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Chapter Five: The Differences of Consciousness in Relation to the Unconscious

W. Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

As humans, we can give meaning to the cosmos because we possess consciousness, or self-awareness. If there were no life in the cosmos, it would be a meaningless void. Because there is life, it has a meaning, which will be expanded over time as human beings learn, question, and develop new working hypotheses to make new meaning.

For example, in the sixteenth century, through his use of the newly developed telescope, Galileo was able to observe the sun, the moon, and the planets. Based on the scientific work of Copernicus, he showed that the earth moved, but the sun was constant. This scientific finding went against the faith of the Catholic Church, which had made it doctrine that the earth was the centre of the universe. Despite the scientific evidence, Galileo was subjected to an Inquisition, and the Church's view prevailed. The Establishment won out against the genius of Galileo, but in the long term it was the meaning that Galileo gave to the place of the sun in the universe that has entered scientific discourse as a fact.

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Medium 9781855756823

Chapter Two: Social Dreaming to creativity

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Francis Oeser

Social Dreaming encourages ‘associating’ to dreams rather than the easier option of interpretation, steering away from conscious thought towards feeling and intuition. The work of Social Dreaming is less comfortable from an everyday viewpoint because it involves the imprudence of risk and trust. Similar risks and trust are confronted when painting, sculpting, or writing. Dreaming puts us in touch with the unconscious to which associating reaches. The artist and the social dream participator engage in similar ways. This process is examined here.

The anarchy in the creative act—bringing forward new ideas through the courage to go beyond the existing and institutionalized domains of knowledge—seems much the same as that in dreams. The risks of engagement are threefold:

1.  Daring to allow the unbidden.

2.  Owning/accepting it.

3.  Risking telling it (sharing).

Creative work depends primarily on the feeling that everything is connected, is both right and wrong, obscene and ordinary, unnatural and natural, involving me, you, and them, a unity of the connected and separate. Gestation of the new is effectively supported by excluding interpretation and judgement until such time as it has a life of its own.

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Chapter Eleven: Social Dreaming as the Shadow of the Future

W. Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

We live in a multidimensional universe. This is the astounding fact that has emerged from contemporary cosmology. We live in parallel universes. Time can go backwards as well as forwards. The universe is queerer than we think, even suppose. The implications of these, and other cosmological facts, are not our subject, but social dreaming is.

Dreams occur when there is a juxtaposition of a disturbed environment, such as political unrest, or the contemporary milieu of terrorism and uncertainty, and a disturbed inner terrain of memory in the unconscious. The disturbed terrain of memory coincides with the timelessness of the unconscious. Emotions are aroused that will trigger the dreaming. Consequently, we dream in the now forgotten memories of the past of humanity. These appear to be “shadows of the future cast before” (Bion, 1994). In actuality, they are the outcome of the resonance between the contemporary environment and memory traces in the unconscious. Nevertheless, they alert us to what is being unconsciously thought in the environment.

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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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Medium 9781855752245

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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