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Nov. 23, 2022 12:00 PM PST

Elon Musk made his first speaking appearance in Aaron Neyer’s dream life one night in mid-November. Neyer, a developer relations engineer at Google, dreamt that he was inside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, where he spotted Musk exiting a meeting. He rushed over to the new Twitter owner and sounded out Musk’s receptiveness to reinstalling Jack Dorsey as CEO. Neyer phrased his thoughts as questions rather than statements, knowing that Musk didn’t like being told what to do. Musk needed to come to the idea on his own, thought Neyer in his dream. It seemed like he might get there. Then Neyer woke up.

Neyer rarely dreams about public figures. His most memorable one to date was during the 2016 Standing Rock protests, when he found himself sharing a bunk bed with Barack Obama. But Neyer wasn’t entirely surprised that Musk had shown up in his slumber. “These days, the two biggest things I’m present to are the midterm elections and Elon’s Twitter takeover,” he said.

According to psychologists who specialize in treating people suffering from nightmares and other sleep disorders, nightly visitations from Elon Musk are happening a lot these days. Such shared dream occurrences, which often happen during periods of instability, offer a broader insight into our collective psyche. “When something is in the press, it triggers a lot of [dream] images,” said Gayle Delaney, a Florida-based clinical psychologist and dream analyst. “A lot of people are thinking about Elon Musk. He demonstrates the human lust for power, play and creativity…and he’s also disappointed a lot of people.”

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