Clifford Pickover's Dreaming The Future gathers accounts of a range of peoples who have had experiences reading fortunes and foretelling events. From contrasts between different methods of prediction and their underlying theories to evaluations of prophecies made through the pages, this is a more organized, contrasting study than most.
Clifford Pickover takes us on a thrilling journey through time to learn how people have utilized a wide variety of divination methods to catch glimpses of the future. DREAMING THE FUTURE succeeds on many levels; it contains one of the most complete assortments of divination methods ever brought together in one book, it describes fascinating accounts of how divination and prophets have changed history, and it provides the reader with many useful do-it-yourself guides to try divination techniques at home.
DREAMING THE FUTURE is an entertaining and educational read whether you are actively involved with divination methods, are simply interested to know more about them and how they've been used, or are downright skeptical that such things could have any accuracy whatsoever. Pickover frequently refers to himself as being a skeptic throughout this book, yet he does not fall victim to scientism -- the belief that scientific hypotheses are immutable "laws", rather than ever-changing theories. Pickover requests that people first rule out the ways we can be tricked, to avoid blindly accepting assertions of paranormal or mystical experience.
I particularly enjoyed reading about the wide variety of oracles involving animal behavior, dowsing, candle flames, numerology, automatic writing, cheese shapes, tea leaves, crystals, breathing over a vase of water, sounds and movements of the wind, sand, geomancy, feng shui, fortune cookies, and random remarks overheard in crowds. I finished reading this book feeling inspired to try out new kinds of divination methods that weren't even mentioned, because I regained the sense that we can receive spiritual information from all of our senses in every situation, everywhere, all the time.