Understanding the Dream Sociomatrix
Above is a picture of a completed Dream Sociomatrix. A sociomatrix is a grid used to collect the preferences of people toward others or toward some task. A Dream Sociomatrix is a grid used to collect the preferences of parts of yourself that appear in dreams, either sleeping or waking, as dream group members. These preferences can be used to clarify the role in the dream of the dream group members, provide additional forgotten information about the dream, provide desired changes to the dream, if any, provide recommended changes in your waking life, provide recommendations regarding some life issue of concern to you, and clarify how a character views its purpose and that of its fellows. In addition you cultivate both wisdom and meditative witnessing when you view the life dream from the perspective of that aspect of your greater identity that created it in the first place.
Preferences are arbitrary and limiting but necessary expressions of spirit manifesting in form. Dream Sociometry asks you to identify with a specific dream group member and then to spontaneously express one of seven degrees of preference toward some element in the dream. There are seven degrees of preference, each given a numerical value from negative three to positive three. These are: Hate (-3, often written as /3), Dislike a lot (-2 or /2), Dislike (-1 or /1) don’t care (0), Like, (1), Like a lot (2), Love (3). When a character feels more than one of these toward a character the score may be written as follows: (2/3) Like a lot/Hate; (3/1) Love, Dislike. It is also possible to care very much but in a compassionate and dispassionate way that seems to transcend preferences. This is also indicated by a blank space, but the meaning is not “don’t care” but “my caring transcends preferences.” The character’s remarks in the commentaries clarifies which usage is present. The appropriate number is placed in the grid square that intersects choosing dream group member and chosen dream element.
The expression of some degree of preference may be accompanied by an explanation of the preference. This is written down in the Dream Sociomatrix Commentary after the name of the choosing dream group member with whom you are identified.
A Dream Sociomatrix is basically a tool for listening to yourself, whether that self is your internal, personal, social, or cultural identity. Filling out a Dream Sociomatrix allows you to listen to yourself at a depth and breadth that you are likely to agree that you never have before. But listening to yourself is not enough. You then have to decide what you want to do with what you have heard, for with knowledge comes responsibility. In the case of Integral Deep Listening, that responsibility is to your greater self and its recommendations.
The subsequent commentaries not only provide more information about how your preferences create your reality, but how they keep you stuck. They are designed to provide a plan for heightened self-integration. Follow the method. Create and act on an action plan. Judge the results for yourself.
Interviewing Your Dream Group Members
Learning to suspend your assumptions about what a character is or is not may take some practice, but it is well worth the effort. Do your best to approach the dream from the perspective of the character, suspending your normal point of view. For instance, if you are interviewing a road, you do not have the perspective of a driver in a car traveling over the road. Instead, you have the perspective of something which is a hard surface that is traveled on, traveled over, something that began somewhere before where you are and is ending somewhere beyond where you now are.
As you take the perspective of your dream characters, cultivate an attitude of whimsy, as if you were a five year old pretending you are a school teacher or a parent or a spy. Be spontaneous and write the first response that comes to mind to the questions, without analyzing them or wondering whether the answer is “right” or “wrong.” You are not only playfully suspending your normal identity but you are also setting aside your normal systems of judgment and morality and substituting those of the character at hand.
Do you have a dream of your own which nags at you and which feels important? Perhaps you have a sense that you haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of it. Why don’t you follow our steps and create a Dream Sociomatrix on your own dream? Then we’ll show you how to create a Dream Sociogram, an action plan, and monitor your progress.