In english



Rita Westvik.

There is a neglected link between individual learning–by-dreaming and awake learning in context.

Creative knowledge work does not limit itself to formal working hours. Whether we consciously choose it or not, our (sub)consciousness works continuously – day and night. When we dream, the muscle activities lie low, the food processing system takes a rest – and we learn and recreate.
Why do we dream? It seems beyond doubt that dreaming is of great importance for the ability to learn and create.
Life, work life included, may well be understood as fields of meaning shaped between complex frequencies. Dreams do not separate issues related to organizational experience, but they may nevertheless contribute to the construction of the subjective experience of structures, symbols and relevance-systems at work.

My concern in this book is to explore and increase the understanding of the interconnections between day- and night-life through examining the bridging capacity that dreams might have between dark zones (mostly informal nighttime exploring, learning and working in dreams) and bright zones (formal daytime articulation, interpretation and lessons learned through analytical and intuitive approach).
I hold that dreams serve as a kind of tacit knowledge with a huge expressive and informative power – if not neglected.
Why and how can dreams serve as a source of personal learning in life; organizational and working contexts included? What are the implications of individually in-dark-experienced dream life on bright everyday contexts? Can dreams lead to altered perspectives followed by change in behavioural patterns in culturally formed groups, professional teams or between individuals?

Narratives, the stories about ourselves, create both identity and restrictions. Organizational shadows, (the subconscious life in any organization), is an important competitive factor, especially in knowledge based creative work. The best knowledge workers are often those who manage to develop, create and change. To build an organizational culture (embedded, embodied, encultured, tacit; Blackler’s categories) that actively addresses and invests time in emotional experience-based work may increase flow, dynamics of work and performance.

As emotions have both an individual as well as a collective aspect, so have dreams. I explore and discuss whether dreams are bridge-builders between the personal inner experience and external facts; between pasts and futures and between the unconscious and the conscious knowledge. Better understanding of the language of dreams may add to the capturing and understanding of important knowledge that is not easy to articulate or measure.

To obtain balance between dark and bright zones requires the skills of an artist, the receptivity of a dreamer and the speed of a super-computer – in short that’s what creative leadership takes these days. Maybe future leaders will be influenced by such “stuff as dreams are made of” (Shakespeare’s expression, The Storm).
Creative people are motivated from within and seek challenge prior to money. To manage innovation and new ways of leadership our multicultural urban environments face us with a broader set of challenges than we usually think of when discussing creative and/or emotional competence.

In this book I explore a selected number of dreams from the years 1987 and 1997. The only possible way to investigate individual learning-by-dreaming as a basic building block of learning is to remember, write down and reflect upon dreams in context. I have been doing that for 30 years. The empirical source for this book will thus be a selection of dreams from this material – that consists of nearly one hundred handwritten books.
How can these learning-by-dreaming and other modes of informal learning be integrated into formal learning activities? Too little is known about the relation between emotions and lifelong learning. I suggest that the dark aspects of learning include dream work and work with dreams. How these dark night spots of learning experiences connects to bright real-life experiences and what more, how these two realms coexist and cocreate personal and organizational involvement are subjects that deserve attention in knowledge management and organizational practice, as well as in life at large. I insist that there is a lot of added bright learning through acknowledging messages from dark nightlife, and that the two seemingly separated realities in reality are intertwined.

To share and interpret emotional issues is a kind of human activity that may increase collective learning, relational competencies and dynamics in professional deliveries, both in arts, business, politics, religion and science.

Mental and emotional exercise may prove more influential on the bottom line in the knowledge- and experience- based economy than in traditional industries. In these new battlefields, human mind being a hot moving target for increased commercial and creative exploitation, market shares may very well depend on elements as altered consciousness, emotions and dreams. An organization may in this perspective constitute a living organism with a soul, carrying and producing myths and narratives, emotional fields and collective immaterial clouds of energies designing more or less fruitful ground for co-creation and performance.


By sharing these texts and reflections with you, it is my ambition to trigger an interest for dark matter in society at large; in education, in politics, in arts, in religion and in our everyday works space; be it online or onsite. We are never more awake and alert than in the dreaming dark.

Dreams, as psychology, has too long suffered a status connecting to the field to pathology; at it’s best dreams work is considered a possible vehicle for self-development and mental healing, understood as therapeutic work. The rest of the scientific work dealing with dark matter seems to be emphasising the physiological and neurological aspects of sleep.


In these texts I analyse my inner outlook; how to understand and interpret unconscious emerging knowledge during REM sleep/active sleep. Embodied and embrained but hardly understood; dreams are knowledge not encultured. We tend overlook the inner outlook, at costs we might not yet notice.


The narrative structures of dreams are fascinating. Through the years I have been searching for personal iconology and collective archetypes as well as tools and tricks in capturing important tacit messages from me to me.

Dreams are tools to reflect with, and to my experience, they give better understanding of the subjective interpretations of events and relations; the only true level of experiencing. Phenomenological approach to knowledge while becoming in the twilight zone; collective memory expressed through personal consciousness – what better lessons can we wish for? True – and free!

Is subconscious knowledge shared? Do we dream together? I think so.


I exercise my eyes to see more clearly in the dark zones, to improve my inner outlook and use it more efficiently in bright life – in love and politics. I expect to view and experience emotions in play, instant problemsolving, entrepreneurial activities and innovative concepts, rapid judgement and solution management – with my blue eyes shut.

Maybe is it only music, in addition to dreams, that can capture the deep resonances and dissonances that every individual and organizational life is accompanied by.