The American Dreamed

Backtracking to Hear

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We’re reliving a story as old as story itself. We’re reliving a history as old as history itself.

We think our dreams are special. The fact to reconcile though is that our dreams are all the same. This fact seems hard to swallow, but the sum of our dreams keeps repeating a story over and over again. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.

Here’s a simplistic view of our common plotline:

Life is breathed into our characters. We set out to find our way. We cry out sometimes to the Author, “Please help us”. We get a little disappointed. Maybe, the Author is not there? We decide we should take up the pen – write amendments to the law and new chapters to the story. We decide that we should build the tower, print the money, play the savior and judge and king and priest. Then the story starts to unravel. And then, we find ourselves back at the foot of the Author.

Not seeing it? Maybe it would help if we track a nation called the United States of America through history. Maybe this example will connect the dots for us and show us the dream is not new.

Now, before going too far into the tracking, we must profess that much of the history that we know is simply what we’ve been told, what we’ve read on Wikipedia, and what’s been passed down to us from generations before. We weren’t actually there in this time or place. We’ve been taught history for the most part.

Many people reason this fact to be the basis for immediately discrediting the accounts, understandings, or correlations drawn. Their position held is because you weren’t in the history, then your account is wrong. However, this position seems to create an even larger reasoning problem doesn’t it? If the reality and truth of all history is to be based on our personal eyewitness account of that time, then we’ve created a problem where there is no history. But, there is history isn’t there? There were days before the days that we live. Weren’t there?

Oscar Wilde wrote, “Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it.”

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”

Machiavelli wrote, “Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.”

So to start this tracking, let us look to the past. Even though, we only know of the past what we’ve been taught from others, who were taught from others, who were taught also, let’s compare our learning against the experience of what’s playing before our very eyes in the very moment. This isn’t perfect science, but what else is to be expected from imperfect scientists?

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