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CHAPTER ONE: The social dreaming phenomenon

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

W. Gordon Lawrence

The purposes of this chapter are (1) to describe the phenomenon of social dreaming and (2) to consider the relevant theories of dreaming in the light of this experience. I shall approach these through presenting working hypotheses. A working hypothesis is a sketch of the emergent reality which illumines it that reality. If the sketch is found wanting, another working hypothesis can be substituted that better fits the reality that is always in the process of becoming.

The chapter is structured in three parts:

•  The phenomenon of the social dreaming matrix

•  Towards a new way of understanding dreams: the epistemic theory

•  Social dreaming @ work.

The phenomenon of the social dreaming matrix

1. The dream is always enlarging the space of the possible. Through the dream we are brought into the tension between the finite (that which we know) and the infinite (that which is beyond our ken). In the context of social dreaming, I am persuaded that the terms “infi nite” and “finite” be used instead of the terms “conscious” and “the unconscious”. The infinite is a mental space that contains all that has ever been thought and is capable of being thought. This space is not “outside” us but is contained in our inner worlds. All thinking begins from no-thought, from an absence, which we experience in our inner world. We make the thought present from first recognizing that it is not there.

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CHAPTER TEN: Sliding houses in the Promised Land: unstable reality worked through dreams

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Mira Erlich-Ginor

“All life is but a dream, and every man, I see, dreams all his deeds and nature. The king dreams he is king, and deeply sunk in such a dream, commands and rules and governs, and all to him are subject. And yet his fortune to dust is turned by, which, also as a dream, forever threatens him. Of their wealth the rich dreams, and death yet they have no peace. To the contrary, the poor on earth dream of his bondage and distress. He dreams who starts to rise, who is afraid and runs, who loves and is afire with hate. Thus in this wide world what all are, that they dream, although not one discerns this, indeed, all life is but a dream, and even dreams are just a dream.”

Pedro Calderon de la Barka, 1636

The following is the first multi-faceted dream contributed to a social dreaming matrixthat took place in the shadow of the first year of the “El-akza Intifada”.

I am on my way between a hospital [in Hebrew literally: “house of the sick”] and a hotel [“house of sleep”]. A neighbour is constantly renovating. Her husband, the lawyer, is proud of her. They lost $10,000, can’t find where they put it. But never mind—they have plenty more.

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Medium 9781855754935

9: Social Dreaming at the Jung Congress

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Peter Tatham

In 1995, the International Association for Analytical Psychology held its 13th triennial Congress in Zürich, Jung's hometown. Seven hundred analysts and students attended. My colleague Helen Morgan and I had offered to convene a Social Dreaming Matrix as part of the programme, which offer had been accepted. We led the Matrix, for an hour, each morning, before the beginning of the day's more formal offerings; and had been given a large ground floor hall, with floor to ceiling windows of plate glass to work in. It looked out onto a busy street and Lake Zürich as well. We sat on metal stacking chairs, and since we had not expected as many people to attend (about a hundred), latecomers had to take more chairs from the stack, with much noise. That, as well as the heavy entrance door, banging shut whenever someone entered late (which many did), made for a noisy start. One person asked angrily if we couldn't lock the door so that latecomers could not enter and disturb us. However, since the title of the congress was “Open Questions in Jungian Psychology”, Helen wondered aloud if such an understandable wish to close and lock the door also expressed the general difficulty with keeping all sorts of other things “open”—such as the “questions” of our title—that we had come to Zürich to think about, together. At the end of that first session, I inexplicably closed the Matrix ten minutes early. Amid laughter we agreed that even convenors could have difficulty in keeping things open.

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Dream intelligence: tapping conscious and non-attended sources of intelligence in organizations

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Marc Maltz and E. Martin Walker

Innovation is the product of free thinking—the creative process of generating ideas that occurs when we suspend the binds of daily life and allow our dreams to be expressed and discussed. An aspiration of most organizations, innovation is forever searched for, rarely achieved, yet ever-present. Many organizations try to enhance their creative process through activities that attempt to break the organization’s members out of their normal routine in order to create new ways of working, new products, new ways of serving markets, and so forth. These processes, though, are usually unsuccessful because they do not allow the participants the opportunity to break from the social and psychological restrictions that inhibit them from contributing to such an effort.

Gordon Lawrence has written many examples over the years of how dreams have been the starting point for innovative thinking (see also chapter one herein). The authors in their own writing (Maltz & Walker, 1998) and work with dreams have witnessed the capacity of organizations to understand, to learn, and to break through traditional knowledge management in order to create new and innovative approaches to work and develop a deeper understanding of what is occurring.

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CHAPTER FIVE: The science, spirit, chaos, and order of social dreaming

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Suzanne Leigh Ross

In 1989, I was invited to be a staff member on the first Australian Social Dreaming Conference directed by Gordon Lawrence. Since then I have been involved in social dreaming in a variety of ways: a matrix member at the Spa conference in Belgium in 1991; as a co-consultant to a long-term matrix with Alastair Bain, from 1991 onwards, and as co-director of the social dreaming matrix with Lawrence at the International Group Relations and Scientific Conference in Lorne, Australia, in 1993.

Through these varied experiences across task, role, duration, membership, and focus of the matrices, I have become increasingly convinced that social dreaming is not new; it has a very ancient base in many cultures. For the Australian Aborigine, “In the beginning was the dreaming” (Lawlor, 1991, p. 13). This ancient connection has been suggested by many, including Lawrence himself. Our experiences from a long-term matrix parallel the archetypal aspects found in many writings of past cultures alongside the theoretical parallel, which I feel confirms this position.

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