Festival Social Dreaming Matrices #4: Friday 20 Oct 2017

Festival Social Dreaming Matrices #4: Friday 20 Oct 2017


20 October 2017

Notes from Festival Social Dreaming Matrices #4: Fri 20 Oct 2017

Friday 20th October 10.30-11.45, Wellcome Collection Reading Room
Hosts: Tim Dartington and Debra Noumair


There were 32 people joining the matrix this morning. There was some boundary issues with the announcement for the matrix being a little late and some participants reluctant to sit in the chairs as they were arranged. We noted that people were not relaxed about the boundaries and as the matrix was opened there were issues of not being able to hear each other, and a stilted atmosphere, almost of despair. There were a few dreams at the beginning then a large period of absence of dreams emerging until a sudden release towards the very end.


The first dream was of nurturing and rescuing cats and kittens. There was a dream of being in a small room in a group situation where the dreamer felt that something he had not done was obstructing a journey for everyone. There was a dream of being on top of a high building. The associations were:

  • of Eliats Aram’s reflection in the key note speech, on cats from Isobel Menzies Lythe advertising work, where owning cats was related to being in touch with the shadow self.
  • of a spate of killing cats in Croydon, one method was decapitation.
  • Isis
  • of nurturing and children and how their mental health is not protected in this country
  • of a society not able to accept mental poor health, normal anxiety or anything not perfect and good, particularly a lack of acceptance of the young
  • of a memory of a neighbour being angry about cat poo in her garden which could hurt the children
  • of cat shit being a cause of schizophrenia

We noted that a few people wanted to understand the dreamer rather than free flow with the dreams.  In the review a participant who had been silent said she was not ready to share dreams, they were private.

When a mother and her children left the edge of the matrix to continue their tour the mood darkened (perhaps permission to speak freer ‘not in front of the children’). There was reference to a nostalgic world of being more in touch with nature and dreaming and each other. There was a sense of despair in the silences and people later said they were stressed and uncomfortable in the middle part.

Suddenly towards the end there was a release of tension coming from dreams of exposure and shame:

  • Getting dressed in the morning and suddenly the space becomes public
  • People shitting inside a house
  • Shitting in public

People shared the relief of the shitting dreams and later reflected that the cat dreams and the silence were constipation.  Associations are made with:

  • the desire to take more responsibility for one’s own shit “how can we be ashamed of our shit but not ashamed to flush it into the sea?”
  • a memory of some envy of a ‘mad’ woman who calmly pissed in the street abandoning all our conventions

Time ended before we could make sense of the releasing dreams. We concluded that the matrix revealed a distrust in the idea that dreams could help us when there is so much despair in the world.

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