E. W. Kellogg III (presenter), Linda Lane
Magallón, and Robert G. Waggoner ©1999
(The authors hereby give the Association for the Study of Dreams the
right to post this material on their website. Individuals accessing this material have
permission to copy it for their own personal use).
The authors have developed a data-gathering protocol that allows rigorous investigation
into the possibility and phenomenology of intentional, consensual, "lucid mutual
dreaming", in studies using proficient lucid dreamers. In this case,
proficient, indicates those who can successfully incubate lucid dreams (in
which they know that they dream while they dream), and who can also remember and
carry out pre-assigned tasks while dreaming. For the purposes of this protocol, a
"lucid mutual dream" in a minimal sense denotes an event in which two or more
lucid dreamers (who know that they dream while they dream) intentionally choose to meet
each other in dreamscapes (perceived dream environments) that may share some similarities.
A 'full-fledged' lucid mutual dream event would also include many other details,
indicative of a consensual meeting analogous to one occurring in the physical world. This
paper will present a brief overview of some of the more salient features of this Lucid
Mutual Dream Protocol (LMDP).
Although accounts of mutual dreaming exist (1, 2),
they remain open to question because of the many uncontrolled variables inherent to
anecdotal reports of this kind. Validated cases of mutual dreaming would have significant
implications not only to the nature of the dreaming and of human consciousness, but to
that of our understanding of reality as well. This protocol (3)
specifically aims at eliminating or minimizing sources of possible data contamination in
the ways in which participants record and share their experiences, and of maximizing the
potential evidential value of generated dream reports, by designating a series of tasks
subject to statistical analysis for lucid dreamers to perform when having possible mutual
Participants and Responsibilities
The Fair Witness (FW): A third party monitor who primarily acts as a
clearing house for dream reports, validating their time of arrival and the sequence of
events. The Fair Witness does not participate in the study as a Dreamer
Participant and need not have any lucid dreaming skills.
Dreamer Participants (DPs): A pool of proficient lucid dreamers who have agreed
to follow the LMDP for the duration of the study, in respect to dream reporting,
communication procedures in the waking world, and contact and verification procedures
during possible mutual dreams.
Communications and Dream Sharing: Study periods may vary in length, but a typical
study would last for 4 weeks, with lucid mutual dream target dates designated for the end
of the first and third weeks. Except in an emergency (like a computer breakdown)
participants will communicate only through e-mail, especially on and around target dates. Dreamer
Participants will send dream reports initially to the Fair Witness only.
After all reports for a given target date have arrived, the FW then compiles the
dreams into a primary dream data file for the night in question, and then sends this
material out simultaneously to all of the DPs involved, without making any comment
on possible correspondences. All other e-mail communications will go to all
participating parties, including the FW. This will allow the archiving of a
complete record of all communications between participants over each study period by the FW.
Dream Recording: Dreamer Participants agree to keep a reasonably detailed
dream diary of all of their dreams during a mutual lucid dream study, and a more detailed
version for the nights of specific target dates when they agree to incubate lucidity.
Dreams will include dates, and times (estimated if necessary) using the following form of
notation to avoid confusion: Initials of dreamer (e.g.: EWK) 7/1/1998-7/2/1998 3:30 AM
PDT. Degree of Lucidity: _____ Word: Dog, Gesture/Action: Spinning. When reporting dreams,
especially on target nights, DPs will also include a reasonably detailed appendix
describing possible sources of day residue (impressions from waking life
activities and events), that they feel might have influenced their dreams.
Lucid Mutual Dream Tasks:
Procedures that Dreamer Participants agree to follow when lucid in potential
mutual dreams when possible:
- They will take careful note of the dream environment, and of the appearance of possible
fellow dream participants, and of themselves, paying particular attention to structural
- They will make a dramatic gesture or action, randomly selected (before retiring) from a
list of ten, when they encounter another potential mutual dreamer. The gesture list
describes a set of easy to do, easy to recognize from a distance, and easy to
differentiate from each other in both form and movement gestures/actions. On the following
morning, in the case of a possible lucid mutual dream, DPs will select the top 3
gestures/actions, rated from 1 to 3, from most to least likely, that they judge best
corresponds to gestures/actions made in the dreamed event.
- Exchange code words with other potential mutual dreamers while dreaming. Before retiring
each dreamer would
- randomly choose a word from a 100 word list, in which each word distinctly differs from
the others in both pronunciation and meaning. On the following morning, in the case of a
possible lucid mutual dream, DPs will select the top 5 words, rated from 1 to 5,
from most to least likely, that they judge best corresponds to the dreamed event. They
will make this choice primarily based on the sounds, or meanings of, communications made
by possible co-dreamers, or secondarily upon a dream action or event that suggests a
particular word. Later on, independent judges may also perform these tasks.
This brief overview describes only a few of the more important features of the
actual LMDP. Results in a number of pilot studies, have proved the practical
workability of the LMDP, even under conditions where the adversarial workings of
Murphys law became strongly evident. Preliminary reports so far seem to show strong
evidence of telepathic overlay between DPs, similar in some ways to that seen in
the studies of Ullman et al (4). Other results support a more consensual
model, indicative of direct dreamer to dreamer interactions under certain conditions.
However, at this point the small amount of data available from preliminary studies using
the LMDP can only indicate possibilities that future research may eventually
confirm or deny.
Note: In refining this protocol we sent an earlier draft out to a number of
experienced dreamworkers. Their critical comments and suggestions helped us in
substantially strengthening the protocol in a number of ways. We would like to take this
opportunity to thank them all for their efforts in our behalf.
1. Kellogg III, E. W. (1997) "A Mutual Lucid Dream
Event", Dream Time, 14(2), 32-34, .
2. Magallón, L. L, (1997) Mutual Dreaming: When Two or More people
Share the Same Dream, New York, Simon and Schuster, Inc.
3. Kellogg III, E. W., Magallón, L.
L., and Waggoner, "A Lucid Mutual Dream Protocol", Copies available on request
from the authors, © 1998.
4.Ullman, M., Krippner, S. with Vaughan, A., (1973) Dream Telepathy:
Experiments in Nocturnal ESP, Macmillian Publishing Co. , Inc., New York.