Sunday, January 17, 2010
On Dreaming and Waking....
Altitude enhances the imagination: we have all been having vivid dreams. Mexico City is higher than Denver, the "Mile High" city, by about 2000 feet. You feel the altitude going up stairs; you notice it dodging traffic; you register it in dreams.
We take to comparing dreams at breakfast, vying with each other for the most fantastic plot. Lisa laments that her dreams don´t have plots, while for others sleep delivers whole epics. We tell our dreams, noticing how experiences from the day before have imprinted the unconscious.
The Achuar peoples, an indigenous tribe in Ecuador, take dreams seriously. They are expert in discerning their meaning. The Pachamama Alliance (www.pachamama.org) grew out of a persistent dream among the Achuar elders that revealed the modern world to be caught up in a trance -- with nightmarish consequences for all the world´s peoples. They interpreted the dream to mean that the way of the eagle and the way of the condor should merge, more specifically, more consumerist/materialist cultures like those of the North, should work with more spiritual cultures like theirs toward the common dream of a more sustainable way of life for all the world´s children. The fruit of this dreaming was a global movement dedicated to a world that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling.
So here´s the question: how do we make our way into this world? What is the Camino we are looking for? Where are its markers? On the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, there were clear signs pointing the way ahead: yellow arrows decorated corners, telephone poles, fences. Just when we needed one, a yellow arrow would appear. The yellow arrows guided us to Santiago.
What -- and who -- will guide us to the world we seek, where the way of the eagle and the way of the condor meet?
I don't think there is a map out there waiting to be discovered. We will find the path in the walking, guided by our fellow travelers. That´s why it is important to be here.
Or, in the words of Australian aborginal elder Lila Watson:
"If you are coming to help us,
you are wasting your time;
If you are coming because your liberation is bound up with our own,
then let us walk together."