In September of 2012, James Kroll and I, both experienced lucid dreamers, met on the online lucid dreaming forum Mortal Mist. Shortly afterward, we began attempting to experience a shared lucid dream, targeting specific nights when we would intend to become lucid and meet up in mind-space. We saw this as a wonderfully original challenge, with profound implications, and completely believed it was possible. Because dreams are personal and unpredictable, we agreed to be honest and non-judgmental of our dreams, to share them openly and not censure events and outcomes.
We have never met physically in waking reality and live approximately seven-hundred miles apart, but a dream link between us can be consistently created with intent, with dream imagery being shared, even “bounced” back and forth, over the course of the night and ongoing nights. It is also possible for us to have a mutual lucid dream with a remarkable level of cognitive recovery and shared dream images.
International Association for the Study of Dreams – 2013 Psiber Dream Conference Presentation
An Experiment in Dream Telepathy, Consciousness Splitting and Mutual Lucid Dreaming
Dr. James M. Kroll, Maria Isabel Pita
As many personal stories and research would suggest, our minds appear capable of “tuning” into a continuum of points in space-time especially when our senses are attenuated (e.g. – Ganzfeld effect, dreams, etc). Such states lend themselves to exploring PSI phenomenon. Lucid dreaming is a particularly interesting state of mind as it is a unique blend of conscious and sub-conscious awareness. In this research project, Maria and I, both experienced lucid dreamers, set out to target specific days/times when we would attempt to become lucid and meet up in mind-space. We saw this as a wonderfully original challenge and believed it was possible. Going into this, we made one important agreement. We realized that dreams are personal and unpredictable, and so we agreed up front to be honest and non-judgmental of our dreams, to share them openly and let them play outnaturally, with no intent to censure events and outcomes. The resultant data strongly supports the idea of non-local awareness, and this paper captures a sampling of these results. We found three specific categories of dream PSI events: (a) telepathic events between dreamers A and B (b) Telepathic events between dreamer-A and a person close to dreamer-B (c) shared dream experiences between dreamers A and B including shared visuals and metaphorically paired experiences. But perhaps most interesting is our conclusion as to what factor was driving the high level of interconnection we were able to realize.
Telepathic Events Between Dreamers
The following three dreams provide condensed examples of shared imagery and events between the dreamers. They include a mix of lucid and non-lucid dreams. We do not believe we were lucid at the same time during any of these dream fragments.
I’m sleeping in the backseat of a white luxury car, like a small limousine, when my mother wakes me and we go meet my deceased grandmother on the steps of a building. After a while, seeing the car still parked in the lot, I begin walking toward it hoping I might have time to go back to sleep just in case James has a lucid dream and tries to call me into it. I reach the car, enter through the driver’s door, and climb into the backseat, where I curl up comfortably…
I’m outside inspecting an old mint condition luxury car. It probably dates back to the 1950’s and might be a Cadillac. The car is white with chrome bumpers…
Comments: The shared visual of the white limousine is striking, as is the action of each dreamer walking toward it for further inspection. One can speculate that Maria’s conscious desire to find James impacted his dream?
I was in college and a female performer was putting on an interactive magic show. She needed volunteers from the audience and I was chosen. Her three provocatively dressed female assistants collected the various props. The lights went down and the show commenced. There was an odd sensuality about the dream; I was lead to believe that, as a part of the act, I would be losing some clothes. As it turns out, the act ended before ever achieving any real momentum. I then chatted with the three assistants, discussing where the act might have gone, but I was distracted by small pins embedded in my left index finger. I pulled them out one by one.
I believe I wake in a strange living room. I feel I’ve been asleep for a long time. James must have found me in his dream. But Arthur needs to be walked, so I hurry upstairs to dress. A man’s shirt and pants are lying on the bed. I stand before the dresser mirror and clearly see my face but my hair is cut short like a boy’s. I look fondly around my old childhood bedroom and see what looks like the model of a stage on which stand three elfin barbie dolls with slanted eyes, and other details that indicate they represent magical beings or magicians. My presence activates some mysterious mechanism and they step forward to offer me their little magic wands.
Comments: Aside from the obvious visual bleed through of the magic show and magical dolls, there is also a synergy between the number of assistants and dolls (three), as well as between the small pins and the dolls’ little magic wands. The discarded male clothing is also interesting.
… I see the silhouette of a woman standing on the rock. … She is a slightly heavy set black woman wearing a red dress I would describe as a 1950’s style double breasted Sunday best church outfit. She doesn’t look like Maria, nevertheless I ask—Are you Maria Isabel Pita? In a confident tone she replies that she is. … I ask her several questions, most of which I don’t recall. Her responses are clear and intelligent. I do remember asking—What are you doing here? She tells me she is chasing a monster called Arkansas. I remind her Arkansas is a State. She tells me more about this demon, at which point I feel the dream getting a bit unstable … I wake.
I find myself pulling up in a car with a male companion. We park at the dead end of a sandy gravel road. I become lucid when I recognize where I am, the scene of an earlier dream. Excited, I take my companion’s hand and say, “Let’s go explore that haunted room again!”… Once in the room, I reach up and grip the ancient Egyptian scarab hanging from a gold chain around my neck, and holding it up toward the ceiling confront the demonic presence haunting the room with it. “You see this, demon! This is eternal life! Eternal life! Eternal Life!” I repeat the exorcism several times.
Maria’s e-mail to James the following day:
Yesterday afternoon, thinking about meeting you at the rock on your beach, I clearly imagined myself wearing a red dress, and my dreams last night all involved chasing a demon! You heard “Arkansas” but I could easily have said “Apophis”, the ancient Egyptian demon who embodied the powers of dissolution, darkness and non-being.
Comments: Maria’s comments sum up the key visual share (red dress) as well as the telepathic event (demon chasing). One additional detail of interest is the Black Woman’s confidence as to what “Maria” was doing at the time.
Telepathic Events Between Dreamer-A and a Person Close to Dreamer-B
It’s late evening at my target beach. I walk to the water, which is at an extreme low tide, and removing the key from around my neck state in a loud voice, “I throw this key into the water, as a gift to our dream space, so that our dream space may provide a gift in return.” I then turn and walk toward the rock, hoping that when I look back Maria will be there. I glance toward the path leading into the woods, confident I will be presented with something, and suddenly hear several people approaching. A woman who looks to be in her early twenties (later, upon waking, I recognize her as Maria’s mother) is accompanied by two slightly younger men who appear to be brothers. One of the men is holding a baby. The woman says to me, “I hear someone has thrown a gold key into the water. We must find it!” I accompany her as she walks down to the water, feeling awkward now about having thrown the key in in the first place. I wake.
When my mother was 17 years old, her childhood friend, Pepe, gave her a gold ring inscribed with her initials. She never took it off. One day, swimming in Santa Maria del Mar, the ring slipped off her finger and was lost to her forever. After her exile from Cuba, this ring became a symbol for her of losing her identity, her country, her life. It figured prominently in her early poems, and throughout all her work there is always a key, an important symbol for her of liberating the spirit and finding your inner self. She wasn’t surprised she showed up in your dream and said what she did because metaphorically speaking her deepest desire has always been to find that ring she lost so long ago which, along with a key, are pillars of her poetry. The two young men you saw her with were Pepe and his brother, Claudio, who at the time was only a year old, hence the baby one of the brothers was holding. Pepe is dead but Claudio is still her dear friend.
… I address the Dream—On behalf of Maria and myself, I respectfully request to be shown something relevant to both of us! I run down the street, leap in the air, and quickly gaining altitude fly toward the beach visible beyond the trees. But once I’m high enough to see the water, I realize the scene is not correct. I should see Connecticut in the distance but instead I see a strip of land about 1000 feet away. This unexpected land mass has a narrow white strip of beach but then quickly slopes upwards, forming a hill about 100 feet high covered with evergreen trees.
It’s fascinating you saw what can literally be described as an isle of pines. Of course it’s relevant to both of us because that’s where my parents went for their honeymoon, and where I was conceived.
Comments: These experiences were a wonderful surprise to us. The first dream clearly picked up on a pivotal event in Maria’s mother’s life. The second was relevant to both her parents, as well as to her conception, originating not necessarily from Maria, but from Maria via people she loves.
Shared Lucid Dreaming Experiences
SHARED VISUALS AT BEACH
I’m flying, sensing the ocean to my left, but I’m farther from it than I had hoped. I cry, “James! and a man’s voice responds—Maria! I look down and see a dark-haired man sitting on a front lawn. “James, I’m up here!” He joins me in the blue sky, where we’re surrounded by pinkish white clouds… We land in a field where we’re confronted by two doors. James stands before the door on the left while I choose the door on the right… Feeling elated, I backstroke through the air. James still looks distracted as we take off into the sky again. I say, “Let’s go to the rock on the beach where we had planned to meet. Take me to the rock!” Holding hands, we begin flying toward the ocean.
I decide to fly backstroke style to the rock wondering if I will find Maria there. I am almost there when the scene is suddenly superimposed onto another scene. In this secondary scene, I’m in a field looking up at a blue sky dotted with pink tinged clouds. The merged visuals slowly fracture, the pieces becoming smaller and smaller, until they collapse into a single point. Then the scene re-expands to its original size and once again I’m literally in two places at once, the beach/ocean and the field/blue sky.
Comments: To the best of our knowledge, we were lucid at approximately the same time here. There is an obvious synergy between the sky and pinkish white clouds in each dream. Also relevant is James’ apparent split consciousness, literally experiencing two places at once, which seems to have been reflected by the two side-by-side doors Maria saw. Was our mutual lucidity fueling the shared visuals and multiple reality perception?
…A big old wooden door forms in the wall directly across from me… I slip James’ key into the lock, open the door, and walk out into a crystal clear day. An elegant wedding reception is in progress and an all-male rock band is playing a hard-driving song… I focus on the band’s guitarist and singer, James! I drift across his field of vision and his eyes follow me to where I land on a promontory overlooking a dark-blue ocean. When the song ends, James immediately sets his guitar aside and joins me. I say, “James, is it you?” and he replies, “Yes.” “I did it!” I cry. “I used your key to open a door that would lead me to you!” I place my right hand on the back of his neck and command. “Put your hand on the back of my neck and look into my eyes!” He asks, “Do you want me to?” and I cry, “Yes! Now look into my eyes… We did it, James! We did it.” I wake at 5:47 EDT.
… I walk into the guest bedroom and see Maria lying on the couch partially covered by a dark-blue comforter. I shake her gently by the hip. She opens her eyes and smiles up at me. Suddenly, I’m lying on my back and Maria is on top as we make love. We’re staring intently into each other’s eyes. I wake at 4:47 CDT.
Comments: This is our strongest lucid dream share to date. When we compared notes, we were elated but not surprised. We were convinced we had reached each other. Other than looking into each other’s eyes we did not experience the same imagery. However, the hard driving rock song, wedding, and ritual embrace are all metaphors for sex and union. Most importantly, it appears that we each seized a piece of the other’s awareness, validating the split consciousness model. We theorize that when one of us lost their dream, it perturbed the link and destabilized the reciprocal dream.
(Slightly revised and expanded)
When it comes to lucid dreaming and consciously exploring the dream space, belief is vital. It can be argued that intent is the key, but without belief, intent is impotent. It is also clear that a strong emotion or desire of any kind transmits more easily in dreams. We both dream with many people, some who we know in waking reality, many who we don’t know. Some of these encounters may be mutual or shared dreams even if the participants don’t remember them. This seems to happen naturally. Interconnections in mind-space are subtle and usually filtered through metaphors which, like the images of a poem, can be very personal. It would seem that the more connected two people are, the more affinity they have with each other and their vision of the world, the better chance they have at intentionally and regularly realizing mutual dreams. It would appear that love, in all its forms, makes interconnection possible in dreams.
There is very little question that simultaneous lucidity aided in the shared visuals and depth of our experiences.
Experience has taught us that we can’t do the same thing, employ the same technique, over and over again and continue getting the same results. This is a traditional problem in PSI experiments and may happen as a result of getting bored with the same-old-same-old. (Further evidence that intent, when drained of excitement or any other strong feelings, is not by itself enough). No matter how well it works, even a productive and initially exciting idea seems to wear thin. We discovered that we need to continue challenging ourselves and each other with new ideas, exercising our imagination. This undoubtedly has something to do with the force of change and growth inherent in all life, as well as with the spirit of play.
We have learned much from each other, and picked up certain skills and perspectives from each other. For example, James has become more open to working with his dream space as opposed to exerting his will and control over it. Maria in turn has employed some of his techniques, such as reaching for objects and sensations in void space that will help materialize a dream scene around her.
And last but definitely not least, there seems no doubt that transcending the constraints of time and space is a natural ability of consciousness.