#11 Social Dreaming Matrix during the Covid-19 pandemic. Notes from 8th June

#11 Social Dreaming Matrix during the Covid-19 pandemic. Notes from 8th June


10 June 2020

Participants: 49
13 dreams
Over 40 associations

A long pause at the beginning of the SDM:


  • Anger and feeling stuck in dichotomies: (love & hate, exotic & shabby, up & down, east & west, me & other; in dichotomies it feels we are in something more difficult and dangerous than might be needed; longing for a triple bind, a third way, can we have multiple lenses?)
  • Avoiding talking about race: (multiple images of color, skin, bark, Strange Fruit, being skinned, mangos, but mainly indirect references to race; eg; no mention it was a slave trader’s statue, when associating to the tearing down of a statue in Bristol; also: which names of pop singers do we remember (Bowie) or mix up more easily (Holiday/Simone))
  • Being tied to the past: (when turning to our parents, will we be disappointed, especially in male authority? At the same time, being one of them; being complicit; feeling of being at the ending of a civilization; man-go?)
  • Searching for a new protocol (technology, how to behave at the Kings or PM’s residence; longing for a rebirth, falling upwards, into the bay – a womb?, are we holding our breath? longing to breathe again)

Dream: I had 2 dreams. I am with my mum. and some family in a courtyard open to the sky – we are Native Americans. All of us gather in the kitchen. Every day we bring pebbles and we string then into jewellery.

Dream: I am in a drawing class, we each are given a large canvas. I draw trees with lots of very brown coloured bark.

Dream: I am visiting a house with 30/40 people. It is also the residence of the Serbian king. People tell us the protocol at the entrance. I get to stay in the princess’ room. And the others in the bedrooms of other children. I am surprised by how wasted, old, ruined and non-luxurious the house is and I check the electric plugs to see if it is safe to stay.

Dream:  I am staying near an old dark cavernous train station, (like in a 40’s or 50’s film).  Run down hostel room with beds like an old school dormitory. Sense of wanting to get away and get to parents. I have a vision of a places to send the souls of the dead – some precious entities. ….  A bunch of Italian people piling into the room giving orders. …

Dream:  No. 10 Downing Street in London, the Prime Minister’s office. Walking into the office being mindful of the protocols. See Mr Johnson, PM, with 3 ties on top each other around his neck – I couldn’t speak to him, he couldn’t breathe very well.  Then I ask why he wears them. Wondering if it is difficult to breathe.

Association  Both PM and King are questionable leaders. The king is not executive, a decorative figure. People question their leadership.

Association Pebbles tied together with string – connected to running a program for financial services and insurance companies. A whole lot of things need to be put together. The pebbles are people… with a thread holding dead people together.

Association  The 3 ties of the PM – triple binds, like the expression: ‘double bind

Association: Triplets and the DNS?

Association  To shabby places the train stations and the King residence linked to the destruction of culture connected to Brexit.

Dream:  I am washing the dishes at home and this is a normal thing to do but all of a sudden there are some strange things sticking to the bottom of the glasses. Leaches? Or something like that. I feel disturbed but keep washing, trying to clean them and throw the leaches in the garbage. Fear of getting hurt by the leaches in the dishes.

Association:  Felt a terrible fear this morning.  A statue in Bristol was torn down and thrown in the river [Edward Colston – a slave trader].  Worried that someone in the crowd will get hurt. Deep anxiety in her and the fear of what we are holding.

Association: Connected to the 2nd dream of trees with dark bark. The wish for a very white canvas where we can be drawn with thick skin to be strong.

Dream: Being in a self-driving car, who is driving, controlling it? I notice that in the driver’s seat there is a senior executive I know laughing and lying right back, telling the dreamer not to worry because the car drives itself. This person I would normally trust but it is hard in this situation.

Association:  BJ and the three ties – fury towards him and what he represents – around the deaths of many people due to either action or inaction and a hope that he would die when he was ill with Corona. And the idea of the ties as a noose to strangle him.

Association:  To the dream about No.10 the game truth or dare / truth or command.

Association: The bark of a tree ripped off which he saw while attending a GRC a few years ago. Sharing the 6th Group Assumption about Purity and Pollution; (purity for kings, pollution for brown/black people).  Colonisation ripped other countries apart – the local education considered impure and Queen’s pure. Fear of his skin being ripped off like the tree bark – being skinned alive. How the ‘pure’ are going to develop thick skin and spurn the ‘impure’ even more intensively.

Association: Binary associations.  Leeches – being used to remove bad blood or the power of society. You better get that in writing because you need to be sure that people will do what they say they are going to do.

Association:  Natural process of the tree shredding its skin like a snake which sheds skin and is born again and again.

Association:  A cyclone left trees on the ground and people taking the bark out of trees. The ones that fell were the ones that were weak from having their bark removed.

Dream:  I am looking after an oak sapling in a plastic tube – but there is acrylic paint in the tube which I’m carefully removing but not letting anyone notice this mistake.  I am taking the sapling to be planted somewhere, a newly planted forest, all in regimented rows.  It needs to be not too near the road, a motorway, or the roots will break up the tarmac. Told by coordinator not to worry, who knows if we will have roads still, by then? Bends her tree into a bow shape – holding a precious thing within the regiments of trees.

Association: To the statue that fell and the shabbiness. Image of an old bridge crossing a river. Some people dressed in dark colours, black. This man holding a bag full of white kittens with rocks – threw them into the river for fun.

Dream:  I enter into large cave like an enormous Gothic cathedral. Walls golden brown. People are in the roof of the cave. The walls turn into the escalator – I am able to slide up, surprisingly. Then I am in a series of interconnected restaurants like a maze. Ends up in a restaurant serving mango paste – it is green and smeared on the floor in patterns. I am given a plastic box with a mango paste…

Association:  We are all going to slip and fall in the mango paste.

Association:  And yet the mango paste is sweet and lovely

Association: It’s a trap!

Association:  Feeling worried the paste is on the floor, what a waste – Why is it green?

Association: Here is not exotic, its cheap in season.  Why is being called exotic? It’s so natural here.  I felt hurt it being called exotic.

Association:  At a party with friend – exotic fruits being brought around by people from another planet. Mango is not for you only for the senior people. I become upset and decide not to eat any other fruit as well.

Dream:  I am in the middle of a field and fall upwards into the sky, into an aircraft and by some miracle I land perfectly into the bay of the aircraft.

Association:  Mango: Man Go. If man would only go, we would be left with God.

Association:  “Strange Fruit” song from Billie Holiday:

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze

Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees”

Association: Man Go. I wish Trump will go.
She found white fluffy kitten without a collar and she tried to find the owner. Two days later she runs into the kitten again. With two Labradors, a golden and a white one.  It turns out the kitten goes on walks with the dogs.

Dream:  I am in a large house, like a retreat house. We are getting ready to leave as if we completed something. We are ready to leave, bags, goodbyes, the bitter sweet taste of completing something and departing. We were in some sort of training. I am paired with a man and my wife is going west in a different direction. In his bag,  he has 10 or 12 pairs of sunglasses. Dreamer wonders why? He is given two figures, hexagons, which are similar to what was discovered underground in Egypt – an architectural allegory: made underground in honour of Osiris meaning birth and rebirth.

Association:  Osiris wearing pink glasses!

Association:  Multiple lenses to sunglasses. Are we going to recognize the multiple lenses that exist in each of us.

Association:  To the neck to the man-go, George Floyd, the man who was killed in Minneapolis. What lens to use to think about these police? Was it deliberate or did they not realise? What to believe about human nature at this time.

Association: “Falling upwards”, a book by Richard Rohr – both the falling down and the rising are at the mercy of god.

Association:  A videotape playing in reverse.

Association:   Falling, reminds me of Madmen, the series.  A man sitting in his office and falls through old of the song of the series introduction. Madmen in connection with Madison Avenue, the publicists. He links it with the men who are falling.

Association: Man falling to earth – a Breugel painting to Icarus ; BJ; home movies made by Nazis in the war filming the brutal execution of Jews – innocent people being filmed …

Association: Nina Simone – the song black people hanging from trees.

Association:  The colour of a mango with the skin colour of Trump.

Dream:  I am in some sort of field with simple buildings around me. Perhaps just white. It’s like real life but feels almost like a video game. We all have different types of weaponry. An Indian guy pursues me, he throws me something deadly and bigger and I run away.

Dream: I am lying on a beach with my dead sister in law. Looking west looking at the sea, we turn facing east and see an oversized Bear and Whale. The tip of the Whale’s tail moves up into the air – may create a Tsunami. I warn her – it’s coming.

Association: Up the Hill and Backwards by David Bowie. Are we moving to a future we can’t imagine?

Association: Wanting to go back, it is safer in the plane. Let’s go back to it.

Association: A breakdown of the sense of time and stability. Not knowing the direction, how time and history work is being disrupted.

Association: Documentary – For Sama. The transience of things, unpredictability.  Small political changes can completely change our reality.

Association: Vast spaces falling upward into a Bay… into a belly, a middle, a centre. Baying at the moon. Expressing, protesting, creating. Your presence being heard and known.

Association: The ties that come from the past and sometimes strangle us.

Association:  Growing up in India. How professional men disconnect from the neck down (linked to ties) – these are the people responsible for current state of the earth.

Association:  The song was from Billie Holiday but was mentioned as Nina Simone. Why Billie Holiday named is mixed with Nina Simone. Are they not famous or important enough?

Association:  The ego is the enemy book by Ryan Holiday.

Blog compiled by, Martijn van der Spek, Monica Velarde and Rachel Kelly.

Image: Responsibility by Juliet Scott, 2019

Share this:

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations | 63 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RS
hello@tavinstitute.org | +44 20 7417 0407
Charity No.209706 | Design & build by Modern Activity