Electric Dreams

X-ray Eyes and Heady Dreams

  Linda Lane Magallˇn 

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Magallˇn, Linda Lane (2004 October). X-ray Eyes and Heady Dreams
Electric Dreams 11(10).

Shared dreaming occurs when 2 or more people go to sleep with the intent to meet one another in the dream state. Often, we carry with us the idea that a dream meeting will be just like a meeting in the waking state. The success of a meeting between sighted people requires that we recognize each other by visual clues. Using photographic technology, this is very easy to do. In the material world, just compare the person standing in front of you with her digital or analog image.

However, you can't bring photographic equipment into sleep. Even REM monitors aren't imported into the dream state! Instead of the camera eye, you must use your dream eye to realize your meeting. And we tend to forget that our dreams aren't seen through two material eyeballs; it's our non-physical eye that does the "seeing." It's our third eye, our psychic eye, that perceives while we slumber.

The third eye might be literally clairvoyant and, indeed, seem to "see" just like our physical eyes "see" a current version of our dreaming partner. But the third eye isn't limited to that particular mode of perception. Oh, no. It can see horizontally, into the past and future. It can see vertically, all the many layers of self. And it can actually allow you to move diagonally into the depths of being.

Thus, precognition and retrocognition can be part of dream perception. So can telepathy, when we don't just "see" our partner, we "read" her. And then there's empathy, when we "become" her, walk in her moccasins, and "see" from her viewpoint. For dreams, we aren't limited to the edge of reality; we may move far beyond it.

Literal Clairvoyance

Let's start with the easiest case of identification: the waking person, the clairvoyantly perceived, literal surface self. This is the self that is most likely to appear at the beginning of any attempt at shared dreaming, while we're still constrained by waking bias.

During one of the mutual dreaming experiments I facilitated, The Lucidity Project, a participant named John Echo was dreamt as "an older, bald man wearing glasses." John confirmed that this picture applied to him.

On the very first date of another project, Dreams10, one of the group members was described this way, "The first person to introduce herself to me calls herself Barbara Shor. The image I have for her is middle aged (with) short curly blonde hair (the color of straw), a little heavy." Barbara recognized this as an accurate description of herself.

These project members had never seen their team members, never exchanged photos, never received written or aural descriptions of them until after they recorded their dreams. Psi verification is fairly easy when strangers are dreaming with one another. But suppose you already know your partner. Any dream image of her might be day residue, a memory dragged in from the waking state, to be used for your own purposes. That image could well be your own projection; the dream in which it appears might not have anything to do with your partner. So how can you tell if your third eye is operative if you've already seen your partner with material eyes?

For one group project, where people knew one another by sight, I had everyone send me a photograph of themselves. I photocopied the pictures, mixed up the copies and put each one into a white, sealed envelope. Then I mailed the white envelopes within larger manila envelopes, with instructions not to open the white envelopes until after incubating and remembering a dream. A member would put his sealed envelope under his pillow, then try to dream of the particular person whose image it contained (without knowing who it was, of course). He could confirm or disprove the accuracy of his third eye after opening the envelope the next morning.

But what if, instead of a group, there's just the two of you? Once, my partner spontaneously dreamt up a perfect solution to this sort of dilemma. She didn't just dream about me; she dreamt about someone I knew and she didn't.

The Dawning of Telepathy

20 years ago, Megan had this dream: "Linda Magallon brings a friend to meet me. Her friend has dark, shoulder-length hair, parted in the middle, slightly wavy to each side. Her face is oval, long but not too narrow, and her lips are medium small. Delicate bone structure. A bird-like person, very curious about something I'm writing. Her skin is very fair. She's on the thin side, but not skinny. I'm very busy writing, and not too social, and I get the impression that I'm acting out the woman's impression of me, even though I'd like to be more social."

Since Megan did not know who the friend was, she simply described her. I recognized the literal representation of Jean Campbell (author of Dreams Beyond Dreaming and now host of the ASD Bulletin Board).

Then I did two things to confirm that this was a psi event. First, I sent Jean's photograph to Megan. Megan wrote back, "From the copy of the photo you sent me, it looks 90% like the person you brought to see me in the dream. Only she was younger in the dream and her hair was shoulder length. As I indicated, I perceived her expectations of me to be that I was very withdrawn, and in my pre-lucid state, I didn't resist them. I kept working and mumbled a few things to her about what I was writing. She sat in front of me and slightly to my right. Her 'feeling tones' were pleasant and full of curiosity. I described this metaphorically as 'bird-like,' - you know the way birds look at you, trying to figure out what you're doing?"

Second, I sent Megan's dream and comments to Jean. Jean replied, "The Megan dream just blew me away. I don't remember (being in) the dream she's talking about, but her assessment feels pretty right to me."

I'd like to point out that Megan didn't dream of Jean as her then-current version. She dreamt of a still younger Jean. Perhaps you might conclude that this was a case of retrocognition, seeing the past instead of the present. But having researched hundreds of mutual dream reports, my vote is for telepathy. I don't think Megan saw Jean's outer image, past, present or future. Rather, Megan picked up Jean's ideal image of herself, the self we think we are or wish we could be. Megan was reading Jean's perception of herself, how she imagined herself to be.

I still dream of myself with dark hair, even though my hair has been white for the past couple of years. Sometimes, it's a shock to see a white-haired woman looking back at me from the mirror. That's not how I "see" myself at all! It's not surprising to me that people would dream my hair a rainbow of colors. Over the course of time, I've tinted my hair every natural shade. Some of my partners' perceptions have been quite clairvoyant of my physical head. But I also have a vivid imagination, plus I've dreamt myself in any number of hair hues, too. It's often hard to confirm that a partner has been using telepathy to perceive something I've imagined during the day. Or it was, until I started paying attention to my daydreams; trying to remember them or making quick notes for later review.

However, telepathy can be very obvious if the evidence shows up in a set of paired dreams. Once I dreamt of gazing at myself in a mirror and was bemused to discover that my hair was colored blonde. That same night my partner dreamt of me as a blonde. At the time, I had brown hair. In the waking state, that is, not the dream.


This is my dream from another one-on-one experiment, where I pictured someone known to my partner but unknown to me: "I am driving up a four-laned causeway, with no sides, so fast that I fear once I get to the top, I'll rush too quickly down the opposite side. Fortunately, at the top, the road levels out and I can moderate my speed. I do this twice, like an amusement park ride. Then, as I go downhill, the road narrows into two lanes. At the bottom "T", I turn right and the road becomes a single lane. People have left their cars behind and are evacuating their bicycles. One woman's small white bike is buried next to the curb of the road; a bald-headed man's bike is hidden behind some dirt."

My partner, Kyla, dreamt, "I am traveling somewhere with Steve. We're riding bicycles. We stop to make a repair. There are lots of people around us at the curbside ­ people from our past. Everyone is very friendly and helpful."

Kyla's dream included the same kind of "bicycle" event as mine. There was no indication that we saw one another, though. Instead of meeting, we were meshing. This is a very common reaction to shared dreaming. When we plumb the depths of being, when we move ever closer to each other, we are not constrained by the edges of the physical body. Or the dream body. We meld with one another. We dream with one another, as if it's our own dream. Sometimes the melding is balanced; we both contribute our equal share to the common dream. More often, one person is dreaming his dream, when the second comes along and "peeks over his shoulder," so to speak. Except she's usually not aware of him or his shoulder! She moves into his position, his "mindspace," and dreams her version of his dream. If this was true for Kyla and me, who was dreaming whom?

Well, I have ridden a bicycle, but it had been several years. I hadn't been around a bald-headed man for some time. The landscape was unfamiliar, but that's usual, since I rarely dream carbon copies of my recent physical environment. I hadn't been imagining anything similar, either. The dream particulars could have been all my "stuff," but I really didn't know.

But Kyla was certain. "The 'fast hill driving' is a long term dream image of mine," she wrote me. "The causeway is one of my transition areas. I've been on it in many different forms and dreams over the years. There is always some flavor of danger/high energy ­ a sense that I must flow with the pattern to get safely through. Nothing 'unsafe' has ever happened to me though. And Steve IS bald."

An Invitation

If you would like to read more about psi and shared dreaming, check out the ASD Psyberconference. My own paper, "The Mystery of the Missing Mutual Dreamers" is posted at http://members.aol.com/dreamartscience/mystery/missing.html