Aborigial Spirituality Essay Research Paper The significance

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Aborigial Spirituality Essay, Research Paper The significance and meaning of the Dreaming is central to Aboriginal spirituality. Each Aboriginal group is connected with the Dreaming and is aware its unique identity is derived from it. Aboriginals today, continue to emerge from the Dreaming, yet they are still intensely connected with it till this day. The Dreaming includes all aspects of Aboriginal life, and because of the vast scale it encompasses, it is a challenging task to link it entirely to a specific typology in the study of religion. The ?Dreaming?, is an English term which attempts to convey Aboriginal spirituality. There is no single term that can sum up Aboriginal spirituality, as it has infinite potential and relates to every aspect of Aboriginality. The term

?Dreaming?, is translated into various languages of the Aboriginal people. The Ngarinyin aboriginal people in North West Australia call it Ungud, while the people in the North East Arnhem Land refer to it as Wongar. At the time of European settlement in Australia it was estimated there were over five hundred Aboriginal language groups. Each aboriginal group has its distinctive characteristics in connecting with the Dreaming, and defining it which makes Aboriginal spirituality so exceptional, as every Aboriginal is connected with it. One can never truly understand the meaning and significance of the Dreaming unless they are living their life as an Aboriginal connected with it. The ?Dreaming?, has been around since the beginning of time. It is not confined to the remote past, but

also to the present and future. Time, as a point in history is an unknown concept in traditional Aboriginal understanding, as ?one cannot ?fix? The Dreaming in time: it was and is everywhen?. The beginning of time refers to when the ancestral spirits emerged from the formless earth in human and animal form. They traveled upon it, creating and shaping its physical features, as well as the people, plants and animals. This life force which was released at the beginning, is still present today, and is given off at special places on the earth according to the Aborigines. This is why, aboriginal people are still emerging from the Dreaming yet still deeply connected with it. The ancestral beings that brought the Dreaming about, belong to an eternal moment that is an ever-present reality

which symbolises aboriginal life. Aborigines believe this unseen spirit world and the living landscape gives order to the world. The study of the Dreaming as the religion of the Aboriginal people would include the observation that each tribe has its own forms of ritual, belief, stories and sacred structures, further more these four categories help convey Aboriginal Spirituality. Each of these aspects could be linked to the various typologies of the study of religion, though the Dreaming as a whole could not be fully defined in one typology. Each unique aboriginal tribe, has different rituals and worship?s different things. Ritual and worship would include, the Rites of Passage and Rites of Devotion. Rites of Passage would include Initiation ceromonies which allow an Aboriginal

boy or girl to pass from puberty to manhood or womanhood according to which Dreaming he or she belongs to. Rites of passage also include birth, marriage and death rituals. Rites of Devotion include prayers, songs, dances, music and offerings which assist in bringing good health, and healing to invididuals and to the land, as well as the resolution of conflict and establishing social harmony in the community. These practices could be linked back to Ninian Smart, who talks of the seven dimensions of religion. These rituals of worship would fit into the Ritual dimension but most aspects would overlap into many of the other dimensions. For example, an initiation ceremony of one tribe, would fit into the Ritual dimension, but it may have significant links to ethical and legal