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Precog, stands for precognition, this uncanny ability to see the future. Some of us are innately better at it than others, but most of us are simply victims of childhood trauma and our own brain chemistry. Our brains simply pattern off of negative future tripping and get very skilled at it. That is the default mode, part of our design that enables us to think, “so if I touch the fire I’ll get burned.”

We are future tripping meaning not living in the present but rather in an imaginary future scenario that hasn’t even happened yet. Your brain really doesn’t know the difference, it’s already experiencing the stress of having burned yourself. That’s one reason why hyper-vigilance and anxiety can be so unhealthy.

One problem with this system when it goes awry is that you can only see the negative. Pretty soon every single scenario has a myriad of negative outcomes and that is where you just start to live, you just take up residence there, constantly reacting to potential negative events that haven’t even happened yet.

For a variety of reasons, child abuse, abandonment, not being safe, trauma, having too much responsibility put on us, chemicals in the environment, many develop hyper-vigilance, anxiety disorders, and a need to try to control future events. It is built on a lie that tries to suggest, “if I do all the right things, I can control the outcome.” The flip side of that is, “if anything goes wrong, it is entirely my fault.”

That idea, “if I do all the right things, I can control the outcome,” is a concept strongly reinforced by culture, society, and marketing. The whole reason why we buy certain products is because we have been lead to believe this product will enable us to control the outcome. Your wrinkle cream is going to reverse aging and your diet pills are going to make you thin. Add in some protestant work ethic and a baby boomer generation that seems to have no idea that the world has changed, and all you’re left with is a sense of failure. Why can’t I control the outcomes like everyone else seems to be doing?

This notion is not supported by faith, at all, thank God. Like, literally, thank God for preserving that truth because it is hard to find elsewhere. This lie can be found in some of pop culture Christianity or perhaps in some aspects of the prosperity gospel, but not in the Bible, not in the culture, tradition, and history of the church. I love me some Matthew 10, “Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues.” It is as if God is saying, follow me, be a good person, make all the right choices, and the payoff will be that you will face certain arrest, possible execution. Tally ho!

Jesus, perfect, sin free, who really did make all the “right choices,” still suffered and died on our behalf. So this idea of, ” just be a good person and you’ll get good things” is not supported within our faith anywhere. In fact, often the precise opposite.

For me personally that verse really opened my eyes up to the possibility that I might be suffering from a delusion, a lie, a bit of cultural gaslighting that tries to suggest the world is run exclusively off of cause and effect, my own. Make good choices, get good results. “Do all the right things, I can control the outcome.”

Morbid, I know, but I do enjoy collecting strange tales of a thousand ways to die. Death is a great equalizer and it exposes some aspects of our own freewill delusions and lies. Recently a man was killed when a train hit a cow, flung it across the tracks, and it landed on this poor guy just sitting in a lawn chair. Horrible I know, but I bet no one saw that one coming.

You simply cannot prepare for every possible outcome, but more importantly you shouldn’t constantly try because it robs you of the present, and of being in His presence. Wisdom also suggests, we are not always able to understand what the “best outcome” actually is. I have been with people praying for a loved one to just stay out of jail and had the sudden revelation that jail would be the best possible thing that could happen to them. Sometimes it is harder to get drugs in jail and few days of sobriety could open up some new possibilities.

Right?! I also know a man who had an awful motorcycle wreck but in the process of scanning his brain they found a tumor that they were able to treat that no one knew was there. I wouldn’t wish a horrible crash on anybody, but it was the best thing that could have happened for his future well being.

Alas, not all outcomes are so easily understood with such obvious good lurking within them. I am just saying that sometimes what we think is best is not always what “is” going to be best.

There is another kind of precognition, more of a narcissistic kind that is driven by pride and often engages in self fulfilling prophecies. It declares, “that will never work,” proceeds to engage in subversive sabotage, and then pridefully celebrates, “I told you so! See, you should have listened to me.” That kind of precognition is about puffing oneself up, about exercising power and control, domination, having a savior complex. I don’t just control the outcome, I get to control other people, too.

Blech! I’ve known lots of people like this in my lifetime. Avoid them.

Which all brings me to eschatology and why I simply believe in abiding panism. That is where you just abide, secure in the knowledge that it will all pan out. That is a bit of a joke, but there is some real wisdom there.