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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.
"If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream,
have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul
had really been there, and if he found that flower
in his hand when he awake - Aye, what then?"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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.
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.