The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence do not mandate that every citizen dream the same ‘American Dream.’ Neither do they describe a common dream of owning a home, driving new cars, having every material possession and making millions of dollars. Instead, we are promised the freedom and the right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ These words of our founders describe the original American Dream, giving everyone the freedom to passionately follow their own destiny.
Yet how is the American Dream interpreted today? The dream that has been engrained within us is a dream of materialism and consumerism. This interpretation of the American Dream has evolved over time, from the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the Information Age. While the original dream of the founding fathers remains, and will always be the same, the way we have collectively translated and redefined the living of the American Dream has changed dramatically and is still changing.
Our pursuit of happiness became a capitalistic pursuit of materialism. The seeking of a materially secure life is fine, but has it led to lasting happiness? Murder rates are still high, obesity levels are increasing, alcohol and drug addictions are rampant, and record breaking numbers of women and children are being put on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. Our personal and national debt has reached unsustainable levels. Is this a dream or a nightmare?
The founding fathers understood many holistic principles, including ‘simultaneous oneness and difference,’ as they created the states and the union of our states to be ‘individual yet indivisible.’ They understood that while we may only be concerned about our individual lives, we are all in this dream together. If we begin to awaken and embrace the universal laws that our society abandoned, then this dream can become a lucid dream of sustainable abundance for all.
Sustainable Abundance is the perpetual way of the Universe and an operating model of nature. Why would we want to base our governments, businesses, institutions, communities, family and personal lives on any other operating model? From the perspective of Holism, sustainability and prosperity are not mutually exclusive. In fact they are interconnected with one another in such a way that in order to have one you must have the other—like the ancient concept of yin and yang.
For us to evolve our interpretation of the American Dream to create true sustainable abundance for all, let’s look at the central question: what is the pursuit of true happiness? Is it the pursuit of money or the pursuit of meaning? Is it the pursuit of possessing everything we think we want or the pursuit of a path with purpose? Through which of these pursuits can we manifest our destiny?
Lucid dreamers awaken in the dream to realize that they have power to control the direction of the dream. Our current circumstances are requiring us to wake up and transform ourselves from “consumers” to “conscious co-creators.” Now is the time. In the words of Michael Bernard Beckwith: “When we resolve to evolve, our problems will dissolve.”