The American Dream
About Your Dream, here’s some things I’ve learned:
Without a Dream of What We Could Become we humans get hopeless and lost. Good onya’ for recognizing this and making the protection of that Dream fundamental. Because of that you have been a beacon to people from all over the world to come and find their Dream. Yum.
The saddest part of The Dream is not failing to achieve it (that’s why the blues exist and all sorts of other fun things that make us feel better while the fire still smolders), the saddest part is that even when achieved it is not permanent. No one told the kids that Your Dream is a passageway. A guidepost to head for, and that once reached the same drive and needs that compelled us in the first place will still exist and we will need a new guidepost. The Dream is never meant to dull or exorcise that innate drumbeat in our heart to move ourselves and alter the world around us. The Opportunity to Dream has no finish line, it is always an open landscape.
If you do not know this then a Deep Disappointment will set in. Ironically this may be proportional to how fully you’ve already achieved Your Dream, leading you to maniacally try and get more of what you’ve got (if you have more than one TV you are on this path). So too a Deep Disappointment awaits if Dreaming only takes place after reaching some imagined societal standard, if Dreaming only matters after you have 200 cable channels and not just 150.
There are two kinds of Dreams.
One that comes unbidden from within, an inexplicable tug toward a poem or a picture or a feeling, a simple innate yum for some things and not others – this may build slowly, like picking up stones for the love of stones and finding the stones lead you to the temple, or it may be a snap, where you see an image of the temple and know it is where you must head.
The other is Someone’s Else’s Dream. A Dream from another that has been created and realized, maybe even articulated or proselytized, and in that way looks real enough for you to pursue as Your Dream.
This is tricky. If I see Someone Else’s Dream and feel the tug, is it also My Dream? No. It may be that Some Else’s Dream has elements in common with Your Dream, and perhaps in the end they will even look quite similar, but if you pursue only Someone Else’s Dream you will never be able to realize your own. You will have defined your path only as pursuit of what is outside of yourself. Deep Disappointment lies ahead.
Dreaming is Natural, not merely human. It is the act of creation within an individual life. It is color blind, tribal blind, nation blind, family blind, it is unable to see the categories and walls we build to give ourselves identity. Identity is not a Dream, it is a placeholder we rest upon when weary and needing a breather before returning to Our Dream.
Because Dreaming is innate, to fear Another’s Dream is to fear nature itself; if you believe Another’s Dream is the obstacle to Your Dream, then Deep Disappointment lies ahead.
The Freedom to Dream is only and just that. You are not owed a Particular Dream. You are allowed the Freedom to find and alter and fit and transform Your Dream. If that Freedom is not enough for you, Deep Disappointment lies ahead. Because the Promise of the Dream is never what it will bring you, it is only that you can have it. Part II
There is a group of people who have lost touch with The American Dream. They are called Trump Supporters. I know some of them personally. I wish to speak of what I have seen in these people, what I have witnessed.
They do not see what they have, only what they think they are missing.
They lack the perspective (whether through individual lack of faculty or communal lack of teaching) to appreciate the value of living in a land where they are not under direct physical attack or imminent physical danger. This nation has been at war for ten years and much of the last 4 decades, yet no assailant will ever be at their door. Much of humanity, now and throughout history, has lived with the very real threat of violence in a way we do not. This state of safety alone is all the space needed for Your Dream. All the foundation required to say I Am Free, My Dream has all the room and permission it needs because nothing physical confines it.
Yet they do not see this, they take what has been made around them for granted. They feel no tangible value or satisfaction in what this country has given them. They are not truly thankful for it because they do not wake and say to themselves, “thank you god and country, that however far along in My Dream I am today, it takes place in a land where violence and physical threat do not obstruct it, and that is enough to be a Dreamer.” This particular freedom makes all of us Americans the 1% of human history, yet Trump Supporters eschew this gratitude for disdain and blame. They would rather cause violence and harm to their fellow Dreamers than acknowledge their own good fortune.
They are NOT pitiable working class people who would sweat through night school or risk alienation by seeking more life affirming social structures or brave moving their family to an unknown place to work their asses off for a better life. Their Dream is maintaining Their Identity.
If you said to them, Your Dream is available but you’d have to leave your town, find new friends, learn a trade in an area that will require four years of diligent retraining and work nights in the meantime to afford it – in other words, you’d have to adapt Your Identity to achieve Your Dream – they will scoff at you. And then claim someone else is denying Their Dream. They Dream not of what they can achieve, but of what will come to them. They Dream of Easy, not of Possible. They dream of Staying Put and then moan at the malaise of Being Stuck.
Immigrants are not Taking jobs. Immigrants are Creating jobs. Immigrants do whatever needs doing, whatever learning needs learning, whatever sacrifices must be made, whatever indignities swallowed, because they are happy to Follow their Dream. Their Dream is not an expectation, it is an opportunity. An economy is not created by companies, it is created by individuals pushing to find demands unfulfilled, by individuals putting in more labor than they did yesterday, by individuals mastering a new skill. All of which is happening constantly here in America. There is no one stopping anyone from doing these things; there is no shortage of opportunity in America. There is a shortage of people Willing these opportunities, people who view the search and creation of opportunity as part of Their Dream.
The sickness that is manifest in a Trump Supporter is the disease of only believing in Someone Else’s Dream. They define their lives by Others – their parent’s lives or some rose-tinted view of a grandparent’s life or what they see on tv or, most often, some homogenous cultural meme of what life should be, handed to them by the world around them. The infection that comes from this disease is blame. Deep Disappointment arises from not honoring Your Dream; these people feel that Deep Disappointment and obsess over finding the Exterior Cause. They don’t realize the cause is failing to Hear Your Dream.
They have 14 guns but are terrified they might be denied a 15th. They have complete freedom over their own bodies but are terrified that even one woman might also have that freedom. They have Social Security, Medicare, free education, unemployment insurance and briefly universal health care, but they are terrified that no one is doing anything for them and therefore want to take all that away from Others. They speak the language, know the town, and understand the culture but are terrified that people who do not will outperform them and make them obsolete. They live in a time where job training information, employment postings, schooling, tutorials, discussion boards, mentoring, yoga, mediation, language learning, testimonials and inspirational guides are available and abundant but they are terrified of any information that doesn’t come through FOX news. They live in a country founded by and built upon people who moved when life required it, but they are terrified of everything that doesn’t look like their own front lawn.
They are terrified because they see only shadows. They see only what is not, only what they are not. So it was easy for the least convincing of carnival barkers to come along and fool them. All he had to do was point and say ‘look, scary, ooooooo’. He gave them the brief elation of cause identified, but in the end it will give them no relief because it is not the real cause of their Deep Disappointment.
The real cause is the belief that their life should look different than it does. That the American Dream promised them something else and they, or it, failed. They believe that is why they feel Deep Disappointment. That is False.
The American Dream was never a promise of What Has Been Shall Be. It was literally the destruction of that societal structure (the monarchical order) in favor of the idea that Whatever Might Be Can Be.
The American Dream is not “you’ll never be broke or beaten or worse than you started or without what was before”; the American Dream is that DESPITE being broke and beaten and Owed Nothing you are not stuck. You are Free. Free to move, free to educate yourself, free to outperform others with your commitment, free to be better than you were yesterday. Free to turn off NASCAR and FOX and build something in your garage that you’ll try to sell the next day because whether or not it sells you have the opportunity to try and the esteem you get from trying will lead to that elusive satisfaction you’re attempting to wring from blaming others.
Free to put away your gun toys and militia meetings and use that same time to buckle down on something that isn’t Recreational and six months later know how a computer works and how to write rudimentary code and began the long, laborious journey toward finding employment in a massive new world of technological opportunities, a world that six months prior you only thought belonged to the Others. Because manufacturing jobs are never coming back to Sandusky. Not because of trade deals or Obama, but for the same reason candle makers went out of business when electricity was invented. The world has turned, and Your Dream can only take place in the present. There will be jobs in Sandusky, but they will be the jobs of debugging the code that controls the robots doing the manufacturing.
If this image alarms you take it up with your ancestors. They are the ones who Emigrated to America pursuing their dream in the New World, and the force and energy of that choice is what fuels these changes today, what continues to make it a New World, not liberals or democrats or experts or the media. The Revolution of America has never stopped. The consequence of change is born from our founders, not our policies.
Wake up and realize that you live in a country of astounding natural beauty. Not only stunning but also diverse beyond reckoning, and all of it is available to you without borders or armed guards or papers. If you could afford one road trip a year to camp near a national park, something that costs only a few days of gas, you would be realizing a Dream of Immense Proportions. A Dream of seeing God’s Display at a frequency and depth that many humans will never get to. If this doesn’t give you Profound Appreciation nothing will.
If you are not satisfied because you feel stymied in your Individual Ambition, great. Starting from where you are today, find ONE THING to get better at everyday. If you are unemployed, find ONE THING to spend all your spare time and mental energy on. If you can’t find that One Thing it is your own lack of imagination that stalls you, because everyone around you is finding thousands of things to do. And that’s ok, don’t feel bad or mad. Just recognize it. And realize that means the first step is improving your Insight. That you do not suffer from an environment that lacks opportunities, you suffer from a blindness that prevents you from seeing them. Listen to Your Heart, not Your Fear, and the ONE THING will come to you.
If you do not believe that working at ONE THING, EVERYDAY, will lead toward Your Dream then you don’t suffer from bad politics or Washington Insiders, you suffer from a lack of faith and ignorance of natural laws.
If everyone around you bitches and complains most of the time, recognize that is not a sign of Dreamers. You will have to defy them. This will require a Fortitude, Courage, and Bravery you won’t know you have until you discover it. Your Dream requires confronting their fear, or distancing yourself from it, because you will not Hear Your Dream amidst their Shadow Shouting. This is called self-responsibility. The American Dream is not that the landscape is miraculously suited for you, it is that your are free to create, or move to, the landscape which best suits Your Dream. If you thought Fortitude, Courage, and Bravery would be easy you don’t understand what they mean.
As far as Help with Your Dream, a few prophets ironed this out a couple thousand years ago in several locations. Pretty much all of humanity has agreed with and corroborated their discovery. Which is this:
If you help others, others will help you. If you believe others are not worthy of your help, you will not be helped.
This turns out to be both literally and spiritually true. Meaning it is not just what you do, but how you think about what you do that is ruled by The Principle of Helping. It also turns out to be proportional, like ‘the more you put in the more you get out’. So an effective way to achieve Your Dream is to say the following:
“Hi World, here is My Dream, I need as much help in as many areas from as many people as possible in achieving it. I would like to thank you all in advance for that help and welcome with open arms whoever may arrive in my life to do so. Part of My Dream is that you ACHIEVE YOURS, so I’d like to offer you my services, support, strength or anything else you may need from me, without judgement of who you are or what You Dream. I know that the more you achieve Your Dream the more opportunities will be created for My Dream, and vice versa.”
If you find these words difficult to swallow or start thinking of who you wouldn’t do that for, you don’t believe in God. End of story, no argument, you can lie to me and yourself but you’ll never pull off lying to the one entity that matters. If you need proof look at your life. All the people you disdain (the LGBT community, minorities, immigrants, liberals, democrats, the media, atheists) are so happy with their lives that they’re out in the street demonstrating to make sure you don’t take away the joy they’re experiencing in living Their Dream. You are so miserable that you get together and chant hate slogans toward people you don’t know.
We are not the problem, your lack of faith is the problem. You don’t believe God can take care of You and Them, which means you don’t really believe in God at all. You believe in Fear. And again, that is not our fault, that is your fault. Because the stories for overcoming fear, the mythology of why it is important, the mentors who can teach the path you need to overcome fear, they are not hidden. They are as accessible as anytime in human history. They are more varied than anytime before. Where for two thousand years there were only a handful of basic texts on the subject, now there are thousands. The words and images needed to overcome fear are interpreted into every language and tailored for every subculture so that everyone can find it in The Voice They Most Easily Hear. There is literally an endless story stream of how and why it is important to overcome fear in your own life. Yet Trump Supporters still blame the Shadows they see on the cave wall. Their Dream has become Someone Else’s Problem.
The frustration they feel because of that is not to be honored or coddled. It is to be Respected for what it is – Their Choice.
The essential factor in whether or not you are in Your Dream – is You. That simple, profound responsibility is The American Dream.