The Dreaming

W.E.H. Stanner

The Dreaming is a proof that the blackfellow shares with us two abilities which have largely made human history what it is. The first of these we might call ‘the metaphysical gift’. I mean the ability to transcend oneself, to make acts of imagination so that one can stand ‘outside’ or ‘away from’ oneself, and turn the universe, oneself and one’s fellows into objects of contemplation. The second ability is a ‘drive’to try to ‘make sense’ out of human experience and to find some ‘principle’ in the whole human situation.

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Originally published in White Man Got No Dreaming, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1979. Republished here with thanks.

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