Thursday, December 04, 2008

Involuntary Prophets ?

Mentioning James Michener and Nevil Shute yesterday called to mind a post of mine from 2 years ago. (My oh my, 2 years! Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself?) I'm re-posting a slightly adjusted version,'cos I still find the subject intriguing.

ACCIDENTAL PROPHETS(First posted 10 December 2006).

James Michener seemed to have amazing foresight. Several of his novels featuring a particular country, in depth, were each followed some years later by the same countries coming into prominence on the world stage. In a long interview here: , he said
"I think that some of us have a deep seated sensitive antennae about what is going to happen. And somebody the other day, a fine professor, made an introduction of me, which I had not thought about, but which I had thought about a great deal since. At that time, in the world, there were about a half dozen trouble spots: the Near East, the Jewish-Arab relationships, South Africa, revolution in Poland, the emergence of Japan, the absorption in the United States of two outlying territories like Hawaii and Alaska and four or five other things. And he pointed out that I had written full-length books about all these areas before they came into prominence. And I did! There they are. Look at the dates. Now this cannot be because I was exceptionally brilliant. I am not brilliant. I'm something else. I don't know what the word would be, but it isn't brilliant."

Nevil Shute, author of one of my favourite books "A Town Like Alice", wrote a couple of novels which later seemed to have been prophetic. "No Highway" published in 1948 dealt with what might happen due to metal fatigue in aircraft. His ideas came close to fact with the Comet disasters of the 1950s. Another novel,"What Happened to the Corbetts" also published as "Ordeal" was written just before the start of WorldWar2. It tells how badly aerial bombing affected a town similar to Southampton, in the south of England, and how the bombing of civilians became a major part of the war. British people of a certain age will have no trouble recognising this as fact! His novel "On the Beach", a story of the world ending as a result of the explosion of atomic bombs, thankfully has not yet proved prophetic. It could still be "pending" however, should people forget the warning bells it rang! Shute also touched on a slightly supernatural theme in a novel called "Round the Bend" in which an aircraft mechanic becomes the mystical leader of a religious movement.

Seeing a slight correspondence between Michener and Shute, I searched around for other instances of novels which, without purporting to be science fiction, portray events which later came to pass in real life.

American author Morgan Robertson produced an early example in his story "Futility". He told of a ship called Titan which sank in a way eerily similar to The Titanic, 14 years later. When this book was written there were no ships of such enormous size being built. Robertson also appeared to be crystal-gazing when he later(1914) wrote a book called "Beyond the Spectrum". In this book, he described a war in the future, fought using aircraft which dropped "sun bombs" on their targets. These were powerful enough for a single bomb to destroy a city. When this book was written, aeroplanes were small, flimsy, and unreliable machines capable of carrying one person. Nuclear weapons were still unimagined. Robertson's war began in the month of December, as did the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the USA into WW2.

Michener was born 1907, Shute 1899 and Robertson 1861.

There are, of course, common sense explanations for the authors' apparent ability to see into the future, these men were not deliberately trying to predict events, as far as we know.

Michener didn't foresee actual events, but was drawn or inspired to write about countries which later came to prominence for one reason or another. He was widely travelled, highly intelligent, politically minded and had lived in all the countries he wrote about. Common sense would say that he was "putting two and two together" with a bit of Aquarian intuition.

was a skilled aeronautical engineer as well as novelist. He had technical knowledge more than sufficient to foresee possible outcomes where the area of his expertise was involved. "An accident waiting to happen", in the case of metal fatigue, and some extrapolation of known facts in the case of aerial warfare ?

Robertson was the son of a ship's captain and spent some time as a cabin boy himself, so the sea was "in his blood", he had no doubt heard some tall tales from the old salts he must have encountered. These, with a little embroidery, might have helped him to invent his ship Titan. His "Beyond the Spectrum" published in 1914 is harder to explain.

Those are explanations for the skeptics. Someone more open-minded, and sensitive to peculiar coincidences like these, might see a different explanation.

Novelists and short story writers continually tap into vast resources of imagination. For hours at a time, on a regular basis, their minds are "elsewhere", concentrating outside of the mundane. Isn't this akin to meditation? Could it be that as they concentrate so intently in realms of the imaginary, coloured with knowledge stored in their memory banks, they somehow inadvertently seep through a time barrier or into another dimension?

Any correspondences in the natal charts of these three writers?

Morgan Robertson born 30 September 1861 Oswego, New York
Nevil Shute born 17 January 1899, Ealing, England
James Michener born 3 February 1907, New York

1. All 3 writers have Sun and Mercury in the same sign (not uncommon.)

2. In Robertson's case Neptune opposes Sun. Shute and Michener both have Neptune and Sun inconjunct(quincunx).

So....Neptune's aspects to the Sun may well be significant, especially as Mercury (writers' planet) shares the same sign as Sun in the three charts.

More detail:
Robertson: Sun at 7 Libra/Neptune at 00Aries (Aries Point) opposition
Shute: Sun at 27 Capricorn/Neptune at 22 Gemini- inconjunct (quincunx)
Michener: Sun at 14 Aquarius/Neptune at 10 Cancer-inconjunct(quincunx)

Neptune represents imagination and mysticism. Maybe the push-pull of an opposition, or friction from a quincunx aspect Neptune/Sun can push aside the "veil" of present reality. When individuals with such aspects engage in activities needing acute and long-term concentration, it could be that their visions become more than simple imagination. An interesting subject for research.

Morgan Robertson, the writer with Sun and Neptune in opposition, dispayed the most surprising ability of the three authors, but the other two do exhibit lesser, or more explainable, examples though still remarkable.

Perhaps the best explanation, for now, is that intense concentration of a mind with certain Neptune/Sun energies in-built, and knowledge in specific fields, gained from experience, can result in reasonably accurate prognostication. It sounds reasonable enough to me!


Wisewebwoman said...

I can proudly say,T, that I read everything Shute ever wrote, I used to do that with authors when I had the luxury of acres of time and youth to go with it.
Michener not so much, some of his writing I found too dense.
But they were extraordinarily prophetic, goose bumpy.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I'm impressed. Shute was such a good storyteller, and a fairly easy read - compared to Michener, that is.

I couldn't read Michener without first seeing a TV series or movie to give me a rough outline. My mind is too impatient. But once I'd seen "Centennial" and "Hawaii" I was able to read and enjoy the books - and find much more in them than had appeared on screen.

I keep meaning to try to read some of his other novels, but the internet has put paid to my book days.