Precognitive dreams are dreams about future events and are the most common form of precognition experienced by people. Precognitive dreams are often seen as omens and warnings and can be used to avoid danger or avert disasters. For some, precognitive dreams can become a cause of anxiety for the dreamers and can lead to isolation from friends and family members. According to Carl Jung, psychic energy may play an important role in the phenomenon.
Records of precognitive dreams date back to 2,000 years ago. Historical texts and passages in the Bible talk about precognition and precognitive dreams occurring to important historical and Biblical personalities such as the prophet Samuel, King David, Joseph father of Jesus Christ, Hannibal, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Elias Lowe, the inventor of the sewing machine. Other famous personalities who dreamt about future events include Abe Lincoln, who dreamt about his death days before his assassination and Constantine I, whose dream about the flaming cross led to his conversion to Christianity. Several people who perished in the Titanic were reported to have dreamt about the tragedy prior to that fatal voyage.
Believers of precognitive dreams propose that precognitive dreams are a way of perceiving the probable future by following the stream of consciousness forward. Precognitive dreams are representations of the probable future and not a predestined future, since every dreamer has free will and can eventually change his or her future choices.
Aside from precognitive dreams, visions about the future also appear in waking states, through hallucinations and through sudden, unexplained flashes of information.