the 2018 manifesto — time to dream something better
The edges of our world are growing dull and dangerous for lack of imagination. This is not just a broad statement about the collective psyche and current sociopolitical condition – it’s personal too. For any one of us, it might show up as a destructive habit, unexamined expectations, or a fixed view of a situation… You’ll know these edges by the grooves they carve into your mind, a stuck feeling, or sense of helplessness & despair.
“Consensus reality is mutating before our eyes
…we’re entering a darkly enchanted time.” -Erik Davis
At this moment in the story, we step in as its heroes and take stock of the plotline. Does the worst outcome seem inevitable? Or are there greater possibilities at hand than we’ve been willing to entertain?
In the most redemptive scenario, we remember and engage our imaginative powers in a fierce and practical way. We harness the power to create and wield symbol & story as tools of deep and wholesome transformation. We inspire a functional vision for ourselves and our world.
Truly this is a Time of Dire Beauty (Caroline Casey), and we are each called to re-cast our chronic mental spirals into magic rings of power. I invite you to dive in a way you don’t understand–the nearest portal may be behind you–and take a tour of the underwater city of your imagination. Tune in to your bellymind and listen, deeply and honestly. And follow that voice! According to cosmic signals, it is at its peak medicinal potency right now.
For good or ill, creative power and imagination are in their glory and being animated in the world at this time. We can allow the loudest person in the room (the psychological, the political, or the actual room) to set the parameters for our aspirational play, or we can give ourselves the gift of pragmatic optimism and dream up something better.
A more life-giving dream is needed lest we settle for the emanations of the smallest imagination among or within us. We are at risk of accepting a narrow and cynical reality on its terms when, in fact, we know that true authority rests where we place it.
The creative imagination must reign. Generative imagination. Not escape or illusion. Consider fantasy in its positive and negative applications. The internet & media offer an endless and discursive mimic of our own thinking mind; we absorb the stories told through Hollywood or social media; and, left without a compelling and coherent narrative, we adopt a default setting of passivity. Where have the collective mythology and your personal imagination been hijacked, and how do you take the reins?
The earth is hitting more and more of its limits every day, and we must remember that it is more than a stockpile of resources. Indeed, this world is a breathing interweave of relationships between seen and unseen forces. There is no doubt that this living intelligence gets a vital boost from the realm of dreams.
Perhaps you think you do not know the way to that realm anymore? You’ve forgotten and remembered that path so many times throughout your life, but now is the time to step into the mysterious dark — with a clear and inspired purpose.
EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE IS REAL -PICASSO
Studying the creative process and its inherent intelligence can yield the map we need, if we’re willing to trust it. There are simple practices that can reliably illuminate the path as we travel. Although the results are potently magical, there isn’t anything exotic about the tools of awakening. We simply do what we know to do… breathe in, breathe out, repeat; write morning pages; pause to consider a leaf or sky; create something everyday. Other times it looks like saying no to something or someone that erodes your imaginative faculties, that places your capacity to dream at risk, that limits your sense of possibility.
We do this not so we can become enlightened, or be an artist with a capital “A”, or because there is a guaranteed redemption on the other side. We do these practices so that we can receive signals from our interiority – even if for just a moment.
When you sit down to make a scribble-drawing or play chords on a guitar, your actual purpose is not to make something ‘good’. In reality, you’re out to quiet the mind, heal your heart, and retrace the path back to your deepest story. There is power there, the genuine power to create. This aspirational play leads to life-giving action.
There is far more to discuss, and time is short. I see these themes laid before us as we begin 2018, and I invite you to join me in their exploration. Throughout the year, we’ll engage integrative tools to rebuild our imaginative power and step into the creative mystery with purpose. And we’ll hold the doors open for each other.
For those of you in Portland or Eugene Oregon, Be Space will be opening many portals to the Imaginarium… come out for A Teaspoon of Water, our annual contemplative arts salon; experiential astro-workshops with Hands-On Astrology; the Life.Art.Being integrative arts festival and more. This year, all of our programs will take on this theme as a way of fulfilling our deeper mission of re-connecting us with the natural intelligence of the living world.