17 thoughts on “Guest post: Dreaming through generations”

  1. I couldn’t have put it better, Penny – you can see why it stayed vividly in my mind when Kath told it to me.

  2. Wow! This is utterly fascinating. Talk about the power of genetic continuity… My mother and I both like primary colours and salty foods, but nothing like this. Does anybody else have a similar story?

  3. I think every family has these shared streams of consciousness/experience, but they don’t usually surface. Kath’s story is particularly striking.

  4. Eerie and fascinating! I never guessed this was possible, but now I wonder which of my recurring dreams might have a life and a history outside me. Thanks so much for telling the story, Kath, and thank you, Jenny, for bringing it to us.

  5. I guess you could ask your parents/grandparents Amy? Then remember to tell us here if you uncover a family dream!

  6. What a fascinating story. I’ve never heard of family dreams before. Am glad for you all that they stop at age 12!
    Thank you for sharing your story, it’s a great conversation piece!

  7. Oooh! Had a slightly spooky moment when I read about Katherine’s dream. It’s very similar to a recurring nightmare I had as a child, where a giant apple rolled up my bed. It was terrifying and I had it night after night. How incredible that her dream followed a similar pattern to other family members. I don’t think I ever shared mine so have no idea if mine did too.

  8. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s so great to talk about dreams Abi – you uncover such interesting patterns. And it gives you a whole new area of insight into each other’s inner world. I feel that what inhibits a free exchange of dreams is the fear/pressure that comes from our automatic assumption that we must interpret them. Thank you for sharing your apple dream here – I can see why it came into your head on reading Kath’s extraordinary story.

  9. That’s fascinating, Kath – thank you for sharing it!

    I used to have a recurring dream when I was young, which then returned in later life if ever I had a fever, in which things around me got very large and loomed over me and the walls crowded close to my face. Later, one of my daughters had the dream and I realised it’s actually how things look when you are a baby. As soon as I worked it out, the dream was no longer scary.

    A couple of time I did have the same dream as one of my daughters when they were sleeping in the bed with me when small, but that’s contemporaneous shared dreaming, not an inherited dream.

    1. I’ve not had the experience of an inherited dream but before I got to know my father I had a fear for a short while of being submerged in the bath. It wasn’t till many years later when we met as adults that he spoke about his time in a malaria hospital in Africa and it seemed I’d ‘inherited’ a memory that belonged to him. He had been given cool baths to bring down his temperature and one day while being left on his own he became unconscious and slipped under the water, where a nurse found him. I don’t believe I could have been told this story by anyone else for good reasons but it does go towards my interest in memories – including dreams- that could be passed down through the generations.

      1. That’s so interesting. I absolutely believe in these inherited memories – which is another reason trying to understand dreams – or indeed one’s waking experience – purely based on the psychological model feels inadequate to me.

  10. Hello Stroppy Author – thank you for commenting. I found both your dream and your interpretation really interesting. Thank you also for mentioning contemporaneous dreams – that’s given me an idea for another post 🙂

  11. Kath, I’ve heard you tell this before, and it’s good to see it again here, because I find it completely fascinating. Spooky and weird, and it sets the brain boggling. Incredible stuff! xx

  12. Interesting and fascinating – but am I insensitive that I find it so, rather than spooky? (sorry!). By the way, JRR and Christopher Tolkien shared the same dream of a wave overwhelming a green country, which JRR turned into Numenor – so you’re not alone…

    1. I didn’t know that, Jane – fascinating! And I don’t mind a bit if you don’t find it spooky. I don’t myself. It was horrid, not frightening.

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