Dreaming Into the All At Once

Dreaming Into the All At Once by Robert Moss Aboriginal 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.

Graphic: “We Say This Is the First of All Creatures”. Dream-inspired drawing (c) Robert Moss

Click here to listen to a podcast with Robert Moss


The Apple of Fate – Dreams from Robert Moss

The Apple of Fate by Robert Moss from http://www.mossdreams.blogspot.com I am at work and often at play in the deep mines of my old journals, excavating promising nuggets and buried treasures for a new book. I am fascinated to see how very much of the really good stuff came to me in states of hypnagogia, in the liminal zone that Tinker Bell called “the place between sleep and awake.” Over several decades, this has very often been the launch pad for soul travel and lucid dreams…

Read More.
Filed Under:

The Mongol Shaman’s Power Suit

The Mongol Shaman’s Power Suit by Robert Moss, from www.mossdreams.com A tremendous dark figure with a helmet-hat and a long heavy flared coat of animal skins and furs, hung with metal charms and mirrors and weapons, and high fur-lined boots…. He is looking in at me from across time and dimensions.

Read More.
Filed Under: ·

Robert Moss Podcasts with Merlian News!

In this Podcast, Robert Moss dicusses with Merryn Jose various topics such as Dream Re-Entry, Active Dreaming, Methods of Dreamworking, and much more including personal stories and experiences. Robert Moss, a lifelong dream explorer who survived three near-death experiences in childhood. He is the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanic techniques for empowerment and healing and the author of five books on dreaming.

Read More.
Filed Under:

The Sidewalk Book of Changes

| by Robert Moss

Walking east with my dog on a city street in the early light, I pause to inspect some business cards spilled on the sidewalk. There is the logo of the ABC News network, and the name of a local anchor; I recognize her name because I recently saw her on TV. What’s the message for the day? A news theme, perhaps. I am struck by the number of spilled cards: six. That is the number of lines in a hexagram of the I Ching, the Book of Changes.

Read More.
Filed Under:

Robert Moss on Dreaming the Soul Back Home

With the June 15th publication of his newest book, Dreaming the Soul Back Home, Robert Moss answers some of the questions he frequently encounters from readers and workshop attendees.

Read More.
Filed Under: ·

Orpheus in the New World by Robert Moss

“…In the versions that are best-known today, Orpheus makes a journey to the Underworld to rescue his beloved wife or sister from Death; he nearly succeeds in bringing her back but loses her again because he looks back too soon. I suspect that in the primal version of the legend, Orpheus succeeded in bringing the soul of Eurydice back from the Land of the Dead and put it into her body in the way of a true shaman…”

Read More.
Filed Under:

The Threefold Death of Silver Wolf by Robert Moss

“I have recounted this episode exactly as it took place, nine years ago, in the woods in northern Ohio. Silver Wolf, a great shaman of an earlier time, made me know the nature and fate of three aspects of soul and spirit by inviting me to share his experience of what happens after death. The knowledge I gained is indelible, and guides me in my shamanic work and teaching, and in continuing efforts to develop models of the multidimensional self and geographies of the afterworld.”

Read More.
Filed Under:

The Dream People Are Waiting For You by Robert Moss

“This is the story of a watershed experience in my life that put me on a path for which there is no career track in our culture: the path of a dream teacher. I have retold the story, as I do in my workshops, so you can make it your own, if it calls you…” Robert Moss leads innovative programs all over the world and is actively engaged in research projects that include the applications of conscious dreaming techniques to healing and care for the dying; creative innovation and conflict resolutions; dream education in schools; and future science.

Read More.
Filed Under:

Tarot Confirms: Courage Is Fear Conquered By Love by Robert Moss

“When I pull a Tarot card for a message or theme for the day, I especially like to use decks with which I am unfamiliar. This way, I can spend time studying fresh images and attributions before my mind slips into the grooves of old understanding. Yesterday, I picked the Tarot of the Spirit… I had somehow managed to leave a card in the pack. I shook it out and found the Father of Fire, equivalent to the King of Wands in other decks. He is depicted here as riding to battle on a great black charger with fiery flanks, lance in hand. Now this is a fellow who knows how to tackle fear, with passion and courage and creative flame.

Read More.
Filed Under: