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London Traffic

Dreamed between 1923 and 1938

Mr. Gheury de Bray, (F.R.A.S.) after studying his dreams on the lines suggested by Mr. J. W. Dunne, was able to record a dream of being in a certain London street empty of traffic. While crossing the road a car shot out of an unexpected place and made straight at him. Then he woke up.

He found himself a month later crossing Queen Victoria Street in the City of London, just after an experiment with one-way traffic had been started from the Mansion House end. In the middle of the road he remembered his dream, and recognized the situation. Just as he paused, a car shot out of a side-turning and passed a yard in front of him.

If he had not been in the habit of jotting down dreams in a notebook, the scientific explanation of this would be that at the critical moment he merely dreamed that he had dreamed it. But there it was in black and white.

account from The Dream World (Ed. Rodolphe.L. Megroz, 1939)

EDITOR'S NOTE

Amusing myopia on the part of Mr. Megroz, no? Surely Mr. de Bray also cared that the dream saved him from getting run over. Debating the evidence for ESP (and inventing pseudo-explanations like "he merely dreamed that he had dreamed it", whatever that means!), can obscure the main point: dreams like de Bray's (no matter what they are) can save your life. And any sense (however dodgy) giving you a survival edge will be selected for! True, it may lie dormant in skeptics who talk themselves out of indulging momentary, silly, superstitious urges like the one that saved de Bray's neck. But tire-biting dogs weeded themselves out of the dog population, and over the generations, this breed of skeptic will too, I guess.

I wish there were a special Darwin Award for people like de Bray smart enough to keep themselves in the gene pool. Oh, wait, there is, and he already got the prize: survival.

--Chris Wayan



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