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Yes, Emma, One Pound Onions

Dreamed before 1961 by a Canadian girl, reported to the Rhine Institute

...a Canadian girl... had a dream one night in which, as she says:

"I was in a small room with a single bare lightbulb hanging down. There were many posters or something on the wall, and in one corner was an old-fashioned desk with an old upright telephone on it. There was an old man at the desk writing and the phone rang. He answered it and said, 'Yes, Emma, one pound onions and a dozen oranges--I'll bring them home.' In this same room with me were four other girls--I couldn't tell, however, who they were. Each girl seemed nervous and so was I. One by one they went out and came back about ten minutes later. When my turn came I woke up.

Two days later I was to try my driver's test. There were three other girls who took the lessons with me. We were to go out one by one. We entered a small office which was exactly the same as the room in which I had been in my dream. The old man was filling out our forms when the telephone rang. He said the same thing I had heard him say in my dream. I was the last one to try my test and each girl had gone out one by one and had been gone about ten minutes. We were, of course, nervous. I was quite shaken, feeling that I had lived this all before."


Louisa Rhine uses this account to illustrate the level of detail possible in a predictive dream. Complex entities like storms and people are predictable only in a broad way--so how could she forehear the old man's words so exactly? Is time fixed, are we robots? No wonder this girl was rattled! Accounts like this rattle me.

This story illustrates something else about ESP. Senses evolve because they give a survival edge. And ESP, no matter how it works, behaves like any sense in that most of its messages are useful, and quite mundane: news about loved ones, warnings of danger, guides to action. But to evolve, a sense need only help us overall. Sometimes sensory information is useless; occasionally, counterproductive. This glimpse ahead is a splendid example. It isn't just unneeded, it adds to the seer's driver-test anxiety! I wonder if she passed? No thanks to her psychic dream.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Hidden Channels of the Mind by Louisa E. Rhine, 1961, p. 98-99. Account untitled, author's name witheld; title & byline added only as search aids.

LISTS AND LINKS: precognition - ESP in general - language - fear and anxiety - more weird dreams of driver's exams and licenses: Driver's Test and My Poetic License - living/working with ESP - more Louisa Rhine - more dêjà vu dreams: Haena Cove, Red Uncle, Red Canyon, Hot Pot Cat Lot - Canada -

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