Sunday, January 19, 2020

In the beginning was the dream

The Aborigines of the northern Kimberley ranges say that in the beginning, there was only earth and sky. In the earth was the Great Mother Ungud, in the form of a great snake. In the sky was Wallanganda, the All-Father, in the form of the Milky Way. The sky god threw water on the earth; the earth goddess made it deep. In the night, as they dreamed, life arose from the watered earth in the shapes of their dreams.
     From the sky god’s dreaming a spiritual force went forth as images that he projected on the faces of rocks and the walls of caves. These images can still be seen, painted in reds, whites, and blacks. Some say a mystical bird was the original painter, grasping the shapes of the sky-god’s dreams in his own dreaming. After the paintings were done, the sky god reproduced their forms in the bodies of living beings, which he sent out across the land.
    The paintings are the spiritual source of living beings. In the Kimberley rock paintings, Wondjina figures do not have mouths or eyes because these are the gift of Ungud. The Wondjina spirit — associated with rainmaking and fresh water — lives beneath the paintings in the waters under the earth, creating “child-germs,” spirit children. In a dream, a father-to-be will find one of these spirit children. In another dream, he will put it into his wife. It assumes human form in her body. At death, this part of the soul returns to the water hole from which it came
   Though the names may seem alien or exotic, this is a story about you and me. It reminds us that the process of manifestation begins with a movement or intention on the spiritual planes that is projected toward physical reality through images — the facts and events of the imaginal realm. By entering the imaginal world through dream travel, we can become active participants in this process and cocreators of the circumstances of our lives on Earth. As we learn to work with the hidden order of events, we come to recognize that is also reveals itself through the play of synchronicity in everyday life. As evolving beings, we come to take dreams more literally and waking life more symbolically.

Text adapted from Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination and Life beyond Death by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.

Art: "Making Songlines" by Robert Moss

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