Is Group Dreaming Possible?
Mutual dreaming (also known as shared or group dreaming) is the paranormal claim that two or more people can share the same dream environment. The concept was popularized in the 2010 movie, Inception, where lucid dreamers could link up via a device and roam around the subconscious of a single dreamer.
Of course, in reality, no such device exists and the only mechanism we have for initiating a potential mutual dream is through the act of lucid dreaming. Regular dreamers can't plan their dreams in advance nor alter the course of the dream in progress. But lucid dreamers can. That's why we are poised to prove the existence of mutual dreaming - if such a phenomenon truly exists.
Types of Group Dreaming
The most commonly reported mutual dreams are known as meshing dreams. They happen when you share certain dream elements with someone else. For instance, you and your partner may both watch LOST on TV and then dream about being stranded on a deserted island. Understandably, your shared waking experience leads to similar dreams. Even Freudian dream analysis offers an explanation for this kind of coincidence.
The less likely experiences are called meeting dreams. This is the true meaning of mutual dreaming, where two or more people meet up and communicate in the dream world. As yet there is no firm evidence for the existence of such shared dreams, although it is arguably a difficult concept to prove.
How would mutual dreaming work? The definition implies one of two paranormal explanations: either we have the capacity for telepathic dreams - or the dream world itself is an external construct, an alternate reality that could stem from an artificial simulation or other shared astral realm.
Mutual Dreaming Experiments
Dr Stephan LaBerge of The Lucidity Institute believes that mutual dreaming experiments in the lab can test the objective reality of shared dream worlds.
That means that group dreaming can be used to prove whether the dream world is a genuine alternate reality or not.
Numerous group dreaming experiments and anecdotes have been published over the years.
To learn about some of the more compelling cases in detail, check out Group Dreaming: Dreams to the Tenth Power by Jean Campbell. In this book, Campbell traces the entire history of group dreaming experiments and how harnessing the power of mutual dreams could change our world today.
How to Mutual Dream (In Theory)
I have never experienced a mutual dream personally, but there are obvious ways to test your capacity for meshing and meeting dreams while lucid.
Experiment #1 - Meshing Dreams
Find a meshing dream partner - ideally someone you are very close with. Choose an activity to do together during the waking day. Maybe go to a sports event, go hiking in the countryside, go to the zoo, or watch a movie (fantasy is probably the best genre for this purpose).
Before you go to sleep that night, discuss your memorable experience with your meshing dream partner. Talk about elements that you found most interesting and set a clear intention to dream about your shared experience.
Hopefully, you will dream about your waking experience, or a closely related theme. If you become lucid, all the better. Seek out your meshing partner in the dream and have a lucid conversation with them. When you wake up, write down all the details of the dream, including the time you think it happened.
Finally, compare notes with your partner and see how many dream symbols you can match. Don't influence each other's dream reports or change your recollection to fit their story. If you both report a dream conversation, pay particular attention to the details. You may find you had a meeting dream - the ultimate in telepathic dreaming!
Experiment #2 - Meeting Dreams
Find a meeting dream partner. If you have friends who are good at lucid dreaming, invite them to try this experiment. Otherwise it is easy to seek out other lucid dreamers online at The Lucid Dreaming Forum. The key is to have a lucid dream at the same time, on the same date.
Select a location to meet up in. If you both live locally, you might choose a familiar place, like a park or town center. Otherwise choose a famous meeting spot, like Stone Henge or the Eiffel Tower. Make sure you describe your destination in detail (or look at pictures online) so you both have the same location to meet in mind.
If you do visit the same location in your lucid dream, it could easily be a meshing dream - a coincidence - so make sure you meet up in the dream and have an unpredicted conversation. By reporting the same unique conversation, you could prove an element of mutual dreaming.
When you're exploring a paranormal phenomenon such as group dreaming, remember to record as much data as you can and be objective. This means trying to rationalize events as much as you can before jumping to conclusions - and not getting carried away by things that could easily be due to coincidence. It's all too easy to trick ourselves into false beliefs that skew our entire outlook.
One of the brilliant things about lucid dreaming is that it enables us to explore the dreaming mind in a way no other research method can. I urge all lucid dreamers to help science gain a greater understanding of the human mind, and to discover all we can about the possible existence of mental phenomena like mutual dreaming.
Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in this sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best there is at extraction: stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the mind’s vulnerable dream state. His skill has made him a coveted player in industrial espionage but also has made him a fugitive and cost him dearly. Now he may get a second chance if he can do the impossible: inception, planting an idea rather than stealing one.
Groundbreaking animator Satoshi Kon (whose credits include Tokyo Godfathers, Millennium Actress, and Perfect Blue) directed this visually spectacular adaptation of a science fiction novel by Yatsutaka Tsutsui. Atsuko is a psychiatrist who uses advanced technology to study the human mind. Atsuko has developed a machine that will allow her to enter the dreams of her patients and study their psyches from the inside. Atsuko also does double duty as Paprika, a high-tech detective who uses this new innovation to find out the truth about what the people she's trailing really think. However, Atsuko falls victim to a thief who steals the one-of-a-kind machine, and Paprika sets out to find it as a wave of psychological instability tears through the city.
visually stunning metaphysical tale of life after death / the astral plane. Neurologist Chris and artist Annie had the perfect life until they lost their children in a car accident; they're just starting to recover when Chris meets an untimely death himself. He's met by a messenger named Albert and taken to his own personal afterlife - a freshly drawn world reminiscent of Annie's own artwork, still dripping and wet with paint.
The multi textured visuals seem to have been created from a lost fairy tale. The astral world recalls the landscape paintings of Thomas Cole and Renaissance architecture complete with floating cherubs. There's no denying Eugenio Zanetti's triumphant production design and the Oscar-winning special effects, which create a fully formed universe that is at once beautiful, eerie, and a unique example of movie magic
Computer hacker Neo has lived a relatively ordinary life - in what he thinks is the year 1999 - until he is contacted by the enigmatic Morpheus who leads him into the real world.
In reality, it is 200 years later, and the world has been laid waste and taken over by advanced Artificial Intelligence machines. The computers have created a false version of 20th century life - called the Matrix - to keep the human minds satisfied and use their bodies as a power source. Neo, pursued by Agents (computers who take on human form and infiltrate the Matrix), is hailed as The One who will lead the humans to overthrow the machines and reclaim the Earth.
The Matrix is, in essence, a lucid dream, guided by the AI machines that create the basic rules of the simulated reality. As Neo learns to bend these rules, he discovers that, like inside a lucid dream, anything is possible.
It’s one of the best movies about lucid dreaming (having dreams and being able to manipulate them), as well as a much-overlooked psychological sci-fi masterpiece about the future of dreams: if given the chance, would you choose to live a dream world, or would you prefer reality?