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December 15, 2007

Shared Dreaming- A Personal Perspective

Posted in: dreaming,Musings,personal experiences,practice,reality

I went through another round of shared dreaming attempts recently, with my high level lucid dreaming friend I mentioned in my previous article. While success eludes us for now, our attempts did produce some rather interesting results. Before I get into that though, here’s our “techniques” for sharing dreams:
Both picture the same environment and try to meet there.
Try to meet in the dream counterpart of our real world place of residence.
Stepping through a mirror with the intention of being where the other person is
Googling where the other person was to locate them.

That last one was my friend’s idea, I thought it was rather funny. While I failed to become lucid during the week or so of attempts we did, she was lucid every night, so we got to see potential issues and troubleshoot rather quickly. Here’s a brief synopsis of the interesting events:

In one of my non-lucid dreams, I was trying to board a train to get to my friend’s apartment. I was at a different location then where my house should be, and I was waiting for the train. However, whenever a train got close, something stopped me from boarding it. Lacking a ticket, a last minute change of destination, and the most blatant dream-fighting-my-intention block: The platform spinning around when I would get to the end where the train was.

My friend tried to google me. She said that it kept changing and she eventually lost me before she could leave to get me. I guess I was having a particularly turbulent dream that night. She also tried stepping through a mirror, but that she said that had the same result. She would lose me.

The closest we got to success was a dream in which I remembered getting up in my friends apartment. The physical place was unaltered, except there were two cots in the kitchen, one of which I was sleeping on, the other was also occupied. I remembered doing a few things in the apartment. My friend had a dream that night of me and another person waking in her apartment, and then walking to campus. It was a very interesting coincidence, the disappointing (or perhaps not, depending) problem was that our descriptions of the third person weren’t very similar.

I won’t go into the different conclusions you could draw about the person showing up differently to each of us. Your view on the source and reality of dreams will influence the various interpretations you draw. There are many, many, interpretations. The simplest, which is what I’m sticking with, is that we weren’t sharing a dream, and that it was coincidence. If I err on the side of failure, any success will stand out all the more.

The most interesting effect of these attempts was that my friend found that the more she tried to find me and to connect to my dream, the less and less control she had. This effect continued to increase over the week of our attempts, until she decided to quit after we both decided the experiment was having a negative impact on her own personal dreams as well as our shared attempts.

This result has big ramifications! It suggest that if you were to mix the dream consciousness of two people, you would get a kind of average of their awarenesses, instead of two separate consciousnesses in a shared environment. It also helps to outline what might be necessary for two people to share a dream: a like mind and a sort of connection (to avoid a jarringly different joined conscious) as well as relatively equal and high levels of lucidity.

I am looking forward to our next experiment.


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