Studies of Religion Dominique Schoff
Aboriginal Spirituality Essay
Investigate the inextricable connection of the dreaming, the land and identity for the Aboriginal people.
For Aboriginal people’s spirituality, the dreaming, the land and their identity are inextricably linked. Evidence has proven that Aboriginal people have inhabited Australia for more than 55,000 years, making them one of the oldest surviving cultures on the planet. One of the reasons they have survived for so long is their ability to adapt and to change. Though, culture patterns have been severely disrupted over the last 210 years with the beginning of European settlement (Catharine Liddle, NITV, 2017). The Dreaming, land and identity of contemporary Aboriginal Australian’s spirituality has been severely affected, take one of these aspects away from Aboriginal people and the others will fall. However, Aboriginal spiritually has survived and continues to be a fundamental part of contemporary Aboriginal people today through there inextricable connection of the Dreaming, the land and their identity.
The Dreaming pillar of Aboriginal spirituality provides the spiritual link for the land and identity of Aboriginal people. The phrase the ‘Dreaming’ is used to translate the Aranda term Altjranga, which represents it’s meaning; ‘grounded in eternity’. The Dreaming is the essential and deepest reality of the Aboriginal world; it is the spiritual dimension of reality which is exists in all aspects of life. The Dreaming is the primordial creative world of the spirit-ancestors and the continuing reality for their totem descendants of the Aboriginal people. The Dreaming is ‘every-when’; it is all time, past, present and future. There is great importance and connection of the Dreaming within the lives of Aboriginals today. The Dreaming sets the moral and social bonds as well as the unbreakable link between humans, ancestral beings and the spiritual world. The land is sacred to all Aboriginals, and the Dreaming explains how the land was created, who created it and the laws that derive from the first ancestors. The well-known Dreaming story of the rainbow serpent, describes how the world came into existence, it is an example of how the Dreaming through Aboriginal spirituality is inextricably connected to the land. The land would be worthless to Aboriginal spirituality if the spiritual Dreaming aspect wasn’t there (Sam Taylor, Creative Spirits, 2017). Personal identity for today’s Aboriginals can be drawn from the Dreaming, the way to live life, how life came into being, and the guidelines of life that binds the Dreaming and personal identity together as one. Dreaming is the Aboriginal people’s spiritual link between the land and their own personal identity.
The land, similtiduically, provides the physical connection for the Dreaming and identity for Aboriginal people’s spirituality. For...