If you create a Dream Sociomatrix and fill out the Commentaries, you will find that some groups agree on changes to be made to the dream in order to create a consensus intrasocio-cultural context. That is, their combined perspectives agree on what a dream would look like that respected all their perspectives, not just those of Dream Self. If no one has objections, the result can be rewritten as a Dreamage, a consensus interactional presentation of the preferences of all interviewed perspectives.
As an example, here is an example of a dream of mine and its dreamage followed by an explanation of the relationship between this aspect of Dream Sociometry and the narratives we tell ourselves that create our life script. This is a concept which is emphasized by Transactional Analysis, in particular, but almost all forms of therapy involve unearthing and then reframing the narratives that we tell ourselves about who we are.
Computer DSMX Aug 22, 2018 (of a dream I had some weeks previously): I am at some neighbor’s party. He is an older, retired entrepreneur type, like Fred. I am helping to clean up after the party and am carrying out a tree with peacock feather limbs. There seem to be other items to be carried as well, meaning the job is bulky. Two guys were carrying this “tree,” and it was unwieldy, plus one was an older guy who shouldn’t have been messing with it. So I was carrying part of it in his place. We had to go through some doors and some of the feathers came off. It ended up that we had to carry it some blocks, which we had not expected, to return it to the rental place. By the time we got it there almost all of the peacock feathers had fallen off. I went back to the house and talked to the owner, who was leaving. I didn’t feel like we had much in common.
I am having fun at a party, laughing and enjoying a number of different people while we admire a beautiful tree with peacock feathers for leaves. I am telling my host how much I appreciate his generosity and thoughtfulness. As we carry the tree out after the party, I am thanking my two helpers and the older guy I replace and asking him to go behind us and pick up any peacock feathers we drop so we will have them to put back on the tree when we get to the rental store. I am not worrying about any feathers falling off as we carry the tree through doorways and down the blocks to the rental store. I am joking with the guys about how cumbersome carrying this tree is while we are moving it, and when we get to the rental store we are all working together to re-attach the peacock feathers to the tree limbs, restoring it to its previous glory.
Dreams represent aspects of a dreamer’s life script as he perceives it in the dream state. His reactions to the dream events reflect his assumptions about who he is and how he should relate to others and his world. As such, dreams typically reinforce our life script, since we are telling ourselves and rehearsing not only our reasons for doing what we do but also our patterns of emotional reactivity, thereby reinforcing both. Whether we remember our dreams or not, we wake up with our world view, our approach to problem solving, and our emotional responses reinforced.
This is important, because it helps explain why most therapy does not “stick:” it is “undone” by our scripting while we are dreaming every night, for some two and a half hours, interspersed throughout the night, whether or not we ever remember a single dream. We can get a feel of this process by observing our mood when we awaken. It is a carry-over into our waking life of the moods we reinforced in our dreams. For instance, if we have nightmares or themes of losing things or being in trouble, we will awaken more anxious, without knowing why.
The importance of this impact on our waking world view, decision-making, and emotional reactivity is not to be underestimated, although we normally do so, based on not remembering or considering dreams to be irrational and/or irrelevant, as most people normally do, most of the time. This is a huge perceptual error and one we pay a heavy price for all our lives, through needless, self-inflicted suffering and missed opportunities for awakening and supporting emerging potentials that are attempting to be born in us.
This ignorance of the impact of dreaming on our waking life is also important because our dream narratives are metaphorical statements of our life script, that is, how and where we are stuck, and how we keep ourselves stuck. All of this is elaborated and elucidated in the various Dream Sociomatrix Commentaries. For example, in the above example, the commentaries clarified several aspects of my life script. I will share them in an attempt to demonstrate the relationship between a perceived dream and its carry-over affect into waking life, on the one hand, and the function of dreamages, on the other, and how that relates to the concept of rewriting our life script, basic to Transactional Analysis and other forms of therapy:
1) I have come to be much more comfortable with other people and to view life as a party. While for some people this image of life as a party would be one of hedonism, the commentaries make clear that for me this is a movement toward relaxing and enjoying life in the company of others. Therefore, the dream itself is commenting on and reinforcing an important and fundamental shift from shyness, reservation, introspection, and separateness to confidence, involvement, extroversion, and inclusion.
I did not recognize that fundamental shift until I took the time to create a Dream Sociomatrix, Commentaries, and Dream Sociogram. Also, it is important to note that this is not my projection onto the dream. I did not see it and the idea did not occur to me. It was presented to me as an awakening awareness by the interviewed dream characters. This is a huge and important difference from normal projective dream interpretation.
2) The carrying out of the Peacock Feather Tree, as well as the Tree itself, were mysteries to me until I heard from the various perspectives. When I did so, it became clear that it reflected a basic script duality in my life between wanting to be helpful, of service, and expressing my gratitude concretely, on the one hand, and making difficulties more difficult with self-criticism for mistakes or failures, on the other. The dream was reinforcing that script dichotomy through my perception of these events in the dream. Despite attempts to be helpful, experiencing tasks as both difficult and personalizing them as personal failures was sabotaging both the quality of my life and my effectiveness. By accessing the perspectives of the various dream characters I was able to objectify that pattern and find a solution in the experience of being the Peacock Feather Tree – taking that perspective and living my life out of it.
3) The Peacock Feather Tree ended up representing something of a rewriting of my life script, from a particular perspective. It said it was about becoming comfortable with ostentatious phoniness for the creation of appreciation, beauty, and enjoyment. Painting with broader strokes, this is the Buddhist concept of upaya, skill in means, where Bodhisattvas take on imperfection in the world in order to be able to relate to people at their level of development. But unlike the ornaments on most Christmas Trees, the “leaves” on this tree are all natural, even though they are an unexpected and whimsical, creative combination of natural elements, just like dreams are, just like Dream Sociometry is. In addition, the combination is enjoyable, even beautiful, implying that there is a possibility of rewriting my life script to emphasize these elements: the unexpected, whimsical, natural, enjoyable, and beautiful, trusting that those elements outweigh the ostentatious and phoniness of the presentation. Integral Deep Listening refers to that as Cosmic Humor, an important doorway out of personalization and psychological geocentrism.
Therefore, the creation of dreamages are a rewriting of our life script, but not based on our own priorities, as is typically done, but on the consensus priorities of interviewed perspectives that include, yet transcend, our own. They include our priorities, because after all, we are interviewing self-aspects that know us better than anyone else ever could. However, these priorities transcend our priorities because interviewed characters have their own priorities that take into account our own and build on them, thereby indicating that they are more than us and more than self-aspects. That is a major reason why IDL refers to them as “emerging potentials.”
This sort of rewriting of one’s life script is more powerful than life scripts that are rewritten by us, as is typically the case with Transactional Analysis and other forms of therapy that reframe life narratives – the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, why we are here, and how we are to relate to other people and nature. It is also important to note that Dream Sociometry provides endless varieties of an expanding life script that is continuously being rewritten, as represented by new dreamages. This teaches us that there is no perfect or final life script, but that it is an evolving, organic process rather than a static world view.
When we read over a consensual rewrite of a dream, or Dreamage, like the one above, before bed, we are practicing a form of lucidity, or waking up, because we are incubating a script that embodies a narrative of higher order integration, healing, balancing, and transformation. That script, narrative, or dreamage does not need to make sense to others or even to ourselves. Repeating it is rather like taking medicine, or generating morphic resonance (Rupert Sheldrake’s concept), in that what we are doing is self-medicating metaphorically, or in the language in which our dreams present themselves, a higher pattern of integration. We are feeding back into the biocomputer a more highly integrated script, in its own language, than the one that we have consciously formulated for our lives.
This is a radical revision of what script analysis means and how it is implemented, and it cannot be understood or implemented without some methodology that accesses multiple autonomous and authentic perspectives and then encourages their integration. This is a function and major benefit of Dream Sociometry, in addition to its function as a research tool into the amelioration of various sorts of life issues.