The novel that I wrote was never intended to be published nor indeed to be written at all and yet it appeared almost of its own accord. I have mentioned that in writing it I disregarded the conventions concerning fiction writing and maybe to some extent I also disregarded other conventions about writing about the future, but it was my own future and of little consequence to anyone else. In fact I regard the objective of the whole experience as having been to learn something about my own existence and not to inform other people, which is why I have refrained from publishing this collection here for so long. Maybe it is of interest to others though.
These then are the bulk of my unusual experiences relating to my novel writing and a selection of others in my general life. No doubt others will occur in the future and I will add them when I can. I cannot state that I positively believe in the possible phenomenon that appears to bring them about but I am certainly forced to accept that it may well be real after eliminating the more conventional explanations. If so then I do not consider myself to be exceptional but suspect that it is something that exists in all of us but is so bound up with other more obvious causes and effects in our lives that we have difficulty in singling it out as an influence unless we examine many incidents as closely as I have tried to do. It does not after all directly cause anything to happen but only seems to modify the probably that it will. Therefore we each have to draw our own conclusions about its existence, preferably from our own experiences.
One of the old-fashioned claims made by sceptics about such accounts is that their authors have false memories about events that occurred years ago. However, nowadays people record many details of their lives on computer media and I am no different, so this old claim has to be reconsidered in that light. Apart from my own memories I have an email archive that dates back at least to 2011, when I was writing to my friend in the USA about my writing activities and thoughts as they happened, plus all my notes and drafts written alongside my novel itself. In 2016 I posted on this website a detailed chronicle of events up to that year alongside my extensive speculation about those events as it then stood. Those documents went into far more detail than these now on the site but made heavy reading as a result and I removed them after my experiences in 2017 caused me to reconsider the nature of the phenomenon anyway. As I have gained more knowledge in later years my speculation may have changed to some extent but I can still validate it against these past records.
Apart from those earlier personal source documents and also online records, such as the writers’ forum in which I often reported my experiences as they happened from 2015 on, I have made use of my own memories to some extent, but these are not casual memories but an aspect of my rigorous way of working. This is something that sceptics looking for evidence often cannot find and verify in any other way and is the reason why I state that only firsthand experience is truly convincing. When working as a software developer I always paid careful attention to the reasons why I made specific decisions in the design of the software and also made a point of remembering these in case I needed to revise my decisions at a later stage. It is just too easy to change one’s mind about something because one has forgotten why one made a decision originally. For example, when choosing a new car to buy one may be so attracted by desirable features that one’s old car doesn’t have that one fails to confirm that the new car has all the many desirable features that the old one does. Novel writing is similar to designing software in that there are many links between elements and making revisions later may break these links if one has forgotten that they were incorporated originally. Therefore I have retained clear memories of my reasoning behind many decisions made while writing my novel, even being able to recall my thoughts at the time of choosing apparently arbitrary names for my characters, those names and their possible later inspiration often being mentioned on this site. For this reason I can for example even now state with confidence that I had merely a particular feeling about a name that influenced my choice of it over a decade ago knowing that this was no false memory.
Finally, I have tried to avoid attempting to justify through scientific argument, not being qualified to do so, the possibility of some prescient ability existing within people's minds but I have myself followed research into such matters in an attempt to form my own layman’s opinion about it. I have no wish to impress this opinion on anyone else but I can at least speculate here as a final observation. One popular idea is that quantum entanglement, Einstein's “spooky action at a distance” which can apparently have an effect even backwards across time, may somehow be involved and recent experimental results seem to have indicated that entanglement is present in brain activity. However, I have read that one explanation of this unsettling “spooky action” may be that it is itself an illusion caused by ambiguity in the direction of travel of the quantum properties of elementary particles along their paths.
Conventionally a pair of entangled particles are created at a single location and then regardless of where they each are in the universe changes in their subsequent quantum states are spookily instantly connected in contradiction of the rules about information not being able to travel faster than light and so on. It has been suggested by some that this illusion forms through our insistence on seeing all events as being chronological in their action, the very perception that I have been challenging here all along, and if instead a change in the state of one particle is regarded as travelling backwards in time at a conventional rate to the point where the particles became entangled then the state of the other particle can be influenced there before it starts its own journey into another part of the universe. This idea of two events at different points in space spookily appearing to be connected is generally called synchronicity and I have mentioned previously how synchronicities regularly appear alongside my peculiar experiences so often that I have come to expect them. Taking that suggested explanation of quantum entanglement as being an illusion and reversing the order of events it seems possible equally to explain how other synchronicities, such as the ones that I have encountered, could equally be illusions.
Perhaps it is the actual recognition of an unusual and possibly obscure coincidence that itself creates the synchronicity in the past and so causes us to see it as such. The experimental evidence of quantum entanglement occurring within the brain may even be a clue to this process. In the case of conventional quantum entanglement this entanglement process happens before the spookily connected events occur, but maybe the unusual coincidences that we witness in everyday life are simply examples of it happening after them. Even before the experiments to detect possible entanglement within human brains were performed I formed the idea that synchronicities formed when information about one event bounced backwards in time within the observer’s brain to cause the other event to occur. I even sent a report of this idea to the Society for Psychical Research to file in their archives at the time. This could for example explain how my discovery of the real Yvonne may have influenced my past novel writing at around the time that she was having bad experiences in 2011. Perhaps the conventional chronological time barrier is now being attacked from both directions.
The time barrier is conventionally defended both by the majority of the scientific community and by statisticians but wider society also tacitly accepts its existence because it is essential to our existing social structure. Without it I couldn’t even claim that I conceived an idea before I read about a similar one elsewhere if the order of these events was irrelevant and I was simply using foreknowledge of someone else’s idea that I wouldn't read about until later. Also a key argument used by statisticians is the principle of very large numbers, that in a very large overall population someone is bound to experience even the number of strange coincidences that I have, but I suspect that that in itself may be a defensive measure to deter the recording of these coincidences so that they don’t reach the volumes where they challenge the assumption that statisticians appear to make that they are relatively rare occurrences. Many of us encounter them in our lives but think little of them, maybe just because we are persuaded not to. I think this may be a shame because whatever lies behind them may be a key aspect of what it is to be human.
I previously mentioned that I took the name Mens Temporum from my draft novel, where it described what was effectively the most secret organisation in the world because the vast majority of its members didn’t even know that they belonged to it. Certainly my experiences since devising that name have shown me that my own life is far more organised than I could imagine and that somehow it fits into the incidental activity of wider society incredibly well, even too well for this to be entirely a coincidence. Conspiracy theorists might worry about such a thing but in my opinion if such a colossal conspiracy does exist it isn’t anything for us to be concerned about because it seems to be entirely our own unconscious creation, our own minds collectively at work for our collective mutual benefit. Anyway, it’s an appropriate thought, but only a thought, to leave you with.