Rainbow Dreaming  

The Bauls of Bengal

The Bauls of Bengal with John Allen, Aquarius Festival, Nimbin, 1973
Image: © Darcy McFadden/Northern Star

A Glimpse of a Dream

“Between the existent
and the non-existent
the space is love...”
Baul song

All those of us who have lived through the sixties have caught the glimpse of a dream. It was inescapable. The Beatles sang it; rock music and films explored it in a thousand ways.

The dream was everywhere and the dream was simple – love your brother, discover yourself and lower the barriers. Stop playing games, see through the roles and realise that you are all one with another.

Then came the seventies. If the sixties were the decade of the dream, the seventies were to become the decade of disillusion. After all the explosion, the personal glimpses of a new way, of a new life on the planet, what were we left with? Still the Vietnam war lingers on. The great majority continued in their jobs by day, nurtured by the opiate of television in the evenings. . .
But the dream continued - often underground, often damaged and wounded, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes ridiculed. But the dream continued. What else could it do? Once a whole generation has glimpsed, if only for a moment, the promise of salvation, it must follow that glimpse for the rest of its life.

It is for these reasons that the May 1973 Aquarius Festival is important to me and to many others. Our lives are largely determined by the mythology we create...There is something wrong with the mythology of the dollar. We badly need a new mythology.

What is this mythology? It is a simple one: 5,000 people can meet together without violence, without destruction, in peace and in love. If 5,000 people come as tribes, prepared to combine to build their own structures to live in, to feed themselves, to explore their creativity in theatre and music, we will have a festival the way they should have been from the beginning. If we all create this mythology, if you believe it and tell your brother and spread the word, it will happen. “Mankind’s future”, says Bucky Fuller, “is whatever man chooses to make it”. The energy of 5,000 people is almost unlimited. Between us, really working together, we can achieve anything.

The only limitation on reality is our imagination. It is up to us to choose whether the dream is to be lost until a more courageous generation is ready for it, or whether we ourselves can participate in the dream.

Festivals are about dreaming...

Johnny Allen, Director, Aquarius Foundation,
Australian Union of Students, 1973

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