Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Rick Dubrow’s “On The Level” Column in the Cascadia Weekly; Published 6-27-07

Don’t believe everything you think.

Given that so much of what you and I think is programmed into us from our culture – think TV programming, for example – how do we know what to believe? We often find ourselves on a particular path, manifesting a particular thought or dream, long before we know if the thought really works for us. Sometimes we’ll reach a destination and perhaps conclude that the path, the thought, the dream, was wrong.

The American Dream itself feels like such a path. I feel allergic to the supposed diet my culture tells me to embrace: more is better; acquire a bigger home and more land; faster is better; he who dies with the most toys wins.

Instead I’m driven to redefine progress; to change the dream; to imagine and manifest a culture aligned with the laws of nature.

Allergic reactions are funny at times, aren’t they? You’ll react to something you’ve eaten yet struggle to know just what that something was that set it off! Without understanding the cause it’s difficult to know where to turn.

Today I get to play Allergist.

If you’re feeling an allergic reaction to the cultural compass of the American Dream, have I got an antihistamine for you! Yes, ask your doctor about the Pachamama Alliance.

The Pachamama Alliance evolved from an indigenous people of the Ecuadorean Amazon, the Achuar. Until the early ‘70’s they had no contact with the outside world. Then, in the late ‘80’s, Achuar elders and shamans began having dreams and visions that a grave threat was coming to their people; they realized what contact with the outside world and its thirst for oil was doing to their culture. So in the mid ‘90’s they reached out to the modern world to create the Pachamama Alliance, driven to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet as the guiding principle of our times.

After centuries of living in harmony with their environment, indigenous cultures see things very differently. They are informed and guided by the knowledge and spirit imbedded in nature. Rather than viewing the natural world as a collection of separate elements from which humans are apart, they recognize all of creation as an interconnected web, and each of us as an integral element in this miraculous and fragile weave of life. The Pachamama Alliance believes that our ability to meet the challenges that face humanity depends on our ability to successfully combine the best elements of these two worldviews into a single global vision, an alloy that blends the intellectual and scientific prowess of the modern world, with the deep and ancient wisdom of traditional cultures. This is the commitment which underlies the work of The Pachamama Alliance.

Their aim is for you to attend a full day Symposium entitled Awakening the Dreamer; Changing the Dream; that you leave the day filled with hope and resolve, knowing that you are part of a thriving community of like-hearted, deeply committed people who are actively engaged in awakening from and changing the dream of our modern industrial culture.

My wife, Cindi, and I just completed such a day and it moved us profoundly; enough to decide to bring such a Symposium to Bellingham. It’ll be a while before this takes place but there are two options available in the meantime.

There’s a moving 12 minute Awakening the Dreamer video at with information about a June 19th, 2007 Symposium in Seattle and a June 23rd, 2007 Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

The day long Symposium looks at where we are today, how we got here, where we need to go, and how can we make this happen. It is an intense journey that explores environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment through dynamic group interactions, cutting-edge information, multimedia, and inspiring interviews with leading activists and thinkers.

Consider attending the Symposium. It’s better than any antihistamine I know about. It won’t make you drowsy.

Instead, it will wake you up.


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