Thursday, February 23, 2012

My story about lucid dreaming and lottery numbers

Last night I played the Texas Lotto with numbers I had gotten in a lucid dream, and half of them were correct. It probably doesn't mean anything. 1:250 odds, for that. Pretty weird, but not burning bush weird. I had gone to bed with the silly plan to do this, based on a whacked-out probably-not-true theory about time and the subconscious. Getting a weird fluke 1:250 event as the outcome of a deliberate experiment with time probably at least merits me doing the experiment again. It probably also justifies writing a blog post.

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I want to talk about the theory, and my experiment. But first let's talk about my childhood.

When I was a kid, I believed I had precognitive dreams. They were usually about buildings. When I recognized a building from a dream, adults usually told me it was deja vu. It may have been. But I was convinced enough of myself that I got really serious about trying to prove them wrong. I wrote out detailed descriptions of all the weird buildings I had seen in dreams but not yet found in life. I wonder today if this journal still exists somewhere. It'd be mind-blowing if I found it and there were sketches of my current workplace, and the hotel in Toledo where we spent our honeymoon, etc. I don't expect that this would be the outcome, but it's fun to imagine.

When I got older, my dad told me about a book that C.S. Lewis and his whole Oxford posse were really intrigued by. It's called An Experiment With Time.

If you buy it, do it here so Amazon will give me a couple of cents.

The author purports to have precognitive dreams. He starts journaling them, and to his own satisfaction disproves the explanation of "you just made that memory up." He goes on to invent a theory of physics that can permit for such a bizarre phenomenon. He's not a physicist. His theory is ludicrous. It's really, really confused and bad. I walked away from the book thinking that all of his conclusions were untenable, but that perhaps his experimental data was still valid. There's no way of knowing. He could have made up everything in the book just to impress a girl and make a buck.

Later on in life, the brilliant Richard Morgan made me watch Waking Life.


It's a trippy rotoscoped indie movie about lucid dreaming. It's freaking fantastic. So I had now been exposed to lucid dreaming. I started to practice. I'm still not very good.

Lucid dreams are dreams that you have where you know that you're in a dream. When this happens, and you're naked in high school again where everybody hates you, you can smile, stand up on your desk, start singing a song for people, and then fly away.

There are a lot of cool things you can do in lucid dreams. If you need a sandwich or a weapon, you can reach out of your field of vision, know it will be there, grasp it, and pull it into your field of view (I got a revolver when I was being attacked in London this way once, and it was really useful).

So I started to think this: What if the crazy Experiment With Time guy is right in his argument that our subconsciouses have access to both future and past memories? What if by lucid dreaming, we can effect a bit of conscious inquiry into this data? What if, say, for example, I realized I was in a dream, and reached out of my field of vision to grab the Handheld Future Machine, which listed lottery numbers and earthquake coordinates?

It's utterly far-fetched, and I don't believe it, even as I experiment with it. There are just too many things that wouldn't make sense. For starters, I'm convinced that someone with even a little bit of precognitive ability could essentially take over the world and rule it as god/king, like Jones did in The World Jones Made. I figure that at least a few of the 100,000,000,000 people who've ever lived would have pulled this off by now, and we'd all definitely know about it.

There are other considerations. What about time's arrow? What about everything we know about neurology and memory formation? You can add your own what-abouts. They're innumerable.

So it was just a fun idea. Something to imagine about for funsies, like a ghost story.

Then I met Duña.

Duña Littlefield was a Peruvian woman who had married an old racist anglo for her citizenship. He didn't speak Spanish, and she didn't speak English. That started to make things complicated in their marriage, so he enrolled her in my class (I'm an ESL teacher).

Duña had the most outlandish ideas about la metafisica, and the moon, and tarot. It made classes interesting.

So one day, Duña comes to me and says (in markedly less fine English), "I woke up from a dream last night, and all I can remember are the numbers 311. I think it means something. What is God trying to tell me?" I quipped, "It's called Pick Three. Go buy a lottery ticket after class tonight and you'll win $500. You owe me half." We laughed and we continued with class.

She literally screamed, that night, when the numbers were drawn. She hadn't bought a ticket. She reported it to me and I verified it. 311. I was inspired.

So. To the present. My experiment.

I was talking with my son about the Duña thing two nights ago, and I told him that we should each try to lucid dream, and try to get lottery numbers. I promised I would play any numbers he dreamed. I left a sheet of paper and a sharpie by his bed. He didn't have a lucid dream. I did.

I didn't pull a Handheld Futuretelling Device, but instead a piece of paper. 

The paper was covered with numbers. I picked a line at random and started committing them to memory. As per the strategy I had developed with my son that night, I made up a song and sang the numbers to myself, so it would be easier to remember them when I woke up. I have a really hard time reading in lucid dreams (in fact, blurry illegible text is a dream sign for me: something that tells me I'm not really awake). I finally got the line down woke myself up, sang the song, and entered the numbers into my phone.

Which is appropriate, because the sequence of numbers I dreamed looked like a phone number. Depressing. I had to break it up into 1 or 2-digit numbers to play. 

I dreamed:

635     771     0538

It was depressing because I obviously couldn't play something like 635. I could play 6, and 35. or should if be 63, and then 5? Shit. Someone on facebook gave my their favorite break-down, and I ran with it. It had a 77 in it. The lotto balls don't count up that high. *sigh.* I let the gas station lady pick her own favorite number to switch out with the 77. (I had actually really, really, struggled to read that middle portion in the dream.)

They drew last night after I went to bed. The winning numbers were:

3 5 6   12   38 50
(you can verify here

It looks like a dyslexic reading of my numbers (with the 77 switched out, of course). What impresses me most is that it's even alike in sequence. My final chunk -- 0538-- looks a lot like that 38 50 over there. Same 635 and 3 5 6. Completely discarding the similarity in sequence, something improbable happened: I got half the numbers right. My 1:250 fluke paid off a disgustingly disproportionate $3.


Directions for further research

I have to try again, obviously. What will happen is that I'll get nothing right. And then try again, and get nothing right. And then quit.

Unless I get another almost. Maybe I'll use a machine that speaks the words to me so I won't have to struggle with reading, and maybe I'll get all but one number right, or all of them.

And then, happily, when we're celebrating at Video Bar in San Juan, they'll ask Levi, "So, how did you retire so young?" and he'll answer (truthfully), "I hacked the stock market."

They'll turn to me and say "And you? You too? What about your fortune?"

"I hacked the universe." 







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20 comments:

  1. Very interesting post. I've done my own lucid dreaming over the years and have always found it to be a fascinating experience. With practice I averaged at least one lucid dream per night. While I don't believe in predicting the future I think I'll try your experiment just for grins. I'll even throw you a few bucks when I win.

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  2. If you win a million, I think you totally own me a thousand.

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  3. I kind of foretold Pokemon and had a few deja vus about buildings as a kid. So it's interesting that you bring up buildings. The skeptic in me says that perhaps there's something about them that hacks our recognition circuitry, making false positives more likely? Or perhaps there's something about them that makes us dream about them more.

    But anyways, I'd like to offer a caveat to your dream idea. Your student was GIVEN the dream; she did not ask for it. This information was 100% accurate. You asked for the data, and you got a garbled mess of the real data. If I were the type to ascribe intent to the universe, I'd say it's saying, "Dreams can predict the future, but you can't just ask for it."

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  4. I checked Wolfram Alpha, 635 is not a US Area Code, because I thought maybe calling that number would give you the answer. Like you ask for chicken soup and get a recipe, not the liquid you were expecting.

    What I find most fascinating about this post is that you are willing to test a hypothesis that seems impossible to your rational mind. One might call it "sanity" to limit one's self to testing hypotheses that seem possible. But I would disagree. Limiting your range of inquiry to what seems possible to you is the gravest of limitations. It guarantees you will discover nothing really new.

    Discoverers, in science or in life, depend upon the openness of their mind. Your mind is not so open that you think it is likely, or even plausible. Good for you--such rigor will serve you well. But you intuit a possibility undetectable to your rational mind, given its current dataset.

    I think this is laudable. And even if nothing comes of it materially, the exercise alone, and the precedent it sets, makes it worthwhile.

    Just for funsies as you say: maybe precisely like our waking minds, our dreaming minds also have to follow rules. No idea how you falsify this through experiment, but I'm picturing a rule that says information can be retrieved but only certain types of information. Your commenter Steve alluded to this same idea: another permutation of the rules of the dreaming mind.

    Perhaps the dreaming mind is limited to the revelation of truths that may give some benefit to others, but only trivial gain to one's self is allowed. It would be a trivial gain, but a gain nonetheless, to you to have your mind jammed open by an odd coincidence. So that is what the dreaming mind gives you.

    It is at least plausible that if the dreaming mind seeks anything, it seeks greater psychological balance and unfoldment of the elements that make up your waking mind. So perhaps tweaking your intuition served its purposes.

    If that were in fact confirmed in some way, it would also explain your participation in that psychic moment you describe. If you had not revealed the meaning of the numbers, Nuna would never have known they came up in the lottery. You're part here was as "psychic" as hers. You tried to help. And you succeeded modestly since now she knows it was at least a hell of a coincidence.

    I think the dreaming mind is a lot more interested in opening people's waking minds than giving them fortune, fame or power.

    But the only way to *ever* know anything for sure, is to see for ourselves.

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  5. This is interesting. I had many precognitive dreams when I was pregnant with my son. I had at least twenty dreams, before we found out he was a boy, that he was not only a boy, but had blonde hair and blue eyes. I had dreams where I was holding him as he got older and he was so cute. His father and I both have brown and green-ish eyes, so we were expecting him to have brown hair. But, lo and behold, he was a bright blonde, blue-eyed and ended up looking almost exactly like my dream baby looked.

    I also experience somewhat precognitive dreams as a child and teen. I would dream of a certain situation, like being in a classroom, going out shopping, etc, that would be normal until right before I woke up. A bus would go through a wall, or a dinosaur would invade. Something weird would always throw everything off. Then, a few weeks later, I would experience everything in that dream, the conversations and everything, except the horrible endings. lol!

    I very much believe in the power of dreams!!

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  6. can we get a update?

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  7. I haven't had a lucid dream since this one. I don't get many of them. Still planning to follow up!

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  8. I used lucid dreamming to find bugs in software, or to perhaps i created them in the future.
    I remember when i haved a dream of some bug, yet to be discovery in some code that wasnt created yet, and when the correct time happened, i "just" knowed the answer to the bug. It was pretty bizarre and happend not only time, but two times.

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  9. I live in Texas as well. I have had a few dreams about pick three numbers. It is always 3 and I'm not sure why. I gave my mother winning numbers as a child. I dreamed about a hotel room number once and played it, it came out the day after I played.

    Sometimes it is not a dream, I just wake up at a certain time for days and the time on the clock come out, but I usually don't play them in time. Once I dreamed that I was in my old college dorm room and there was an alligator on the floor and I was yelling "Call 911!". I was living in California at the time and 911 came out the next day although I didn't play.

    When I moved to Texas a few years ago, I dreamed that I was at a picnic and someone or something said to me, "Remember this number 4-12." and almost as if I was pushed out of my dream, my eyes opened and I remembered the number. I played 412 in exact order for two days (both drawings) and won $500 on the second day, first drawing.

    This morning, I was working from home and decided to take a short nap. I dreamed about the number 5-11 or 511. I will play it for the next couple of days and see what happens. I have lucid dreams but these dreams about numbers happen at random and sometimes years apart. If only I can figure out how to make it happen! I am going to try this experiment. If 5-11 comes up in the next couple of days in TX, well I guess that myseld and anyone that chooses to play it in exact order will be $500 richer. If not, it was just a dream...

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  10. It does happen dont know if your born with something special, ive had one dream of the euromillions numbers two days before the draw and didnt play. My bad dont know how or why

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  11. Sleep with earphones on listening to Solfeggio frequency 396Hz (make sure your mp3 player has it on loop/repeat) for more consistent lucid dreams.

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  12. Hi, i have good exprience of what your talking about, and maybe we can exchange expriences and put something togethor. Contact me on (sc0010058@yahoo.com.au).

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  13. Today Morning I experienced Lucid Dreaming for the first time, after knowing and trying.

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  14. What's the easiest method to induce Lucid Dreams ?
    I had one lucid dream many years ago , but that was it ; no matter what technique I tried , just can't do it any more...

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  15. I had a dreamed it's about a girl she is beautiful, with lovely face, red lips, and white skin, she talked to me and told me that i'm lucky because selected people that i given these numbers... so i talked to her that if this is a dream how can i remember these numbers for a lottery? then she start to give me the number in a something like a bowl with a water inside that has a number floating. 6 numbers for a lottery then when i wake up i remembered only 3 numbers then when i go to the lottery to bet the number that i dreamed
    then when the results it cames at night they are all the same so i get only 3 because i forgot the 3 also.... I'm sad because the prize are 48million PHP but i dont have any choice maybe that's not for me... that's why everytime i had a dreamed mostly about the numbers i'd never got interest anymore to bet my all numbers even if i know that are all numbers that i dream it's results in the lottery... Actually the girl that i saw in my dreams i cannot remember her face but all i know she was a beautiful with wore white dress like a fairy and black long hair with kissable lips, but i wondered why i can't remember her face maybe she is a fairy or something angel... -VM_MXPhilboy (true story of mylife) please excuse my english!! I just want to share this experienced it happens maybe 4yrs ago or 3yrs ago.

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  16. Hope I can dream some numbers for this weekend's lotto draw.

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  17. I had the same experience with having precognitive dreams. I started to write them down in a drwam journal and then later mark them with when they came true. (Couldnt make this stuff up) I also had reoccuring lucid dreams where the same exact lottery numbers will be present. I have no idea where these numbers came from, but my dream keeps duplicating them. I had no idea what lottery they were referring to, so one day the numbers came up, but doubled. The EXACT same numbers from the dream, but double to 'get my attention' on what numbers to play. It keeps telling me to 'be patient' in my dreams, so I wait...

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  18. My son (7) and I are into dreaming lottery numbers of late. I remember growing up hearing how my grandfather won the Pick 3 once and the Pick 4 once by dreaming the numbers. I explained to my son how when I was younger I had an out of body experience and became fascinated with OBEs and Lucid Dreaming. A month after my OBE I had a lucid dream and a large black woman in a purple robe appeared in my dream and said she was my guardian angel. I asked for the lottery numbers and she said 6 and 11. I told her I need 6 numbers – and she told me I’m not ready yet. 6 and 11 were two of the six numbers in the lottery the next day. That blew my mind. Why wasn’t there as much attention paid to dreams as there was to technology or medicine!! I tried to call for her in my lucid dreams for a few months after that but she never appeared – and then as people typically do – you get side tracked onto the next interesting thing in your life and forget about your dreams. New girl, or new job, or new friends, a move, new interests etc….and then its forgotten. After I got married I mentioned to my wife one day about my lottery lucid dream long ago and it intrigued her – not to have a lucid dream – but to take all of that states previous year’s winning lottery numbers and put them into a thinking program she was working with for her Phd. She gave me the numbers it kicked out and I played them the next drawing. 4 of the 6 matched. Of course I figured she’s a genius! and we’re going to be millionaires sooner or later. But the next time – there were no matches. And the next time. And the next time. And soon you move on to something else to hold your interest. My son is always talking about winning the lottery so we can buy a bigger house with a yard and he’s fascinated by my lucid dream lottery story. So he tries and tries to think of the lottery as he drifts off to sleep. He keeps a piece of paper by the bed so when he wakes he can quickly jot down any numbers he dreamt of. Can we see the future….seems possible. I too wonder of all the strange faces I see in my dreams; have I met them before? Will I meet them some day? How do I put on this nightly elaborate play in my head....while during the day I can close my eyes and not be able to produce 1% of the detail I can during my dreams. Crazy.

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  19. I find this lucid dreaming very interesting. About 10 years ago I had a lucid dream of the powerball going of as if my eyes were the TV screen exactly how it goes off on air. The 6 numbers popped up and just like another guy I could only remember 3 numbers. As soon as I woke up I wrote down what I could remember, went down to the local corner store and played for that night, well those 3 numbers came out, and I haven't been the same since. I'm a believer that dreams can and will predict future events.

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  20. This is a very interesting post... I was googling for "dreaming winning lottery numbers" because last night I dreamed of the numbers 97 but didn't quite get the 3rd number so I replaced it with 9 to make the combination 979. I was not able to buy a lottery ticket though but just a few minutes ago, my husband alerted me to say that the winning combination this morning was 975. It might've been the number 5 that I missed but still it is quite amazing. This is not the first time I dreamt of a number/s that became lottery numbers though so I really do believe in prophetic dreams.

    I also dreamt about having a boy even before I got married or got pregnant and I saw him in my dream and knew he was my kid. I wrote about this experience on my blog and wanted to share as well - - http://misunderstood33.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/gift-with-peep-hole.html.

    Thanks for this post and I am with you on the part about trying to harness the power of lucid dreaming... you never know how much it could actually help you... ;-)

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