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First We Were Dreamers – Mammoths, Angels, and Demons
Before Psychology and Religion, there was Us and our Dreams –
As we stand on the proscenium of the Future, in the 21st Century’s front door, it is useful to remember that Humans are not our things, not our technologies, not our web, nor our electronic codes. We are not the New Age. We are not all the research locked up in endless hard drives. We are ourselves. Our Psyche, our Hearts and our Souls. We are walking around creatures who think and feel and get worn out at the end of the day, then we lie ourselves down and sleep. And then by some recuperative magic, we billions, we “happy few” have dream lives that somehow restore us so we can rise and do it all again.
Dreams were at the dawn of Us. Before we had all the above, we had our loves, our work, our incredible brains and our dreams. With those dreams, we explained the inexplicable to ourselves. With dreams we interpreted meaningful events and assigned values and significances to mystery and confusing outcomes. Dreams are the private little electronic exertions of our beings. Yes, that’s how some might look at them. I say dreams are the beginning of the gods, the beginning of social continuity, the beginnings of psychology and astrology and predictive statements and prophecy. Dreams are at the nascient spark of all that we call human. Dreams began science when science couldn’t be even defined. Dreams have been helping us since flint and will help us with alternate realities!
Look at those angels and demons, those scary apparitions on the edge of consciousness. Like scare crows on the dusty highway, we stop and stare into the field of the night time side of us, and we smile as we shake. But alas, we have been dealing with angels and demons and the unseen reason for the Manifest World for ages. Let’s look before science and technology. When science was spear throwing and making clothes, and technology was a really cool sharp stone Mammoth killer.
The Mammoth Hunt at the Foot of the Glacier –
Imagine the glow of a melting glacier, illuminated by a setting full moon in the predawn sky. Its Southern France and, in the future, this will be called “10,000 BC”.
You have a full stomach from a recent Mammoth hunt, and your dreams were really vivid last night. You stand up and stretch and check out your fellow tribe members. The assembled are all safe and in deep sleep. You grab a piece of meat from the spit, still being warmed by the smouldering fire of last evenings festivities. You throw your bear fur over your shoulder. Since everyone else is asleep, you quietly move to a rise nearby and contemplate the festival of starry lights blazing in every part of the night sky. Vincent Van Gogh’s starry night was dim compared to the fiery illumination you see above you.
There is no TV news to wake you up. Or rush hour traffic to contemplate. Your dream, that unforgettable, other worldly experience you had last night is still got its grip on you. You look over your shoulder without thinking about it, because the spectre of the 10 tusked Mammoth of your dream might just be real. You smile at yourself as you realize – “It was just a dream.” That’s the first thing humans have been saying for aeons, and you say it too. The next thing you say to yourself: “I wonder what it means?” In your dreams your fellow hunters all got away from the 10 tusked beast. You fell on your back as you saw your mate crying for you afar off.
The Big Dream –
The Mammoth stopped and stood over you. You thought you would be instantly crushed, but you were not. It stood over you and cried. “I gave you my life. I travelled over mountain passes far north of here and ate from a thousand places, just so your family could eat me.” You are still on your back and you touch one of the tusks.
“I could kill you right now, but I don’t. My spirit is now in your whole tribe. You have great glory because you killed me. They call you the “Great Hunter” now, all because you figured out a way to back me off that little cliff. Yeah, it was smart of you, but it wasn’t that great. I was distracted actually by all those screaming hunters and that one sharp spear that stuck in my eye. It was Jarboo’s long shot that actually did the trick. Sure you were the Leader of the Hunt, but you know you didn’t deserve the credit. Jarboo is a great spear thrower, and he never gets the credit he should get because he has that lame leg and its hard for him to keep up in the frenzy of the hunt. But, once Jarboo catches up, he plants that shriveled little left foot and hurls with great accuracy. You guys have to stop making fun of him. He is very valuable to your tribe. The others don’t like the way he can’t handle all the chores, but they forget that he is very kind to the old ones. The kids follow along with him because he is slower, but they like him. He has a sense of humor. And the wives and girls say he is charming, but not offensive. You know what I mean?” The Mammoth shook his head with an ironic twinkle.
“Well, I want to thank you for telling me all this”. You kept on rehearsing the dream in your head, now that you were fully awake, but still in complete memory of it. The Mammoth with 10 tusks went on: “You must honor my Spirit and praise the Lame One – Jarboo.” Remember your Father. He died suddenly from Poison in the Gut. He ate for three nights in a row and did not share the food properly with the Stinky Family. Just because they are Stinky and Obnoxious does not mean they don’t contribute to the Tribe. I think your Father was cursed by the Great Spirit for not properly distributing the meat. You don’t want to suffer the same fate. Otherwise you could be known as the “Son of the Chief Who Died from Poison in the Gut” Not a good Omen. And that’s how you figure things out down here — with Good and Bad Omens.
“Now Jarboo, you know, except for his lame left foot, he is quite a great guy. Besides, your daughter Layluh, she gets very stimulated in his presence. And he likes her attention, but has always treated her with respect. He would take great care of Layluh, and he isn’t cursed with that left foot. If he becomes your Son in Law, his children should be normal. Besides, you know Layluh is not the most glowingly attractive of the tribal girls, and she has that funny voice. The big guys respect her, but she doesn’t have the greatest following.
Tribal Decisions, Spiritual Insights, Fateful Moves –
A few minutes later, after contemplating the Big Dream over again, you make your way back to the camp. People are stirring. You kiss your mate who is cutting a piece of breakfast off for you. You have a new sense of sharing because of the Big Dream and you are on a Mission. You mozy over to Joe, the Shaman. You give him that warm piece of meat. You don’t tell Joe the Shaman about the Big Dream, because he gets jealous when you talk about your Dreams.
You make your way toward Jarboo and his people. Jarboo is a cool guy. You look at him in a new way. Before greeting him, you ask Meeree, the best with hides in the whole tribe, to make new extra strong special shoes for Jarboo. You sit down with her and talk about his lame foot. This is sensitive and you ask her to make them in the context of the Special Ceremony. She knows that these “boots” will help him. Not only with the hunt, but also give him a new look on a daily basis. She is a close cousin and understands the tribal dynamics. She also likes Layluh and thinks this might help that potential relationship. Meeree also knows something. Layluh is pregnant by Jarboo. It will be important for him to be honored. When you hear this, it does not completely surprise you, but it fits in with the Words of the Mammoth. That Mammoth was definitely smart, even if it was not the Voice of the Great Spirit.
Omens – Bad and Good –
You have been a Vivid Dreamer all your Life. You come from a strong family in the Tribe, and you have been known as a Great Hunter Family. However, your Father dying of “Poison in the Gut” was not a good Omen. Omens are funny. They are ways we have of making sense of the Unknowable. A good Omen seems to build momentum for a person or activity. A bad Omen gives a sense of direction. Without formal religion, we pick up cues from Life and its many happenings.
Angels and Demons –
Omens, good and bad get interpreted, the people are constantly doing this in their daily life. Everyone is a Little Omen Maker for their own life. Omens don’t come in little M&M drops, they seem to come in flocks. People have noticed this forever. They say, “it seems to have a Meaning.” Its how we get through, even if we have a highly evolved churched approach.
Besides the good news/bad news events of individual lives, the Tribe had its own set of good news/bad news trends. Blessings and Cursings were events. Long Term Trends of Blessings and Cursings were sent by Angels and Demons. All those stars up there were the gods of the universe and they were dictating things. It was the job of Leadership and Shamanistic Interpretation to name and classify these Angels and Demons.
Dreams – The Magical Language –
Funny thing about dreams. Everybody has them. Some you know you had, but immediately forget. Some you remember for a moment and then they disappear, Some you can remember with effort. Some are unforgettable. The language of dreams is not immediately discernible. Symbols, visions, talking animals, images that meld into other images. Total strangers, lovers, friends, and mute humans — it goes on and on. Literally anything can happen in a dream, and its own context, dreams always seem to have their own logic, even though the Dream Logic can change too.
Dreams seem appropriate to the Receiver. We are both the Author and the Audience to our Dreams. The personalization of a dream makes it automatically important or significant to the Dreamer because you are the best authority on your own dreams. Dream Interpretation is an Art that is probably more ancient that we can imagine, though it is now a rare formalized experience that few people use or ask for. But back 10,000 BC, dream interpretation probably was our main “entertainment” or “sermon”, or “secret message center”.
“I Dreamed About You Last Night!” –
“I had a dream about you last night.” Now that was how your mate first started flirting with you back when you were camping near the Cote D’Azur on the Med. She threw a rock into the sea, and you watched her body move with a new appreciation. Somehow that statement had a bunch of meanings at once, but it was a simple statement. Kind of magic actually, because the relationship started cooking after that. There is SO MUCH electronic noise in our modern world, it is virtually impossible to imagine what life used to be like for our human family. For thousands of years the electronic firings of our dream sleep were the TV/Entertainment of our world. Oh yeah, and add in God’s Voice, and Romantic Imaginings and Funny Visions that made you blush or giggle all day long. Dreams were a Big Time part of life, not just the flittering simple fanciful snatched vision pushed away by the rock and roll DJ on the alarm clock morning show.
There is an emotional psychical component to dreams. Dreams are seldom simple problem solvers, but they often have confusing, emotionally charged imagery like the Mammoth talking. Dismiss the feelings in dreams and you are cutting yourself off from Your Own Core. Dreams are the Silent Part of You nudging you, shoving you, suggesting things to you. The loud Ego and the Voice of Busyness sometimes get a voice, but often do not.
“I had a dream about you last night” also declares: “This is topical.” It’s an immediate message – a text message from deep within about the most recent pulsation of your Soul.
The World of Duality – “Oh that’s not good, or could it be…?”
You have been thinking, as you watch the patterns in life that nothing stays good and bad forever, but the Shamans are right — everything is cyclical. Your dream helped you stop in a moment in time to see the complexity in back of it all. Not only is life Cyclical, there is a powerful role that Choice makes. Because of individual choice, it seems that the Human Will is not completely subject to the Angels or the Demons.
You start your speech to the Village. You want to cover lots of issues and make it memorable to everyone. “The Tribe has been watching Jarboo for many years. Sometimes we thought to ourselves, why can’t that Kid keep up. When he was really young people would pass him around on their shoulders, when the Tribe would move. He would take a little bag of rocks along with him, as he was carried on people’s shoulders. Well, some people out there thought he was cursed with a bad omen, or even that a Demon pushed him into that old tree. I think that’s how most people thought of him. They felt bad for him because of his problem. And you know, he had an automatic excuse for the rest of his life for not being able to keep up. But we all know what he ended up doing.
When the hunters gathered for the big effort, Jarboo would listen, but everyone knew he just wouldn’t be there for most of the hunt. But they also knew he would keep up for the Coup de Grace. Jarboo made a shot that no one could believe – right straight into the eye. It sent the big boy down the cliff like a rock! Let us honor Jarboo because he worked his whole life turning a Bad Omen into a Good Omen. The angels smiled down on him and the Demons lost their power, because Jarboo lived his life the way he lived it.”
It looks like you will be moving North this summer. Great dreams have shown that you must listen to the Bidding of the Great Spirit. You decide to commune with your Mammoth tonight, maybe he will give you some more insight. This dream has turned into a personal religion. And so the story starts.
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#Dreamers #Mammoths #Angels #Demons