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The Secret of Dreaming

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 5 months ago
The Secret of Dreaming

Aboriginal (Australia)

 
Source: Jim Poulter, The Secret of Dreaming: The Story of Why the Land is Sacred and Why Man Must Be its Caretaker. (Illustrated by Mark Smith) Templestowe: Victoria: Red Hen, ©1988.
 

Readers: Margo McLoughlin, Barbara Gilday, Merv Antonio, Vanessa German, Omar Farouk Zubaedi, Jane Hughes Gignoux, Gabrielle Kelly

 

 

For the Aboriginal people of Australia space and time are woven

together. All living creatures and all features of the living

landscape are interconnected. All are kin. Within this vast web of

relationship everyone (and everything) has its place. Through ceremony

and ritual the Aboriginal people activate the presence of their Spirit

Ancestors, which is always with them. In this way they reconnect with

the time of creation, known as the eternal "Dreamtime" or the

"Dreaming." Through their ritual and stories they remember that

humankind had a particular role to play in the Dreamtime, one that is

not to be taken lightly, then or now. What is that role, and how do we

humans fulfill it today?

 

 

 

 

Once there was nothing.

 

Nothing

but the Spirit of All Life

 

For a long time

there was nothing.

 

Then

in the mind of the Spirit of Life

 

…a Dreaming began.

 

In the empty darkness

there was a dreaming of Fire.

 

And the colour of Fire burned brightly

in the Mind of the Great Spirit

 

Then came a Dreaming of Wind,

 

and the fire danced and swirled

in the mind of the Spirit of Life

 

Then came a Dreaming of Rain

 

For a long time

the battle of Fire Wind and Rain

raged in the Dreaming

 

And the Great Spirit liked the Dream.

 

So the Dreaming continued.

 

Then, as the battle waned

between Fire Wind and Rain

 

There came a Dreaming

of Earth and Sky

and of Land and Sea.

 

For a long time

this Dreaming continued.

The Great Spirit began to grow tired

from the Dreaming,

 

but wanted the Dream to continue.

 

So life was sent into the Dream

to make it real,

 

and for Creator Spirits

to continue the Dreaming.

 

So the Spirit of Life

sent the Secret of Dreaming

into the world

with the Spirit of the Barramundi.

 

And Barramundi

entered the deep still waters,

 

…and began to Dream

 

Barramundi Dreamed

of waves and wet sand,

 

But Barramundi

did not understand the Dream

and wanted to Dream

only of the deep still water.

 

So Barramundi

passed the Secret of Dreaming

to the Spirit of the Currikee,

which is the Turtle.

 

And Currikee

came out of the waves

onto the wet sand

 

…and began to Dream.

 

Currikee Dreamed

of the rocks and warm sun.

 

But Currikee

did not understand the Dream,

and wanted to Dream

only of the waves

and wet sand.

 

So Currikee

passed the Secret of Dreaming

on to the Spirit of the Bogai,

which is the Lizard.

 

And Bogai

climbed onto a rock

and felt the warm sun on his back,

 

…and began to Dream.

 

Bogai Dreamed

of the wind and the open sky.

 

But Bogai

did not understand the Dream

and wanted to Dream

only of the rocks

and warm sun.

 

So Bogai

passed the Secret of Dreaming

onto the Spirit of the Bunjil,

which is the Eagle.

 

And Bunjil

rose into the open sky,

felt the wind in his wings,

 

…and began to Dream.

 

Bunjil Dreamed

of the trees and the night sky,

 

But Bunjil

did not understand the Dream

and wanted to dream

only of the wind

and open sky.

 

So Bunjil

passed the Secret of Dreaming

onto the Spirit of the Coonerang,

which is the possum.

 

And Coonerang

climbed high into the tree,

looked at the night sky,

 

…and began to Dream.

 

So Coonerang Dreamed

of wide plains and yellow grass.

 

But Coonerang

did not understand the Dream,

and wanted to Dream

only of the trees

and the night sky.

 

So Coonerang

passed the Secret of Dreaming

onto the Spirit of the Kangaroo.

 

And Kangaroo

stood tall,

looked across the plain of yellow grass

 

…and began to Dream.

 

Kangaroo Dreamed

of music, and song and laughter.

 

But Kangaroo

did not understand the Dream

and wanted to Dream

only of the wide plains

and yellow grass.

 

So Kangaroo

passed the Secret of Dreaming

onto the Spirit of Man.

 

And man

walked across the land

and saw all the works of creation

He heard the birdsong at dawn

and saw the red sun at dusk,

 

…and began to Dream.

Man Dreamed

of sharing the music of dawnbirds,

the dance of the emu

and the red ochre of sunset

 

And he Dreamed also

of the laughter of children

 

And man understood the Dream

 

So he continued to Dream

of all the things

that had been dreamed before.

 

He dreamed

of the deep still water,

of the waves and wet sand,

the rocks and open sky,

the trees and the night sky,

and the plains of yellow grass.

 

And Man knew through the Dreaming,

that all creatures

were his spirit cousins

 

…and that he must protect their Dreaming.

 

And he Dreamed

of how he would tell these secrets

to his child

who was not yet born.

 

Then the Great Spirit knew at last

 

that the Secret of Dreaming was safe.

 

And being tired

from the Dreaming of Creation,

the Spirit of Life entered the land

to rest

 

So that now,

when the spirits of all creatures

become tired

 

they join the Spirit of Life in the Land

So this is why the Land is sacred

 

and man must be its Caretaker.

 

 

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