[kml_flashembed movie=”http://ianwallacedreams.com/wp-content/uploads/flash/big-blue-falls.swf” height=”180″ width=”240″ /]Although our dreams seem to promise powerful awareness and profound insight into our circumstances, can we really use that unconscious awareness in the day to day, nitty gritty, bump and grind of our working lives? It may seem like no amount of insight and awareness can resurrect our rusting aspirations and coax them back into shiny new life.
And if our dreams are so important, why do we forget them so easily? Surely the deep insight and wide awareness that we experience in our dreams should be far more persistent if they are of any real value to us? If our unconscious illuminations and reflections are so powerful, why do we let them slip away so easily? The answer is that we naturally seem to forget our dreams because of a simple function of how the dreaming process has evolved biologically.
The evolutionary reason that we forget our dreams is so that we can quickly distinguish between our dreams and waking reality when we wake up. Otherwise we might behave like startled dogs woken from dreams of rabbit pursuit, bewildered and slightly psychotic. In our past, we needed to quickly step from the caves of our dreams into a conscious reality so we could fend off sabre toothed tigers and pursue herds of passing Megaloceros.
But then our ancestors began painting their hunting dreams on their cave walls and subsequently much of our existence has become based on our shared symbols. Forgetting our dreams was an evolutionary adaptation when we were animals. Now that we live in a largely symbolic world, remembering our dreams and the symbols they speak in is evolutionarily selective. The ability to recall our dreams and be unconsciously aware of them has become a competitive advantage.
However in a corporate context, being aware of our unconscious may seem completely unnecessary. It might be more commercially advantageous if we were just computer controlled meatbots like the cognitive scientists seem to think we are. Or sophisticated automatons programmed to operate and fulfil functions without knowing why, only how. Our dreams and our creativity would no longer inspire us to look beyond our designated functions and productivity targets.
Our dreams can disappear very quickly when confronted by the more primitive aspects of commercial reality. Brief flashes and glimpses of real opportunity fade away into the grey corporate mists of what might have been. But an organisation that is unconsciously aware and can remember its dreams possesses a distinct competitive advantage. The collective dreams of an organisation hold its future and the ability to adapt and evolve to truly realise opportunity.
Carl Jung said that ‘The more we attend to our dreams, the more aware that we become’. In our workplaces, the more that we attend to the collective imagery and shared myths of our unconscious awareness, the more meaning the workplace will have. And the more meaning the workplace has, the better the stories are that are told in it and told about it. And in any business sector, the best story always wins.