The Future Memory Mandela Effect Connection
The first connection between the Mandela Effect and the concept of future memory was published in PMH Atwater’s 1999 book, Future Memory. Future Memory featured an entire chapter dedicated to the Mandela Effect subject, also known as Reality Shifts, and included a number of what we would now call personal Mandela Effect experiences. While we think primarily of the Mandela Effect in terms of groups of people remembering different facts and different histories, there’s currently not so much discussion or conversation bringing together the topic of Future Memory with the Mandela Effect.
Many years before Atwater published Future Memory, science fiction author Philip K. Dick spoke in an talk presented in Metz, France in 1977 about his view of reality being rather malleable. Philip K. Dick wrote many stories that we are now familiar with as movies and TV series, such as Blade Runner, The Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, and The Man in the High Castle. In this talk, “If you find this world bad, you should see some of the others,” Philip describes how he was able to access memories of very different lives. Philip points out that, “We are accustomed to supposing that all change takes place along linear time axis from past to present to future,” and goes on to point out:
“An orthogonal or right angle time axis could exist–a lateral domain, in which change takes place–processes occurring sideways in reality, so to speak. This is almost impossible to imagine. How would we perceive such lateral changes? What would we experience? What clues, if we are trying to test out this bizarre theory, should we be on the alert for? In other words, how can change take place outside of linear time at all, in any sense, to any degree?”
These hypothetical questions posed by Philip K. Dick turn out to be highly prescient of what we now refer to as the Mandela Effect. Philip didn’t stop there; he continues in his talk to provide an example of the type of subtle changes he expects to transpire, if indeed changes do not take place solely in the forward-through-time fashion expected in classical physics. Philip presents a metaphor of a wealthy patron of the arts who instructs his servants to hang a new picture each day above his fireplace. Each day the servants remove the previous day’s picture and hang a new one. Until one day, the servants realize they could make things a lot easier by simply making some changes to the current picture, by removing a tree here and adding a person there.
“The employer enters his living room after dinner, seats himself facing the fireplace, and contemplates what should be, according to his expectations, the new picture. What does he see? It certainly isn’t what he saw previously, but also it isn’t somehow–and here we must become very sympathetic with this somewhat stupid man–because we can virtually see his brain circuits striving to understand. His brain circuits are saying, ‘Yes, it is a new picture; it is not the same one as yesterday. But also it IS the same one. I think I feel on a very deep intuitive basis, I feel that somehow I’ve seen it before. I seem to remember a tree, though, and there is no tree.'”
Memories of possible futures
Philip K. Dick’s biographers point out that Philip demonstrated strong proof of his precognitive memories, most notably with an eerily accurate future memory of his own demise. Philip described how people would one day find his body lying face-down between his sofa and coffee table. While this was the exact position paramedics found his body, in actuality Philip was still alive when they found him, and the paramedics were able to take Philip to the hospital, where he later died after having experienced a massive stroke.
False memory connection
There appears to be a connection between false memories and innocent people admitting to or being convicted of crimes that they did not commit. In an interesting side-note coincidence, a good deal of the money Philip K. Dick earned from his vast body of works was donated to Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization dedicated to exonerating innocent convicts. As it turns out, false memories are now often considered the underlying causal reason resulting in erroneous convictions of innocent people going to jail for crimes they did not commit.
Quantum models of cognition
Swedish scientist and physician D.H. Ingvar published a paper in 1985, “Memory of the Future,” which presented the cogent argument that humans have “inner futures” which can be recalled spontaneously, whenever desired, and with great detail. The concept Ingvar presented is that our human ability to imagine a “simulation of behavior” takes place in our cognitive centers by mentally reviewing “alternative hypothetical behavior patterns in order to be ready for what may happen.” Ingvar’s conceptualization of a human “memory of the future” is very well aligned with the more current work of Jerome Busemeyer and Peter Bruza, as published in their book, Quantum Models of Cognition and Decision. The insight Ingvar brings is that we can view the present as being influenced by the future–which turns out to be something we’ve now seen to be proven true in recent quantum physics experiments.
More recent scientific research into memories of the future featuring new insights into the adaptive value of episodic memory reveals that, “more positive and neutral simulations were remembered than negative simulations after the long delay.” It would seem that humans have a built-in bias toward remembering most auspicious possible futures, and selectively tending to forget negative scenarios.
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at: