“The truth is that we are more connected than we realise – that we are not alone in this world, but part of one big family.”
This is a fairly short and comprehensive presentation of Australian Aboriginal culture. It is well written and beautifully argued. Munya has clearly succeeded in presenting Aboriginal values and ideals to a western reader. It is the first time that I read about Aboriginal Dreamtime as a religion or spirituality of Aboriginal Australians. Munya calls it a philosophy, cosmology, a worldview that shows connections between everything in the world. Munya skilfully compares Aboriginal Dreamtime with the works of Carl Jung and shows crossovers between Dreamtime and perspectives of other religions and philosophies across the world. Her references are very useful, and I am planning to read some of them soon.
The author shows us the beauty, power and wisdom of Dreaming and Totems. They are not just abstract concepts, but a philosophy of living and a perspective on the world. Munya says that her Totems enable her to see the world from a different perspective, to think outside the box. She argues that Dreaming and Totems can help you discover your purpose in life and cope with challenges we face every day.
We are one with nature and the universe. The Dreamtime teaches us that we are all intimately connected, we are family with all living beings in the world. Thus, we need to be mindful and respectful to the gifts of nature and we should be kind to each other. This attitude will enable us to feel a sense of community and connection. Dreamtime teaches us the importance of deep listening, deep observations and respect towards all living beings on our planet and mother earth.
I really enjoyed reading about bush medicine and Aboriginal approach to healing. I somehow always believed in a holistic approach to medicine and was delighted to read about bush doctors and bush medicines in Aboriginal culture. This approach includes herbs, plants, smoking, dance, meditation, breathing techniques, chants, songs. Cultural immersion plays a great role in healing. Diseases are not seen as a battle to be fought but as a friend that brings you important spiritual message.
I believe that given all the stress, loneliness and anxiety that many people face these days, we need to learn more from Aboriginal culture. Capitalistic approach to nature is harmful from my point of view. It is heartbreaking to see how the Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed and some plants and animals become extinct due to human greed.
Overall, it is such an insightful and thought-provoking book. Highly recommend.