How I Beat Slot Machines With My Dreams

“Dreams speak like forecasters of the future.” –Lord Byron
My natural journalistic skepticism used to be so rigidly enforced that what I am about to tell you would previously have been treated by me as laughable. An unusual event loosened my straitjacket of doubt about what is possible in life. It presented a jaw-dropping challenge to all of my comforting notions about the boundaries of our consensus reality.

A mystery man named Andy, who I met in Las Vegas, claimed to have perfected an intuitive money-making technique using his dreams. After I watched him in action at gaming tables, I was intrigued enough by his success that I decided to test a version of his method.

For six nights straight, as I drifted off to sleep, I mentally repeated to myself, over and over, these words: “Please give me a precognitive dream about winning money or making money…”
This mantra, or wish, or prayer, was directed at programming my own unconscious mind. To even begin this process, I had to suspend my agnosticism and disbelief. I had to drop any pretense of knowing anything about how the ‘laws’ of causality and probability theory work. Instead, I tried to keep myself open and accepting of whatever images and feelings might surface, no matter how ridiculous my rational mind judged them to be.

After six nights of practicing my money mantra — which had the unexpected benefit of lulling me quickly into a deep sleep — no dream memories had been shaken loose that I remembered the next morning, at least none that felt meaningful beyond my own psychological material.

It’s worth noting that my intention in conducting this experiment wasn’t to enhance my lifestyle in any material way. If anything, besides curiosity, it may simply be that I was exploring another avenue of seeking evidence for a more profound meaning in life. In hindsight, I now realize that not having greed or financial incentives as a motivation for my experiment may have been a key to the unusual sequence of events which unfolded.

An Image Jolts Me Awake
On the seventh night I did my usual sleep inducement routine of “Please give me a precognitive dream about winning money or making money…” Sometime in the early morning hours of Monday, September 15, 2003, a vivid dream image jolted me awake. I clearly saw three diamond symbols on the pay line of a dollar slot machine. It was just a single, simple image, yet it seared a sharp impression powerful enough to startle me into wakefulness. Though no other details appeared in the dream, or at least in my memory of the dream, to indicate either the timing or the setting, I felt certain this image portrayed a dollar machine at the Konocti Vista Casino, a nearby Pomo Indian casino in the wine country of northern California, where several dozen of the slot machines were already familiar to me.

For much of that day I puzzled over whether the dream image had portrayed three ‘double diamond’ symbols, or three ‘triple diamond’ symbols on the pay line. These were two similar slot machines usually programmed with different payout possibilities. But the image had been too fleeting for me to know with certainty.

That night I phoned my friend Donald Altman, a psychoanalyst in Portland, Oregon, and expressed to him my feeling that the image might be a glimpse of the future. He shared this information with his wife, Sanda. Don is a former Buddhist monk who had been a friend ever since he and his wife were my neighbors a decade earlier in Redondo Beach, California.

Over the next week I periodically reflected on the dream and how the missing element had been any sense of timing about when it might come true. My trust in intuition as an early warning system had matured over the previous year, so I decided to stay alert to any developments or sensations that might signal a triggering of the dream’s resolution.

What I interpreted to be an auspicious sign came when a woman friend who had owed me a considerable amount of money for many months made a first payment on the loan. It felt like an energetic blockage had been removed, as her failure to repay any part of her debt had been a source of daily concern. That feeling of relief and release signaled me it was time to visit the casino.

After depositing her check at my bank in the small town of Lakeport, I drove toward Konocti Vista Casino still puzzling over whether I should concentrate my play on double or triple diamond machines. Once inside, I settled myself in front of a double diamond slot machine located near the casino’s front entrance and began playing a maximum bet of two dollars at a time. Winnings accumulated almost immediately, $120 on my second button push, then a series of other wins until I had about $400 in credits.

At this point I felt confident the machine was about to produce a major jackpot. I glanced at my watch–it was 5 p.m. Again I pushed the play button. Symbols on the three reels whirled into a blur. Then three double diamond symbols froze almost simultaneously on the pay line, followed immediately by jaunty John Phillip Sousa march music and lights flashing atop the machine. I had won $1,600, the maximum jackpot on this particular machine. My dream had seemingly come true and I felt absolutely elated.

The Dream Yields More
Because it was too late to deposit my cash winnings in the bank, I decided to make a special bank trip early the next day. Around 9:30 the following morning I left home and was driving toward the bank, feeling happy and lucky, when a mischievous thought inflamed my curiosity. What if I had been uncertain in my dream about whether double or triple diamonds had appeared because BOTH options were true! Maybe the dream symbolized that I would win a double AND a triple diamond jackpot!

Making a u-turn, I sped away from my bank in Lakeport and toward the Konocti Vista Casino. The first triple diamond dollar slot machine I spotted stood just inside the casino’s front entrance, not far from the double diamond machine I won on the previous day. I approached the triple diamond machine and in one fluid movement inserted a twenty dollar bill, made the maximum bet of two dollars, and punched the play button. Reels whirled and a triple-diamond symbol settled on the pay line, followed in quick succession by two more triple-diamond symbols. The machine shuddered for an instant before erupting into a loud, happy and by now familiar musical jackpot tune. I had hit a combination worth $2,500, the largest possible jackpot on that machine!

“Did I see you only play two dollars?” asked an elderly gentleman sitting at the adjoining machine, as if unable to believe his eyes.

“That’s right,” I replied gleefully. “Have you ever seen someone hit a jackpot on the first bet before?”

“Never,” he marveled. “You must be one lucky guy.”

“Let’s just say I pay attention to my dreams,” was my cryptic reply.

A Logical Explanation?
For days afterward I pondered the implications of what had happened and tried to detach myself from the experience and examine it from the perspective of a hardened skeptic. I found the experience to be a challenge to rationality, so it was easy for me to imagine why someone else might stubbornly resist any explanation other than the predictable ‘that was just a bizarre coincidence’ sort of dismissal.

Here is how my thought process worked in analyzing what happened to me. If I had played for hours at the casino every day for a week after my dream, maybe I could have been lucky enough to hit two jackpots back to back anyway because probability theory and the law of averages dictated that I would. Okay, I told myself. But this scenario doesn’t fully account for the wildcard factors of conscious intent and intuition. I didn’t play the machines until — and only until — I got a strong intuitive feeling about the timing!

My double jackpot win defied classification as anything so trivial as a coincidence or a freak run of beginner’s luck. First, I set an intention to have a dream that would result in winning money. Second, I subsequently had a specific dream image, a prediction that I relayed to another person as a witness, and it came true not once but twice on successive days. Third, the triple diamond jackpot came on the first play that I made on the first triple diamond machine that I played. Fourth, never before in my life had I won a double or triple diamond jackpot on a dollar slot machine until that week after my dream, which was the first and only dream I ever had concerning slot machines.

If what I experienced was nothing more profound than a synchronicity, a meaningful pattern of coincidences, then a case can be made that precognition and synchronicity are twin forces animating the same unusual phenomenon.

Continue reading here: The Militarization of Mind Power

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