I had completely forgotten the dream until I read it in that e-mail from eight years ago. Of course, it’s probably nothing more than a coincidence. Dr. Michio Kaku, eminent theoretical physicist and author of Physics of the Impossible, says that precognition is a Class III impossibility, something that is impossible because it violates the laws of physics. The other Class III impossibility he identifies is perpetual motion machines.

The thought is comforting. I wouldn’t want to know the future even if I could. Even if humans don’t have free will and everything that will happen has already happened, I prefer to be ignorant and believe that I have the power to control what happens in my own life. It’s also comforting because I dream a lot of really strange dreams.

The strangest dream I’ve had was when I was in elementary school. I dreamt that I was in hell—it must have been hell, the sky was a fiery red—and the devil was chasing me. We weren’t running. We couldn’t because there was no ground. Instead, there were only telephone lines towering high over the fiery abyss and we were swinging from the cross-bars of the telephone poles like monkeys.

In another dream, I was hitting on a girl at the beach and her boyfriend came along, shot me several times in the chest and buried me in the sand.

I don’t know what hell is like, but if my death comes at the hands of a jealous, gun-toting maniac at the beach, this entry is proof of my ability. Of course, by then it won’t matter.

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6 Responses

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  1. Maybe it will matter and you’ll contribute to the process of extending our understanding of the laws of physics. There’s still a bunch of things to explore.
    Anyways, I like your writing style, you’ve done a nice job on this blog!

    Záhada Posedlá

    August 10, 2012 at 5:28 am

    • Thanks for the compliment. I’m not particularly happy with the writing in this last post but I guess that just makes the encouragement more meaningful.

      I doubt that I’ll ever be able to make a contribution to the field of physics. I have a deep appreciation for all the sciences, physics in particular, but physics was my worst subject, the only subject I almost failed in high school. I’ll leave the physics to the physicists. They can have my brain after I’m dead.

      holdenbeck

      August 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      • Well, since I am in high school I’m constantly almost failing it right now…but I love maths which is very closely connected to physics so if one is clear the other should be clear as well, right? But usually if one is clear the other is pitch black. I wonder if it is only that the problems introduced in physics are just too complex and difficult to understand with our maths skills and understanding at this stage. (Oh well, I’m probably just too lazy.)

        Záhada Posedlá

        August 10, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      • Don’t worry. I was the same way. Not bad at math, awful at physics. I just couldn’t picture a pebble in a wheel rolling off a cliff. Why would anyone need to know the path of the pebble?

        holdenbeck

        August 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

  2. Leaving for basic tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up at Dave’s about some of what to expect. Hopefully things go well and I’ll be off to Afghanistan soon.

    SLee

    August 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    • I’m sorry for the late reply. I’m guessing that you’re having the last real breakfast you’ll have for a long while. I hope you got enough information from the message board and all I can say at this point is Good Luck.

      holdenbeck

      August 13, 2012 at 9:08 am


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