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Record Type: Review   ID: 255

Mutual Dreaming: When Two or More People Share the Same Dream

Magallón, Linda Lane

This is an introduction to and manual on what the other calls mutual dreaming. It has also been called shared dreaming and telepathic dreaming. Although it is a "how to" book, Magallón wisely not only gives many examples but she is aware of the fact that simply reading accounts of mutual dreaming can play a role in learning how to do it consciously. I am sensitive to this having once read an entire book on hypnotic poetry without being exposed to a single example. People learn just as much about the various kinds of exceptional experience from reading descriptions of "what it was like" written by experiencers as they do from experts who talk or write about the experiences. Each appeals to a different form of knowing—empathic, feeling knowing and rational knowing. We need both, but in regard to unusual experiences. I think the feeling, empathic form should lead. It is able to kindle the imagination, which then moves the rational mind forward, providing it with a rich subject to work on. Magallón’s aim is not only to learn how to share dreams. Beyond that is the experience of consciously meeting in dreams.

Much of the data upon which this book is based come from her MBA thesis on community dreamwork, but she was a dreamer before that, and she participated in her own research. "As an in-dream researcher, I attempt to replicate others’ experiences in order to compare them with my own" (p. 3). After 5 introductory chapters, there is a section on dream sharing, with 4 chapters on Ways and Whys of Dreaming Together, including a chapter on research and theory entitled "The Holistic Dream Universe." Part 3 has 3 chapters on How to Dream Together. The 4th has 4 chapters on New Field Research, which delves into "how large and complex a social phenomenon" mutual dreaming is (p. 200). It can involve several dreamers in independent dream groups geographically apart. She applies group sociodynamic stage theory to the development of mutual dream groups. New developmental stages await mutual dreamers who do the necessary work of building a strong sociability foundation underlying the dreamwork. Thus, we could say that to develop mutual dreamers must have strong egos but must also be able to realize, honor, and consider their connectedness to others as being, if anything, more "real" that their connection to their bodies. Only this larger self-focus can fit them to have experiences with others in the realm of mutual consciousness. Without a strong ego they might not be able to stick with it through what might be a long learning period. The last part consists of "research results," and she recaps new realities and possibilities she has glimpsed in her work with mutual dream groups. In a very useful appendix she lists 81 published descriptions of 1 or more mutual dreams. (This is exactly what we need for every type of exceptional experience.)

Publisher Information:New York: Pocket Books, 1997. Pp. viii + 339. Appendix 1: Mutual Dream Examples: 313-317; Appendix 2: Dream Community Resources: 319; Bibl: 325-330; Chapnotes: 321-324; Ind: 331-339; 1 photo
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