Dreamings is a European term used by Aborigines to describe the stories about religious or spiritual beliefs, the natural and moral order of the universe, from the beginning of Creation to the present.

The Australian Aboriginals see themselves as the custodians of Australia. Their dreaming is not just of the land, but of the song, dance and mythology of the land. Their paintings, seen on canvas nowadays were originally painted in the sand and only lasted until the wind blew it clear. Since transferring to a more permanent art medium, one can now catch a glimpse of their dreaming, their way of life and values.

Aboriginal Art has now taken its place in the collections of the great museums and galleries around the world and is widely sought after. Rich and complex beliefs embodied in the Dreaming are expressed in art with many layers of meaning that reflects a unique world-view. Present day enthusiasm for Aboriginal art testifies to the primal message it brings out in people.

Examples of physical representation of dreamings (read as art) are: Mimi Spirit carvings, burial poles, spears, baskets, mats, weavings, string and dilly bags, carved emu eggs, Didgeridoos, and sand paintings.

Dreaming is a mental condition that occurs during sleep. It consists of scattered, semi-random pieces of data packets within the human mind. Perhaps in other animal minds, also. The reason appears to be because the human eye doesn't have many capillaries, and so oxygen has to be pumped directly through the eye to reach the lens cells. It has been demonstrated that eye damage will be caused by sleep without rapid eye movement (REM). A side effect of this is that the lower brain functions have to be slightly activated, causing an increased electrical level in the brain, inducing hallucinations called dreams. Sometimes the random nature of these hallucinations can give a person insight in into new arrangements of data packets.

"I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, 'Look how beautiful it is,' and I'll agree. But then he'll say, 'I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull.' I think he is kind of nutty.

First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people - and to me, too, I believe. Although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is, I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. But at the same time, I see much more that he sees. I can imagine the cells inside, which also have a beauty. There's beauty not just at the dimension of one centimeter; there's also beauty at a smaller dimension.

There are the complicated actions of the cells, and other processes. The fact that the colors in the flower have evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; that means insects can see colors. That adds a question: does this aesthetic sense we have have also exist in lower forms of life? There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't know how it subtracts."

-- Richard Feynman, Physicist.

That's what science _does_, is explain things, like dreaming, that were previously not understood. I don't know about you, but my fantastic dreams of shapeshifting into a dragon and flying away are not lessened by the fact that I know it's just a random electrical storm in my head, picking up on recent memories here and there. If anything, I'd rather know that the hideous nightmares that I sometimes have are physiologically based, than live in a society that thinks that dreams are protents or something. I'd have died from the stress of thinking that the world was going to end (twice), and that I would die (several times, and independant of the world ending) in various nasty ways. My sheer aesthetic pleasure at playing an exquisitely crafted five-octave handmade rosewood marimba is not lessened by me knowing the physics behind the sound production of the instrument.

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