It has been nearly fifteen years since Stephen LaBerge and Lynda Lane Magellan wrote Mutual Dreaming but it is still a fresh idea in dream interpretation. When two people or more share the same dream in their own perspective they are mutually dreaming. They’re able to recall the same details, conversations and settings although their perspectives may differ significantly. The recent movie Inception has made the public more aware of this phenomenon.
This idea has been around for a long time in literature. Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durell is the best example of how four different people can experience the same events in their separate perspectives. It is left to the reader to sort out objective reality. Stephen LaBerge takes the concept of mutual dream to a different level when he raises the possibility that the dream world may be in some cases just as objectively real as the physical world. When we talk about objective reality we are talking about something from which we all draw independent perceptions that they can be referred back to a common source. The question he poses is how does this change the traditional dichotomy between dreams and reality?
This is exactly the subject that Tom Campbell begin researching at the Monroe Institute, a center dedicated to exploring waking, lucid awareness while sleeping. He and other participants practice the skill of being consciously awake while asleep and were able to verify mutual meetings between sleepers. The international Association for the study of dreams has paid nearly dream telepathy contests in which there been many personal experiences of mutual dreaming.
One of the major reasons why mutual dreaming is not a more well-known phenomenon has to do with the fact that the majority of people having dreams are passive with little or no skills in lucid dreaming. The dreaming population on the planet for the most part is “dream illiterate” and incapable or unwilling to become active in their dreams.
It is a well-known scientific fact that while sleeping the temporal-frontal lobes of the human brain shut down. Since they are responsible for memory this condition is called, “sleep induced amnesia.” Although we may have unconscious dream experiences during the shutdown is difficult to have memory access to whatever information exists unless we are able to override this condition of deactivated memory.
During lucid dreaming, people often talk of the difference between seeing most people in a catatonic zombie like state but meeting other people who seem to be awake. It is like meeting other people who are as aware as the lucid dreamer having that dream. This may be the basis of mutual dreaming.