Beauty calls us beyond ourselves and it encourages us to engage the dream that dwells in the soul.*
I, wherever I turned, felt the enchantment: to the window for the sweetness of the air; to the door for the passing figures; to the teapot, the typewriter, the knitting needles, the pets, the pottery, the newspapers, the telephone. Wherever I looked I could have lived.**
(M. C. Richards)
My work, as I see and understand it, is to help people uncover the dream that dwells in their soul. The dream, if given expression, means they will be at home wherever they find themselves.
More than ever, we need to uncover our dreams, but there are obstacles.
Writing over fifty years ago, Erich Fromm observed our dilemma and peril:
A spectre is stalking in our midst whom only a few see with clarity.^
Writing not long after the McCarthy witch-hunt and in the middle of a war in Vietnam, he continues:
It is a new spectre: a completely mechanised society, devoted to maximal materials output and consumption, directed by computers; and in this social process, man himself is being transformed into a part of the total machine, well fed and entertained, yet passive, unlike, and with little feeling.^
More than ever, this is where many find themselves.
Fromm delivers three necessary changes:
We must overcome the industrial plague of over-production and over-consumption towards levels that support our unfolding and growth (and the good of the planet).
We must replace systems that encourage passiveness with those encouraging activeness.
We will need to pursue being rather than having and using ‘in a new synthesis in which compassion and justice, freedom and structure, intellect and affect are blended’.^
Those who uncover their dreams know there is much to do; their dreams may well be the means.