Source: Flickr by Torley

You are in a place for the first time, with new people, and you feel a diffuse unease, a fading sense of deja vu. When it wears off completely, you won’t even think about it.

Have you ever visited places in your dreams?

It is one of the mysteries of life, this moment which would be the echo of a forgotten dream manifesting itself discreetly, and this presupposes that our spirit would have access to the future. I can already hear you asking: but then, fate!

Would our life be decided in advance? Could our brain give us bits of it in our dreams?

Hello! I said: it is a mystery of life!

Aim at me rather than this one:

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States as everyone knows, had dreamed of his death. He told the thing (to his biographer, which does no harm), who recorded it. He died as he had dreamed two weeks earlier.

Another example:

A bishop dreamed of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. He didn’t succeed in passing the message to the first person concerned, but he was so impressed that he drew the scene- and it was rather similar.

Obviously, the events do not need to be so dramatic to prove themselves. Charles Dickens, for example, had dreamed of a lady the day before she was introduced to the famous author. Unusual, but all the same. These examples and many others can be found in Carole Fortin’s book Les Rêves prémonitoires (Éditions de l’Homme).

We also learn that we make our own dream symbols

Dream symbols for a family, the broken vase announces a death; for another, blueberries are unexpected bills to pay (we don’t say if the dreamer is Saguenéenne!).

So I asked Carole Fortin what the difference is between a superstition and a personal dream symbol. She replied:

Superstition is a belief that has not been verified in life. Our symbols are always evolving; they are still historical, in that they are based on the past, but they transform as our lives change.


This is the language of dreams, and this is what gives us trouble. The dream is a rebus, said Jacques Lacan, and our materialistic lives have cut us off from the myths and symbols that are its keys. The symbols, for us, are the gentleman and the lady standing next to each other who tell us where the toilets are: that’s pretty much our level of symbolic language.

If ‘the dream is a more subtle dimension of being‘, as Ms. Fortin told me, and if we collectively consider that teaching philosophy is almost a waste of time, how could we not have become illiterates of the inner life? No, I’m not talking about the decoration of the house. You wake up in the morning but you don’t get up right away. You are bathed in the atmosphere of the last dream:

What sensations and emotions do you retain? Do you have any pictures left? Maybe you can tell yourself the whole dream. There are lucky mornings!

Giving time to your inner life is so beneficial!

I would say that it allows better mental health- and it makes people who can take a step back in the face of stress, for example. One thing is certain: our inner universe belongs only to us. If we don’t dream at night, we can dream during the day, and we don’t dismiss that with a shrug of the shoulders by saying that these are fantasies: ‘our fantasies speak of our needs.’

We have to get out of this obsession with wanting to understand and explain. You just have to see what is, you simply have to listen to yourself. Ms. Fortin told me: “Our brain works on what occupies us during the day. But in the dream, we escape linear time, our life appears to us as a whole. Jean-Claude Carrière has already said that the dream is the real victory over time. Past, present, and future have the right of presence, together or separately. But when the future invites itself, it’s more disturbing.

Everyone can dream of their future

Ms. Fortin believes that everyone can dream of their future. When she began her research work on the subject, she believed that it was reserved for people endowed with exceptional abilities. But no! “The dream gives information, it can warn us of our illnesses, and serve as an index for diagnoses”. If we take it as a warning, we will take the message of the dream into account and we can modify the conditions of our life.

So much for fate!

The premonitory dream is therefore a probability. It is our ability to use its message that makes it something more or less useful. We can do without it, the proof! But maybe we can also drop our square head.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: