From New Dawn 149 (Mar-Apr 2015)
In the late 1970s I read the research on dream telepathy conducted at Maimonides Medical Center’s Dream Laboratory in New York.1 I was fascinated with how a person could send pictures into the minds of sleeping subjects during dream sleep, also called Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. The sleeping subjects would incorporate aspects of a sent picture into their dream motifs or dream stories.
In one target picture there were two men in a boxing match, the sender or agent also had on display in his office “a genuine dark-brown leather boxing glove.”2 The picture and the physical object on display enhanced the telepathic transfer more significantly than the picture alone.
This research got me interested in dreamwork and a year later I began studying methods on how to control my dreams.3 At the time I was having an unusual recurring dream and thought dream control would help me explore it. However, this endeavour fell short of what I expected. I continued working on dream control, and added to my dream retinue Freudian and Jungian dream interpretation. I also discovered dream control was the antecedent to experiencing lucid dreams.
By the mid-1980s more research into the nature of lucid dreaming had accumulated accompanied with new methods on how to experience a lucid dream.4 Now somewhat successful with controlling my dreams, I decided to try one of the new techniques, and it worked; I was becoming more consciously aware in my dream states. But remembering and staying conscious in my dreams was a constant struggle. I began noticing that on nights I did not smoke marijuana, I could recall my dreams, they were more vivid, and I was more consciously aware of them and as a result. I curtailed my marijuana use.
During this period Joe, a long time friend, and I were studying rituals from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He and I had a close friendship, and according to the studies on dream telepathy to be successful, there needed to be an “agent-subject rapport,”5 which is what we had. We decided to experiment with the directional symbols from the Golden Dawn: the dagger, wand, chalice and pentacle. The pictures of these symbols were all in black and white, and copied from Israel Regardie’s book The Golden Dawn.6 Joe was a night owl, so while I slept he attempted to send these symbols into my dreams randomly, one symbol per night. After several months without success we stopped the experiment.
Shortly thereafter I began teaching a course at the University of Cincinnati, ‘Dreams: The Night Theatre’. By the seventh week of class I noticed some of the students began sharing aspects of each other’s dreams. Each time I taught the course this phenomenon would occur. I finally concluded these students unconsciously were telepathically transferring dream information into each other’s dreams, changing the dream motifs. Eventually I discovered research into this phenomenon called shared dreaming or mutual dreaming.7
If these students could telepathically send information into each other’s dreams, then why was my earlier experiment with Joe not successful? I decide to restructure the experiment with another friend, Mike, who was deeply interested in the mystical, and like Joe, we had a deep rapport. In the new experiment, we used black and white standard ESP card symbols as the targets. We decided to send these symbols into each other’s dreams telepathically. If that worked then we would attempt to enter each other’s dream motifs, a shared dream experience. Each night we randomly selected one of the ESP symbols and then telepathically focused on sending that symbol into each other’s dreams. We alternated nights, one night I would be the sender and the next night would be Mike’s turn. After a year with no successes we stopped the experiment.
A few years later I became friends with Aaron who was in the counselling profession like myself and had a deep interest in parapsychology. I presented the research on dream telepathy, lucid dreaming and shared dreaming, and he was fascinated with the idea of sharing a dream story. Rather than trying to send symbols into each other’s dreams, we instead used a different approach. Aaron would try to send his image telepathically into my dreams, and over the next year we experimented with this shared dreaming technique without success. With these experimental failures, I sat the entire project aside.
Hector (pronounced Ector) and I had known each other for four years and we had discussions on various topics. The topic of choice was always the afterlife and the supernatural. Being from Mexico, Hector had a very different perspective on reality because in his culture the supernatural is a part of everyday life. One topic that kept cropping up was how everything that exists is interconnected or entangled with everything else. The concept of entanglement comes from quantum physics in which particles created at the same time become entangled with each other. What is done to one particle instantly happens to the other particle, no matter how far apart they are. Studying entanglement, I stumbled upon Dean Radin’s (2006) concept of entangled minds.8 Radin used entangled minds to explain ESP phenomena, and his theoretical explanations gave me a scientific basis for how everything is interconnected, especially our minds.
Hector could not wrap his head around the entanglement concept. I would tell him, he and I are a part of each other, we are a part of everything that exists and everything is entangled with everything else including our minds; we are all one. In talking to him about how we are all interconnected and entangled with each other, I began thinking about my previous failed experiments with dream telepathy and shared dreaming and why those experiments didn’t work. A successful telepathic experiment would convince Hector we are all interconnected and our minds are indeed entangled.
Now that I had piqued Hector’s interest, I decided to approach him about conducting an experiment that would test the entanglement idea, and he was interested. How would I go about the experiment? What would I do different this time that I didn’t do before? I finally came to a simple experimental protocol. I would again use standard ESP symbols but this time they would be in colour. Hector would be the sender/agent and I would be the receiver/subject. My reasoning for this decision was Hector spoke English with a deep accent, many words he had problems pronouncing, but he understood more than he could speak. I thought his language issues and his cultural background might be an asset because he was unsullied by the rational materialistic culture of the United States.
If Hector was able to send me an ESP symbol telepathically and if I received the image, that would indicate we are entangled in some way. But if the experiment failed then my argument would fall apart. I presented the experimental protocol and he was ready and excited to begin. I, on the other hand, was a bit anxious because of the previous failures, but decided the experiment might work because we had a deep rapport with each other and our cultural backgrounds were so different.
I gave Hector the coloured ESP symbols (see Figure 1) and instructed him to choose one each week at random. Once chosen, throughout the day he pictured me in his mind and visualised the ESP symbol going from his mind into my mind. At week’s end I would call him and tell him what symbol came into my mind. He would confirm if I hit or missed the symbol. The first three days of the first week I missed the target completely and then started to get hits off and on throughout the day. Over the next two weeks, I got hits every day and a few misses, but more hits than misses. He was impressed with our experimental results and so was I.
I decided to change the targets from ESP colour symbols to pictures of black and white physical objects (see Figure 2, above). Hector continued with the same experimental protocol and I did not get a single hit. What was it about the ESP colour symbols that were easier for Hector to transmit telepathically? And why was I able to receive the ESP coloured symbols and not the black and white pictures of physical objects? Did it have to do with how he culturally perceived these symbols and objects as he telepathically transmitted them to me? Did it have to do with the fact that the black and white pictures were more detailed than the ESP coloured symbols? I was at a loss to explain these results. After a week and a half of nothing but misses, we decided to take four months off and then resume with the ESP colour symbols to see if there were any changes.
We resumed the experiment for a four-week period and every day, throughout the day, I got hits. I soon discovered that when Hector sent the ESP symbols telepathically he focused mostly on the colour that made up the symbol. In the experiments it appeared the colour of the symbol was the salient factor for successful telepathic transmission. I realised Hector is a visual learner, so cognitively the colour of an object might carry more visual weight than black and white objects.
Hector was amazed with our results but could not understand how it all worked. I tried to explain it the best I could by simplifying Dean Radin’s theoretical perspective, but fell short because of our language barrier. It became obvious we were now more than ever interested in continuing our research into entangled minds, but where would we go from here? Out of three previous attempts with three different people, Hector is the first experimental colleague to be able to telepathically send ESP symbols into my mind.
With the success of our telepathic experiments we decided to take the next step into the world of dreams. I knew dream telepathy was true, lucid dreaming was true, shared dreaming was also true, but could Hector telepathically transmit his animated image into my dream stories? If so, how could it be done? Over the next few months I put together all I knew about dream research, especially lucid and shared dreaming, telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance, and various behavioural and Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques to develop a sound experimental protocol. I also added a lucid dream supplement, galantamine, to enhance the lucidity and vividness of my dreams.
I shared all the information accumulated with Hector and a protocol for how we would conduct the experiment. Since Hector was an excellent sender/agent and I was an excellent receiver/subject, we would keep that structure intact because of the positive results of our previous experiment. Not only that, but our minds were now significantly entangled.
Since Hector is the manager of a restaurant, he is up late at night giving him the opportunity to telepathically send his image into my mind while I sleep. He sent his image into my mind between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and somewhere during this period I was dreaming. Without an EEG hook-up monitoring my sleep stages, his telepathic projections were hit or miss. In addition, before going to sleep, I took galantamine on alternate nights excluding weekends.
Over the next several months Hector and I experimented to see if he could project his image into my dreams. Nothing happened for several weeks, but when I woke up to use the bathroom during one night the first image to pop into my mind was Hector. Slowly, over the next several weeks, this experience went through subtle changes. One significant change was when Hector’s image popped into my mind accompanied with intense feelings of his presence. Then, one night, I suddenly awoke almost in a startle and Hector’s presence was all around. I couldn’t see him, but it was as though he was in the room with me. Throughout the next day his presence remained, and I could feel him intensely. The following day I called him and he told me he and his lady-friend had a deep intense discussion about an article I had written on helping stuck souls go into the light.9 Their intense discussion about the article’s details telepathically transferred Hector’s spiritual energetic presence to me.
Now that I could feel Hector’s presence, we decided to create a specific place in my dream world where he could project his image. This special place is called an egregore. According to Gaetan Delaforge10 egregores are “created when people consciously come together for a common purpose. Whenever people gather together to do something an egregore is formed….” Hector’s native tongue is Spanish, so he would be the one creating the egregore because it would be easier for him to describe to me where the dream would take place rather than for me to describe it to him in English. It took a week for Hector to come up with an egregore, which was a soccer field.
Since I don’t play sports and have no idea what a soccer field looks like, I immediately went to the Internet, found several pictures and committed them to memory. Hector taught me how soccer is played and he telepathically met me in my dreams on the soccer field. Throughout the day I would focus on him and me meeting on the soccer field and playing the game. This focusing ritual that I performed throughout the day is called dream incubation. I also added two other components to the dream incubation ritual – a command statement and dream enhancing technique. The command statement, “Tonight, Hector will enter my dreams,” is an invitation for him to enter my dream stories.
The dream enhancing technique was one I used years earlier in a psychotherapeutic setting to gain insights into my client’s issues, and it worked. In this technique I placed the signature of the client I desired to dream about under my pillow at night, which resulted in me dreaming about the client.11 However, for our experiment I augmented this technique. I placed under my pillow a signed photograph of Hector, placed in an envelope with the command statement written on the back of the envelope. Throughout the day I repeated the command statement while visualising me and Hector playing soccer. At night I placed the envelope under my pillow and recited the command statement repeatedly while going to sleep. Another valuable tool I used was a dream journal. With this experiment the journal became a valuable asset. After several weeks of preparation we were ready to execute the experiment.
The first several weeks were all failures in the sense Hector did not appear in any of my dreams, nor was there a soccer field, but with galantamine my dreams were vivid and lucid. Although I dreamed, Hector was not in any of them, however when I awoke I felt his presence all around me. This continued for several weeks and then I had a dream of several Mexicans, none of them I knew. A few nights later I dreamed I was talking to a friend about Hector. Then it finally happened; I was dreaming and suddenly Hector was in the background watching the dream story – he said nothing, just stood and observed. This was the first breakthrough with him in my dreams.
A few nights later, still taking galantamine, Hector was in my dream story. Rather than a soccer field, the egregore setting was a restaurant and Hector was gambling, an activity he doesn’t do. In the second part of the dream he went to another restaurant where a party was going on; I followed him and enjoyed the party. A few nights later he was in another dream with a different motif in which we were driving to another city talking about him opening a Mexican restaurant, but still no soccer field.
Over the years I have experimented with a variety of lucid dream supplements, and found galantamine works. I also discovered another dream supplement, African Dream Root (Silene Capensis), which received many positive reviews regarding vividness in lucid dreaming. Based on these reviews, I decided African Dream Root might be a better supplement to allow Hector and me to create the soccer field egregore. I took three weeks off galantamine and substituted African Dream Root.
After taking the supplement for a few days there were radical changes in my dreaming. African Dream Root did not do what I expected; my dreams were chaotic and violent, with poor dream recall. But Hector was in one dream in the background, observing the chaotic and violent dream story, and there was no soccer field egregore. I stopped taking African Dream Root and resumed taking galantamine.
Over the next several dreams Hector was in the motifs and they were all in places where one eats, a restaurant and a kitchen. There was a dream in which I was talking about Hector’s restaurant to someone else. In another dream Hector served food and taught me how to drink Margaritas with salt. In a later dream we were at my house at the kitchen table talking and his mother was present in a pale blue dress. Hector and I were so close; I could smell his body fragrance which was a sweet subtle smell, not offensive at all. In studying my dreams throughout the years, this was the first time my olfactory (smell) sense was activated to this level of sensitivity.
In reviewing the details of the first part of our telepathy-dream experiment, there is a combination of factors contributing to Hector being a very good sender/agent. It is evident, since Hector has a visual learning style, that the colour ESP targets were more effective than the black and white targets. Also, his cultural background lends itself to the supernatural and his language issues allowed him to successfully telepathically transmit the colour targets to me. I, on the other hand, am a good subject/receiver because I have had many altered state of consciousness experiences throughout my life. These experiences have opened me up to receive information from a variety of spiritual or imaginal domains as well as the earlier experiments with telepathy and shared dreaming.
The reason Hector could not transmit the soccer field egregore was because he manages a restaurant and that scene is ever-present in his mind. He works in this environment six days a week, absorbing all the details of the restaurant into his mind. In the restaurant money is the primary re-enforcer, creating a strong mental image of that environment. On the other hand, he plays soccer occasionally and the re-enforcer is having fun, which is not as strong as a monetary re-enforcer. Moreover, when he tried projecting the soccer field, the stronger re-enforcer associated with the eating environment is what was unconsciously transmitted. As a result, we decided an eating environment would be our dream egregore.
The use of the lucid dream enhancer galantamine allowed my dreams to become more vivid and lucid. By being more vivid and lucid, I was more consciously aware in each dream motif. Within the lucid dream structure my intent was not to change the dream story but to become more aware of dream details.
The use of the programmed command statement and the signed photo in the envelope as part of the incubation process allowed my protective barriers to become more relaxed and invited Hector’s visual presence to enter my dreams. Eventually Hector became an active part of the dream stories. Although one aspect of the incubation process did not materialise as planned – creating the soccer field egregore – but a more viable result occurred, the eating environments.
This experiment has broad implications for how we understand and perceive our reality. The fact that Hector and I were able to connect telepathically indicates we broke down major psychic and protective barriers between us. The ESP component of this experiment allowed our minds to become entangled. This entanglement allowed Hector to project his image, essence or presence into my dream motifs.
The Next Step
With the success of this telepathy-dream experiment, which took a year and a half to unfold, Hector and I are moving on to the next phase. Over the next several months Hector will telepathically enter my dreams and he and I will attempt to change the dream story at will – he transmitting from the outside world and me within the dream world. As this experiment has unfolded there are broader implications for Hector and I. Hector can use his telepathic abilities to continue helping me explore the dream world, or he can explore other dimensions of the imaginal realm, or he can be taught how to refine and focus these sacred abilities to heal others. Whichever route he chooses, Hector will find great satisfaction in experiencing other realities or knowing he is helping others to heal.
I, on the other hand, will continue exploring the phenomenon of entangled minds, the dream world, and other terrains of the vast imaginal realm. The results of this experiment are shifting my professional focus toward what is possible with human potential. Lastly, what we have accomplished in this experiment is far greater than I ever expected.
- Montague Ullman & Stanley Krippner, Dream Telepathy: Experiments in Nocturnal ESP, Penguin, 1974
- Ibid., 121
- Patricia L. Garfield, Creative Dreaming, Simon & Schuster, 1975 & 1995 (updated edition)
- Stephen LaBerge, Lucid Dreaming, Ballantine, 1985
- Ullman and Krippner, 1974, 212
- Israel Regardie, The Golden Dawn, Aries Press, 1937-40, 398
- Linda Lane Magallon, Mutual Dreaming, Pocket Books, 1997; Barbara Shor, ‘The Promise of Shared Dreaming’, Gnosis Magazine, Winter, 1992, 36-42
- Dean Radin, Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, Paraview, 2006
- Gary W. Duncan, ‘Helping Stuck Souls Crossover’, New Dawn 143 (March-April 2014), 65-70.
- Gaetan Delaforge, ‘The Templar Tradition Yesterday and Today’, Gnosis Magazine, No. 6, Winter, 1988, 8-13
- Magallon, 1997; Robert Moss, Conscious Dreaming, Crown, 1996.
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