To the aboriginal peoples all over the world, dreams are the focus of much of their thoughts and plans. And, in many of the tribes, the beliefs are similar. Dreams are messages from the spirit world, whether from the gods, or from ancestors who have gone before.
The Australian Aborigines have their dreamtime. Everything begins and ends in dreamtime. This time is very different than time in the normal outer world.
The Senoi are a small tribe of people who live in the mountains of Malaysia. They not only believe in dream symbolism, but also in total dream control. They do this by using these three basic steps:
1. Always confront and conquer the danger in your dreams. If a bear is attacking you in the woods, go toward the bear rather than running from it. If a person strikes you in the dream, fight back. In other words, combat and conquer your monsters rather than feeling them.
2. Always move toward pleasurable experiences in your dreams. If you find yourself flying in a dream, relax and let yourself float on the wind. If you are attracted sexually to an individual in a dream who in the waking world would be a taboo for you (your wife's mother, etc.) let yourself enjoy the experience rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of the situation.
3. Always make your dreams have a positive outcome and exact a creative product from them. Seek the poem, painting, song, or other material that can be extracted creatively from the dream. Look for the gift within the imagery.
The Native Americans don't try to control their dreams, but they do actively seek them. This is done by going on a vision quest. Before the quest, the dream seeker (usually a teen-age boy) fasts for several days. Then he treks into the brush or into the mountains without food. He finds a place of solitude and, hungry and exhausted from the walk, falls asleep. He hopes to have a dream that will reveal his future.
From the humid reaches of the Amazon rain forest to darkest Africa, from the ice bound shores of the Arctic Ocean to the deserts and canyons of the American west, people dream. In some cases, they try to control their dreams. In other cases, the dreams control the people, but from A to Zulus and Zunis, dreams are a natural part of life.
Published On: July 18, 2008