Continuing my rethinking of blog posts from several years ago:
A blog reader back then questioned me about the ability of Chuck, the protagonist of Last of the Annamese, to foresee the future. How could that be? How did it work?
In Last of the Annamese, I describe Chuck’s ability to study current intelligence and foretell what the enemy was about to do as follows: “. . . he’d let his consciousness rove over patterns and trends and the flow of events until he knew what was going to happen next.”
That description is derived from my own experience. How does it work? I have no idea. The best I can tell you is that I’d discovered how to let my consciousness blur while I studied events. I’d let my mind wander over the data. Then, sometimes suddenly, I’d know what would happen next. I don’t know how I did it. Others with the same gift were equally puzzled.
One result was that I and other members of our team developed over the years a series of indicators. When the North Vietnamese did x, y followed. We were so successful that we predicted accurately every major offensive undertaken by the North Vietnamese during the war.
Our system was too vague to be called scientific; it was intuition at work. I’ve always thought that the best analogy was the sense of smell: it was almost as if when a certain combination of scents appeared, I’d foresee the next event. My guess is that the gift springs from an ability to be in touch with one’s unconscious. That ability dominates my writing.
But reading the future was confined to my intelligence work. It didn’t function in ordinary living. So I’m like every other human being: I’m regularly surprised by the turn of events in everyday life. I may have been a talented professional at work, but I remain the clunky amateur at home.