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14: Creative Role Synthesis

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

W. Gordon Lawrence

The experiences of Social Dreaming Matrices have given rise to other events which had to be invented to make use of the thinking processes that dreaming engenders. What Social Dreaming does is excite the unconscious thinking processes. At the private, individual level, the experience of Social Dreaming will result in the individual recalling dreams of his, or her, personal past. Because of the primary task of Social Dreaming, these dreams will not be used. They will be kept private appropriately, except if they illumine the system under study.

The working hypothesis was that dreams could be used to illuminate the personal complexities of carrying out a role within a system. This would be to evoke the parallel mental processes which are alongside all the rational processes necessary for executing tasks in a system. This is the stream of unconscious thinking which, metaphorically, is the “white noise” that is part of the stream of consciousness.

A model of Organizational Role Analysis which had been devised by Irving Borwick, who pioneered the method by which managers, in particular, could analyze their roles (Borwick, 1997). This inter-vention was part of a larger programme, Group Study and Action Programme which had been used in a large number of international corporations. When Borwick invented this in 1976, the idea of role and system was not part of the discourse of organizational thinking, as social scientists were preoccupied with the relationship between the individual and the organization. Role was the concept thatidentified the fact that individuals managed themselves in their systems, screening out the private factors of their individuality which were not relevant for role performance in a particular system. The role of father, or sister in the family context, for example, will mobilize different parts of the psyche depending on whether the same individual is performing a role in an organization or serving as a member of the board of governors of an educational institution.

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CHAPTER SEVEN: Relationship and relatedness between the elementary school as a system and its violent parts

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Hanna Biran

During a period of six months, from January to June 1997, I directed a workshop under the aegis of the Israeli Ministry of Education. I met once a week with a group of professionals, eight of whom were educational psychologists and the other eight educational consultants. They represented sixteen different schools from the central districts of Israel, mainly from areas experiencin economic and cultural stress. The professionals willingly chose to attend the workshop in order to enhance their skills in dealing with violence at school. Eight people, from each discipline, were selected in order to enable a dialogue and mutual learning. These two professions are crucial for schools, and a lot of pressure from both teachers and parents is put on them. The primary task was to explore the phenomenon of violence in schools and to find new ways for dealing with it. The primary task was defined before the beginning of the workshop and was sent in a letter to all participants.

The workshop methodology

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10. Psychic and political relatedness in organizations

W. Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Acknowledging the past and the future

I am to assume the worst of scenarios in order to find resources for building some realizable hope for the future. That there is an urgent need for thinking of the future is evident if only because the techno-scientific processes that fuel the world economy are exploiting the environment to such an extent that the material foundation for human life may be destroyed (Hobsbawm, 1994, p. 584). The future is certainly fragile. The ability to breathe life into the future, or to render it dead, rests with human beings, possessed of minds and the ability to think. And the price of any failure to think will be darkness—the tragic end of humanity. That is the long, profound shadow that the future casts before, to echo Bion.

I am bleak because I recall that in the first 72 years of the twentieth century 120 million man-made deaths had been perpetrated. Pogroms, massacres, extermination camps, and wars brought about these deaths. The victims did not have any choice. They were herded to their deaths by the functionaries of extermination—employees, for the most part, of totalitarian regimes. The extermination was completed with logistical and technological sophistication. (I take these figures from Gil Elliot’s 1972 book, Twentieth Century Book of the Dead.) What this conservatively estimated figure will rise to by the end of this century barely bears thinking about. We have to take account of the figures of the murdered from Africa, from Algeria, and now from Kosovo, from Chechnya, and so on.

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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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Chapter Three: Image to gesture: Social Dreaming with student theatre directors

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Laurie Slade

It is the privilege of the artist to combine the ambiguity of dreaming with the tensions of being fully awake.

(Anton Ehrenzweig, 1967. The Hidden Order of Art.)

Image to Gesture was an experimental project at Rose Bruford College, conducted in 2005–08. The project was developed jointly by Colin Ellwood and I. Colin heads the Directing Programme at Rose Bruford. The College gave us space to work in, and—when resources were available—occasional funding. We proceeded regardless when they were not.

Our progress depended on the voluntary participation of four successive year groups of students. Sessions were often held outside of college hours, and the students were otherwise engaged in a very demanding course. Despite this, they were enthusiastic and always ready to participate, a great incentive for us to keep going.

The project evolved during the four years of its existence, each step being informed by our experience of what had gone before. As it progressed, it became clearer what Colin and I were trying to do, and how we might do it better.

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