The Significance and Meaning of the Dreaming Is Central to Aboriginal Spirituality

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The significance and meaning of the Dreaming is central to Aboriginal spirituality. Each Aboriginal group is connected with the Dreaming and is aware its unique identity is derived from it. Aboriginals today, continue to emerge from the Dreaming, yet they are still intensely connected with it till this day. The Dreaming includes all aspects of Aboriginal life, and because of the vast scale it encompasses, it is a challenging task to link it entirely to a specific typology in the study of religion.

The ‘Dreaming’, is an English term which attempts to convey Aboriginal spirituality. There is no single term that can sum up Aboriginal spirituality, as it has infinite potential and relates to every aspect of Aboriginality. The term ‘Dreaming’, is translated into various languages of the Aboriginal people. The Ngarinyin aboriginal people in North West Australia call it Ungud, while the people in the North East Arnhem Land refer to it as Wongar. At the time of European settlement in Australia it was estimated there were over five hundred Aboriginal language groups. Each aboriginal group has its distinctive characteristics in connecting with the Dreaming, and defining it which makes Aboriginal spirituality so exceptional, as every Aboriginal is connected with it. One can never truly understand the meaning and significance of the Dreaming unless they are living their life as an Aboriginal connected with it.

The ‘Dreaming’, has been around since the beginning of time. It is not confined to the remote past, but also to the present and future. Time, as a point in history is an unknown concept in traditional Aboriginal understanding, as ‘one cannot ‘fix’ The Dreaming in time: it was and is everywhen’. The beginning of time refers to when the ancestral spirits emerged from the formless earth in human and animal form. They traveled upon it, creating and shaping its physical features, as well as the people, plants and animals. This life force which was released at the...
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