Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream is a masterfully compiled multimedia collection of video excerpts, music, photographs, quotations, animation, live presenters, dyads, group processes and wisdom snippets – from Joanna Macy, Thich Nhat Hahn, John Robbins, Paul Hawken, Wangari Maathai and Vandana Shiva, among others – that, in only four hours, clearly distils the facts and elicits and presents answers to four questions:
How did we get here?
What is possible for the future?
Where do we go from here?
When I first experienced Changing the Dream, I had just watched the climate docudrama, Age of Stupid, and was keenly aware of the precariousness of our position on the edge of collapse, as cheap oil, the fuel behind our consumer society, runs out and its effects on our climate grow more severe. The symposium helped me connect my heart to the issues and see things through a wider lens.
A key concept is that we in the West have been “entranced” by years of marketing to believe that we need something outside ourselves to be satisfied, and that ever-increasing consumption is the answer. Although it is clear that our addiction to manufactured stuff is driving climate change, perhaps we are not so much “stupid” as hypnotized. Stores and manufacturers seduce us with brand images and logos and condition us to feel we cannot live happily without them.
The Awakening the Dreamer Symposium was put together several years ago by the Pachamama Alliance in response to a heartfelt plea from the indigenous Achuar people of Peru/Ecuador, whose shamans had predicted that the world was on the verge of a terrible catastrophe, which only industrialized countries could avert. The version I experienced was a recent improvement that is taking the Bay Area (and beyond) by storm as more and more attendees are inspired to become facilitators and bring the symposium to their own groups and associations.
At the crux of the event is the revelation of one simple assumption under which we have been operating for centuries, the reversal of which will make it inevitable that we reduce our consumption, care more for the earth and each other than for profit, and rebuild our lives in resilient communities. Can you guess what it is?
The Symposium offers a beautiful, compact introduction to the Transition concept, so I am delighted to announce that the Pachamama Alliance and the Transition Network are currently formalizing a partnership. You can experience Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream yourself on June 6th at the Albany Senior Center (see calendar). We are asking $10 – $20 for the event, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please invite friends and be prepared to be moved.