Tuesday, 20 May 2014

dreamtime physics

The Hindu myth of Vishnu, the god who dreams the universe, recalls the saying of the Kalahari Bushmen of South Africa, "There is a dream dreaming us." The Aborigines of Australia, close kin to the Bushmen, are heirs to an oral tradition that spans 40,000 years, if not longer. They base their worldview on a mystical dimension called Alcheringa, the Dreamtime. To them the Dreamtime is not in the remote past, as outsiders tend to assume. Rather, it is the Eternal Present with Past and Future nested in it. Visible and invisible worlds, spiritual and sensorial events, gods and humans, self and other, are dynamically coupled in the Dreamtime. Robert Lawlor writes:
Aboriginal cosmology allows us to conceive of a creation without the need to hypothesize a physical evolution nor a spiritual transcendence. A creation fully present, embodied, and magical in the union of its physical and metaphysical dimensions. (Voices of the First Day)
  This is also true for the creation story realized in the Gaia Mythos. The Dreamtime is an event that persists eternally, without beginning or end, and supports the constant play of shifting conditions, the world phenomena. When the Dreamtime comes to expression in particular knowledge and behavior, the Aborigines refer to the Dreaming of the creature who embodies that knowledge and exhibits that behaviour. For instance, the Kangeroo Dreaming is summation of the innate knowledge and instinctual behavior of all kangaroos, going back to the Dreamtime ancestors. One could say, in biological terms, it is the enactment of the genome of the Kangeroo species.
All creatures, organic and inorganic, human and non-human, live and die by the Dreamings that play through them. In the Aboriginal worldview the unique gift of humans to create culture stems from our capacity to remember and retell the Dreaming, not only of our own species, but of others as well. The indigenous belief that the role of humanity is to remember the events of the Dreaming for all creatures accords with the suggestion presented in Sharing the Gaia Mythos: namely, that the human species enables a memory-circuit for Gaia.
John Lamb Lash

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