8th December #27
The recruitment goes as usual with some people being interested and even quite enthusiastic, others not that interested or just indifferent. The exceptions are some men cutting across the tents, who are against the movement. The first one is a young man who is not interested in the study but has come to see ‘what is this’ because ‘what they want is terrible, they are socialists!’, he says, as if he has difficulties to understand how people can be socialists. When we point out that the protesters do not identify themselves as socialists, he says ‘But they have socialist demands, I cannot understand, look at that – this is terrible!’. Next is a group of men with business suits, coats and briefcases. When asked if they’d be interested in our study, most of them ignore us and one says: “Study! Don’t do studies! Go and find work to pay taxes!”. He is obviously very agitated and angry.
The Events Tent is clean and tidy with expressionistic framed pictures hanging at the walls. For about 5 minutes after the start of the social dreaming event no one comes. Then one new man and one regular dreamer join.
Discussion about the method
The new member asks about the method: what kind of dreams are we talking about, how does the social dreaming work. The facilitators follow with a brief summary. Then the young man who is a regular dreamer wonders about social dreaming being carried out in business organizations: ‘around black tables, having sinister conversations with sinister pictures on the walls’. This is associated with the images on the wall being our dreams of ourselves. This imagery reminds the facilitators of dystopian films such as Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’.
Facilitator’s dream: She is in a seaside town looking out to sea. There are white clouds passing across the sky but then small black clouds appear on the horizon. Strangely, they seem to be so close to the surface of the sea that they are touching. They approach quickly and it becomes clear that they are, in fact, great machines. They drive ashore and through the town destroying everything in their path. The dreamer is terrified and tries to hide and to protect a little boy who is with her. The father, who has been her lover, wants to take him away, she is no longer wanted (she doesn’t know this man in reality). She tries to re-engage but his eyes have become cold.
- The coldness of the man is associated with the coldness in the world we live in nowadays and the lack of empathy; it is difficult to connect and to have warmth with each other in our times.
Three girls come and join the group. One of them tells a dream which contains fragments rather than images and a plot. In the dream she suddenly remembers a 3-year period of her life when she was in school, which she has completely forgotten. The facilitators think after the event that fragmentation was the leading theme throughout the session – fragmentation reflects the liquidity of our times and denotes change which is stemming from segregation. The question becomes how do you re-form after fragmentation. The girls keep going out and coming back for a while, yet contributing to the session, reminding us about the Greek theatre and the role of the chorus. The associations to the first dream continue:
- The dream happens at the edge between the sea and the land, the beach is a border.
- The sea: La Mer (the French for sea) and La Mére (the French for mother), repositioning rather than keeping within a boundary, the association with danger is dismissed with an association about the sea and safety (the mother) (if there is a boundary, there is no danger?); you have to keep Neptune happy; Neptune is confused – associated with the God who eats his children. The group decides it is the Roman Saturn (who is actually the father of Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto who represent Air, Water and Death, the three things that time cannot kill), whereas it is mean Cronus, the Titan god of time and the ages, especially time which is regarded as destructive and all-devouring.
- Anxiety with change – we can be ‘eaten’ by our times.
- The dreams can be about the future: the machines representing the threat of a war over Europe that many are speaking about, comparing the present times with the conditions around the WWII.
- A thought that comes after the social dreaming event is that it’s striking that ‘Greece’, now an impoverished country, is very present in the imagery of the event. We seemed to be struggling to remember the nature and roles of the ‘Gods’. They have become fading memories that ‘time’ has consumed and have lost their power…as might be happening to our present ‘Gods’.
Another facilitator’s dream: The dreamer has an allotment which she suddenly realizes has been asked replace another one. The allotment turns out to be covered with a concrete layer.
- The threat of eviction
- The dream being actually about the lake at the allotment freezing
- Another brief discussion about how do dreams work and what do they represent
- The ‘DR’ in ‘DREAMS’ – the authority of dreams
- The ‘Dr Martin Luther King’ and his famous ‘I have a dream’
The dreamer is one of the protesters. He had a dream years ago about a place in India, which was very beautiful: steep green hills, tea plantations, beautiful weather, people moving slowly.
The same dreamer immediately reports another dream. It is about an image of a sea displaying every single colour in a mixture of colours, it is not patchy, more of a feeling, both rough and smooth.
- For the dreamer, both these dreams can be seen as a visionary statement of how he imagines the world
- The tranquility of the dreams reminds people of other dreams of protesters in previous SDEs – about flying in space and visiting other places
- These dreams seem to be a kind of not-yet-thought vision of the human condition
The same dreamer reports another dream of an ex-girlfriend of his, who looked like a butterfly, and who he still loves. In his dream she is there but he can never reach her.
- This is the very opposite of the dream about the cold man
- Freedom and attachment that contradict to each other
- The time passing, including the time of the session coming to an end
- The time: analogue clock (different parts coming together), replaced by the digital (a crystal) and the sand clock (the glass that contains the flowing sand is actually itself made of melted sand)
- There is a conspiracy theory about stolen time (time is longer at work and shorter when you are off work)
- The time in the Tent City stretches, it feels awfully long
A ‘lucid’ dream
5 minutes before the end of the session a young woman joins us and tells us about her ‘lucid’ dream about the rights of people with mental health problems. She is herself diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder and is having an episode at the moment, but she believes that the movement can contain her condition.
End of the session
The session finishes by her asking us our names and all participants in the session introducing themselves to each other.
Facilitators: Milena Stateva, Jacqui Sirota, Juliet Scott and Christian Annarumma