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The social dreaming matrix format is designed to reach a cultural unconscious that is at best thinly represented in available discourses. For this, it has relied on a psychoanalytically-informed psychosocial approach. These extracts, however, are selected to illustrate key features of climate change as a ‘hyperobject’, following the work of Timothy Morton, Humanities scholar and ecophilosopher. The idea is to see if the theory of hyperobjects can contribute a further dimension within a psychosocial approach.elverstessjohnson

I dreamt all night and I kept waking up trying to hold on to the dreams.

Introducing artworks into the Social Dreaming event, and the experience of a containing space among like-minded others, enabled multiply-condensed imagery, which under normal circumstances cannot be brought to thought. These conditions helped to make sense of the awful experience of a hyperobject that is interconnectedly everywhere, outscaling human capacity to know, that science cannot hold, that sticks to everything, yet is non-local.

to wake up to a dream, to see the thing that terrifies and disturb us as a part of ourselves to transform it and use it wisely




Social dreaming is a tool used for thousands of years to remind us that individual dreams are also part of a collective human experience. When we step into a social dreaming space – called a matrix – we share a sense of beauty, intimacy, and wisdom that inspires profound feelings of hope, interconnectedness, and awe.

how we dream the world and how the world dreams us. CG Jung said the dreams balance our one-sidedness that means if I'm one-sided in one direction the dream is going to show me something in myself that balances my one-sidedness the third thing is dreams lead us towards our wholeness.

think of everything that happens in the world as both real and also dreamlike let's call the dreamlike aspects of social discourse and world events social dreams so let's say that social dreams have the same three aspects as individual dreams right everything in the social dream is part of us the social dream balances are one sidedness and it leads us towards wholeness let's just stretch our imaginations so the people

social dream helps us to learn from it and heal our society

when airplanes destroyed the Twin Towers our nation did not realize that in addition to being real and terrifying this tragedy was also a social dream most politicians and people in the country did not realize that everything in the dream is us they saw the violence and the hatred as being outside of themselves even as we started bombing Iraq and Afghanistan and killing people when others mobilized to stop these wars we also often forgotten that everything in the dream is us I remember a 20 year old peace demonstrator standing on top of the barricade screaming F Bush stop the violence with spit and hatred and vitriol spitting out of her mouth neither the politicians nor that young demonstrator woke up to the dreamlike aspect of the conflict they continued to see the problem only on the outside and didn't wake up to the dream

so what does it mean to wake up to a

dream the point here is not to

unconsciously become the thing that

scares us or upsets us rather if we

recognize it in ourselves we can

transform it and use it let me give you

an example so I did a few dream sessions

as part of the social dream lab here at

the Museum and thank you Natalie and

Michael for letting me a bit bar this

visionary project one woman worked on a

dream from her childhood in which she

was in a classroom and suddenly an army

came out of the blackboard and ran over

the teacher and kept going so I won't go

into the details here but in her dream

work she discovered to her surprise that

that army was not attacking she normally

thinks of armies as violent and hostile

but this army energy was directive and

passionate moving in a straight line

rather than attacking this woman got so

excited about that energy she's a

longtime social activist but these days

her life is pretty scattered she told me

she needs this direct

energy in her life and then her activism

interestingly the army in the dream was

coming out of the blackboard in other

words this passionate directedness that

the army represented in her dream was

the lesson she needed to learn to be

clear the lesson was not to be violent

like she thinks an army would be the

lesson was to pick up the diamond

essence of that terrifying thing and

this is what it means to wake up to a

dream to see the thing that terrifies or

disturbs us as a part of ourselves to

transform it and use it wisely now

imagine if George Bush could have looked

in the mirror and seen that he was

acting a bit like bin Laden rather than

being possessed by the hatred and

violence that he saw and bin Laden

imagine if that young demonstrator could

have noticed she was acting a bit like

bush rather than being possessed by the

hatred and violence she saw in him

imagine a world where we could harness

the power of our opponent and use it

wisely a world where we could wake up to

our personal and collective dreams

rather than playing them out without

awareness of course your everyday mind

must resist and reject what I'm saying

it's crazy actually there are just bad

things that happen and they are real

they're not dreams and I agree with you

totally at the same time I asked you to

stretch your mind in your heart and

imagine that we're dreaming the world

everything we see on the news is also us

when we think it's only on the outside

of us we contribute to the one-sidedness

that's at the core of many world

problems so stretch yourself again and

imagine that this world also dreams us

it expresses itself through us that

woman in Croatia was playing out a role

in the world's dream when she said she

felt a bit more comfortable with people

from her ethnic group in a way the world

was using that woman's courage to help

the group wake up to its pain and wake

up to its capacity to heal like her each

one of us needs each one of us plays out

a part in the world's dream and the

world needs us to play our

part the more we become who we really

are and have the courage to express

what's truly inside of us the more the

world can wake up let's wake up to our

dreaming when we're upset by the other

side let's remember even though it's

challenging to think this way let's

remember that the other side is

balancing our one-sidedness and pointing

us towards wholeness let's wake up to

our dreaming to our ugliness to our

beauty and to our common humanity