“When you fall asleep,
you go from the presence of yourself
into your own true presence.
You hear something
and surmise that someone else in your dream
has secretly informed you.
You are not a single “you.”
No, you are the sky and the deep sea.
Your mighty “Thou,” which is nine hundredfold,
is the ocean, the drowning place
of a hundred “thous” within you. ~ Rumi
People have the capability to communicate telepathically with one another while asleep and dreaming. This phenomenon, known as Dream Telepathy, is much more common than we think and surpasses the boundary of coincidence.
If we stop to consider how many times we’ve woken up from a dream about an old friend who suddenly calls later on, or hear a sound in our sleep right before it manifests physically, we may start to see that communication is not merely restricted to words.
From fortune-tellers, animal psychics to physicists, all can vouch for the fact that information transmits beyond all channels of our regular sensory perception. The dream state has been studied in context to telepathy and precognition exactly because it seems to exceed the realm of our five senses.
The first person to use the phrase ‘dream telepathy’ was Sigmund Freud in “The Uncanny and the Occult.” Based on several patients’ accounts, he comes to the conclusion that there is a strong possibility that telepathy is a real phenomenon. However, he doesn’t restrict its occurrence to just dream states. But he was quick to discard anything that seemed supernatural, he said, “Since dreams themselves have always been mysterious things, they have been brought into intimate connection with the other unknown mysteries.”
Carl Jung, initially his student, was of the opinion that the conscious and unconscious mind came together in our dreams, a process he called ‘individuation’. In this dreamscape, the bridge between the individual mind and the collective unconscious became activated.
The Experiments with Montague Ullman and Stanley Krippner
In the 60’s, an American doctor named Montague Ullman along with Dr. Stanley Krippner began to further explore the potential for telepathy in dreamers. For this, they required a control group with ‘senders’ and ‘receivers’. The randomly selected sender and receiver would meet for a very short period of time right before being separated into different rooms to sleep in.
An envelope enclosed with a picture or drawing was kept in the room of the sender, and in order to ensure secrecy of the topic, the sender could only get the envelope before it was time to sleep. They would then concentrate or ‘send’ the message by visualizing it appearing before the receiver.
It had been observed through years of research that people were able to remember their dreams if awakened during Rapid Eye Movement sleep (R.E.M.). Hence the experimenter awakened the receiver soon after R.E.M. sleep so as to take a dream report.
On one particular occasion, all senders were given a print of a popular painting by Edgar Degas known as “School of Dance”. Depicted in it is a dance school filled with young girls and women. The results were astounding.
According to Krippner the receivers reported dreams that nearly exactly fit the description, it included phrases like “I was in a class made up of maybe half a dozen people, it felt like a school,” and “There was one little girl that was trying to dance with me.”
Another major event occurred on 15th March, 1970. This session took place interestingly at a Holy Rounders rock concert. The entire audience attending the concert were selected to be telepathic senders. An artist named Jean Millay was to prepare the senders on how and what to visualize, with the help of a group of artists that created light shows for concerts.
After giving the senders a simple set of verbal instructions, the light show began. Color projectors were used to project on a large screen a film about eagles and their nesting habits as well as various other birds including ones in well-known mythology. The film was screened right around the time Holy Modal Rounders were playing their song “If you want to be a bird”.
There were about five volunteer receivers at the time, located within a hundred mile radius from the senders. All the receivers were aware of where the concert was taking place and were instructed to start recording their dreams by midnight as that was when the visualizations would be sent to them.
Sure enough, the receivers reported shockingly similar visions. One of them by the name of Helen Andrews saw “something mythological, like a griffin or a phoenix.” Many other participants had impressions of snakes, grapes and “an embryo in flames”. Richie Havens, a singer and a recording artist who also participated, reported visualizing “a number of sea gulls flying over water.”
The pilot session with The Grateful Dead
In a pilot session, Ullman and Krippner got in members of acclaimed rock band Grateful Dead. Six concerts were involved in this study, all held at the Capitol Theatre of New York. Approximately 45 miles away from it was the Mainmonides Medical Centre’s dream laboratory.
This time there were two participants – one named Malcolm Bessent and another named Felicia Parise. Malcolm spent the night at the laboratory with electrodes attached to his head to monitor brain activity, while Felicia slept in her own bed. At a particular time, the members of Grateful Dead would discuss the random art print and ask the audience to ‘send’ the images.
However, this experiment differed as the audience was given the name and location of Bessent and not Parise. It was speculated that Bessent’s dreams would demonstrate more correspondences because “psycho-physiological monitoring made possible a more complete collection of his dream activity”; and the transmitters were aware of his name and location and therefore could direct the messages more clearly.
“On several other nights, Mr. Bessent’s dream reports demonstrate what the judges considered to be a high degree of correspondence with the art print. On 20 February 1971, “Philosophy in the Boudoir” by the French artist Magritte was randomly selected; it portrays a headless woman in a transparent gown. Mr. Bessent dreamed about “a little girl’s doll” and a “fantasy…, a card around my neck”. None of Ms. Parise’s transcript – target correspondences was as dramatic despite the fact that she had made high scores in other dream telepathy experiments.”
They also found that:
– The greater the number of senders, the more powerfully visions would manifest.
– The more multi-sensory the stimuli was (visual, auditory, olfactory etc.), greater was the degree of accuracy in the dreams of the receiver.
Read about the entire experiment here
“Asleep you can experience many hours whilst only a few waking moments have passed. This is why dreams are an ideal platform for training.” ~ Wayne Gerard Trotman
Although the phenomena of dream telepathy has been recorded for eons in folklore and mythology, this research is among the first of its kind to study it within a controlled scientific context. To probe into this for ourselves we could keep dream journals to write in every time we feel some dreams to be more meaningful over others.
Those dreams provide great insight and have the scope to develop our intuitive faculties. In order to open telepathic channels of communication in our dreams, we could start by telling ourselves that we would like to communicate something specific with a certain person before we sleep.
Messages may not always make sense but since they are coming from deep within the realm of the unconscious (whether individual or collective), they will always have meaning and value. Ultimately we are all connected through a powerful energetic web. As we begin to strengthen our intuition, we become more and more aware of these connections and make use of the information we have access to through them.