The spiritual history of mankind is marked by the dream phenomenon. According to the British anthropologist Edward Tylor, one-day experiences have been the basis for the first religious manifestations. Dream, as a means of the future, is part of the mythology of great religions. Before she was born Buddha, Queen Maha Maya, had a dream in which an elephant came and slept beside her. So he knew he would have a child with a special destiny. Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, has a dream about the dramatic future of his son.

In the “Epilogue of Ghilgamesh”, composed almost five thousand years ago, dreams are part of the fabric of the story. But not as figures of style, but as a reality in which the Mesopotamians believed. Dreams were considered a means of communicating with the gods. The crucial moments of Ghilgamesh and Enkidu’s life are preceded by premonitory dreams.

We find faith in dreams and in the Odyssey by Homer. Worried about the fate of his son, Telemac, left with a ship to Sparta to find out what happened to his father, Penelopa has a dream. The goddess Athena sends the shadow to a known woman who tells her that her son is about to come back. Penelope wakes up “cheerfully that a dream so beautiful has come to the night’s power” [1].

Dream is also present in our popular creations. In Manole, the solution to the end of the monastery is revealed to the central character by “a whisper from the top” during sleep. For the people of the epoch in which the ballad was composed, following the voice heard in the dream was as natural as it was for the Greeks or the Sumerians to take into account the advice of the gods received in the same way.

The Romanian peasants’ faith in the signs shown in dreams is attested by Mihail Sadoveanu in the novel “Baltagul”. Before she starts looking for her husband, Vitoria Lipan dreams of her “horseback, with her back turning to her, passing by to a seashore overflowing.” “My dream is a heavier sign,” she tells her son. When the king’s servant tells him that “we still do not know anything,” she answers “dark”: “I know.”

The faith of Vitoria Lipan is related to an ancestral tradition, which has its roots in the childhood of mankind. Our ancestors, like the Australian Sumerians or Aborigines, lived between two dimensions – the objective and the one-of-a-kind – believing that there was a close connection between them. In this respect, Romanians today do not differ much from those of animistic beliefs. No matter how trust we have in religious doctrines or in materialistic science, in each of us there is a mental dimension governed by ouriric symbols, inherited from our prehistoric ancestors through Geto-Dacians.

The Achuar Indians in the Amazon forests meet each day at dawn to share their dreams. This reminds me of the habit of our mother Vera Hutu of Bessarabia: every morning, while we sow the corn, we put the leaves of the tobacco on the string or we scratch the wool in rainy weather, it tells us what dreamed overnight. Like members of the Achuar tribe, she considers the dream a prediction of what will happen over the day or in the future.

Iulia Brânză Mihăileanu

[1] Homer, “Odyssey”, Bucharest, Mondero Publishing House, 1998, p. 54


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