Social Dreaming Even: 29th November #17 (5.00)
People coming and going. At one point there were more than 20 people. 11 dreams are presented, one near-death experience and one out-of-body experience.
1. A recurring dream that starts when the dreamer is a 7 year-old and disappears in her early twenties. She is in a small village and there is some kind of party. Her Grandfather appears throwing seeds in the soil. The seeds turn into predator plants appearing in green tornado-like spirals eating the people around. Her mother comes, holds her tight in her arms and brings her to a house where the mother believes the child will be safe. But the child knows that the place is dangerous. The dream finishes with her seeing her mother closing the door and as she disappears, the plants start coming up from the ground, and the dreamer wakes up. Initially, the dreamer feels anger with her mother for putting her in danger, but as she grows up she accepts that her own mother can put her in danger and is not necessarily able to protect her, possibly the opposite. There were some attempts at interpreting the individual meaning of the dream which was discouraged by the facilitators.
2. This dream is a 4-5-year old dream, in which the dreamer is terrified by black helicopters flying above his garden and surrounding him from everywhere. Slowly, though, some glowing UFO-like spacecrafts take over – they are not scary like the helicopters; on the contrary, they are perceived as beautiful and bring a peaceful feeling and reassurance that things will be ok.
- Contrast between ‘earthy things’ and ‘non-earthy’ things
- Fascination of the previous generation with UFOs (some associations with ‘Star Wars’)
- Both dreams have direct links with entering a dystopia.
- The spacecraft are perceived as new ideas popping out on the horizon.
- The distopia element points to calling ‘social dreaming’ ‘social nightmares’.
- Associations with the real nightmares of how protesters feel being ‘kettled’ during a recent demonstration and the panic induced by being surrounded by helicopters in real-life demonstrations.
- This reminds the dreamers of the SDE sessions being disrupted by helicopters and now by drilling.
The first dreamer speaks of culture and education shaping our thinking without us being aware of it and how we learn to live with ideas that are enslaving us whilst being told that the practices and ideas are helping us live better. This links with her dream in which previous generations (hence upbringing) is putting her in danger (of annihilation by the green plants?) in their attempts to make her safe and protect her.
3. A recurring nightmare of the skinny bandaged man with no hands or legs on a skinny horse appears again and this time associations lead to links with the session earlier that day and a report of a near-death experience in which a man has a dream during surgery after four heart attacks. On waking up, the surgeon tells him his heart had stopped four times so they had ‘almost lost him’. This leads to a discussion on the mechanisms of dreams and an experience of the first dreamer in which she is in a state between dreaming and being awake and feels she is looking at herself from above and at the same time seeing herself from below.
4. A woman reports a dream in which she is naked with a huge hole in her body and a feeling of being very embarrassed that people behind her back can see the blood coming from her back. The feeling stays with her after waking up.
5. Another dream follows in which the dreamer has ‘the real experience’ that there is a dog at his feet, but it turns out to be just a dream. The association is of the dog symbolizing friendship and the feeling of having a dog at your feet is a cozy one.
6. A dream of a young girl meeting her friend, sharing with her the some aspirations and having a pure communication with her that leads into suddenly traveling beyond the earth, ‘like Superman’. The dreamer appears enchanted by the experience and says it was beautiful. This is again associated with friendship and sharing that is a part of the spirit of Tent City.
A participant observes that all the dreams have had ‘geographical loyalties’ in common. The other participants make links in being related, not so much to geography, but to space and our relationships to it: left-right, here-there, in-out, up-down. Thoughts of how the brain works follow and the reminder that we actually perceive the world upside down and the image is only converted in the brain making a double loop in misleading us to bring the right picture again.
One of the facilitators observes that there are things like hopes coming from the outside in the reported dreams. The dreamers respond with two dreams in which they have learned from the dream itself. The first is about the realizing that having made a commitment to her wife does not mean that she cannot admire other beautiful women and this is the beauty of commitment to someone who is special and will always be special regardless of how many other people there are to fall in love with. The second ‘learning dream’ is about writing a poem in the dream that was then written in reality.
7. Just before the end of the session, the first dreamer recalls another dream in which she walks into a house and an old woman that she recognizes as her Grandmother, whom she never knew, prevents her from entering a room and going further into the house. This suggests that this loops to the opposite point of the first dream – that our upbringing, possibly culture and even genes, can also save us from danger.
- What is specific about this protest is that the protesters occupy, because they feel they don’t have any other resources than their bodies – is it possible that this is linked to the reporting of out-of-body experiences followed by the flying dream as their wish to transcend their own capacities?
- I find myself struggling to remember anything of the SDE, except what seemed like the overwhelming physical conditions, the darkness, the wind and rain, the deafening sound of road works and the sense of us all as shadows moving in and out and a kind of danger lurking around.
- Perhaps I am in touch with the fragile recourses of the body that feel so unsustaining and produce out-of-body thoughts of escape, but into what? A social nightmare? The flying dream of the friends leads them into a deathly waiting room from which they escape. I was associating it with a TV advert where young girls in a little boat are tossed on a wild ocean, thrown into the air and then onto the beach where her identical twin (? self) is waiting with an embrace and a cup of tea.
- Another strong association is an image of one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the skinny horse became the ‘Pale horse’ bringing death.
- The experience of the dog on his feet is also told in the morning session and associated with terror – the ‘black dog’ of depression? Something felt as real, but not real.
- It struck me also how, for very practical reasons, we wanted to ‘fly away’ from the SDE, two of us with our sons.
Facilitators: Jacqui Sirota, Milena Stateva