#3 Social Dreaming Matrix during the Covid-19 pandemic. Notes from 7 May 2020
If we didn’t know the context of the dreams, would we have been able to guess that they were dreamt during Covid-19 times?
- 59 participants – about 35 female/ 25 male
- 16 dreams
- 22 associations
- Going to unfamiliar places
- Beaches / Bitches
- Nature is nature
- Extinct Elm trees
- Felines: tiger, jaguar, kittens
- Lack of aggression
- Constipation, non-dreams, not remembering, vomiting
- Disasters: Tsunami, fires, scorpions, Chernobyl, Holocaust
- Life goes on
Dream: in a hotel outside a city – dreamer doesn’t know the people, feels fine but not sure why there or where he is. The next day before breakfast, someone lets them know everyone is going to the beach. Even though it is a sunny day, dreamer dresses up in jacket and scarf, just in case. At the breakfast table he is approached by someone he argued with 34 years ago. Everyone is talking behind his back but they shake hands after looking into their eyes.
Dream: vivid – goes for a run carrying a meditation pillow. Runs into group about to have a concert. She knows that her family wants to assist. Her husband only wanted enough tickets for her family but she buys more tickets, not just for family but about 10 people. Then a man giving directions to his cabin. Puts down map which seems complicated but actually isn’t. Takes a while for the dreamer to figure it out – dreamer thinks: I have to pack really lightly to be able to carry stuff to the cabin.
Dream: At a taco stand, she is there with her husband, her son and a woman who was a cake maker. She wanted to get her tacos but every time she was about to order someone else slipped in front of her, jumping the queue. Husband and son have already ordered, and she wants to order so that they can eat as a family. This is followed by some discussion about the tacos and tacos el pastor. A woman said that pork is really dangerous. In real life she was Jewish.
Association: in the USA vendors presented as a main source of Covid-19
Association: 34 years ago, 1986, the Chernobyl environmental disaster
Dream: About a son who is 28 but in the dream he is only about 5. He is bitten by a scorpion, the fathers kill the scorpion and the child goes happily to sleep again.
Dream: He dreams about an Elm tree, very scary to climb. In the woods near his house there are no more Elm trees because of a disease that eradicated them some years ago. It made him think about how they can create an environmental disaster.
Dream: Alice in Wonderland – the dreamer is tiny and the furniture and objects in the environment enormous – terrifying and the dreamer wakes up shouting.
Dream: Giving birth, to a boy – has to move, not clear where to, but abandons child and goes to a friend’s home. Baby returns and morphs into a beautiful white kitten. The kitten escapes and is run over by the removals truck.
Dream. In a terraced house – can’t go out but can move via the attics into neighbouring houses. A dead kitten. Animal scratches on the wall – dreamer tears it down and there is a passage through to the attic where she can get through to the other houses, she feels it is safe. Later a fire starts at the bottom of the house turning the house into a chimney. She realises the fire will endanger the other houses as well.
Dream: Visiting a Shawi indigenous community – walking to visit families – very happy. Nature so pristine, children playing. Within the dream, he wakes up and is talking to his girlfriend but he cannot see her face. She says about her happiness, life is outside. I have to recognize that nature is intact but not all the things about my vagina.
Dream: 2 tigers – walking one each side of the dreamer. One black, one striped white. Coming into a room. The black tiger sitting next to the dreamer. The white tiger in a cage, but the tiger can’t rest, or she will fall through the grating of the cage. Dreamer trying to help with cardboard, but this makes tiger annoyed.
Association: Elm tree but not sure if before or after the disease that eradicated them.
Association: Fairy tales, some authority having us, the tree is rotten. Looking for a life outside
Dream: a hotel somewhere. Everyone introducing themselves. Dreamer finds herself with a group, friendly, wanting to create. Another room, full of arts supplies, fabric, glass, silkscreen materials. Begins making things – one is very ugly – a big bird. Another beautiful silkscreen – several facial images with a mystical quality. Positive energy and the desire to come together.
Dream: She attends the Leicester Conference that has been moved to the beach, by a brown rock. Sea is green and beautiful. She doesn’t understand why the conference has moved, she goes to see the organisers. It was very pleasant but also confusing.
Association: dancing around the maypole and a recollection of a dream from another matrix – a stadium filled with women from all over the world – colours just flowing.
And then an experience in this moment of feeling intensely – wanting to vomit – wanting to expel something from the system. The beach reminds them of being in the tsunami in 2004. Shiva swallows the poison from the churning ocean so the nectar can be drunk by the gods.
Association: Non dreams, not remembering, constipation – our reality is a nightmare, so the dreams are mute. Climbing – Jack and the Beanstalk: escape to another world, as here is horror in this one. The Carnival in Venice – beautiful masks but no-one knows what’s behind them.
Dream: An ISPSO conference. She checks into a large hotel. She is sharing a large king size bed with her lover. People come in and out. She wants to swim – happy to have a swimming suit. Then sailing through Vienna, Paris, London, slim beach. Water is really soft. She is wearing a swimming suit over a bikini. Wakes up in a bed in pajamas opening a zoom meeting.
Association: Beaches – Gertrude Stein – having a room with a view in order to work. Views from windows and windows with a view. Hemmingway’s resposte to Stein: a bitch is a bitch is a bitch. A beach is a beach… Beaches or bitches. Every excursion is stressful.
Association: Layers of cloth, one layer over the other
Association: Holocaust and travelling.
Association: Royalty on the balcony waving to others.
Dream: His mother on a balcony. He must go and sit beside her – very anxious. He sits. without saying anything.
Association: Fear of being attacked in dreams by some energy or madness that could take over. Overwhelming everything more intense, more dramatic.
Association: Connecting only with the Elm tree dream, original from England, where she grew up, while experiencing difficulty to take other dreams in a matrix of people from all over the world
Association: During lockdown, instincts don’t quite know what to do. But she lives in the hope that the world will change. Confusion.
Association: How to rethink the relationships after lockdown? People retaining their social distance. Need. to rethink all relationships and maintain distance to one and another. Anxiety about the uncertain future
Dream: Trying to enter back in a room that he knows but he couldn’t enter. He thought that the people looking at him were crossed but it was not true. Then he was in a bank thinking how to preserve his savings that are experiencing significant loss over the last month.
Association: Linking the oceans and beaches with the place were humans have been dumping waste. The unwanted goods.
Association: Saving the universe by taking the poison absorbing it and taking it away.
Association: Bins full of rubbish in streets with no people.
Association: Rubbish and junk in the ocean, tigers. Exploring jaguar animal medicine, one of the most difficult medicines – comes after man becomes corrupt. Its role is to clean up. It haunts until balance and harmony are restored. It symbolizes integrity and impeccability.
Association: The Tiger King, an antisocial man breeding tigers and selling them.
Association: Are we allowed to experience pleasure when there is so much loss?
Association: Can we help the tiger to be more comfortable or are we frozen from action and creativity? How to get the body working together after vomiting and constipation?
The dreams were quite lively. Even though some of them expressed anxiety and need to escape a danger- many of them referred to nature: beaches, tsunamis, tigers, scorpions, pigs, trees etc…
There was a relatively less (direct) representation of aggression in the Matrix as well as relatively less (direct) expressions of conflicts between people. When a rivalry was mentioned it was to say: we met after many years and shook hands. As if aggression was suppressed by the entirety, guilt and threat.
Real sorrow – not losing money but losing abilities like instinct and senses. How are we going to get our social body (corps) back working together? We can’t trust ourselves anymore, not how we used to. A threat of overwhelm – but we still have a responsibility – to look after each other.
Sexuality (tigers) was present. If we take the several beaches which appeared, as a symbol of the ‘place were life began’ we can say; Eros is alive. Life has to restart again. How much agency do we have – can we help the tiger not to fall through the grating?
There was a clear difference between the stream of dreams and the stream of associations about them. While it was difficult to find a clear common/main message in the dreams – the associations were different – they had a clear common denominator. They were quite coherent and clearly connected with the collective trauma. They were dysphoric, depressed, guilty, talking about pollution, garbage, trees which no more exist, etc. As if the matrix was telling us: why are you, mankind, so narcissistically injured? Making such a fuss of your anxieties? The Covid-19 is part of nature as also you. Go ahead. Survive. Life goes on.
Humans are presented in the dream world as attacking nature, the container, but the container (nature) is attacking the Contained (humans). Hence perhaps the disconnection between dream and associations?
We look forward to the next unfolding.
Compiled by the Hosts: Rachel Kelly, Yosi Triest, Monica Velarde
Image: Responsibility by Juliet Scott, 2019
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