Some Aboriginal peoples describe Dreaming in terms of the dark side of the moon. When the moon is not quite full, you see its bright, illuminated side. You might call it a half moon. But if you look closely on a clear evening, you can see the dark side, silently shimmering next to the more apparent bright side. Like me, most people focus only on the bright side and miss the moon’s dark face, that is, the Dreaming reality.
The bright side is only that portion of the whole moon that is illuminated. Focusing only on the bright side of the moon and ignoring the dark side might easily make you think that dark side does not exist, while in fact we need the dark side to represent the whole moon.
The same is true for everything you see. If you only focus on everyday reality, you neglect the Dreaming. According to Aboriginal thinking, the Dreaming is the basic substance of the material world. The Dreaming gives objects the energy that attracts and repels your attention. If you neglect the Dreaming, you devalue the material environment because you ignore its basis and thus miss half of life.
The power of the Dreaming is right here, behind the everyday world, as part of every object, the part you sometimes forget to notice. From the Aboriginal perspective, everyday reality is the bright side of the moon pointing to the power of Dreaming, the moon’s dark side.
In spite of my interest and long background in therapy, dreams, and shamanism, I had unconsciously assumed that the busy city and tall buildings killed the Dreaming. That is probably why, whenever possible, I escaped to the countryside in search of Nature’s pristine powers.
Uncle Lewis showed me that the city’s reality exists because of the Dreaming. Without it, nothing would be. Dreaming is the energy behind everything; it is the life force of all living beings, the power of trees and plants, and the powers of motors, business, and financial centres.
An artist sense the Dreaming in the canvas, paper, and stone and knows that everyday reality is not only concrete. Leonardo da Vinci wrote that artists should look into peeling plaster walls until they can see images emerging from the shapes of the plaster. Similarly, Michelangelo called sculpting a processs of bringing out the form that already exists inside the stone. Artists and aboriginal peoples have developed the ability to see the Dreaming, that is, the power behind the figures you see in your nighttime dreams and everyday reality.
~ Arnold Mindell