The Aboriginal Question
Most non- Aborigines think that the term ‘Dreamtime’ refers to a long distant era of the past when Aborigines languorously drew patterns on the walls of caves and generally moved in a dream-like trance through life, without constraint of law and regulation and generally slept in the sunshine. The zenith of alien thinking is one of the ‘Noble Savage’ and there, in the minds of most, further thought ceases. But when we compare the stability and level of true civilisation, the ennobled estate of Aborigines, the length of our civilisation, to the British, Chinese, Germans etc. we find the we rank not only amongst the most civilised and most socialised, but also as the longest unchanged, continuing civilisation in the world.
The Dreaming, the Dreamtime, not only refers to an historic era in the long distant past but is a living continuation of spiritual life and instruction that continues today.
The real history, or rather, the historic place of Aborigines in this land has not yet been written nor, unfortunately, even dimly perceived by the most learned anthropologists and archaeologists of the day. This non-perception of Aboriginal beginnings, the Dreamtime, by anthropologists is not so surprising if we keep in mind that, by undergoing their own educational initiations, they are blinded to any probability that could upset their own value judgements, their philosophy, their religious beliefs or the vested interests of the society that feeds the. For instance, the anthropologist, even though he may reject a religious perspective, will be so imbued with the beliefs of his society that other possibilities are excluded. Surely it is illogical that man, Home sapiens, the wise, originated solely ‘somewhere in Africa or Europe. Neither is it logical that God created Arabic man within seven kilometres of Mecca and then the race bred, developed and dispersed; nor is it logical to accept the Biblical assertion of a singular ‘Garden of Eden’, where one Jewish man and one woman were created, then over millennia diversified, hybridised and multiplied into the many genetically different racial structures we see today. Yet the concept that in may lands there were many ‘Gardens of Eden’, or places where simultaneous development of Home sapiens occurred, mingled and hybridised with pre-human types is rarely considered. (It is important to note that the Neanderthal’s only stopped flourishing as a type some short 50,000 years age).
Aboriginal pre-history, archaeologically speaking, extends some 45,000 years and the actual period of any intensive archaeological study of Aborigines is a mere forty years of so. Their studies, their findings, have not gone far past the top midden heap of supportive evidence which will, one day, establish the fact of the Dreamtime history, The Beginning.
The Beginning, the Time before time began, when the world was a twilight zone. The Great Creative Essence of Life, the Creator, had filled the land with creative spirits and, in a transmorphosis, these spirits took on physical shapes and became the progenitors of the modern mammals, animals, earth-forms we see today, imbuing them with spiritual being. Amidst this creative spiritual chaos humankind was created and spiritually generated. The ‘modern’ type being came as a generative leap in physical and mental development. This Aboriginal Australian has been in this land from the Beginning. The migration theory will prove to be a wrong conclusion.
The people formed tribes. The tribes developed their civilisation. Land ownership rules regulated their daily lives, the Council of the Elders effectively maintained the government, created laws and gave judgement against the law breakers. They ascertained their land area with neighbouring tribes and kelp to their boarders according to the Law.
As it was in the Beginning, the laws are such that every person, every sacred created thing has a precious valued status, for, since creation is sacred it follows that all things created are significantly sacred as well.
There were no barbaric wars, no slaves, no debasement of other humans, no prisoners.
The ‘culture’ developed when Aborigines formed co-operative tribal/ family groups, setting up laws, expressing their daily lives through dance, creating artefacts, following the law, husbanding the resources of the land. They carried out communication by symbolised drawings, carvings, configuration on rocks, smoke fires, telepathy, inter-tribal symbols, initiation cycles, dance exchange and complex language patterns. All are part of a refined civilisation in existence long before written language was developed, a mere 5,000 years ago.
The Aboriginal religion, deemed animistic, is more akin to the Eastern religions in so far as the belief of spiritual return, telepathy, the silken cord, astral travelling, the third eye, tele-transportation, hypnosis and tele-kinesis are very much the basic part of Aboriginal religion. Most important is the spiritual knowledge, not only of creation and the Great Creative Spirit, who maintains the soul, but also the fact that we are spiritually and physically co-existent and part of everything containing the life force; trees, soil, rocks, water, grass, clouds, celestial bodies etc.
When tribes discovered Captain Cook, they discovered not only the man, but the injustice, the viruses and bacteria that had travelled with him from his barbaric, heathen world of England.
Then came Phillip and the colonists. The world of magic and love, equal status, value for life and peaceful co-existence soon was shattered. The Council, the wisest of the wise men, sand and danced and cried but the remedies, the checks, the law against the law breakers and harbingers of evil did not work against the barbarians who were not only killing by sword and gun, but were burning, flogging, poisoning the people and killing with some invisible magic which they, the whites, called the flu, the pox, pneumonia, tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhoea and leprosy. The old men, the old magic couldn’t stop these lees-than-men, these barbaric invaders, from slaughtering the hunter as he sought food, then raping and murdering the women and children. They couldn’t understand a society that raped and murdered, for the sake of murder. They understood even less why their magic wouldn’t work. Their spirit law-keepers and their God had recoiled in horror, leaving them to become hapless victims of these colonists and convicts, these dregs of English society who were amongst the most rapacious scum on earth.
Two hundred years has elapsed since our land was invaded by white Australians, 200 years of victimisation, debasement of our humanity, attempts at physical and cultural genocide and undeclared war.
The tribes, physically decimated and kept from their sacred areas and hunting/ farming land, faced starvation and the terror of merciless unrelenting race murder. They hid in the remote areas, some finding protection and humanity with a few white settlers who, moved in human pity by the atrocities dealt the people, acted against the opinion of their own white society. They nursed, fed, guarded and preserved the lives of the people.
After the land theft was accomplished by the whites, they placed the Aboriginal people into concentration camp areas, which they called ‘Aboriginal Reserves’. When cries of outrage against the land theft and murders were raised in other nations, Australia defended its action by declaring to the world that the land was actually ‘wast land and unoccupied’ and the undeclared war was ‘peaceful settlement’. Also, that Aborigines had no civilisation, no law, no artefact, no agriculture or economic use of the land, no status as human beings and latterly, that ‘Aborigines belong to the land, the land does not belong to the Aborigines’.
But in 1981 the spiritual essence has returned. The old men are re-linking the chain of law through initiation. Revelation is amongst the people. The ceremony is having effect and the whiteman’s God (his crops and cattle), reel under the drought dance.
Soon the land will be used as our ally to regain the land and our people, now numbering only 150,000 (less than a quarter of the number that populated this land when the white terror struck) are demanding a rightful share in the affluence of wealth ripped out of our country and forming the rich, high standard of health and living enjoyed by whites and rated as one of the highest in the world. A living standard gained by ill-gotten means; the murder, the deprivation and denial of the original owners, the Aborigines, who have suffered an intense psychological battering over 200 years. Australians should remember that the last government-sponsored massacres occurred less than 60 years ago, within living memory, and the most recent attempt at individual massacre was the strychnine poisoning at Alice Springs in March 1981. Physical and health conditions approximate those of Bangladesh. Aborigines suffer amongst the highest infant mortality, leprosy, curable blindness (Trachoma), malnutrition and tuberculosis rates in the world, in a country where whites claim they have eliminated these eighteenth century diseases in their society.
To whom do we turn for justice? The heads of the white society? Do we humbly beg the thief to act as judge? Do we ask the grazier, who fattens his cattle, his family, on land that was robed from us in the most dastardly manner, for the return of our rightful property or at lease a viable land base and reparation throughout Australia? No. It is not logical to expect the tyrant, the thief, to relinquish his unlawful gains.
We need the force of conscience and law to achieve justice. We need to let the other peoples of the world know the reality, the scumminess and lack of morality of white Australia. We need to gain allies. We need to teach young while Australians about the spiritual flow of our lives and, in accordance with Aboriginal Law, warn the offender, as I do, that if justice does not come soon from the offenders’ quarter, come it will with terror and fire from another quarter; for from other corners of the world there are men and women who have a vested interest in justice and preserving the rights of humanity as conferred by the Great Creator.
Kevin Gilbert ©
Source: Social Alternatives Vol. 2 No. 2, Brisbane 1981 quoted in full in Moody, Roger (editor), The Indigenous Voice – Visions and Realities, Revised Second edition, International Books, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1983.