Our expert says:
Well, I do believe that some people have premonitions, at times, but there can be other ways to understand the items you list. One is that after something significant and disturbing, such as losing someone we care about, we really badly want to make some sort of sense out of it, so we look back for clues, and ways to interpret events and remarks, in this light. For instance, several of us have thought fondly of the gatherings, but have had various reasons for expecting that we personally won't manage to get to one of them. And most people don't meet me --- that's not how this forum is structured. And so on. So it is also possible that each of the examples you quote have a different explanation, too.
And also, I tend to wonder why Ruler, good guy though I really think he was, visited this Forum. Presumably at various levels he himself felt sad and troubled, and wanted to explore such areas. Such people may feel what are eiher premonitions or more simply a sense of a foreshortened future, a feeling that they might not be around for long, for whatver reason that might be.
Sometimes, people with a range of problems engage in what we call Indirect Self-Destructive Behaviour ( with my old pal Norman Farberow, we once wrote a whole book about it ). They are not suicidal in the ways we usually think about it, but often engage in risky behaviours --- dangerous "Action" sports, some manner of neglect of their health and safety. In one study we found evidence that people who "have a go" at bank robbbers during a robbery, instead of just lying quietly and obediently until it is all over, were people of this type, and actually if their physical health or freedom was limited in some way, had a higher than usual direct suicide rate. To some people, it is a form of gambling with fate --- as one such guy ( now fortunately still alove and well ) said to me years ago, it was casting his fate into the lap of God, and, he said "If I live, then maybe God loves me. And If I don't, then it won't matter".
Also, as we grow older, and as we get exposed to the capricious and often arbitrary nature of life's dangers, we find, without expecting early death, that we no longer assume that we will have eternal life here on earth. We'll be happy to stay around while there are useful things to do, but no longer assume that we'll always be here.
At any rate, while respecting possible premonitions, we mustn't ( because it can be dangerous to do so ) assume that all such experiences are that, rather than, for instance, varieties of the gloomy thought patterns of Depression, because Depression can and should be, treated.
NLM< thanks for giving us the background information. Our thoughts continue to be with you and his friends. He was a good guy who at one stage seemed to allow his aggressiveness dominate, and then found a far better way to use those energies for good. I think maybe his scraps and conversations here helped him towards the excellent changes he was making ; it's sad that such a good "work in progress" got interrupted. Maybe a good memorial would be for each person who encountered him to find their own way to be useful and helpful towards others.
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