( 1. ) Being at a school, and going to a class that I have avoided for a long time, and then finding out that there is going to be a test that day, for example. Me hoping that I can "play it by ear" and get through the test that way.
( 2. ) Sometimes I attempt to play an instrument this way also, in a dream, and amazingly am able to play simple tunes on it, all the while believing that I will screw up at any moment, in my improvisations.
( 3. ) Being at a school and feeling as though I have missed some technicalities, and so will not graduate when originally expected to do so.
( 4. ) Flying to various places through a will power, versus flapping my arms, or having wings. Floating instead of falling, is related to this. Occasionally even bouncing over large distances, via trampoline action on telephone wires or other things around. ( A sub-theme is that whenever I fly, I must always worry about these overhead wires. )
( 5. ) Being in a museum on a tour, and sneaking away from the tour group to go off on my own into hallways that lead underground eventually, and morphing from being examples of Egyptian tombs, for example, into being actual large places where one seems to have left the "museum" concept behind. Then I am being chased by mummies through long tunnels that branch confusingly like mazes.
( 6. ) Being at a job where I am not certain what is expected of me, or even what I am supposed to do, and feeling like many of my co-workers are possibly doing the same, but unwilling to admit it. Strange "office politics" that come out of these places. Contrast this with the theme of being under a lot of pressure to find such a job, but wandering around with no transportation and no luck in getting such work for sure. The urge to just say "fuck it" to the whole mess and just go somewhere and do what I want - merely "going through the motions" of having done so.
( 7. ) Going back to school and having to find off campus housing, which involves sharing living space with eccentric strangers.
( 8. ) Going across the country to California, and or some other long trip, and the funny places and people one meets along the way.
( 9. ) Encountering places that I have seen before in dreams but don't remember that well. Trying to drive on busy roads and not get lost, based on such vague memories of the "map". I recognize the theme Ygolo mentioned, of being in a vehicle I do not have control over. Typically I will have "partial control", though. I am trying to drive as though with my feet in the back seat, with access to the steering wheel but not the brakes or gas. Or having access to various pedals and buttons but not knowing what they do.
( 10. ) Trying to make sense of trains and train schedules at stations along various routes, so as not to miss connecting excursions. Getting off at the wrong station or missing my train. Lacking a proper ticket. Finding myself in dodgey areas of a city, and either hurrying through them, or finding interesting markets and antique/art stores not far from there. Being pursued by thugs in slums.
( 11. ) Wandering around in buildings that are so enormous that one can easily get lost in them. Having people pursue me in such places. Sometimes these are hospitals that seem mostly empty, but may have scattered weird patients in them. Sometimes they are prisons. Sometimes ( if smaller ) they are schools that I went to as a child, that I am coming back to see with adult eyes, and with the benefit of knowing "secret passages" and "janitor shortcuts" etc. Sometimes these are department stores that are all connected, as in a mall. There are escalators and elevators in the more modern buildings, where I am entertaining working. There are only stairwells in the scarier buildings. Going down towards level 19 or whatever, below ground, and having that "Outer Limits" feeling creeping up on me...One can hear big machines throbbing in the background, perhaps involved in the power plant...
I could go on and on, but I know I am notorious for long posts.
I don't connect my dreams with my experiences of synchronicity. I have had many lucid dreams. Also many dreams that were only partially lucid. Not so many of these lucid dreams as I get older. The dreams that are pure lucidity are not that fun after the initial novelty wears off. Being "God" becomes boring. I prefer dreams that can surprise me, which is maybe why I don't have that many lucid dreams anymore.
I agree that the placebo effect is interesting, but I don't see a connection with my dreams. There is also the reverse placebo effect, where people think bad things are happening to them because they've been told that they might encounter such things. ( "Side effects" of medication are a good example of this. )
An interesting writer that comes to mind, considering the questions you have in this thread, is Rupert Sheldrake.
I've had only a little experience with NLP and Ericksonian hypnosis theories.