Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mutual Dreaming

Mutual dreams are called different names—collective dreams, group dreams, shared dreams. Sometimes discriminations are made among them. For example, in a mutual dream two or more dreamers agree to meet in a particular place they all know in waking life, like the White House. A shared dream might happen spontaneously where two or more dreamers have a dream with the same plot and characters. .

Whether we remember these dreams or not we may experience them, particularly with those related biologically. If a family has a tradition of sharing dreams at the breakfast table, both types of dreams may occur. It's healthy and normal to share dreams, although some people in Western culture shy away from doing so except in clinical settings. .

Dreams involving unborn children either by the pregnant woman or other family members, such as the father or a grandparent, often break through the memory barrier. Such dreams can result in bonding with the unborn child or drawing attention to problems with the pregnancy. .

Most Native American cultures and some African cultures have traditions of dream sharing and respect for the process. They use dreams to help guide community decision making, such as where to hunt or move their village. .

Dream sharing can benefit everyone because it increases intimacy and understanding of ourselves and others. There is an awe factor to simply knowing we can decide to dream about a place and meet others there. .

Researcher Jean Campbell conducted experiments sponsored by the Edgar Cayce Foundation and the Poseidia Institute in the 1980s. Her book Group Dreaming narrates her findings. At first she and her co-experimenters simply wanted to find out if they could meet in dreams. They discovered quickly that they could and went on to develop their understanding and protocols for experiments. They learned to recognize each other and retrieve messages sent by Campbell..

Two prominent researchers and dream counselors, Robert Moss and Jeremy Taylor, sponsor workshops where people can explore their potential for mutual dreaming. An important part of any research or just having fun with this activity is the idea of intention. Once you set your mind that you wish to experience mutual dreaming, you create an atmosphere for achieving a positive result. .

As long as you don't believe you can do it, you can't. At least not consciously. Your dreaming self who is far slyer than your waking self may have adventures despite your waking disbelief..

In 2007 I was lucky to find some online groups experimenting with mutual dreaming. At first I joined a public group that included about one hundred people. The website crashed, but some of us managed to reconnect and stay in touch in a Yahoo group. The International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) sponsors several websites devoted to mutual dreaming, so opportunities are available for those who wish to experiment..

During four years, the group headed by Bill Schuh has accomplished twenty-four experiments. Here is our procedure: We set a date. One group member decides the key we're all to guess through a dream or waking intuition. Then we post our dream reports. The key holder posts a description and sometimes a photograph of the key. There are hits and misses and near misses. It's fun..

In one experiment I dreamed I was in a boat on water hauling up a winch with the wind blowing. The key holder listed the key as a replica of a punt owned by her grandfather, who lived in England. I thought I had missed entirely. Being an American I did not know that a punt and a boat are the same thing, but of course I figured it out when I saw the photograph of a boat. .

Others dreamed of being on their way towards water and of wind blowing, so they got hits too..

In another experiment the key holder chose a silver garden windmill. Some dreamers reported dreams of silver knives, of a gray misty cloud, a mobile hanging from a ceiling, and bicycle spokes. All of these objects reflect what a dreamer might interpret when looking at a silver garden windmill. .

However, when the photo of the key was posted there were two bicycle wheels lying against a shed in the background. The person who said bicycle wheels might have been looking down on the place from afar as if remote viewing. .

My dream didn't hit on this experiment, but my near miss proved interesting, the kind of thing that happens often in our group..

I dreamed the key holder had painted a wall light blue with a rainbow on it. The key holder replied that indeed she did have a light blue wall on her back porch near the garden where the windmill stood. She said she had always wanted to paint a rainbow on the wall but had not done so. .

Did I tap into the key holder's physical location, that is, remotely view her backyard? Did I use telepathy to tap into her mind with its unexpressed desire to paint the rainbow on the wall? Is there another explanation?.

It's risky to codify our discernment in these ephemeral matters, but I keep going back to clairvoyance, also known as remote viewing, or maybe astral travel. I always do better at guessing the key if I know where the person lives, that is, I knew the punt key holder lived in England, and I knew the windmill key holder lived in upstate New York. On experiments where I've had complete misses, I've not known where the person lived..

I think I travel to the key holder's home in mind or in my astral body then actually look down at the key. I believe the person who saw bicycle wheels got his information the same way —by looking down at the garden and seeing the bicycle spokes, then incorrectly interpreting that as the key. .

Not all people participating might get their information the way I do..

Do I guess it? Do I go look at it? I don't know the answers, but I keep searching for them. .

Several of the group members believe remote viewing accounts for their hits. Others suggest clairvoyance, telepathy, and sensing the energy of the person..

One other member of the group lives in Arizona. He is the only one I've met in person. Most of our members live across the United States and a few in England, one in Portugal. So it's not that I'm touching in on them physically in the same sense I dream about a family member or friend whom I know personally already and whose environment I recognize..

The online group decided to do an informal experiment to find out whether intentional dreaming or remote viewing played a more prominent role. We set a date with the goal of visiting my living room and describing it in as much detail as possible. .

Eight people participated, four giving dream intention as their method, the others remote viewing. With a small sample it only has validity as an anecdote. Still the results are provocative. .

The four members who professed to remote view got twice as many hits as the others. Here's one of the best descriptions of my living room by a member named Parodia: I saw arches and possibly an alcove made of arches. I saw a brass or gold-colored drawer handle and a wooden secretary, the type that has a fold down desk top. I tried to get a smell and although I didn't smell anything, the color and name lavender popped into my head..

I finished the remote viewing session and went to bed with the intention of visiting the home and remembering my dream. I was aware of dreaming but had little recall. I remember being in a living room and at one corner was some type of sparkles or glittery light. I remember a sofa which was an olive green or tan color and had a multicolored throw on the back. A voice told me to "Go through the mirror." That's all I got. .

Parodia's description matched my living room in several ways. The furniture and kitchen cabinets are Queen Anne and Chippendale style. The cupboards have arches and there is an arch in the kitchen hall. My writing desk is wood with brass pulls. It is sometimes called a secretary. My roll-top desk does have a top that folds down. I have lavender curtains and patio blinds. My couch is tan/beige. There is a multi-colored throw on the white couch, and there is a tall mirror on one wall. It's hard to imagine Parodia did not actually look at my room with such a detailed description. .

Here's a Tip • With an interested partner, decide on a night to try to meet somewhere. Pick a location you both know and like, perhaps a specific restaurant or a fountain in a park. Agree to record your dreams and compare notes. • Afterward, if you both have recalled dreams, check for similarities. Did your dream actually take place in the location? What happened as to plot? Who were the characters in the dream, and what were they wearing? • Note any similarities. If there are none, you've nothing to lose by trying again.