I am trying to craft a story around the idea that, when we dream, we actually access another indeterminable plane of existence, a kind of repository into which the dreams and thoughts of all living things are poured and shared across different minds, within which many other abstract ideas and concepts can also be found...

...accessing this plane is not unlike astral projection, and lucid dreaming can allow you to travel across this plane rather than being a casual observer of it; mastering this ability allows you to influence it in dynamic ways that most dreamers can't, able to do everything from appear in other people's dreams to communicate with them, access other people's memories, witness abstract concepts and interpret what they truly mean, make and/or decipher prophecies, even discover the dreams and thoughts of people long dead that have outlived them in this place...

...as you can see, there are a lot of different ideas being tied together here, suggesting dreaming is capable of much more than what we believe it to be. I'm even playing with the ideas of, say, accessing genetic memory this way, or extrapolating future events by looking at past memories and events to make educated guesses...things that one might not even necessarily associate with dreams at first, but still things I think figure into it in natural, meaningful ways.

So I guess my main question is:

Is there a precedent for this? Do ideas like this exist already in science, or mythology, folklore, literature, pop-culture, etc.? This, of course, kind of skirting around obvious but circumstantial parallels (stuff like INCEPTION and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, etc.)

I would like to create an extensive mythology for this - "place" - based on ideas that already exist and have some sort of traceable history found in fact, cultural or otherwise, so that it lends an air of legitimacy to it, instead of seemingly made up wholesale.

If anyone happens to know how to answer this question and build on it in a meaningful way, please discuss: it would be greatly appreciated.


closed as off-topic by IndigoFenix, Pavel Janicek, Hohmannfan, a CVn, JDługosz Jul 7 '16 at 10:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – IndigoFenix, Pavel Janicek, Hohmannfan
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello, welcome to Worldbuilding. This kind of question is called 'idea generation' and is one of the problematic question types on this site. To improve the question, try to make it more focused on a specific problem, rather than asking for ideas of how to build the setting in the first place. In the meantime, if you're looking for similar ideas, TVTropes is a nice place to start. (But beware of its infamously addictive nature...) $\endgroup$ – IndigoFenix Jul 7 '16 at 7:08
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    $\begingroup$ You could ask this in chat, someone might be able to help. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Jul 7 '16 at 7:26
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    $\begingroup$ @IndigoFenix I don't think it is idea generation. The way I read the question it asks for information on dreams in literature, science, mythology etc. It isn't asking us to design the dreamworld. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Jul 7 '16 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That's getting directly to the heart of the matter. $\endgroup$ – bsideswiped Jul 7 '16 at 20:57

Robert Jordan's 'wheel of time' series has what you want. He wrote it over 30years and when he died before it was finished, brandon sanderson was selected to complete it following his original notes and discussions with both Jordan (before he died) and his wife.

It is 13books long. 14 if you take into the account that the last book was split into 2!

It has a parallel dreamscape world that you enter through your dreams called Tel'aran'rhiod or the World of Dreams. Wikipedia has a small description but the wheel of time wiki has a lot more info wot.wikia.com/wiki/Tel'aran'rhiod

Good luck


Many Amazon tribes believe that dreams are the real world and that all dreams are part of the same world. Amazons will look at all the tribes dreams and an elder will interpret the dreams.

There is also (pretty sketchy and dubious) evidence that people hallucinating can be sent images psychically by people in another room. This was tested using the Ganzfield technique. The subjects eyes and ears are blocked. This causes the brain to start dreaming as it has no sensory input. Another person nearby will try to tell the dreamer what photograph they are holding. The dreamer is then woken and given four photos and must pick one. 33% of the time the dreamers picked correctly with classically trained musicians being the best at it.

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians believed they could communicate with the gods, receive information about the future and meet there ancestors in dreams.

In the bible Joseoh twice received dreams from God. First explaining Mary's pregnancy and then warning him to leave the city by a different route to avoid Herod.

Muhammad also received visions or dreams from Allah telling him to found Islam and go to Mecca.

In real life dreams can help solve problems and also make people less tired. Dreams increase mental recovery speed as well.

Freud and others suggest dreams contain hidden messages about yourself or the future. For example a skull might suggest hidden aggression.


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