Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wielding Our Power Wisely

image from

While trying to puzzle out the next step in the Lucid Dream Conservation Project, I let go of lucid dreaming for several days in favor of deep, solid sleep. Last week, while walking through the forest with someone dear to me, I realized that we are dreaming the buffalo back to the plains (or not) with every action we take in waking life. I've been working on a painting that celebrates the bison's return to the ecosystem that can't exist without them. Pouring intent, prayers, music, and magic into the painting feels like another dimension of restoring bison to the plains that depend on them, one that works in tandem with the tribes and ranchers who have taken practical measures to ensure buffaloes' survival and reintroduction into their native habitats.

Anglo-American elder and Earth activist Joanna Macy would classify my contributions as the "shift in consciousness" dimension of rebalancing the world, or the movement away from reductionist and materialistic thinking to an understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. I would add to this description an awareness that all things are alive. (The other two dimensions Macy uses are "holding actions", which slow the rate of social and ecological damage--regulations, restrictions, blockades, and boycotts--and "structural changes", which include new economic and social formations--new ways of owning land, interacting with food and water, measuring prosperity, and the like.)

My point is this: We in this time and place still very much live within a Cartesian framework. We like to divide, separate, distinguish. This is a dream; this is a lucid dream; this is an out-of-body experience; this is a vision; this is a waking state. It is all life. It all matters. My reason for taking a particular interest in lucid dreaming is because we can see more immediately the way our emotions and intentions have a direct impact on reality. Therefore, I feel we can hasten the healing process within the dream. Not only that, but the immediate causality we perceive there reminds us that our thoughts and actions have real power, which we must wield with intention and care whether we are awake or asleep.

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