Transforming the American Dream into Imagination of the Earth

One of Shakespeare’s greatest monologues from As You Like It reads, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players…” After World War II, the United States took the reins of empire.  With the development of technology, film and television, the US put itself forward on the world stage as an influential director of the play.  At the same time destructive forces have come into the world seen in the “War on terror”, reduction of civil liberties and an unsustainable derivative economy. The American dream has become a theatrical framework, pulling many into its grandiose enterprise. 

In this workshop, the  idea of the American dream will be considered as an evolving concept, a theatrical fantasy that is has in some ways become the front story for corporate globalization. By using liberation psychology and psychoanalytic theory we will explore the dark side of the dream as a split between day and night consciousness. We will experiment with awakening as a critical agent for transforming the dream to set the stage for deep social change. Through exercises with imaginal figures and processes, we will dialogue with silenced voices in the theatre of empire and look at our shared cultural context from other perspectives, to then examine the consequences of the evolving American dream on the world stage.

We will explore how psychology can contribute to evoking an awakened consciousness that witnesses the unfolding of world events, while participating in imagining the future. We will learn ways to act in solidarity with grass roots activists around the world to transform the American dream into an imagination of the earth, where active awakening leads to active participation, and reveal the play as an unfolding dream of all beings for the Earth.

Resources:

Pride, Prejudice, and Propaganda: Salvaging the American Dream by Robert S. Becker

In the Shadow of Power by Kike Arnal

Zinn. H.  (1990). Declaration of Independence: Cross-examining American ideology. New York: HarperPerennial.

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