There’s much more shared dreaming than we’re aware of. When somebody mentions shared dreaming you may only think of people meeting each other in a dream. It’s still the most obvious way to think about shared dreaming. It’s the type of shared dreaming movies can be made about. Think of movies like The Matrix, or more recently Inception. If you think that the possibilities in these movies are rare or even impossible then you’ve seen nothing yet. In the real world there’s another type of shared dreaming that’s probably very common.
Among the pioneers of mutual dreaming it has been Linda Lane Magallón who in the book Mutual Dreaming explains different types of mutual dreaming. The meshing dreams are especially interesting. A meshing dream happens when two or more people have exactly the same dream. Linda gives an example where a meeting dream would have both dreamers sitting in a Porsche, one behind the wheel and the other one driving along. In a meshing dream, both dreamers would have exactly the same dream of driving the Porsche, without the other dreamer being present in the dream.
In the book Linda says that of 124 mutual dream accounts 36% happen to concern meeting dreams. The remaining 64% are meshing dreams. That means that for every meeting dream there are two meshing dreams. The book was published in 1997 and we have had time to get a little more experience with mutual dreaming over the last 13 years. My impression is that there are substantially more meshing dreams than meeting dreams, more than 2 to 1, but it’s hard to put a number on it.
There are two challenges with getting a reliable count of meshing dreams. The first challenge is to catch meshing dreams. We probably overlook many of them. It’s easy enough to get confirmation on a meeting dream. The person you need to ask is in the dream, so you know who it is. With a meshing dream you’re usually clueless whom you should ask. There isn’t enough time in the day to just ask everyone. We could have lots of meshing dreams every night, without knowing it.
The second challenge is to decide when exactly a same dream counts as a meshing dream. Some meshing dreams shouldn’t really be counted as such. Mutual dreams need to demonstrate some kind of communication. Sometimes we accept a same dream as sufficient proof of some kind of communication, like in the example of two dreamers driving a Porsche. What if two people drove different cars, yet with the same color? What if these two people with the same dream belong to a group of 40 dreamers who all submitted several dreams on that same night? With enough dreamers and dreams I expect to see similarities somewhere, so if you count every similarity you probably count too many.
I suspect that it adds up to underestimating the number of meshing dreams compared to meeting dreams. I could be wrong about it, but either way, if you’re interested in mutual dreams, you’ll have to be ready to deal with both meshing and meeting dreams.