SOCIAL DREAMING MATRIX NOTEs #7

image: Feline Authority by Juliet Scott

22 October 2020, 9.30-10.00 followed by 10 mn review. The 7th in the Deepening Creative Practice programme, this one taking place between the autumn season and the winter season.

7 participants

7 Dreams (of which 3 fragments)

21 Associations

The matrix felt fluid, full and rich, with very little silences, starting from places of seeing, ending in places of mourning and remembering.

The matrix opened with two dream fragments.

Newly working in an organization, the dreamer had the task to make an overview of the methods of communication used. Sitting at a very small desk, facing another employee, who kept putting huge sheets of paper over the dreamer’s head, and kept taking the material they were working with out of their hands, claiming they needed it and had no time to waste. Feeling of invasion and frustration.

With their partner on a journey in-between big cities. Now in a village in a countryside, by a bus stop, close to map of public transport. Mountains around. Clear sky, just few clouds, and they notice the milky way. Realize they haven’t seen it for years, and really enjoy getting back to it. The moment feels rushed, attention getting back to the public transport map.

In the third dream, the dreaming is viewing results of clinical tests, which are showed like Xray films on a wall. But instead of Xray, these are drawings, with strong contrast between lights and shadows. The result are good news. They decide to only share the good news with those who are staying, and not with those who are leaving.

The fourth dream is centered on the cat of the dreamer, in a house where they grew up. The cat kept changing size, from small to enormous, wild, frightening, like a tiger. They were very scared, and tried to squeeze the cat into a takeaway box to contain the wildness, but still didn’t feel safe, so fled to the other side of the house, and closed the door. Then they felt safe.

The dreams are followed by a series of 6 associations:

  • about viewing a program where a trauma specialist shared an anecdote working with an image of a tiger to make the patient move from a freeze state to a flee state, getting away from the trauma.
  • about online talk with visual artist in Dublin, painting the space of the lonely city landscape of Dublin Street, but only being able to paint once they are far away, unable to paint in the day-to-day reality, need to make it/themselves strange. This resonates with the cat becoming strange, and with not remembering that the Milky Way is always there. Only seeing it once on a journey, from another place.
  • about the strangeness of social distancing and the exaggeration and monstrosity of feelings and relationships that it produces, like the enormous cat.
  • about the wildness of the cat and people being afraid of their own wilderness, taming ourselves constantly, denying our wild side, and with Brexit trying to keep Britain away, like in a box.
  • about reality becoming segmental, a chain of frames of time, like film machines. The box resonates with that fragmentation, as the association with Brexit and anxiety.
  • only telling people who are staying, shadows and light, followed by an association with the first dream, and the contempt and dismissal of paper work, making a mockery of negotiations and legal processes with Brexit.

A fifth dream is presented, which has two parts. Standing in a queue for the wedding of two friends, taking place with a church type audience, two sides. The dreamer is holding items of clothing as they were watching the ceremony. The dreamer woke up, and then returned to the second part of the dream. Now the party, in a big hotel space. The social dreaming matrix was taking place at the same time as the party. All around people were wearing puppets on their heads, and the social dreaming matrix was distracted and wondered whether they should find another location.

A series of 3 associations follows:

  • between the Xray pictures of the fourth dream, the clinical context, and Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountains, the Xray connecting to a complete sense of wonder to see things never seen before, transforming perspectives.
  • between transforming perspectives and perceiving the infra world and the work we did in the DCP programme, using our bodies as microphones to sense the infra world, listening differently.
  • about the Tavistock methods of working with what’s under the surface, learning to see in a different way.

A dream fragment follows: the dreamer is at home, when their partner arrives with loads and loads of fresh bread from the bakery. Reminds them of when they were a child, very pleased. But it felt like too much bread.

A series of 8 associations follows:

  • between this dream and the second dream: things coming back from childhood (the bread, the milky way), and the accompanying pleasure of finding them back.
  • About health and having just met somebody who came back from a scan, because of probably an inflammation of stress-related issues, those invisible things going on in our bodies.
  • about how working to find new ways of seeing and changing the context can put us in contact with old and forgotten ways of seeing, like children’s capacity to enjoy moments of pleasure without analyzing whether it’s too much
  • about what’s happening in our bodies, the body wisdom and its capacity to constantly self-heal without us knowing/realizing it
  • about a friend by diagnosed with terminal cancer (by means of Xray) and finding spiritual narration and guidance from others who had died earlier
  • about our relationality beyond the immediate geographical and temporal contexts we find ourselves in, connecting to a wider web of beings and emotions
  • about watching a clip, and suddenly seeing their mom’s eyes in the eyes of an actor, seeing their own eyes, their mom’s eyes.
  • about people who have departed from this life

A new dream is offered, especially present in sensations, about someone who died, but the dreamer is aware that they’ve gone to another dimension, and another one is still there. There are two of them.

Follows a series of 3 associations:

  • about visiting their father’s grave tomorrow with their sister
  • about patterns and rituals of being in touch with the dead, many of them taking place in the middle of autumn, a time we find ourselves in
  • about all souls’ day being early November

During the review, participants expressed their feeling of solemnity and depth of attention. The end felt like mourning, feeling that we first need to mourn before we can move on. Feeling of enjoyment were also expressed, the matrix felt very rich, full of knowledge, history, what is in the moment, and new perspectives.

The image of the skeleton became very vivid, as well as the veil between life and death, is it soft? Hard? Experience that it is hard, rigid boundaries, holding boundaries.

Also experience of expansiveness and becoming aware of what can be experienced when becoming open to possibilities. The milky way is always there, so what can I do to experience it?

Experiences of opening, awareness, expansive, comforting, ancestors as guides, as presences that protect.

Thinking of autumn and winter as times of bones and composting, symbolic gestures that is powerful and positive.

Thinking of the winter season of the DCP with its theme of commemoration, an act of collective remembering, we do it for ourselves, to be in touch with our younger selves.

Reading the notes, we are struck by the enormity of the projections and their relation to Social Distancing and a kind of chaotic dance that we all find ourselves in, knowing they are there, recognising our own, avoiding those of others while hopelessly attempting not to harden our grips as we dance between the two.

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