—What It Means to Collectively Dream

The sages believed that nothing exists in the world until there is someone present to witness it, to tease it out of the web of infinite possibilities, in the same way that Michelangelo teased the David out of a block of marble. Without you and all the other creatures, there would be no creation, as there would be no one to witness it.

What we learned in biology—that humans are the end product in a long chain of evolution—is only half of the truth. When you wake up to dream the world into being, you discover that the long chain of evolution and the universe itself are the product of our being here to witness them. This is called future causation.

We created the conditions that made life possible on earth 5 billion years ago. All of us, including the birds and the whales, are responsible for this act of creating. And the process of creating is not complete, so we dream the world into being each day. Life would cease to be, the earth would become a barren lifeless rock drifting through space, were we to stop dreaming the world into being. For creation to unfold, we must continue to dream.

Events in the past influence the present, yet for the dreamer, the future can influence the present as well. We can be the product not only of our family genetics and dramas, but of who we are becoming 10,000 years from now. The future can reach back to us like a giant hand and lead us to a great destiny, where humans live in peace with each other and with nature, where the rivers and the air are clean, where your health span can equal your lifespan.

Together, we dream the entire world into being. It’s not enough for you to conjure up a parking spot on a busy street, or a better job or a nicer spouse or a bigger house. When you dream up a parking spot, you get a parking spot. It’s not difficult to do. When you dream up peace on earth, you get peace in your life and the lives of those around you, even if you are in the middle of a war zone.

This is why practitioners of all traditions pray for all beings, including their supposed enemies, and not just for what they need or want that day. Every day, we can participate in making the dream of creation manifest. We dream together, creating the world anew in each moment.

For practices on how to dream a new world into being, please get a copy of  The Heart of the Shaman. If you already have a copy, I’d greatly appreciate a review of the book on Amazon or through whichever bookseller you made your purchase.