Dreamers: 22

Dreams: 7

Associations: 41


  • Messed up, violence women have to do when men experience themselves as helpless; taking paper from jacket, saw her violence towards her father.
  • One leggedness – being a little bit crippled – behaviour also like that 
  • ABUSE; hidden abuse – father (biological and in religion) – found to be abusive, in families and institutions.  The mother – tacitly agreeing to the killing or an accomplice – agreeing to what the father has been doing.  Rolf Harris – abuser.  His song – war song – one of the brothers is injured, the other one goes back to save him.  Jake the Peg – had an extra leg.  Extra limbs needed to do what we need to do.
  • Agency: choices and decisions – Red Riding Hood – grandma knitting, in bed. What big eyes you have!
  • RRH / redness – menstruation
  • LEGS: Falling in love – without a leg; dreamy
  • Leg ankles – ostriches – have red ankles.  Wonderful experiences but you can also get into trouble.
  • Legless – you’ve drunk too much.
  • RED: Cooked crabs – bright red
  • Body parts but no libido.  Coming out of a tunnel; Potency taken away.  Erection is taken away.
  • Dissatisfied women – keeping up appearances – abused colleague, but being hidden.
  • Talking about the new Iron Curtain : China / Iran.  What’s happening with the oil?  Underground.
  • DARK/LIGHT – movement between the two states of being.
  • 21st bday – passing through thresholds: crying all day.  Armstrong stood on the moon – extraordinary happening.  David Armstrong – only white man – a lot of call on him, representationally, symbolically – often the one who stands on the moon.
  • AGE: where are the younger ones?  Who are we not including?  One, mentioned Utopia – new way of talking… the Utopia of dreaming, wishful, mystical silence?  Conflation of youth with number of years on the planet – youth living in older bodies.  Unrealistic hopes, it is still the old men running things – we can’t hope they’ll disappear, they’re still making systems that will reproduce themselves in their absence.  Zoom dysphoria/ euphoria – wanting to find it, kiss on cheek, touching.  ‘Young’ ones can move differently in this space – can we learn from them?
  • Anxiety, not that heavy in this matrix – not too anxious, being managed, worked with. Smaller number of participants, making it feel more contained.
  • Yin/yang – marbled – euphoria about realisation, although I miss the other, I can have an intimate interaction in this Zoom space.  Kissing, idealisation, what will be missed, lost next week.  Looking for people’s noses.  Preparing for impending loss of this matrix. Year 2020 – woke up in 2021!  Let’s keep crying, it’s not over till it’s over.  What if this is the future? Not 1960s or 2030s – this is where

Dream Reflections Dialogue

  • High level of anxiety, the world outside, an attempt to idealise the matrix as an alternative to the world outside.  A wish for the matrix to ground one.  Grounding – both rooting and restricting.
  • Otherness – the strangeness of the other – other side of the Iron Curtain.  The other murderousness, the hidden in the other as well as ourselves
  • Crossing thresholds – 21, out into light of the stadium, lipstick coming out, coming out of the pandemic, out of the house
  • Curtains are about to come down, liminal moment
  • Looking back: dreams from past, in times past, historic things;
  • How we communicate: eyes, voice, hearing, not quite together yet, different parts
  • Hidden abuse: can’t be named, in families, in relationships
  • How can we do things differently?  New narrative required, social, political – need eutopia.  Like a birth – threshold – don’t happen without pain.
  • Idealising matrix – nostalgia, reflects our demographic –
  • Ambiguity – not a clean line of light/dark (yin/yang) marbled together instead in a messy way
  • Can’t see each other, talking about Iron Curtain – stark contrast we’re not looking at each other.  Greed in the gaze, voices in each other’s heads.
  • Who is getting away with murder, abuse?
  • Positive sense: many positions taken – not helplessness, but agency eg rubbing feet, leaving choir, decision to discuss peace to students; even looking for brother upstairs, and deciding to kill father.  Inspiring.
  • Healthy paradox – mixed anxiety and hope.  Solar plexus protects us, a v good indicator.
  • Gratitude for being able to participate. Not sure about sharing the 21st b’day dream.  The matrix is like how dreams are.  Group mind, flow.  You are all of the elements.  Throwing it open to the group – archetypal feel.  Charged thing to do, even if a bit heavy.  Blessing in the 360.
  • What is real? matrix  shows the self-awareness of reality becomes an ultimate experience beyond right or wrong towards  a kind of  mystical silence
  • Cancer / Crab – moving sideways.  What makes the matrix come alive is the ability to move sideways not just in a straight line.


D1: Being in a hotel type room with boxes.  Other colleague has cancer – fine, in remission, husband beating her – D surprised.  Trying to rub/stroke feet to comfort her colleague.

Long pause

A1: cancer – crab, going sideways like crab on beach, burying itself in sand.  Rubbing feet – grounding, sensation of being on a beach, feet sinking into sand, semi-buried.

A2: cancer in remission – assumption that the marriage was okay, but beneath, what you can see, have you still got cancer?  What we see, don’t see – virus, will always be around, when will this end? Will it end?

A3: how much value we put on letting other people see our relationships are alright – how much that is important for us, comforting us, until it doesn’t anymore.

A4: previous marriage dissolved, spoke to her parents – as an adult woman, mother said ‘oh you made us think it was alright’ like she had been deceiving them somehow.

D2: last week, singing in a choir, didn’t get the rhythm of the music, sightreading, two or three times, started the tenor before it had to start. Choir master got really irritated with him.  D decided to resign before he throws me out.  Said I resign, and left.  Next moment sitting with friends at a picnic place, talking, had lipstick in his hand, took out the wax of the lipstick out of the holder, as he did this, the choir master came by saying we have to talk, people don’t want you to go.  They stood up and walked away – shaking his head.

A5: so much seems hidden, cancer, relationships, stick.

A6: singing in choir – in UK not allowed to sing in public venues – singing is hidden right now – at home, with friends, but no public singing.

A7: I was smiling at the image that I have to reject them before they reject me.  I wonder how that feels.

A8: phrase in mind: paying lipservie to keep up appearances whilst falling sideways to avoid abuse.

D3: I’m struggling to remember dreams visually – a feeling – tightness around the plexus in my body.

D4: fragment – in a big stadium, partly covered top, I’m standing on a sloping gallery stand – quite a few people around, slightly shaded, black and white. All looking towards the action.  I’ve just emerged from a stairwell, coolness in the shade, bright sunshine.  B/W film.  Not packed, socially distanced?  Very calm, people felt safe. Mainly men, white passing, light complexion.  I was unconscious of being different.  In UK – football cup, men/women competitions going on at the moment – may be related to that.

A9: football stadium – 2 news items about footballers, removed – one was hiding coca cola from the screen, the other, beer – possibly Heinekin. Trying to make a statement.

A10: football – clip of a teams – all participants missing one leg – playing football – were absolutely fabulous – stunning, like they had both their limbs.

A11: dreamer coming up out of the shadow – from a tunnel – like removing the lipstick from the case.

A12: people in public required to go to side, as they come towards people.

A13: lots of body parts: legs, lips, plexus – the stomach – lots of parts of the body not quite joined up.

A14: feet in the 1 legged footballers, wanting to be grounded, finding our best way to be grounded.

A15:  cancer – what’s hidden in the body parts, which ones we see, which ones we don’t

A16: cancer – is where the body is attacking itself, choir dream: about compliance with outer images, how it’s difficult to publicly to show our true self, we comply and attack ourselves – solar plexus, the voice. who inner/outer, male/female.  Whether it’s safe to tell it how it is.  Interjects.

A17: lipstick – colour not mentioned, the first colour coming to my mind, red – blood red.  Saw blobs of colour, red.

A18: body parts – such a longing to see other people’s body parts, to see them move, to feel the muscle, the skin, the need, longing to go out and get lipstick – can’t use it now, with the mask.

A19: choir master – coming out to look for the dreamer – orgs are now asking employees to come back to work.  Differences in Zoom – zoom dysphoria – interacting with our own appearance, not really wanting to go back.

A20: body attacking itself – self-destruction.

A21: interesting ambiguity – wanting to be grounded and also we ground children to stop them going out.  Anxiety about going out, post-Covid.  What are the body parts?

A22: next week’s matrix, last one.  I can’t attend, so this the last for me.  Body parts – relatively few people here at beginning of this matrix – it felt like parts of a family, parts of a body. More whole and contained than when there’s a large number. Strong association: 3rd series during the lockdown – profound part of this time.  End of this series and the sense of going back out into the world – strongly linked for me.

D5: I was George Harrison 1966 – in a country behind Iron Curtain – school auditorium – now with rest of Beatles, John, Paul, Ringo.  In a cage, there to talk to high school students.  Discussing what they will talk about – peace.  3 mins to speak. Becomes herself again in the dream.  Happy to see John – kiss him on the cheek.  My lips.  I’m stuck in the past, this is a bygone interest.  Very alive, in a way.  Younger people in my life right now – the 2030s are going to be a renaissance, better than the 60s.  At least things do seem to go in cycles.  Struck by the kissing on the cheek.

A23: emotional charge – in my solar plexus, around kissing on the cheek – Judas kissing Jesus, what do we betray of our earlier ideals.  Is it betrayal?  God needed the fall guy of Judas anyway.  Main thing the feeling, as so often with dreams

A24: Iron Curtain – in 60s, dad in one of the countries.  People trying to bring an Iron Curtain back in.

A25: deeply moved by the importance of the series of matrix – I felt a little jealous, I’ve only been part of 2 of them.  All of the members now a part of my inner world in a way, that I would have never had in a physical embodied way.  I wear headphones to hear you, all of you, part of my inner self in an intimate way, into my body, your voices – inner/outer that we’ve been discussing.  What comes in, hidden from the rest of my physical existence, your existences inside of me.  People quietly adjusting themselves before they meet – have you adjusted yourself before you met with me today?

A27: Iron Curtain – meeting between Biden and Putin – watching the news, worrying, wondering what will they talk about? 

A28: Iron Curtain – did the people behind it, use it?  Guess, the people on this side, used.  We missed seeing inside – a world of?.  Surveillance we are now part of – how now we are unable to be away from that gaze – has become omniscient.

A29: Iron Curtain – hadn’t heard the phrase for so long – the Iron lung – used to help people to get oxygen – link to Covid situation.

A30: back to my earlier years, in school – in Vietnam – inside that curtain – learnt it at school, v familiar.  Day to day life, didn’t feel it all – we were not allowed to go out of the country, unless you were v privileged. We belonged to a much much bigger community – experienced things and products from all different countries within that community – we just enjoyed it.  As a child of course, not so much aware of what was going on, on the other side of the curtain.

A31: resonates – sentiments about this matrix – I’ve only attended this series.  What they mean to us – maybe I should get a headset.  Yes, I feel, even if I’m late, I should join, to come in.  You can’t sing – it’s not safe – like conversation. Had a conversation recently with someone in the street, then went our ways: one was homeless, myself, and another on a cycle about to go somewhere, all not wearing masks.  Reminded of the intimacy.  The touch on the cheek, seeing faces.

A32: Keep thinking of the phrase: “I could see John again”, kissing him on the cheek.

D6: Wondering whether to put this in: vivid, when I woke up I thought: this is almost like a strong film I was watching, I wasn’t in it.  Young woman had embezzled money from father’s business – she was wearing old jacket, pulled out piece of paper – she read it, and realized that she had done something terrible to her father, feeling v bad.  2 brothers, in 2 different cars, 1 only had 1 leg.  He was struggling to get into the car – wife/girlfriend driving him. Brother with both legs, got in his car, both drove down the road, side by side.  1 legged brother’s car’s car stopped, tyres deflated.  The bro with both legs, went to him and said – so glad I stayed so I can help you – you’re going to have to come with me. 

A33: someone we’re not supposed to talk, think about – Rolf Harris.  Do you think I would leave you darling, when there’s room on my horse for 2”.  Are we catch up memories to cover up things, somethings too disturbing.  

D7: had a dream many years ago on eve of my 21st b’day.  Negative, complimentary to D6.  I was in this dream – strong, like a film.  I can still remember it. I’m approaching a house, go down corridor – archetypal mother in rocking chair knitting – lock gazing.  I continue past her, with her tacit approval.  Climb stairs, flock wallpaper – going to top of house – in the dream, I know my younger brother Paolo has been held prisoner all his life. I’m trying to save and protect.  I go into room – Schroedinger’s cat – is he alive or not.  He is there, dog bowl of water, stale crust – kept like a dog, abused.  Became clear he was dead.  Saw father.  I knew I was going to kill the father for what he done.  My exile for it.  Caught him by the feet, pulling him down steep wood stairs, head bouncing on steps, shudder of pleasure at the revenge. Then began to feel compassion so put dirty pillow under his head.  Became apparent he was dead.  I left, went down the stairs, past mother, still rocking, knitting.  Tacit nod of approval from her then I left house. Woke up.  I felt that I had killed my father – cried all day on her 21st birthday.  Oedipal about it all.  Dream has never left me.  Symbolic, charged emotion.

A34: Psycho film – protagonist abused all his life. Person in rocking chair.  Strong road noises as last dreamer was speaking.  Wondering about that.

A35: I think xxx had a brother.

A36 nice to hear someone singing – voices and sounds becoming so familiar, but we are in little cages – I would like to see people’s cheeks.  One member, can’t be here next week – is becoming familiar to me.  Nice to hear the singing.

A37: Little Red Riding Hood – image that came of women in the burkah, eating. We’ve all sort of become burkah wearing – all about the eyes, can’t see cheeks.

A38: eating someone with their eyes

A39: surprised when someone recognises me when I’ve got a mask on 

A40: wondering about the noses, we can’t see those either.  I keep going back to the dream of the killing – that threshold: I went to sleep at 20 and woke up at 21 – the age of majority.  Some societal measure of adultness, responsibility.  Who do we have to kill and how kindly or unkindly, to be ourselves, and with whose tacit approval?

A41: alive to kill

A42: passage of time

A43:  Purposes and objective of dream – to save brother.  Father’s money embezzled, killed.  It’s like coming out into the light after the pandemic.  How to take care of the intergenerational.  How do we sort these in a new way?


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About Juliet Scott

I am the TIHR Archive Curator and artist-in-residence. I lead this truly exciting and groundbreaking project with its ethos of collaborative archival practice and its possibilities for bringing the unique and innovative social science approach of The Tavistock Institute to a renewed and wider audience. I am a current TIHR practitioner and teach organisational consultancy and change in the UK and further afield. Last year this took me to Argentina where I also travelled discovering the unique volcanic landscape of Payunia. More than anything I like to walk with friends and family, I have an allotment in Walworth, South East London where I am famous for my year round BBQs. It is very special place.


Events and engagement, Reflections and Practice, Responding and Researching