James Hillman once said to me that he wasn’t very interested in origins. It seemed to be an exhaustion with psychology’s mommy – daddy emphasis, as well as a deeper suspicion about cause and effect, which I share. There is another way. The Warlpiri people of Australia have a point of view that isn’t about cause and effect – it’s about presence. In their traditional initiation experiences, the young people are taken to the early moments of the Creation, to the beginning, the Origin. It is impressed upon them that as with any birth, when one is present at the Creation, one is ever after responsible for it.
The Dreaming is Warlpiri culture and law. It is the time of the creation of the world which continues to exist as an eternal present embodied in songs, stories, dances and places. It is always there, although people may forget or abandon it. *
This may not be how modern western people see responsibility but even without cultural support, a feeling of tenderness and wonder and budding responsibility arises when we witness and participate in a birth. In this clip, Darren Aronofsky works to give us an opportunity for presence.
* from Warlpiri Dreamings and Histories by Peggy Rockman Napaljarri,