"Have you ever had simultaneous dreams?"
Almost twenty years ago I had my first lucid dream. From that day on
I began to have many new and exciting dream experiences and was eager
to learn all I could about consciousness and dreaming. During this
time I was fortunate to have met, through the Lucidity Institute,
many other enthusiastic lucid dreamers. I was corresponding with
several of them at the time and was enjoying the advice and
suggestions I was receiving, not to mention the invaluable examples
of lucid dream reports that everyone was sharing with me.
In April of 1988, I had an unusual experience with dreaming
consciousness that I had not experienced before, nor had I ever heard
April 24 1988
[I think I experienced two dreams simultaneously.] In one dream, JI,
someone else, and I go to some place like the Holiday Inn for a
Sunday Service. It is dark out. The "someone else" could be M or L.
We are all dressed up. JI has brought something to smoke. We begin to
smoke outside a doorway. JMK shows up, stands in the doorway, and
watches us. I try to not let him know about the smoking.
In the parallel dream I am in my apartment in Halifax. I am rushing
around doing things; small household chores. The apartment is dimly
lit. I go to the kitchen to replace a roll of toilet paper, which
goes on a holder (which is on the wall) above the garbage [this is
obviously not a reflection of the real life kitchen]. I see a "dot"
on the holder so I say to any invisible helpers that may be
around, "There, you hold it, that's your job."
Apparently, the dot indicates that it is their job. I turn my head as
I say this. In this moment, I also become aware that I am in my bed.
A strong "force" pulls my head back into place. It feels very
strongly, physically like someone is slapping my head, rapidly and
repeatedly, across what is sometimes called the crown chakra area,
and like my head is being forced into my neck. It feels so real.
All the while, I am also, AT THE SAME TIME experiencing the smoking
scene with JI and JMK. Several thoughts go rushing at super speed
through my mind like "Well, I did want stronger contact with my
spirituality, I guess I asked for too much, etc."
I also became frightened and said mentally "White Light! White
Light!" in an effort to wake up out of the dreams. I then woke fully,
in bed; the force and slapping ceased.
This was a strange and unique event and I wondered if others had
experienced anything like this. I turned to my network of lucid
dreamers and asked the question, "Have you ever had simultaneous
I soon realized that I needed to clarify what I meant by simultaneous
dreams. I recall receiving a letter from one dreamer who kindly
answered my question. But as I read through her letter, I became
disappointed. Yes, she said, she had simultaneous dreams all the
time, just like in waking reality where she could (for instance) wash
dishes, look out the window, hum a tune, and think about what to make
for dinner - all at the same time.
She misinterpreted what I had meant. I obviously had not explained
the question very well. Yes, I can hum, wash the dishes, think about
dinner, and look out a window all at the same time too. But doing
things simultaneously was not what I meant by simultaneous dreaming.
The next time I asked the question I tried to explain the question a
little better. I used phrases like "at the exact same time" or "two
places at once".
Some dreamers thought I referred to a dual awareness that is
sometimes felt between the sleeping body and the dreaming body; when
sensations in the physical body are felt in the dreamstate. I knew
what they meant, I had experienced what I believe was an out-of-body
experience in which I momentarily felt my dream hip move while I was
standing in a hallway, while at the same time I felt my physical hip
of my sleeping body in the bed move slightly. But I didn't mean two
places, as in being in bed and being in a dream at the same time.
Others thought I was talking about dreams within dreams, where you
wake up from one dream to find yourself in another. I had experienced
that too, (false awakenings would be a similar event) but that wasn't
what I meant either, those events happened one after the other, not
all at the same time.
What I meant was more like being in Alaska, out for a walk, while
also being in Calcutta, having lunch, AT THE SAME TIME, being aware
of being fully focused in both places at once. In other words, no
switching between awareness from one place then the other.
The few that I think grasped what I meant, said that no, they didn't
think they'd ever experienced anything like that. So I gave up, and
stopped asking the question.
However, by a happy "coincidence" (if you believe in "coincidences")
I eventually came across the idea of simultaneous dreaming in two
Seth books by Jane Roberts. In the first book, The "Unknown" Reality
Volume One, Jane Roberts' husband Robert Butts mentioned that he
believed he experienced two dreams at once. He too, became curious
about them and wondered if others had experienced them, but he had
better luck than I did in finding others who had had these "double"
or "triple" dreams as he called them. As I continued to read, I
discovered that he had later heard of nine people who had had two or
more dreams at once, and judging by the descriptions of a few, I knew
that he and I defined simultaneous dreaming in the same way.
I was delighted and relieved to discover that others were indeed
experiencing this too. I was now also curious to see what Seth had to
say on the subject. In The Nature of the Psyche, Seth explained:
"Many people are aware of double or triple dreams, when they seem to
have two or three simultaneous dreams. Usually upon the point of
awakening, such dreams suddenly telescope into one that is
predominant, with the others taking subordinate positions, though the
dreamer is certain that in the moment before, the dreams were equal
in intensity. Such dreams are representative of the great creativity
of consciousness, and hint at its ability to carry on more than one
line of experience at one time without losing track of itself....
"In double dreams and triple dreams consciousness shows its
transparent, simultaneous nature. Several lines of dream experience
can be encountered at the same time, each complete in itself, but
when the dreamer wakes to the fact, the experience cannot be
neurologically translated; so one dream usually predominates, with
the others more like ghost images." (1)
It wasn't until a year later, in April of 1989 that I experienced
another simultaneous awareness event, but this one was a little
April 28 1989
[I can't remember my dreams specifically, but I remember seeing three
separate scenes and then coming into my body and waking. I feel I
must have come back to my body after experiencing three simultaneous
dreams at a more conscious level. I was three separate points of
consciousness, then I (all three "me's") merged into one and lowered
into my body:]
I can see three scenes beyond three doorways that hang in a black
void. The scenes/doorways seem to be receding into the distance, from
my "main" point of view. (I don't seem to have a body, I am a point
of consciousness.) Yet at the very same instant I am also three
bodiless points of consciousness, each feeling wholly and
completely "me", moving away from each of the three doorways. The
three me's merge into one at the "point" that was/is my main point of
view (I guess that means there were really four me's in total.) Then
the now "one me" point of consciousness lowers into my sleeping body
into my forehead area. I feel myself "filling out" my body as I open
my physical eyes, now fully wakened into physical reality.
This dream (or whatever it was) was not like previous dreams in which
I have seen a probable or, if you will, "parallel universe" version
of myself. Although I recognize other Lucy's as probable me's, they are separate
consciousnesses - I am not aware of what they are thinking. But in
the experience above, I (the I that I know intimately as my ego self)
was aware of each of the me's as being the same ego-self, yet as
three separate (bodiless) points of awareness.
Confused? Sorry, it's not easy to describe this sort of thing. I
don't think the English language has invented the appropriate words
yet. But I think Seth was able to at least introduce the idea when he
wrote in The Nature of the Psyche:
"There are too many varieties of such dreams to discuss here, but
they all involve consciousness dispersing, yet retaining its
identity, consciousness making loops with itself. Such dreams involve
other sequences than the ones with which you are familiar. They hint
at the true dimensions of consciousness that are usually unavailable
to you...." (2)
His description certainly fit. My consciousness was indeed dispersed,
and yet, I did maintain a sense of identity, and a sense of awareness
that I was not awake in usual terms. Although this experience, (and
the one previously described) was not like a "typical" lucid dream, there was the
awareness that I was not in ordinary waking physical reality.
Over the years of keeping a dream journal I began to notice some
subtle things that were happening just on the edge of waking. For
instance, I once caught myself censoring a dream. At the point of
waking, while still more in the dreamstate than awake, I distinctly
heard myself say/think "Oh no. No. I don't want to remember that
dream," and as I heard that, I knew that I (I?
Or some part of me?) was arranging for me to forget the dream, so I
focused as hard as I could and did manage to retain details of the
dream. But I'll never know if I retained it all or if I did indeed
succeed in censoring out some possibly disturbing or frightening
I've also noticed that very often as I'm waking I'll be able to hold,
just for the briefest second, more than one dream each with equal
intensity and clarity in my mind, as I awaken from both of them at
the same time. But as I become more awake, I can almost "feel" the
dream images "rearrange"
themselves in my mind until I end up recording one dream, but one
with a lot of "this happened, yet that happened too, " the
images "feeling" like they are somehow mixed up. Yet I'm convinced
that what I experienced were two (or
more) simultaneous dreams, but upon waking, the dreams - or more
accurately, the memories of the dreams - "telescoped into one" as
Seth put it, to accommodate my linear based physical reality thinking.
Now sometimes the reason may be more simple. Perhaps I had two dreams
in a row, very close in time to each other, and upon waking, I'm
getting them mixed up. Or maybe I had one dream earlier in the night
and I'm recalling events from it, but with respect to a more recent
dream, and am getting those mixed up. Or maybe I had nested dreams,
one occurring inside the other, but I don't recognize them as such.
But maybe, just maybe, simultaneous dreaming is far more common and
natural than we might at first think. Maybe, as Seth implies above,
we often have many dreams at once, and maybe to do so is a more
natural state of dreaming consciousness and waking up simply puts us
in a more limited, linear time based reality where we tend to order
our focus of consciousness (and our memories) in a sequential fashion.
It's been many years since I had these two experiences, and though I
believe I can "feel" traces of similar events as I wake, I have not
experienced any as intense as those two mentioned above. But
simultaneous awareness in dreaming (or in any other states of
consciousness) still intrigues me, and so far I have only my own
experiences and those mentioned in the Seth books to draw ideas from.
(I won't say "draw conclusions" from, because I know my ideas on the
topic are far from complete.) I still want to know if other people
are experiencing simultaneous dreams and what they think of them. So,
I'm going to ask the question again.
"Have you ever had simultaneous dreams?"
If so, I'd love to hear from you and I'm sure other LDE readers would
too. Drop us a line at LDE and tell us all about your simultaneous dreams!
(1) Roberts, Jane, The "Unknown" Reality Volume One, Session 692,
Bantam Books, New York, NY, 1988
(2) Roberts, Jane, The Nature of the Psyche, Session 794, Amber-Allen
Publishing, San Rafael, CA, 1995
The Lucid Dream Exchange is a quarterly newsletter featuring lucid dreams and lucid dream related articles and interviews.
To subscribe to The Lucid Dream Exchange send a blank email to:
You can also check us out at