dreamtime also Dreamtime
The time of the creation of the world in the mythology of the Australian aborigines: "Aboriginal myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who wandered across the country in the Dreamtime . . . singing the world into existence" (Bruce Chatwin).
"The Aboriginal notion of space and identity is interwoven in a way utterly strange to the Western mentality, as is their concept of movement in relation to space and time. The Dreamtime stories contain, in addition to moral, spiritual, and psychic understanding, all kinds of practical information. A story may direct a hunting band to places where the lilies bloom, where turtle eggs hatch, or where wild yams ripen. The clan follows the stories from place to place without a calendar. They may visit a site, make camp, perform rituals, and hunt and gather the yield of a particular region, much as we move through a yearly calendar of work punctuated by holidays involving ritual celebration and seasonal foods. The outstanding difference is that the Aborigines move through space, and we move through time. Aboriginal stories, be they about life or the Dreamtime, focus on place descriptions and spatial directions rather than time designations such as when, before, or after. For example, in the course of a journey of a few miles along an approximate 180-degree arc the names of 38 separate spatial directions are marked as sites in a ritual walk at the base of Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in central Australia. The Aborigine's deep affinity for the primacy of spatial experience was reiterated thousands of years ago in the Rig Vedas of ancient India.
'Space is greater than fire, for in space are both sun and moon, in it are lightning, stars, and fire. The power of Space; one calls, one hears, one answers; in Space man rejoices and does not rejoice. Man is born in Space, man is born for Space. Achieves Space kingdom, worlds rich in light, unconfined, for striding out bodily and as far as Space reaching, so far will it be granted to him to walk at will.' "
_Voices Of The First Day_ by Robert Lawlor
"what we need is a new myth. What we need is a new true story that tells us where were going in the universe.
And that true story is that
the ego is a product of pathology, and that when psilocybin
is regularly part of the human experience, the ego is suppressed. And
the suppression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the
materialists, the product peddlers."
"the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet, and without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies, but with that experience, the compass of the self can be set. And that's the idea, that we're figuring out how to reset the compass of the self, through community, through ecstaticdance, through psychedelics, intelligence..."
"once you touch the inner core of your own and someone else's being, you can't be led into thing fetishism and consumerism. The message of psychedelics is that culture can be reengineered as a set of emotional values, rather than products. This is terrifying news. And if we are able to make this point, we can pull back, we can pull back and we can transcend."
-- Terence McKenna - _Alien Dreamtime_
7th circuit: Mythical
This is the realm of the shaman, of spirit animals, Gods and Goddesses. It is the Dreamtime. 3rd circuit draws models of specifics in the conscious world. 7th circuits draws models of the patterns of archetype that make up the unconscious world. It does this by telling stories that illustrate the patterns that arise from these archetypes. When 7th circuit awareness is working, one realizes how these patterns are being played out, and instead of just acting in the world, one is at the same time coming into direct contact with the archetypal.
Leary's 8-Circuit brain model
Human creations also first exist as subjective energetic states of consciousness: dreams, intuitions, and thoughts that move, like a pendulum, toward objectification in the external world. Once consciousness has participated in an external creation or activity, it swings back from an objective reality to a subjective state. This return, which we call memory, forms the residual base of all existence.
Both the aboriginal and the Native American perceptions can guide us towards a way of being in which our inner vision and outer projection are woven into the natural world in a constant interchange with the dreams and forms of all earth's creatures.
Space, in our conventional awareness, is basically felt as distance, the empty interval separating objects. Our notion of space depends on our notion of time, which is necessary to measure distance. Hence most of the words we use to describe space, such as long and short, are also used to describe time.
Aborigines do not perceive space as distance. Space for them is consciousness, and, like consciousness, space is divided into two modes. The perceptible, tangible entities in space are like the conscious mind, and the invisible space between things corresponds to the unconsciousness mind. The term unconscious is misleading: the unconscious mind is always conscious; it is a continuum of dreaming. In Western culture, the presence and activity of the unconscious is obvious only during sleep and dreams. For the aborigines, the unconscious mind is continuous and ever-present, permeating all levels of existence, just as space invisibly fills everything from galaxies to the interior of the atom. The conscious mind is like the things of this world: appearing and disappearing, alternating between wakefulness and sleep, between life and death.
The visible actuality of a form exists simultaneously with its invisible potential, just as the conscious perception exists simultaneously with the flow of the unconscious. Similarly, the potential of the seed and the actuality of the plant appear to follow one another in sequence, as day follows night. From the perspective of the dreaming, though, day and night exist simultaneously as the opposite sides of a spinning sphere. The aborigines refer to the inseparable relationship between the actual and the potential, the conscious and the unconscious, as the light and dark faces of the moon--both are always present. In a similar manner, the genetic code might appear to be evolving in sequence from simple to complex, but the simple, primary cells and patterns are present on earth at the same time as the complex forms, varieties, and combinations. The apparent all-pervasiveness of the sequential pattern results from our elevation of and reliance on the functions of the conscious mind."
"Time and Space in the Dreaming" excerpts
from: _Voices of the First Day_ written by: Robert Lawlor
_Magical Blend_ issue #35 April 1992
Dreamtime refers to an experience and to beliefs that are largely peculiar to the Australian native people. There are at least four aspects to Dreamtime - The beginning of all things; the life and influence of the ancestors; the way of life and death; and sources of power in life.
Dreamtime includes all of these four facets at the same time, being a condition beyond time and space as known in everyday life. The aborigines call it the ‘all-at-once’ time instead of the ‘one-thing-after-another’ time. This is because they experience Dreamtime as the past present and future coexisting. This condition - : - altered states of consciousness - is met when the tribal member lives according to tribal rules, and then is initiated through rituals and hearing the myths of the tribe.
Although Dreamtime may sound rather mystical or mysterious to the Western mind, the experience is based on understandable and observable facts of social and mental life which are unfortunately little valued in Western society. For instance the present is observably the result of past actions or events. Present society is particularly the result of past great men and women and their - heroic - deeds. For the Australian native peoples, as with many other ancient races, the heroic deeds of past ancestors were remembered with great veneration. It was seen that all present life, and even the personal skills and character of tribal members, arose out of the life of the ancestors. The ancestors, their deeds, and what arise from them into the life of the tribe in the present, are all held in the Dreamtime beyond the shifting events of things happening one-after-the-other.
The aborigine people believed that each person had a part of their nature that was eternal. This eternal being pre-existed the life of the individual, and only became a living person through being born to a mother. The person then lived a life in time, and at death melted back into the eternal life.
In writing about the state of mind - the mental world - of early races, J. B. Priestley - in _Man And Time_ - says that if we are to properly understand the ancient peoples we must never project onto them our own state of mind and rational thought. Studies have shown that ancient people experienced what is called an undifferentiated state of mind. Their sense of being a separate and independent person was much less than is commonly experienced in modern life. They did not separate their religious life, their social life, their economic life, their artistic life and their sexual life from each other. This is obvious to even a casual observation of such societies, or even third world cultures, where religion and eating, and work are all very much connected. To be banished from the tribe was tantamount to death for primitive individuals, so deeply were they identified in psychological and practical ways to the rest of the tribe. But it is not an unusual thing for a modern man or woman to leave their place of birth, their family or their country, and live abroad. Such simple facts illustrate the deep divide between the modern and ancient state of mind.
If we remember our early childhood, with the absence of an awareness of passing time, the fullness of each day, the eternity of a week or a month, the enormous and unquestioned - if still untraumatised - sense of connection with our family, then we will have an idea of the mental world of the older races. For the aborigine these facts of their life were tangible realities, known through their inner experience in dreams and waking visions. Prior to the development of the reasoning and questioning mind, people did not consider things by thinking about them in neat ideas and definitions.
So the aborigine would meet the influence of the ancestors in their life as an actual visionary person, rather than thoughts about tribal history. With the visionary meeting would come deep feelings and insights, making it a real educational experience. This is exactly how dreams express, and in this manner most creative or problem solving ‘thinking’ was done by ancient peoples. Therefore the entrance into dreams, or into a condition in which the imagery of dreaming could function while awake, as in visions or altered states of consciousness, was important for the aborigine. Common ways of accessing this state of mind were through ritual or initiation rites. In this way enormous learning experiences could be met, a sense of complete identification with ancestors and tribal history achieved, and personal change or growth accomplished.
This condition of mind or being in which time is ‘all-at-once’ and the past is felt as intensely close as the present, is a natural and fundamental state. It is what the baby experiences in the womb prior to the separation at birth and the development of concepts through the learning of language. So the rituals which enable the aborigine to return to the womb of all time and existence enables them to feel connected once more to all nature, to all their ancestors, and to their own personal meaning and place within the scheme of things. The Dreamtime is a return to the real existence for the aborigine. Life in time is simply a passing phase - a gap in eternity. It has a beginning and it has an end. The life in Dreamtime has no beginning and no end.
The experience of Dreamtime, whether through ritual or from dreams, flowed through into the life in time in practical ways. The individual who enters the Dreamtime feels no separation between themselves and their ancestors. The strengths and resources of the timeless enter into what is needed in the life of the present. The future is less uncertain because the individual feels their life as a continuum linking past and future in unbroken connection. Through Dreamtime the limiatations of time and space are overcome. It is a much observed feature of aboriginal life that knowledge of distant relatives and their condition is frequently displayed. Therefore if a relative is ill, a distant family member knows this and hurries to them. Often the intuitive knowledge of herbal medicine is gained also.
For the aborigine tribes, there is no ending of life at ‘death’. Dead relatives are very much a part of continuing life. It is believed that in dreams dead relatives communicate their presence. At times they may bring healing if the dreamer is in pain. Death is seen as part of a cycle of life in which one emerges from Dreamtime through birth, and eventually returns to the timeless, only to emerge again. It is also a common belief that a person leaves their body during sleep, and temporarily enters the Dreamtime.
The aboriginal tribes are connected with their local landscape in a way that perhaps no other race of recent times is. The landscape is almost an externalisation of the individual’s inner world. Each tribe had a traditional area of the land which was theirs alone, and it was believed that in the Dreamtime the ancestors shaped the flat landscape into its present features. Each feature was in some way an act of the ancestors, and therefore the tribe. Like many tribal peoples, the Australian native people were deeply dependent upon their beliefs, the landscape and their inner life for their identity and strength. This makes them vulnerable to anything which disrupts their beliefs, although, apart from such vulnerability, they have a greater psychic sense of wholeness and identity with their tribe and environment than is common in Western individuals.
- Tony Crisp - _Australian Aborigine Dream Beliefs_