The dream is a sacred thing to many tribal cultures.
It is a vision for life, a finding of the soul.
The dream is meant to heal the most broken part of ourselves and help heal the most broken part of others we meet along our journey through life.
It is what makes us whole again, uniting us to our soul and the soul of the the earth and the spirit of the one who created both.
In some Native American tribes, a youth, when ready to find his medicine will sit upon a mountain for four days and four nights without eating or drinking.
A young Aborigine in Australia will be taken to a place deep in the outback desert. In that place of solitude he will also find His dream and it will become his strength and it will lead him, safely home.
In the western world we have career advisers.
Our dream has now become deeply connected to our social status and that is reflected in the career path we forge.
How many people would prefer their child to become a gardener over a scientist, a cleaner over an accountant or a carpenter over an executive.
Not everyone, but the prevalent norm is to place our greatest value on status and salary.
This is all reflected in which subjects are taken most seriously in schools.
Practical vocational qualifications, the arts, humanities and spiritual studies, are generally not considered as important or valuable as the hard sciences or mathematics.
We are encouraged to follow the path which most effectively enhances our sense of value in society. Whether or not the pursuit of such a path is of any inherent value within itself.
The advertisers, the media, politicians and ultimately those who benefit most and pull the most strings, the corporations, have replaced the true dream with a superficial version.
This is a great crime against our human souls and it is going unnoticed because it is happening so slowly.
The Media sells us false dreams.
While we run ourselves ragged simply trying to work and look after our families, we become passive to the effects of the media on our consciousnesses.
The media plays up to every one of our base impulses. It encourages us to consume above and beyond our means and needs.
It also makes us fear the world around us while giving us the message that ultimately we are impotent and powerless to change anything.
But the most scary truth is that we are becoming numb.
We are losing the ability to truly see and hear the voice of our souls.
The voice of the sacred in the everyday.
And it is young people who are most vulnerable to mistake the false dream for the real one.
Maybe this is because the dream replacement seems quite congenial, non confrontational, consumer friendly and relatively safe compared with the true dream.
In the new dream Saint Nicholas becomes Father Christmas, Jesus becomes a blond, blue eyed, life coach, and American Idol and X factor become the initiation ceremonies for our youth.
In contrast, the true dream of our souls may very well lead us away from materiel security, the pursuit of wealth, perpetual beauty and comfort, and the instant pleasures and conveniences that factories across the world supply at both an environmental and human cost.
I took a walk outside the other night, far away from the orange street lamps and the hazy atmosphere.
I found a place completely dark except for the stars and the crescent moon.
I sat and heard the stories nature tried to tell me, the ones I am usually to busy to hear.
The rustle of the leaves, awaking me softly to the night, both within and without.
The river sings of our deepest truth.
The truth that is present within all things from seed, to birdsong, to the human heart.
I pray to be more present to the wisdom of this sacred truth.
I have the feeling that our collective dream still sings somewhere along that river.