Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Aboriginal Dreaming into the Dreamtime

posted by Robert Moss

- BOY Making SonglinesAboriginal Australians believe that we dream our way into this world, and dream our way out of it.

“We talk to the spirit-child before a baby is born,” naturopath and traditional healer Burnham Burnham explained it to me. If the father-to-be is a dreamer, he is frequently the one who first meets the spirit-child in dreams. These dream encounters often unfold at places of water that exist in the natural world – a billabong, the shallows of a river, a waterfall – where the spirit-child plays with its own kind and is not confined to a single form. It can appear as a kingfisher or a platypus, as a fish or a crocodile. The dreamer may have to negotiate with the spirit-child, giving it reasons for coming into a human body. Finally, the dreamer plays soul-guide, escorting the incoming spirit to the mother’s womb.

On the way to death, the soul-guide appears from the other side. Departed loved ones and ancestral beings who are at home in the Dreamtime come calling, in dreams, to prepare a dying person for his or her journey. When the spirit leaves the body in death, these guides from the Dreamtime escort it along the roads to the afterlife, which may involve a sea crossing, descent through a cave, and/or the ascent of a magical tree whose roots are in the World Up Top.

Aboriginal dreaming is an antidote to Freud, who wrote that the dream “has nothing to communicate to anyone else”. The first Australians know that dreaming means everything and is a highly social activity. We meet other people and other beings when we go dreaming, and sharing dreams is not a matter of puzzling over obscure “texts” but a source of wisdom, community guidance and grand entertainment. Among nomad communities, listening to a dream by the camp fire, or over a morning cup of tea, is better fun than going to the movies, and may run the whole gamut from romance to horror, from Star Trek to soaps.

The 500-plus Aboriginal tribes of Australia share this understanding: a dream is a journey. When we dream, “the spirit goes on walkabout”, says Nungurrayi, a wise woman of the Kukatja, a people of the Western Desert. A powerful dreamer, she explains, is a person who knows how to travel in spirit to interesting places, and bring back a “good story”.

If you know that your dream is a journey, or a visitation by another dream traveler, then you are unlikely to be interested in the kind of analysis that reduces dream experiences to a list of symbols and then interprets what the symbols mean. When traditional Aborigines share dreams, they want to know who, when and where. Who was that sorcerer I saw pointing the bone at me? Who was that person who came to my camp and wanted sex with me? Where is the cave where the dream ceremony took place? When will the car break down?

When you know that a dream is a real experience, then you want to get the information clear in order to figure out what to do with it. Maybe you’ll want to tell that dream of the sorcerer all over the camp to scare away the actual sorcerer, as anthropologist Sylvie Poirier saw done in the Western Desert. Maybe you’ll get together with your dream lover (if the experience was pleasant) or find a way to prevent that person from intruding on your psychic space (if it was not). Perhaps you’ll travel to the dream cave, and celebrate a ritual to confirm and honor what has already taken place, in the Dreaming. Maybe you’ll get your car fixed before it breaks down.

Aboriginals look to dreams as the place of encounter with spiritual guides and sacred healers, who often appear as totem animals but may come in many other forms.

Aboriginal Australians are well aware that dreaming can be active; you can decide where you are going to go, and you can go consciously. You can travel across time and space, or into other dimensions. You can rendezvous with other dreamers, and embark on shared journeys. Shamans receive their calling and much of their training in this way.

The first Australians do not live under the illusion that it is necessary to go to sleep in order to dream. They dream with a living landscape in a way that baffles urbanized, deracinated people. Everything in that landscape is alive and conscious, every place has its Dreaming.

“Nothing is nothing,” as they say in the Cape York peninsula; everything means something.

Let’s be clear: there is The Dreaming, or the Dreamtime, the realm of gods and ancestral beings, and then there is everyday dreaming. The two interweave, but are not the same. The Kukatja, in common with many other Western Desert tribes, use the word Tjukurrpa for the ancestral Dreaming, but a different term – kapukurri – for personal dream experiences.

Dreamtime is creation time, and stories of the Dreamtime often tell us about the origin of things. But Dreamtime is not long ago; in Dreamtime it is always now.

Aborigines call Dreamtime the “All-at-Once”. Dreamtime is the seedbed of life, the origin of everything that is manifested in the world. It is not separate from the physical world; it is the inner pulse of the land. Our personal dreams may open portals to the All-at-Once.

The science of the 21st century may help us to grasp the Paleolithic science of the Earth’s oldest ongoing tradition. Dreamtime may encompass the six (or seven) hidden dimensions of the physical universe posited by superstring theory. Dreamtime is the multidimensional matrix in which 3D reality floats. By entering Dreamtime, we may be able to reach into the quantum soup of possibilities from which the events of the 3D world bubble up.

Parts of this article are adapted from my book The Secret History of Dreaming, published by New World Library.Secret History

Graphic: “Making Songlines”  (c) Robert Moss


  • Patty

    I have really enjoyed reading this series on shared dreaming. I understand my dreams better when I study “earth’s oldest ongoing traditions, physics and math. Once I read from a book on aboriginal dreamtime where an anthropologist did this interview/experiment to try and uncover the processing of the aboriginal mind. The one conclusion that came from this was how they do not isolate the process from the design. I just smiled because how he described their thinking was how I perceive the physic minded individual. I felt if this “scientist” could have taken his experiment one step further and looked and wrote about how his mental processing changed after dreaming with and immersing himself in the culture, then perhaps he would have had a richer understanding. Perhaps he would have had more “experiments” to do.
    Last night my mom and I both dreamt we were at a mall. I was wheeling around in this chair and she was walking freely wrapped in quilts. I dreamt that it was christmas time. When I asked her this morning why she was wearing quilts, she didn’t know. In daily life my mom’s main mobility is a wheel chair. When I first heard about this idea of shared dreaming, not so long ago, it really freaked me out a bit. I always thought that my dreams were my private world.

  • http://www.wandaburch.com Wanda Burch

    I’m enjoying your posts on shared dreaming. It is an experience that always excites me but sometimes I do become disoriented in these dreams because I do know they are real experiences and in some of mine I don’t know what to do with the information. I love shared dreaming with my friends and family, but when I wander into the dark seamy experiences of others or into life threatening experiences, some of them showing me terrible things that are happening to people whose stories show up on national news, then I wonder what to do with those. I like to think that they people I am dreaming with are dreaming their own dream at the same time that will help them either get out of the troubled situation or that will help them understand what happened to them so that they can move on if the situation has caused their death.
    Several years ago a radio talk show hostess in Seattle waited until our interview was complete and then, off the air, asked if I would listen to one of her dream experiences. She had grown up with a woman in the Seattle area who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The talk show hostess dreamed a double vignette in which on one side she saw her friend having dinner with a man whom neither of them had seen since he had moved from the area decades earlier. In the second part of the vignette she saw her friend in the emergency room dying because she had taken part in a risky clinical trial. She had overdosed on the mega chemo treatment that was part of her group.
    The talk show hostess had fretted over the dilemma of telling or not telling her friend the dream, so she took a compromise route and first told her the dinner sequence. Her friend squealed with joy – “you won’t believe this – but we did have dinner together just nights ago. He came into town and found my phone number by contacting my mom.” So, with new courage, now the hostess shared the second vignette. “Oh, no,” said her friend, ” I will complete the clinical trial because that will save my life.” Unable to convince her friend of the validity of the entire dream – even though the first part, unlikely as it had been, had played out in exacting detail – the hostess received a phone call in the middle of the night weeks later – her friend had died in the emergency room – the cause of death was an overdose of massive amounts of chemo drugs.
    The hostess was devastated – she felt she had not tried hard enough to convince her friend of the validity of the dream. She became depressed and haunted by her inability to convey the importance of the second half of the dream; but her dreams did not let her down. The real shared dream occurred after her friend’s death when the friend communicated a lovely dream. In the dream she walked into the hostess’ bedroom and told her she had been receiving her feelings of devastation and depression and wanted her to know that she had only months to live when she chose the clinical trial, that the clinical trial was not as much her death as her choice and had not really hastened her death and that now both of them could be at peace! The hostess continued a conversation which brought both of them joy and then she woke up knowing that they each had experienced a dream conversation that they could keep as a treasure until they met again on the other side.

  • Don Dimock

    You began this post with the quotation: “We talk to the spirit-child before a baby is born.” I would like to take off on that.
    We nearly lost my youngest daughter before she was born. She had a “near death” experience while still in the womb. She was born alive but with half a thyroid, three kidneys, and other abnormalities. To see her now you would never know that anything was ever wrong with her. I might be wrong, but I think her pre-birth experience helped to give her the excellent access to the dreamtime that she has.
    She had four pregnancies. In every one of them she talked with the spirit of the child before she became pregnant. One of them was conceived in a defective fetus. She saw and spoke with angels who were working to save the child. One night she saw the angels carry the soul away. The next morning she went to a doctor who confirmed that her unborn child had died.
    Her last pregnancy was possibly of most interest. Before her last pregnancy she often spoke with a spirit who was undecided whether to incarnate or not. My daughter sensed that the spirit wanted to be her son, but had had a bad experience in a previous incarnation. The spirit was very hesitant, very uncertain if he would incarnate. But he did decide to incarnate, and he is now her teenage son.
    When the boy was a toddler he would walk around frowning at people. None of us had ever seen a toddler do that before. Then one day, while she was talking on the phone, my daughter handed her toddler son to me to hold. He threw his arms around my neck and pressed his face against mine. He kept sharing and receiving love. I sat on the couch. He kept acting that way. My daughter and I were both astonished. Neither of us had ever seen anything like that happen before. After that he never frowned at people again.
    Evidently there was some contention between him and I in a previous lifetime. I do not know what it was. But I know that the karma is has all been cleaned up with love and affection. We get along beautifully.
    My daughter is still very capable of spontaneously dreaming into the dreamtime. There are other factors that, I think, contribute to that. She spent her early childhood living at a forest ranger station 70 miles from the nearest town. There were only twelve families, including ours, living there. We had a strong sense of community. There was no psychic clutter there such as there is in and around the cities. Our family used to share dreams. My daughter still talks to plants and animals. She was raised that way. I think that background helps her to dream so deeply and so well.
    My other three children are dreamers, too. But none of them dream as well as my youngest daughter does. And neither do I. I wish that I did.

  • Janice

    Fabulous posts.
    I really love the idea of asking our dreams the open-ended questions: Who, What, Where, When and How I know I have read this in your book, but for some reason it is really hitting home now, today. I think it is a great way to guide someone when working with their dreams. I am going to immediately incorporate this into my dreamwork, as well. Thank you.

  • Janice

    . . . and “Why”

  • Irène

    15 years ago, I had a recurring nightmare every night for 7 days. In it I am stationary, standing & looking out of my human body into complete darkness. I begin to see small, distant lights that gradually increase in number as I begin to realize that I am in infinity and can now literally see stars into what seems like eternity. But suddenly hundreds & hundreds of stars start becoming “agitated” and these stars shoot out directly at me. Now there are hundreds of stars “agressing” me like bees. I can not move and shut my eyes. This dream haunted me during the day & I developped a frightening feeling of “being watched”, perhaps even stalked. It got so bad that I asked my husband to not attend a professional conference that would have required travel & his absence for 3 days. On the 8th night, the dream continued on from the terrifying point where it had ended. Now, with my eyes closed, feeling the buzzing stars around me, I now hear silence. I feel air blowing gently over my body which surprisingly relaxes. I open my eyes and see one star, of soft & beautiful light, right in front of my eyes. I know that the star is silently talking to me and I listen to what I can not hear… Nine months later my son was born.
    I’d like to add on a different note that I am intrigued by Wanda’s contribution to this post. I’ll just say that last night I met a man in a booth of a dream diner. I could not (and still can not) identify him and when I asked him “Who are you?” he replied quite provocatively “Who am I” mockingly, as if I should know and that the question itself was of no importance for this man was giving me some unquestionably clear, corrective & preventitive advice concerning a very specific situation. I’m only recently beginning to understand what warning dreams and psychic intrusion dreams are but I’m not yet too sure about how to know who is who & how to handle the information I receive. This man seemed annoyed with me and even said, “you know, you’re really stupid sometimes.” I continued to doubt and focus on his identity rather than the advice he was offering until he finally leaned forward, appearing to increase greatly in size, and scream into my face, “You had better do what I say or you will become sick.” Then he litterally growlled in a most threatening manner, “Wake up and stop dreaming, NOW.” I woke up in a cold sweat with my heart beating wildly.
    I will definitely follow his advice, and as literally as possible.

  • Irène

    I forgot to mention that his comment “wake up and stop dreaming” was for me an immediate and juste reference to my wandering mind and (deliberately unconscious) way of not harnassing passing, “fancy” thoughts that I too often let distract me (like cheap advertisements) from soul’s work. With this order as stated, I also directly made a leap to Robert’s suggestion to try to sometimes look at waking life as a symbolic dream and dreamlife as utterly real. And so I understand this man’s advise as a call to wake up to true dreaming, and to stop just playing around childishly with the gifts that I’m given in dreamspace.

  • Tina

    Wonderful posts, and fascinating comments. I love the idea of talking to the baby in the spirit world, before it is born. I adopted both of my daughters from China, in my forties, and at the time I had this dream I had no plans to do that–no idea that I would be going to China a little over a year later to meet my first daughter. I had this dream in September of 1994, and my daughter-to-be was born in May (nine months later). We picked her up in October. I love the bit in here about the baby being inside a tiny pink doll, the size of a fingernail–and how I connected with her, kept her next to my skin, from thousands of miles away.
    Someone, a cousin of mine perhaps, has a baby but doesn’t intend to keep it. It’s going to be raised by my aunt Mary in Iowa. I am there, see the baby when it is first brought home. It is so beautiful, small, vulnerable, pink, really enchanting. Its parents are holding it then? It is kept for a while in a tiny little box, inside a tiny pink plastic doll, the size of a fingernail or so, the box an inch square. I worry about this; it would be easy to crush or lose the box. I say I’ve heard it’s good for children to be carried, to be next to your body all the time. Mary says yes, she was raised that way. I say that’s why you’re such a nice person, so peaceful and interested in peace. She smiles but doesn’t disagree. I decide to take on this task with the baby, keeping it next to my own skin. I wish that they would give me the child to raise, for my own…

  • Steffani Raven

    I love this post on the Dreamtime! For so long I didn’t understand what the “Dreamtime” really meant. Now, thanks to your workshops that I’ve attended, I feel that I really get it and I’m so thankful! When I enter that dreamtime space life is so incredible. All our everyday stressors, problems, and issues become tiny specks of unimportance. The dreamtime shows us the beauty and ecstasy of what life is really about. Thank you so much for your excellent workshops and leading the way!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Steffani – Thank you! You highlight one of the main differences between our Active Dreaming approach and Western analysis. Like ancient and indigenous peoples, instead of simply seeking to interpret dreams as items from the grab-bag of the personal unconscious (though they may be that too) we seek to use them, when appropriate, as clues to the future and portals to the larger reality of the Dreamtime.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Janice – Yep, a dream detective wants to remember to ask ALL those classic questions.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Janice – I think you just joined the Oneiric Detective Agency!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Don – Thanks for sharing this powerful family history. I don’t doubt that your daughter was indeed able to play spirit-mother as well as biological mother to her children. Or that her own near-death in the womb and her perilous situation as a baby kept her close to the spirit realm (which is what shrinks miss when they talk of “dissociation”). It seems you have been able to be a wonderfully supportive father and grandfather, and the change that love and recognition shared between and your “frowning” grandson effected in him is lovely to hear.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Tina – What a wonderful dream experience. Perhaps you were getting to know the child you would adopt – and becoming spiritual family – around the time she was conceived. The fact that the pink baby was so tiny is something I’ve heard in relation to pregnancy dreams (not confined to pregnant mothers) before. One mother who was expecting was concerned because in her dream her baby was small enough to fit easily into the palm of her hand. When she told me the dream, I suggested the child that was on its way might prove to have a Bear connection, since bear cubs are very tiny when they are born. Were there any indications, after your brought your daughter home, that you might have a little bear cub in the house :-)?
    Of course, the standard way of looking at a dream of a minute child would be that the dreamer was looking at something the size of the embryo or fetus…But it doesn’t have to be either/or…

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Patty – Knowledge is state-specific. We have to be in a state of being and on a level of consciousness that is appropriate to what we are trying to understand. The indigenous mind – certainly among Australian tribes that have not been uprooted and undergone complete culture shock – does not understand linear time or the separation we make between waking and dreaming.
    As for private vs social in our dream lives, we can make choices there, just as we do in our regular environments. Because you are close to your mother and apparently willing to tend to her, there’s nothing strange in the idea that you would go on a nocturnal excursion together. I just hope the mall was opened and you weren’t confined to pressing your noses against the glass!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Wanda – What a terrible and instructive story that Seattle radio person told you! You and I (and she) both understand that the fact that the first of the twin dream vignettes was spot on and had indeed already played out was a very strong reason to heed the warning of the second. The radio person probably did the best she could do, and now has the consolation of having that confirmed by the friend who died, speaking to her from the Other Side.
    I trust the Seattle woman will now be primed to work actively with future dream advisories that can help others, and also to work with dream guidance from the departed – which will be a major theme on this blog next week.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Irène – It’s hard to give an adequate comment here, especially since my mind is still buzzing from the “buzzing stars” in the first part of the longer post. I’ll just make one quick observation. Whether or not this fellow is a reliable source of information, I wouldn’t tag his appearance as “psychic intrusion” if it were my dreaming, because the encounter takes place on terrain vague – neutral, unclaimed ground – in the “dream diner”, not in my own place.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Irene – Thinking about the first part of this post: if I had a woman’s body and was about to become pregnant, I would think about the frantic race of those millions of sperm to be first to reach the egg, and the one “lucky star” that came through…and that the universe is my body…microcosm=macrocosm…

  • http://www.livingdream.net Yiskah

    Birth and totem animals– In the “Living Dream” of pregnancy, sitting at the edge of the stream (sounds like dream!) and watching a frog, who looked very much like a bright green leaf in the water, I felt the yet-to-be-born baby doing somersaults in the womb! It was then that we knew that “frog” was one of this baby’s totem animals!
    On the day that Lev turned 3 months old, a big green frog jumped up 9 of the 11 steps to my front door! (to wish him a happy?) of course, this had never happened before.
    Now, when Lance (Lev’s daddy) takes the babe down to the stream, to sit on a log in the water, one of two frogs almost always jumps up on that very log to be with them– it even tolerated my presence:)
    Frog seems to like being near to them, seems to appreciate their appreciation of the cool water, and certainly doesn’t mind when Lance sprinkles cool water over frog!
    I think this is a wonderful totem animal for birth/rebirth, renewal.
    I offer gratitude to the wonders in this world!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Yiskah – Just lovely. I’m remembering a highly gifted shamanic dreamer who was (and is) able to do excellent scans with the help of her frog ally. And in a few hours I’ll be off to the Pacific Northwest where the carved figures on shaman rattles sometimes depict a frog sticking its tongue down the shaman’s throat, or vice versa.
    But given your sweet baby boy’s name, isn’t there a lion in the offing, also?

  • http://www.chrysalishealingarts.org Valley Reed

    When I was carrying my daughter in the 9th month of pregnancy she was not head down as she should be to prepare for the birth process. My OB told me in no uncertain terms if she did not get in the birthing position she would have to do a C-Section. I was not up for that plan and so I asked for a dream to assist in resolving this matter. The dream which came in response to my request was of an Ancient Asian Woman who put her hands and different places on my womb and as she did her hands light up leading the infant to follow the light into a head down position. This is also a trick that many midwifes use with a flash light to guide the baby into place. The next day it was confirmed by a visit to my O.B. that my daughter was indeed in a head down position.
    The week my son was conceived each day I would come home from work and find my house smelling like sage had been burning in my home, even though no one had actually been there. A distinct sense of a sacred ceremonial space could be felt. My son was conceived on a full moon, and the next day I came home and saw my home was full of spirits who appeared to be Native Americans and one told me they were celebrating the return of this child who had been gone a very long time. That is how I found out I was pregnant!
    I really like Aboriginal idea of the father as Psychopomp spirit guide who leads the child into the womb, and the ancestors on the other side of that veil birthing the departed into the next world. Beautiful, thanks Robert for your excellent storytelling.

  • Irène

    Thanks Robert for your imput on your feeling that my dream encounter was not one of psychic intrusion because we met in a public space (where I in fact entered the diner to meet the dream visitor for I knew he was there.) This kind of practical advice to better develop dream travel navigation awareness is more than welcome (and I especially apprecciate it now because I’m getting kind of tired of classic Jungian interpretations and I feel that my dreams this year are calling for me to open up to communication, to reach out towards DIALOGUE, and I do feel rather frustrated because I don’t yet feel capable of really “getting into my dreamscape” to dialogue (communicate as an exchange).
    And just to let you know, the advice this fellow gave me concerned quite specifically psychic intrusion for my encounter with him began with his question to me, “Do you remember what happened at 3 AM?” (It was about 5 AM when I walked into the diner.) He continued to ask, “do you remember that you were outside, naked, sweeping in the garden and that you left your house completely open, every door and every window?” I didn’t at first remember until he said, “Those three men that visited you, those men you INVITED into your house were not who you think they are.” I remember inviting three colleagues from Oncology (a population I am currently repositionning careerwise for I work in the pharmaceutical industry in Human Ressources and one of my Spring objectives is to reorient this population into new fields). My dream fellow continued, “Not only did you INVITE them inside, but you offered them gifts!” and I remember that I gave them insense and tea as they made comments on the ‘lovely’ details of my interieur. My dream fellow really made fun of me implying that I was “known” to wandering travelers and that it was so easy to “squat” in my house, that the least well-intentionned travelers weren’t even interested in visiting for it was too easy to get in.
    Just to add a last thought, the night I had this dream, I did in fact literally open up the house to compensate for tropical heat and hoping to sleep better, and as I opened the kitchen volet (door/shutter) a “hérisson” (a southern French kind of porcupine) walked into my kitchen!!!!!!!!!! I fed him lettuce leaves, and kindly escorted him back into the garden. The porcupine is for me, an animal of “Innocence.”

  • Suzanne

    I have been loving this blog and all of the comments to it. I love the Aboriginal concept of being guided into and out of life. I am not a person with strong dream recall, but it seems like when it is important I do receive the dreams I need. The year before my mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, I dreamed of seeing her in a coffin, dressed in white. I woke up crying. That dream helped me to accept the reality of her terminal diagnosis. I was my mother’s primary caretaker for the year before her death. After she died, I had a dream that was a huge comfort. In the dream, I am sitting at our kitchen table (in our actual house) interviewing caretakers for my mother. I am interviewing a sweet young woman with coffee colored skin. I think she will be just perfect. As we are talking I see a car peel out from our front driveway. It is my mother driving away in the car, cackling. She has found where the keys were hiding and she is making her getaway. I woke up feeling really happy–I knew then that she was all right, wherever she was. In the dream I had such a sense of my mother’s mischievous spirit that I knew it was a true dream message–unlike many of my dreams that are more like ongoing movies without a plot.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Suzanne – You are absolutely right to trust your feelings here. First and last, our first feelings on awakening from a dream are the best guidance to what is going on, and in which order of reality. If these were my dreams, I would be grateful for the repeated gifts: first, of being prepared for my mother’s passing, later of seeing her well and at the wheel of her new life on the other side.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Irene – The fellow in the diner sounds more and more like a helpful “psychic cop”. They do exist, and like les flics in ordinary reality, they can be tough!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Valley – Thanks so much for your vivid account of how birthing is a spiritual and well as a physical process. All of us can do much better if we remember that the spirit of the child that is about to come through the birth canal is an active member of this process, and that we need to communicate with it, as it seems you were helped to do in your dream. You also remind us that new-borns are coming with a prior history….

  • Janice

    This is such an interesting thread. I am reminded of a book I had read some years back that explained that time to Australian Aborigines, is this “everywhen” that has real effects in their lives. For example, stories are told that Aborigines can physically appear and disappear, slipping back and forth from alternate realities.
    There are also some indian runners from North and South America, who have the ability to transcend the time it takes to run from one point to another. What had left me profoundly affected was that they could run on foot in three days — to a specific location — what it took men on horseback to reach in twelve days. Amazing. They could “flow” if I remember the term correctly, in time in such a way that allowed them, as we know it, to be physically experienced differently. perhaps folding time in real life experiences.
    I hope I am communicating clearly.

  • Janice

    Correction: my last sentence should have read: “. . .that allowed time, as we know it, to be physically experienced differently — perhaps folding time in real life experiences” (Sorry for the typo.)

  • http://pogblog.blogharbor.com wendyfleet

    Tinct with synchronicity, the pict accompanying your article reminds me that when I last did some cheerful goading re your Kids’ Book, I forgot to mention that the pict I had of your getting some traction re that octessential project saw you doodling cave paintings and hieroglyphs. I wasn’t sure whether you were practising what you would ask the dreaming kids to do from their dreams or whether it was a zone-inducing act for you? Or both.

  • http://www.innerwisdomexploration.com Patti

    Ditto – about all these wonderful posts on shared dreaming. I’m just now catching up to them, or rather, they are catching up to me, because this is so much in my field at the moment and I’m in a situation in which I’m doing a lot of sharing and teaching around this. It’s wonderful to have all of this work to “point to.” An “expert” to back me up. LOL.

    Re: “Let’s be clear: there is The Dreaming, or the Dreamtime, the realm of gods and ancestral beings, and then there is everyday dreaming. The two interweave, but are not the same.”

    Oh, yes. Indeed. They are not the same, and there is a ‘qualitative’ and ‘felt’ difference.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nigel

    Thank you Robert for sharing this very special piece, albeit that I have ended up reading it a while after the original post. I was privileged to meet Burnham Burnham who was in fact a good friend of my parents from when he was a young man studying law in Tasmania. Your piece has helped me better understand some recent events in my life and helped my own personal journey of healing. Kind regards, Nigel.

    • http://www.mossdreams.com Robert Moss

      Thank you, Nigel.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Char

    First off, let me just say that I am really glad to come across this website and your articles – mainly because I’m trying to grasp dreaming itself as a spiritual experience. Something that is not very commonly, or openly, discussed in my society.

    I believe in dream traveling, in many different worlds, alternate realms and the like – I believe that in each dream, there’s a life to be experienced, sights to be seen, knowledge to be learnt. Yet it saddens me incredibly to feel so alone and helpless in this that I might have stopped dreaming all together. Too little time, too much responsibilities.

    I want to partake in a simple, cathartic journey to let me travel between dreams again, and this article piqued my interest in the Aborigine Australian beliefs – is there a specific place, book that would allow me to research into this topic better?

    (Say, in Australia, Melbourne, or Scotland, etc etc?)



    • http://www.mossdreams.com Robert Moss

      Char, I am glad to hear from you. Since you seem to be new to my work, you may want to go to CONSCIOUS DREAMING first among my 8 books on Active Dreaming. You’ll find much guidance there on traveling between the worlds and a personal account of how a sea eagle took me deep inside the dreaming of an Aboriginal people of the Northeast. There is a section on Aboriginal dreaming, with further sources, in my SECRET HISTORY OF DREAMING.

  • Pingback: Dreaming into the All-at-Once | Church Ministry

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Iamsuzanne

    I really hope that dreams are a part of our departure from this life. So many of my dreams are so wonderfully vivid! I almost never have a “bad” one, and I usually do not like waking up from what I am dreaming. Thank you for the post about this belief of the Aborigines. It gives some true food for thought.

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