Three people present plus 3 facilitators and a few garbled dreams
Today’s session is a mix of dreams and the telling of nightmare stories.
A lady hovers at the entrance and says she cannot come in because she is looking after victims of rape and violence. She talks about her own case that is refused investigation because it does not ‘fit’ the police and lawyers systems. She describes a life of persecution and exploitation where dreams and reality merge. When she is accused of being “Gypsy Jew” she knows she can expect trouble as she is psychically aware, she claims, and knows what others are thinking. People can ‘spot’ people like her who are vulnerable and who have been violated. She later reads a long detailed poem.
(Associations: Biologically, in states of fear, hormones are released that convey fear and weakness and therefore invite attack. Our complex social systems are meant to protect vulnerable people, but she claims in her case they do not.)
There is a reference to living the nightmares of other people – a grandmother who fills her grandson’s mind with horrific stories about the War. The group seems unable to let people talk or finish their dreams. In the social dreaming group, competition can be as destructive as the remembered atrocities. Boundaries between the sense of self and the sense of others are porous – the outside invades the inside at will and becomes the inside. What is complained about by the group about society, viz. destructive capitalist competition, is present in the group’s behaviour – attacks on thinking and on dreaming – interrupting and shutting down on dreams and dominating oppressively.
Dreams of flooding are examples of events influencing our dreams, and the opposite – the idea that what we dream comes true. Social dreaming illuminates/brings to life underlying social thinking and therefore is a useful tool in the identifying less conscious thinking.
Dreams are flooding in. One involves sleeping in front of a gas fire and suddenly a bomb explodes, but it is square. She hears on the news about the Hillsborough fire and watches the fire spread out from the square stand (? Finsbury Square). What are people fearful of exploding here that forces them to shut down the dreams? Shutting down is happening externally – the authority’s attempts to remove the protestors, and internally – people claiming they are literally not dreaming while living in Tent City.
OBE – out-of-body experiences are discussed – floating above myself while I lie on a bed. I am looking down on myself and thinking – Oh God! I’m dead – I must get back into myself.
Another poem is offered: What Does God Want? It is an interesting, humorous poem full of repeated opposites in rhyme.
We are disheartened at the poor attendance. We console ourselves that some people will come later, and they do, and they have thoughts that resonate with the facilitators’ thoughts – what are we doing here? Who are you? What do you want? We seem to represent authority/capitalism/a safe haven/ – what are we offering? Dreams are ignored and interrupted.
The flood of narrative is overwhelming. How do we access the dreams and stem the flood of stories that stand in their way? There is a perverse side to the social dreaming event – dreams are not offered, but the people know about suffering and want us to know about it too. State-administered drugs are described as “liquid cosh” – to silence the workers in the psychiatric institutions who are mad themselves. We feel drained and a bit like the workers in the psychiatric institutions.
We later discover that people are not coming in because the dreams could be exposing on the blog and that the dreams should be private. We remind ourselves to keep repeating that we are interested in the dreams, not the dreamers – no details about the dreamers are recorded. It’s perhaps also important to stress that sharing a dream is a choice.
Are we being seen as psychiatric staff or the abusing authorities they are protesting against i.e. intruders? Worryingly, comments about looking after the weak and vulnerable also link to a notice at St. Paul’s that states: “if the banks are weak, they should be allowed to die”.
Facilitators: Sarah Miller, Jacqueline Sirota and Mannie Sher