Most dreamers in the group dreaming projects of the
‘80s and ‘90s came to the field of mutual dreaming affected by culturally
held beliefs about how mutual dreams should look, act and be. The most commonly
held assumptions are the classic meeting and meshing dreams.
In a classic meeting dream, two or more people dream of encountering one
another. The hidden supposition is that each person will appear and behave just
like they do in waking life. In a classic meshing dream, you have "the same
dream" as that of another person. However, if you insist that all mutual
dreams be of the classic variety, you will only "count" those dreams
which are carbon copies of one another, and that occur at the same time.
Our dreaming selves hold to this criteria only on rare occasions. Why should
they? They're perfectly able to exist in the wild without the garments of lab
and non-lab presumptions. However, I do think that they try to meet us half-way,
and we can do the same. We can open our eyes to the "non-classic"
forms of dream mutuality. Clues to the existence of these sorts of dreams
emerged, as the mutual dream projects began to paint an even wider picture of
the field of dreams.
Consider the meshing dream. There is usually no sense of anyone else's
presence in such a dream. Instead there is a merging of imagery. Symbols and
themes are shared, emotions are held in common. It's called "the same
dream" because the phraseology in one dream report is so similar to
another. But just as the reports of witnesses at a crime scene vary, so there is
no such thing as a perfect Xerox copy of another person's dream. Instead, the
correspondence can range from quite consistent to very vague.
The satisfaction of the intent to meet is also dependent on the cooperation
of dreaming selves. They determine the where, why, when and with whom of the
meeting. They determine the circumstances under which they will meet. Comparing
dreams revealed shifts in time, shifts in space and shifts from strangers to an
intimate partner. It was also discovered that spouses, friends and family of the
group members might spontaneously dream along with the group.
There are also meeting and meshing combinations. The dreamer who experiences
the meeting event may see the second dreamer. But the meshing dreamer usually
has no awareness of his dreaming partner because he is too caught up in his own
concerns, concentrating not on the partner, but on the drama of his own dream.
It takes quite a shift of concentration to become a
social-psychic dreamer. Mutual dreaming takes courage to reach out beyond
private space and touch the fabric of social reality. It encourages the ability