Wellcome Library – Tavistock Institute

Social Dreaming Matrix No. 3

22nd November 2018, 7.00 – 8.30


  • 13 people attended and 4 left during the matrix.
  • 7 dreams presented
  • 11 associations
  • Hosts: Eliat Aram and Mannie Sher

‘Inside Out’:

First dream introduced into the matrix is about being in Sierra Leone with a girlfriend who is trying to get away from addictions, but is then back in London, living in a fancy, expensive flat and is still smoking, drinking and taking drugs.  The dreamer couldn’t figure how she is able to maintain the flat that has two big rooms at £800 rental per month. The dreamer then leaves the flat and is trying to write graffiti on the building wall in a way that he wouldn’t be recognized. He writes with a purple pen outside the house – trying to write REALITY, but it turns into RE-ELECT or REJECT.

A dreamer presents a dream and then immediately leaves saying she has to catch a train.  She is in a house hugging a child who is passing away.  The child is then alive, like her own child – puzzled because the child is passing away, but is also alive. The child is about 4 years old.

Another dream is presented, inside a bedroom with wallpaper which is recognizable yet not, there is dust falling off the ceiling and there are jelly fish swimming on the ceiling and there are rose beds floating on and off from the ceiling too. Dreamer feels it is a 70s childhood flat, yet is it?

Associations about the contradictions between sustainability and non-sustainability, between being dead and being alive; a bedroom that is familiar and is not familiar – looking at the ceiling with roses on the wallpaper and impressed by the flower heads.  Jellyfish are moving about the ceiling – it does not feel good.

Another association is about going back 50 years to images of big rooms in parents’ home and their deaths and of wall-papering with a motif of dolls with their heads cut off, in order to fit the wall paper into the boundaries of the wall, causing mother-in-law to have nightmares.  Associations about the people leaving the matrix take the member to the past and connections to the Holocaust, about feelings of mortality and of wanting still to live.

A dream about having rats in the stomach that are poisoning the dreamer and having to have an endoscopy to remove the rats.  There is a competent cardiologist standing by, but he cannot do anything to save the dreamer. There are associations to rats in the trenches and to a documentary about the Indian soldiers in WWI. Further associations to the uselessness of experts – “we’ve had enough of experts”.

Associations to World War I – poppies and roses – link to the recent Armistice celebrations and to Brexit and the way things are not clear anymore. Impostors telling what is good for us. Feeling disturbed by Brexit – is it REALITY or is it REJECT or is it time to REELECT? Rebirth of the dying baby seems to be about a strange new reality. Death and dying and being born.

Rats and jelly fish; dust in the bedroom, making one feel buried alive – and another dream introduced by way of association, to do with wearing very tight clothes and feeling claustrophobic and locked-in forever. Is this the source of the Brexit movement?

Some references to the housing situation in society that disadvantages mostly younger people.

Another dream is presented of meeting a former childhood friend of 25 years ago in a familiar street. It is a dream that keeps on recurring but is never completed. The childhood friend drops something, always the same thing, something like water, it is fluid and cannot be picked up easily. The dreamer tries to pick up the water-like dropped to give to the friend, but it cannot be picked up and returned. As the dreamer tries, the friend carries on walking and the dreamer can’t catch up with them.

Associations turn to not being aware of impending catastrophes because of the disproportionate attention to Brexit, like environmental issues like global warming, the irreversibility of rising temperatures that are not being addressed. The water is lost for ever. Also associations back to birth – water breaking.

15 minutes Sense-making of the Matrix

A number of dreams took place in houses or flats, bedrooms and inside.

Cutting off the dolls head, a Government that was almost made headless this week in Parliament, a cardiologist who cannot help, mother-in-law nightmares; all those lead to associations of headlessness; of hanging on to life at all costs, struggling to breathe; the binary struggle of survival – either dead or alive; can I hold on long enough? The sense of helplessness of people with a government that does not know what it is doing and rejects the experience and expertise of experts.

The silence at the beginning of the matrix generated a feeling of “it’s up to us”; questions of “what am I doing here?”; feeling alone, not able to connect, and feeling bad because of not having a dream to contribute.  But there is a good feeling about contributing via associations and noting how the dreams and associations “talk” to each other and a picture emerges by bringing thoughts to life in the matrix. Much interest in the person who shared and dream and left- what are we left with; would the person read the blog to see what was made of their dream; what happens to dreams.

The next session will take place on Wednesday 28th November 2 – 3.30 pm at the Reading Room in Wellcome Collection.


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London NW1 2BE


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