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Excerpted from The Power of Premonitions by Larry Dossey. Copyright © 2009 by Larry Dossey. Excerpted by permission of Dutton, a member of Penguin Group.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"The dream premonition may 'light up with glowing significance,' as one individual put it."

  Larry Dossey, The Power of Premonitions, Part 4

Pay attention to a premonition when it indicates death, no matter how fuzzy the details may be.

In a dream of Jung's, he was attending a garden party and saw a woman he knew well, who lived in Basel. He knew instantly she was going to die. On waking, however, although he remembered the dream in detail, he could not manage to recall her name no matter how hard he tried. A few weeks later he received news that a friend of his who lived in Basel had been killed in an accident. He knew at once it was the woman in the dream who had been marked for death, but whose name he could not recall.

Jungian psychologist Jerome Bernstein, who has described many premonitions that preceded the tragedies of September 11, agrees. He suggests that when a dream premonition is extraordinarily vivid and deals with the body, physical health, and life or death, we would be wise to regard it as a literal message and take action, for we may not have a second chance.

Pay attention to premonitions when they seem intensely real.

This happens particularly during premonitory dreams, as opposed to waking premonitions. The dream premonition may "light up with glowing significance," as one individual put it, as if it is "realer than real." The dream can seem so important that one has the urge to record it, or to wake one's spouse or partner and share it.

In addition to these criteria, many people simply develop an intuitive feel for when to pay attention to a premonition and when to ignore it. Their sensitivities become refined and calibrated with increasing experience.

I've found, too, that reading about others' premonitions speeds the learning process, such as those described in The Gift, a compendium of cases from the files of the Rhine Research Center.

Moreover, there are Internet discussion groups where people can share and compare their premonitory dreams, such as the Web site of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD).

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