Dreams that predict the future

DREAM, PREMONITIONS 2 Comments »

dream of a road with potholes

Do dreams ever predict the future?  I’m convinced sometimes, yes they do.  We certainly make a mistake if we imagine every dream is a premonition.  But sometimes they are, and that is really curious.  How and why this happens on occasion is hard to understand.  Perhaps the subconscious mind understands matters our waking consciousness does not perceive.

How to know when a dream is possibly predictive?  There are clues.  One clue is when we need to talk to people about a dream remembered that seems full of significance but is not clearly understood.  These dreams are vividly recalled and have an impact.  I have such a story.

About three years ago I was giving a lift to a friend, and she starting talking about a dream she had.  In her dream she was driving down a road filled with potholes.  Some were small, some were large and one was the size of a swimming pool, crater-sized.  In her dream, as she drove down the road she had to swerve drastically to avoid the potholes.  There was traffic coming down the other side of the road as well, and the opposing side had potholes as well.  She had to swerve into this road and avoid the oncoming traffic.  When she approached the crater-sized pothole she thought she was doomed, but was able to avoid it.

Telling me about this dream, I suggested the symbolism was obvious…the road of life, the journey ahead will be filled with “potholes”.  Dangers lie ahead.  What these dangers would be the dream didn’t offer.  We talked about possibilities, but had not clue.  Something was waiting beyond the typical trials of normal everyday life.  I made a mental note of her dream.

Less then a month after our discussion, she discovered she had breast cancer.  She was suddenly cast onto a journey she never expected.  She took chemotherapy.  She was weak and exhausted by the chemo.  She still had to drag herself to work and earn a living.  While her health insurance covered most of her medical bills, going to work most everyday was difficult.  The chemo did not cure the cancer.  Eventually she had to have a mastectomy.  Her road was indeed filled with potholes, and surgery (and recovery from cancer) was likely the big crater in her road.

The good news is that with support from her family, she was able to endure this personal trial and is now cancer free.  She avoided falling into potholes and craters by doing what she had to…swerving and coping.

This past week she has undergone reconstructive surgery for her breast and is doing fine.

Sometimes a dream may offer a glimpse of the future.  This future may not be avoidable and thus we have to drive our car on the road of life with agility and caution.  She did not dream she crashed into the potholes but avoided them.  And so she did with her experience with cancer.

I want to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.

A Widow’s Cancer Prophecy Vision

PREMONITIONS No Comments »

FOUNTAIN PROPHECY

Debbie is a widow. Her husband died over a year and a half ago from complications related to a severe stroke he suffered. Her husband was over 15 years older then herself, but he was a healthy older man otherwise…until the stroke. Obviously being a widow and outliving your husband is not something easily dealt with, but Debbie managed.

Debbie said that over 6 months ago, she had a vision. It was not a dream, but in her view it was a genuine vision. As she lay in bed, beside her bed appeared a fountain. She described it as unnaturally beautiful and amazing as the fountain poured out crystals like diamonds in the shape of water drops instead of simply water. She was amazed at this almost celestial vision. It was something she never experienced before or since.

Then she heard a Voice.

The Voice said, “Do not be afraid, everything will be fine, in honor of your husband. Do not be afraid.” The Voice repeated its message and then the vision faded away.

What did this vision mean? Debbie had no idea, but was struck by what she had seen.

A month and a half later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no clue. This was a pretty nasty form of breast cancer.  The cancer physically erupted from her breast as she checked it. She had to go for chemo.  As a working woman, this was difficult but she showed up for work regardless; she had no choice.   Eventually her breast was removed, and then she returned for radiation treatment. It was rough for her.   Fortunately Debbie had her grown children to aid her through this ordeal.

During her treatment she didn’t know if this would be a death sentence.  Today Debbie has endured her treatment and she is ok.  She assumes the vision of the fountain and the Voice was from God.  It was a prophecy meant to comfort her during her cancer ordeal.  Curiously, the voice mentioned her husband. The voice said her recovery would be in honor of her husband who was a serious Christian man.

This accurate cancer prophecy was intriguing.  Debbie received a warning that did not exactly spell out the problem, but warned of trouble on the horizon.  When such warning appears, take notice!

Additionally, can the dead make appeals for the living?  This “voice” specifically mentioned her dead husband.   Her deceased husband adds another element into this. It is thought dead saints can petition for the benefit of the living. Debbie’s husband was a very pious, religious man.  Can our dead relatives do the same?  Some religions practice ancestor worship for that very purpose. Debbie does not believe in any such thing, but perhaps there is something to the concept. The Voice said, “In honor of her husband” she would be ok.

Do the dead watch out for us?  Sometimes when I am in stress and near despair, I feel as if my mother is beside me.  This may not be just be in our imagination.

The Stigmata Effect or Sympathetic Bleeding

PREMONITIONS 4 Comments »

At work the other day I had a spontaneous nosebleed.  It startled me, as I haven’t had a nosebleed in a long time, and it was a fairly serious nosebleed.  I had to go to the company bathroom and used toilet paper to clean up my nose (picture above).  The picture was the tissue thrown in my desk’s garbage bin.  The next day I wondered if cleaning crew emptied the garbage, because I wanted to retrieve these tissues.  Why bother?

Around noon the same day of my morning nosebleed my father called me to say my brother was in the hospital.  His breathing had failed him.  He’d been taken to the hospital that morning, barely able to stand or breath.

I immediately left to visit the hospital.  My brother has cancer.  His kidney cancer spread to his lungs.  At the hospital the doctor said his lungs had been replaced by the tumor.  His lungs really don’t exist anymore.  There was nothing that could be done.

This was the worst day of my life.  I knew he had cancer, but approaching the end is always shocking.  And then I thought…why did my nose bleed at the exact same time as my brother was taken to the hospital?  It might have been the stigmata effect or sympathetic bleeding.

There is a belief that we share a bond with those we love. There are countless accounts of people who had premonitions of a loved one’s death or disaster.  There seems to be a psychic bond with those we are closest with and can sense when they are in danger or dismay.

At my workplace, as every workplace, there is not much place for empathy but for the steady grind of what we need to accomplish.  I wonder…was my nosebleed sympathetic bleeding?  The stigmata effect concerns spontaneous bleeding for emotional or spiritual reasons.  The stigmata are thought to be related to those who relate in empathy to the suffering of Christ during the crucifixion.  Was my nosebleed the stigmata effect, but far less grandiose? Or was it simply synchronicity?  I don’t know.  But the last picture I took of my brother was of him coughing in a tissue.  Above are the  image of the tissues of my nosebleed that I retrieved from my garbage bin.  When my bother dies, he will be cremated.  And I will place these tissues in his urn.  Synchronicity works in mysterious ways.

If psychic ability exists why can’t anyone predict winning lottery numbers?

PREMONITIONS 10 Comments »

Here is a common question.  If psychic abilities such as precognition are reality why can’t anyone seem to pick winning lottery numbers?  If psychic precognition is true, predicting winning lottery numbers should be commonplace.  Why isn’t it happening?  Skeptics roll their eyes, sigh, and say it’s because precognition doesn’t exist.  That is the wrong answer.

The answer:  People actually do predict winning lottery numbers.

The problem is with the question.  We don’t understand precognition and other similar psychic phenomena.  Precognition is not something anyone can call on at will.  We assume some individuals can because of the claims of so-called psychics.  Professional psychics are either scam artists, or have a natural talent but understand its limits even if they won’t admit it (bad for business).

Precognition and other psychic phenomena occur spontaneously and are generally uncontrollable.  It just happens out-of-the-blue.  Some people may never experience such a thing once in their entire lifetime, but for others it may happen fairly often.  Precognition happens on its own terms, and why and when is a mystery.

Steve’s Story.

Of interest was a comment from the Steve, the blogger of the cool Ghostly TimesHere is what Steve wrote:

“I dreamed of the number 2895 and wondered why I would have that number pop up in a dream. 6 months later 2895 is the winning lottery numbers. I remember the dream. I start thinking about the dream and convince myself that I just had the dream and should have played the lottery. Was it a prophecy or coincidence?”

A straight pick-4 lottery number has a 1 in 10,000 chance of winning.  Because a state lottery pays out only half of what the odds should provide (keeping the balance for its self) the prize is only $5,000.  A very bad deal.  Never the less, had Steve played both the mid-day and evening game for 6 months he would have bought 360 tickets at a cost of $360 and won 5K.  A winning coincidence!

Frank’s Story.

Jim told me the story of Frank. Frank was his friend from long ago.  Frank was a retired postal worker who lived in an apartment in Chicago across the street from a pool hall.  Jim was into pool and became friends with Frank who was a regular at this pool parlor.

Around two decades ago Frank won the Illinois lottery for 7 million dollars.  Back then there was no lump sum payout, so Frank got $300,000 a year from the State of Illinois.  Frank told Jim he dreamed of these winning lottery numbers.

I asked Jim for details. How long after his dream did he win?  Was it soon afterwards or years later? How often did Frank play the lottery?  Jim didn’t have an answer.  Jim said he just recalled his friend had said he dreamed his winning numbers.

Frank had two younger beautiful ladies as friends.  Frank was never married and without children, so why not be a sugar daddy?  Frank drove a Cadillac, which he often lent to his ladies to use for errands.  When they were out with his car, Frank borrowed Jim’s car.  That is what friends are for.

Frank has since passed away. I wish I had more details about Frank’s dream.  If by sheer happenstance anyone knows of Frank and can provide some details, please contact me.  His name was Frank Standish or Stanish.  Information about genuine precognition is important and should be shared.

Lillian’s Story.

Here is my personal all-time favorite paranormal story.  I’ve written about this in a previous blog post but I will repeat it again.  This concerns my friend’s retired mom.  She went to her local convenience store to buy some lottery tickets.  She liked playing the Mega-Millions.

As she walked around the store, she heard a voice.  The voice was as clear as if someone stood next to her, and spoke three numbers.  She turned to see who was talking, but there was nobody there.  That was very strange she thought.

As her turn came up at the cash register, she said wanted to buy five straight pick-3 lottery tickets, all of them with the same three numbers she heard the voice tell her.  She never played the pick-3 but figured this was something to pay attention to.

The pick-3 lottery is played twice a day, the mid-day and the evening game.  Since she bought the tickets that morning she played the mid-day game.  When she got home she was curious to check out the results of the mid-day game.  She was stunned to discover the three numbers the voice gave her won!  She had 5 winning tickets each worth $500.  The odds were 1 in a 1,000.  She kept one ticket for herself and gave away the other four to each of her adult children.

This was quite the talk of the family.  At a wedding reception for her grandson, I chatted with her about this.  She didn’t have much more to say except it was very strange.  She never heard any voices before or since then.  What did she think the voice was?  She had no clue.

Is this all explained away as coincidence?  If so I want these types of coincidences happening to me!  I personally don’t recall ever dreaming about numbers.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  If I ever do dream of numbers and can remember them, you can be damn sure I will take notes and put them to good use.

Don’t Ignore Premonitions: A True Story

PREMONITIONS 4 Comments »

wifes-premonitionPremonitions and precognition are often lifesavers.  There are many instances where someone acted based on a premonition and avoided getting involved in a catastrophe.  As a child, my own father’s premonition saved our family from dying in a horrific tornado. 

However, sometimes a premonition may be an unwelcome event, if it is a portent of an unavoidable disaster.  In such an instance, is having a glimpse of the future desirable?  Which begs the question…is any fate unavoidable?

Here is a true story of a premonition told to me by the family members involved.  Jane and Tom was a married couple.  One day Jane had a vision, a premonition.  It was an awake, daytime vision.  In her brief vision, she saw her husband in church.  And he was with another woman.  Jane described the woman as short, wore glasses, was bowlegged, much younger then Tom, and with a family.  He was very happy and smiling. 

If I had a vision of my spouse happily with another person, I’d be concerned.  Jane told her husband about her vision, knowing Tom used to be a bit of a ladies man.  However, he found God and gave up his past and was now a devout, active Christian.  This vision/premonition was put aside as imagination.

Two years after her vision, Jane had a heart problem.  She went in for surgery.  However, after the surgery, there was a complication and the doctors recommended she return for further surgery.  For reasons we can only guess at, she didn’t want to go back to surgery.  She thought she was fine.  Well, she died not long afterwards.

Tom was now a widower.  He was an active churchgoer, which helped.  Two years after his wife’s death, he met a woman at church.  She was short, perhaps five feet tall.  She wore glasses and walked a little funny because she was bowlegged.  She had a family from her previous marriage and was 15 years younger then Tom.

Yes, they eventually married, and he was happily married again.  His second marriage surpassed his first. They remained together for nearly two decades until Tom passed away recently.  Tom never told his new wife the story of Jane’s vision, even after they married.  I can understand it might have seemed awkward.  But Tom’s daughters heard the story long ago.  All were stunned when Tom had a relationship with the very woman described in Jane’s vision.

Of course, such stories aren’t kept secret long.  Tom’s daughters told his second wife about the vision.  And Tom’s second wife personally told me this story.

There is a lesson here.  If we have a vision of our spouse happily with another person, then it means either the relationship will end, or we’ll die.  Jane’s premonition was a death premonition…her own.  She foresaw her husband in his future without her.  That is a pretty damn scary vision.  Maybe Jane could’ve prevented her own death, if she would’ve gone for that second surgery.  Perhaps her premonition was a warning for herself, which she didn’t heed.  True premonitions are rare and spontaneous events, and should not be ignored.

On the 11th Day: Terrorism, Uprisings, and Earthquakes. Why 11?

PREMONITIONS, SYNCHRONICITY 20 Comments »

day-11

Why has the 11th day recently become so significant?  There are always historic events, but few truly rivet the world’s attention.  One such terrible day was when terrorists flew the airplane Flight 11 into the twin towers of the World Trade Center (1_1 ?) on Sept. 11.  Forever after this terrorism became known as simply 9/11.

Now, in the 11th year of the new century, the 11th day is again taking on uncanny significance.

After the Egyptian uprisings, Hosni Mubarak resigned from the leadership of Egypt on February 11, 2011, changing the future of the Arab world.  The world’s attention was intently focused on events in the Middle East. It felt like the opposite of the 9/11 was taking place.

Then on March 11, a historic earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, followed by nuclear reactor leaks.  Again, the world watched the images of the destruction with shock, dismay and sympathy. 

Perhaps great and terrible events on the 11th day are only coincidence, part of humanity’s natural attempt to find meaning in random events.  Yet, this all has the feel of something important occurring outside of direct human perception.

11th-hourThe symbolism of the number 11 is loaded with dire significance. 11…is one after another one…1, 1.  11 is repetition, something destined to repeat itself.  The term the “11th hour” suggests a time for reckoning.  The number has been considered a corruption of the perfect number ten, as if to add something to perfection makes it imperfect, a symbol of disorder.  Then there is the 11:11 phenomenon, where for some find certain numbers appearing regularly in their personal lives.

The question going forward: will the 11th day continue to have outsized significance?

Some comments to my blog offer insights into the future using the numerology of 11.

From Susan:
The Quake was on 3/10/11 + 9/11/01 = 12/21/12.  The exact date predicted to be the end of days on the Mayan calendar. Fate or Chance?  It is eerie regardless.

From Raj
Check this terrorist attack on Mumbai (India) Dates:
26/11/2008 = 2045
2 + 0 + 4 + 5 = 11

Angel wrote me an email:

My sister and me were talking about this strange date coincidence on your blog site and she brought up the fact that she feels that something might happen on the date of 7/11 after seeing your blog about the strange date coincidence concerning 9/11/2001 and 2/11/2011. When she said 7/11, I immediately recalled a verse from the bible: 

Genesis 7:11, which deals with the story of Noah and the great flood. The verse says “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened”.”

“This is from the New American standard Bible. Different bibles have different ways of saying it but the main point is that this is where the flood begins.”

It is curious how the bible seemed to almost emphasize numerology by stressing the exact day of the flood.  Did Angel and her sister have a personal premonition for our near future?  Are we due for another great event on July 11?  I may not take numerology overly seriously, but I do believe in the power of premonitions.  Premonitions are worth reporting.

APRIL 11 UPDATE:  ANNIVERSARY EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN

CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – A Japan earthquake today and a tsunami warning, later cancelled, struck on the one-month anniversary of the March catastrophe. Today’s Japan earthquake was being reported by local news as a 7.1 magnitude while U.S. officials are reporting it as a magnitude 6.6. Today’s earthquake was located in the same general vicinity as the March quake, off the east of coast of Honshu.

http://news.lalate.com/2011/04/11/japan-earthquake-today-and-tsunami-warning-strike-on-anniversary/

The Pastor’s Premonition

PREMONITIONS 2 Comments »

spiritual-giftsA friend told me a story about her pastor and a premonition he had.  She is a regular churchgoer at a Pentecostal church.  A couple of weeks ago her pastor, an older man, told her and a few of her congregation about his vision.  He called it a vision, but she said it could have been a dream.  Regardless, the pastor said he was he was lying in bed, still awake when he had his vision.

In his vision he stands at a hospital bed along with other people.  His wife was there, and perhaps some of his grown children, and a number of other people he did not recall.  They all stood around the hospital bed deeply concerned about the person lying in the bed.  In his vision he did not know who was in this bed, how or why.  That was as far as his vision revealed.

He said soon afterwards he told all his family (he had a large one) to get their act together, and if anyone was doing anything amiss to mind themselves and be careful.  He did not know what this vision meant, but it was not good.  He gave out a warning for what it was worth.  Mind your ways and stay out of harm’s way.

Only a week and a half later after this prediction, my friend’s pastor told her that his vision came true.  One of his sons had a brain aneurysm and was in the hospital.  He was at the hospital and many of his friends and family were surrounding his son’s hospital bed.  Exactly as in his vision.

Pentecostals believe in spiritual gifts.  So the pastor’s revelation, his premonition, could be called prophecy.  They recognize other spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, words of knowledge and faith healing.  They say these gifts come from the Holy Spirit.  I wouldn’t argue with that, except to say people who don’t follow certain beliefs also have premonitions.  Check my “premonitions” tag for some examples.

I’d suggest spiritual gifts are a part of human existence in the same way we possess other personal gifts such as being born smart, beautiful, savvy or athletic.  We are all born with mental or physical gifts to some extent.  And perhaps spiritual gifts as well that usually go unrecognized.  Nearly nobody realizes their God given spiritual gifts.  We don’t believe in them; we don’t accept them; we don’t use them.  Pentecostals differ, and exercise these spiritual gifts.  A good thing to my way of thinking.

Disembodied voice reveals winning lottery ticket number to a mom. Was it an angel?

ANGELS, PREMONITIONS 6 Comments »

lottery-pick-3

On June 24 Lillian was out to buy her weekly lottery tickets.  Lillian is an elderly mom living in Chicago.  She was going to cash in a Lotto ticket worth $3 and buy her weekly $5 worth of Mega Millions and Lotto. 

While she was at the convenience store, she heard a voice that said “Play 7 9 0”.  She looked around and there was nobody near her.  The voice was not in her head, but clearly audible as if someone was talking next to her.  She thought it very strange.

At the cashier, she bought $5 worth of tickets.  But instead of playing her usual lottery, she asked to play the Pick-3 game, where three numbers are chosen.  She bought 5 Pick-3 tickets, all with 790 played straight.  The cashier asked if she was sure she wanted all 5 tickets with the same number, since that was apparently unusual.  Yes, Lillian wanted all the same number.

These tickets were for the mid-day drawing, and she was shocked when later the winning numbers were 7-9-0.  Each ticket was now worth $500!  Wow.  The odds of winning are 1,000 to one, but what are the odds of picking 5 tickets with all the same number based on a tip from a disembodied voice?

ways-to-win-pick-31

Lillian decided to give all 5 winning tickets to her adult children.  With the bad economy some of her sons and daughters were in some financial trouble.  They needed the money more then a long retired mom, which was not exactly true, but what gives a mom more joy then being a blessing to their children? 

My good friend Ted told me this story Friday night, the first time I heard of it.  He said he argued with his mom on the phone, that he didn’t want the ticket and she should keep it for herself.  But Lillian insisted.  All of her five children were getting one of the tickets.  It made Ted’s mom happy to be able to help her kids.

I discussed this event with Ted and his wife.  What did Lillian think about what happened?  Ted said she was as baffled as everybody else.  She had not clue how or why this occurred.  Ted had asked her mom if the disembodied voice was male or female.  She said it was neither.  Which is intriguing, since angels are said to be genderless. 

angel-protecting-childrenTed’s mom had incidences in her past where she sensed a family member was in trouble or dying.  He said Lillian seems sensitive to these things.  Was this disembodied voice her own psychic intuition speaking to her?  Or could it really have been an angel whispering in her ear, giving her a gift?  The fact that she gave away all of her winnings might be a clue.  Had she decided to keep the money for herself, this disembodied voice might not have given this suggestion to begin with.  But because it was for her family’s benefit, perhaps this was really a blessing from an angel, for reasons and purposes we can’t comprehend.  It really is a mystery.

A Paranormal Dream Story

PREMONITIONS 1 Comment »

paranormal-dreams

A blog about the paranormal and the occult comes in handy when socializing.  I’m on the lookout for people’s personal stories concerning encounters with the unusual.  When I mention blogs, I find many aren’t familiar or interested with the blogosphere, or just roll their eyes at my topic.  Yet, I also get stories from people who had unusual experiences.  Here is one such story about a teenager and his strange dream.

Rick is a 15-year-old who related a special dream to me.  Dreams in themselves are usually just that, dreams.  However Rick’s dream had some intriguing elements.  Rick’s dream occurred when he was 10-years-old.  He said it was so vivid he can remember the details clearly today.  Most dreams are not like this.  The details of a dream tend to fade away even if we happen to remember one.  These clear, memorable dreams are one clue a dream may be more then just a dream.

Rick’s dream was of his grandfather.  His grandfather died nearly a year before he was ten.  Rick’s grandparents originally came to America from Italy long ago.  However, Rick actually hadn’t seen his grandfather very often as his grandparents lived quite far away from his family. 

In his dream Rick’s grandfather spoke to him in his native Italian.  Rick does not speak any Italian, yet he understood every word his grandfather spoke to him.  And Rick somehow spoke back in Italian.  He could not explain that.  In the dream as they talked to each other, his grandfather put his hand over his chest, looked pale and staggered, falling face down on a street curb.  Rick saw him sprawled out with his arms and legs in a particular position. 

Rick awoke with this strange dream clear in his mind.  As a boy he did not tell his dream to anyone, until two years later at the age of 12.  He told his father his dream, and his father listened very carefully.  His father asked him about the exact position of the grandfather’s arms and legs.  When Rick related precisely what he remembered, his father was stunned.  Rick’s grandfather had indeed died on a street from a heart attack, and from a photo of the scene the father had seen, the position of the limbs Rick described was exactly what was on the photo.  Rick had never been previously aware of any of these details.

Speaking and understanding an unknown language and having knowledge of events that were unknown are certainly curious.  Did Rick’s grandfather visit him in a dream?  Or was this a clairvoyant dream, where Rick saw events as they transpired in the past?  Or both?

Here is another story about a clairvoyant dream I posted:

http://occultview.com/2009/06/01/world-series-baseball-premonition/

An element both stories share is the clarity of the dream, how it sticks in the mind, and how it seems as if the dreamer is actually present witnessing the event.  Curious indeed.

Widow has a vision of her future husband

PREMONITIONS 2 Comments »
Vision of a future husband

Vision of a future husband

I knew someone who personally told me her intriguing story about a prayer that was answered.  Many years ago Judy became a widow after her husband passed away, leaving her alone to raise her three daughters.  She greatly missed her deceased husband, and for a number of years she struggled to take care of her family as a single parent.  It was not easy.  She was lonely and with all her responsibilities she despaired of ever finding another husband to share her life with.  She told me that one evening years ago she was feeling especially depressed.  Judy was a religious person, and she knelt in prayer asking God if she would ever remarry again or if she was destined to be forever alone.

Suddenly, a vision appeared before her.  In her darkened room she was astonished to see the face of a man with a mustache and wearing glasses.  This apparition lingered for a few seconds and was gone.  She did not understand what she saw, but she had a feeling of peace. 

A few months later a new neighbor moved into a home a few houses down from where Judy lived.  He was the exact man she had seen in her vision, including glasses and mustache.  To make a long story short, they got together and were eventually married, and are still married to this day. 
A true story.

hands-in-prayerHow should we view Judy’s story?  It certainly could be God answering her prayer, a blessing letting her know everything was going to be ok.  Yet, perhaps her vision of her future husband was a psychic premonition.  Was her vision from God or from her inner self?  Does it make a difference?  Perhaps God gave mankind spiritual gifts for our benefit.