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What is meant by The Dreaming in Aboriginal Spirituality? What is its significance for Aboriginal Australians and how is this expressed?

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Introduction

What is meant by The Dreaming in Aboriginal Spirituality? What is its significance for Aboriginal Australians and how is this expressed? The Dreaming is the core of traditional Aboriginal religious beliefs. The term itself translates as various words in different languages of the Aboriginal people. Groups each have their own words for this concept: for example the Ngarinyin people of north-Western Australia use the word Ungud, the Arrernte people of central Australia refer to it as Aldjerinya and the Adnyamathanha use the word Nguthuna. Its meaning is paramount to traditional Aboriginal people, their lifestyle and their culture, for it determines their values and beliefs and their relationship with every living creature and every characteristic of the landscape. ...read more.

Middle

This belief reinforces the spiritual and physical ties that Aboriginal people have with the land. Thus insuring that the Dreaming is not separated from the physical world or hinged to the past, but existent in the present. It is not only believed that the Ancestral beings gave aboriginals their physical surroundings but were also responsible for establishing the social and cultural patterns to be emulated. Demonstrating human qualities the Ancestor Spirits established the Aboriginal way of life including kinship systems, customs and moral lessons represented by both good and wrong behaviour. This is why the Dreaming is in one dimension thought of as the 'law' of Aboriginal belief. The way in which Aboriginal people accept it as their obligation to preserve the natural and social order created by the Ancestral beings is an expression of the Dreaming in itself. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the ritual sites lengthy cycles of songs and ceremonies are performed usually by the men of the clan associated with a particular totemic species. Initiation ceremonies are also held at significant stages of life, such as puberty to seek the assistance of spiritual beings. Male initiation rites, for example, include tests of worthiness and courage such as "tooth evulsion, circumcision, nose piercing, sleep deprivation, and the cutting of ceremonial markings upon skin." These practices ensure the link between Ancestral Spirits and Aboriginal humanity is perpetuated. The Dreaming is the state in which Aboriginal people interpret life and how their world came into existence. It is a memory of the past, a reality of the present and the creator of the future. The significance of their beleifs are paramount and this spiritual dedication is represented through every day living as well as formal expression. ...read more.

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