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The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives Hardcover – April 30, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The long-awaited seminal book on this topic. A crowning achievement."
-Marc Ian Barasch, author of Healing Dreams

"Larry Dossey, one of our greatest medical sages and admitted informavore, takes us on a wonderful journey from non-local mind and consciousness to the power of understanding our abilities to have not only intuitive thoughts, but premonitions. Read it to feel fully awakened to a deeper understanding of your mind and a greater connection to the universal consciousness."
-Woodson Merrell, MD, Chairman Department of Integrative Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, NYC, and author with Kathleen Merrell of The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel Ten Years Younger

"Dr. Larry Dossey is the world's leading expert in space-time mystery. In this compulsively readable, thoroughly researched work, you will be left with tantalizing questions. Can there be free will and premonitions both? What is the nature of time? Rarely does a book come along that keeps you on the edge of your seat and stimulates thought like this one. Don't miss it!"
-Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Your Soul's Compass and Saying Yes to Change

"For anyone who is interested in knowing about the deeper meaning of our existence, this book is a must read. Once again, Larry, being the pioneer that he is, has written a classic."
-Deepak Chopra, MD, Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment

"In his crystal clear style, he explains why the paradoxical idea of knowing the future is no longer based on mere conjecture or fantastic stories, and why cultivating this startling ability is perhaps your most important birthright."
-Dean Radin, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences

"I think Larry Dossey is one of America's most important thinkers. When he talks, I listen; when he writes, I read. He presents compelling evidence that the power of the mind is so much greater than we had previously realized."
-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

"This wonderful book brings reason and wisdom to bear on experiences that no one understands, yet which really happen. Thank goodness that Dr Larry Dossey is not afraid to wrestle with a subject that most scientists prefer to ignore, but which tells us that there is more to life and mind than our philosophies have dreamed of."
-Rupert Sheldrake, biologist and author

"This book will help to open minds and lead to an acceptance of what we experience while overcoming our being limited by what we believe. I know from personal experience, in my life and work, that the future is unconsciously prepared and known and, therefore, can be revealed through dreams and drawings and I have the evidence from my practice to prove it."
-Bernie Siegel, MD, Love, Medicine & Miracles and 365 Prescriptions For Living

About the Author

Larry Dossey, M.D., is a leader in bringing scientific understanding to spirituality. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Healing Words and several other books, and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; 1 edition (April 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although a substantial part of my career as a psychologist has been devoted to parapsychological matters for more than 50 years, one part of the field has always been especially troublesome to me, the idea that people sometimes get information about the future, premonitions, precognitions, when there is no reasonable possibility of them getting it, given what we know about the nature of the physical world.

I am thoroughly acculturated, like practically everyone, to believe that the past is gone, the future is not yet here, only the present moment is real, so time marches on. Sure, we can predict probable things - the sun will rise tomorrow - or things we know the causal mechanism of - the car will stop running soon if I don't put more gasoline in the tank. But then you can't help but hear stories on the order of "I dreamed this really improbable set of events that resulted in my being run down by a green car on such-and-such a street, although I don't usually go there, and sure enough this green car suddenly dashed around the corner and would have killed me if I hadn't been forewarned by the dream and so alert enough to jump back."

The devoted materialist has no trouble with such stories, banishing them with words like "coincidence." In Dossey's new book he mentions the medical version of this: a story that indicates something you don't believe in is an "anecdote," one that confirms your beliefs is a "careful case history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"O, that a man might know the end of this day's business ere it come!" Julius Caesar, Act V, Scene I.

Time and other thieves... The good Doctor has unleashed an outstanding contribution to our attempts to understand the chaos of being, and the very nature of time itself.

In a work that manages to be both deeply scholarly and highly entertaining, Dr. Dossey has fashioned a mosaic of strange bedfellows that will at the very least help us to start asking the right questions.

As expected, the book is a masterpiece of research, supported by acres of notes and references, dealing with numerous core topics, such as the block universe, chaos, entropy, repression and a look into the paradox-drenched quantum arena as a whole.

While the case examples are fascinating and well chosen, the book also looks into cases of people successfully acting on premonitions, and the rituals of some cultures whereby destructive dreamed premonitions might be negated and dark outcomes averted.

For me, the book's crowning magic lies in the closing sections, in which Larry Dossey cites examples of how mystery and embracing the unknown can be good for our psychological and physical wellbeing. We do indeed seem to need just enough chaos and uncertainty in our lives. In the same way, one of the theories about reincarnation is that we are not supposed to remember details of our previous lives, lest it bias our thoughts and actions in our current life.

There's an allegorical song by Ani DiFranco called Little Plastic Castle, in which she sings...

"They say goldfish have no memory
I guess their lives are much like mine
And the little plastic castle
Is a surprise every time..."

Good job, given the dang size of the bowl...

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Format: Hardcover
The book started off with numerous accounts of premonitions which really drew me in. However, I think the author did not deliver content worthy of the chapter titles. I agree with the other reviewer that many of the premonition examples scattered throughout the book were not premonitions, rather dreams that provided information about a problem needing to be solved, or experiences that could be interpreted a number of ways, but were interpreted as premonitions for the purposes of this book. Premonitions are often met with skeptism by those who have not experienced them, and I was disappointed to see the lack of substance around the topic. The many awkwardly written sentences and typos only added to the lack of confidence I had in the author's depth of knowledge, thoroughness, and ability to walk the reader through to conclusions based on sound analysis rather than conjecture and rambling speculation. One example is when he talks about the high vacancy rate of planes involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He points out that the planes used in the attack were only 21 percent full that day, goes on to ask if this could have been the result of people avoiding those flights due to premonitions they had about the impending attack, then states it's impossible to know if the vacancy rate was unusual for that day because the airlines won't release the data. In summary, he says the low vacancy rates suggest premonitions played a role in people's decisions to not fly on those planes on that day, but admits it cannot be proven.

I could look out my window and suddenly notice the lack of birds around my bird feeders one day. Perhaps the birds are telling me of some impending disaster?
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