The art of dreaming




The most significant aspect of the HoD conference at Soapy Bore was, for me, a pervasive sensation of 'unboundedness'.  I'd like to link what I perceived as a fluidity in the temporal and spatial (and task?) boundaries of the conference (compared to the more static boundaries of the traditional group relations conference setting) to the feeling/idea of 'the Heart'.  

My hypothesis is that at the 'heart of things' (whether they be geographical, organisational, spiritual or psychological), boundaries cease to a useful or meaningful way to make sense of experience.  Things happen in the 'here and now' in quite a real way, and must be dealt with intuitively rather than rationally (associatively rather than logically) – by being open to letting go of previously held ideas and boundaries and going with the flow, as it were. 

For example, we discovered that a good way to deal with an influx of aboriginal kids to a yoga session is to transform the session, rather than try to stick to what was intended at the beginning.  Indeed, attempts to impose or hold on to boundaries in the heart are doomed to failure, and can seem ridiculous (eg. me trying to hold on to a written copy of a conference program in the midst of a desert camp became humorous). 

The heart can be thought of as a metaphor for something that can’t be put into words, or even thought about directly, but is present in everything as the source of life and creativity – individual, group, organization, culture, society, nation - and may also be referred to as primary spirit, soul, ‘O’, the unconscious, the infinite.  In fact these categories too probably cease to be meaningful when one is at the heart.

This is where social dreaming is important, I think, if one is interested in exploring the heart of things   from the outside. To me, dreams offer a less-bounded manifestation of individual, group, organizational, cultural and national experience than normal conscious reflection.  The Heart of Dreaming, for me, started us on a path to an ‘art of dreaming’, which is concerned with understanding and growth.  I'm hoping that we can explore this form of ‘art’ during this year's conference - for example, through the praxis event.

One difference that may be significant this year is the fact that we have located ourselves geographic on a geographic 'edge' - rather than a 'centre' - a coastline, which is given even greater prominence by the presence of a light.  The light is here to ward off danger, to illuminate the danger posed by this rocky geographical boundary.  I wonder whether the light is a kind of heart, something that will bring a 'light-heartedness' to our experiences here.  Let there be light...

David Patman

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