Avatar and Mother Nature -or- The Sacred Canopy of the Dream
Leibniz's Theodicy -or- The Best of All Possible Dream Worlds
Many dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) speak about theology, religion and spirituality. The article "Theological Dream Interpretation" attempts to provide a unified monotheistic framework from the perspective of dreams. Other interpretations such as "Feng Shui" and "Theosophy in India" speak of different spiritual perspectives.
The philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz believed that our Universe is the best of all possible worlds that God could create. Leibniz's "Theodicy" was written in an attempt to philosophically re-solve the problem of evil. This problem of evil is found in many dreams sent to the IIDR. In Leibniz's "Theodicy", we find in the concluding paragraphs where a dreaming Theodorus is brought to the hall of fates. A record is kept not only what happens, but also that which possibly could happen. Leibniz depicts this hall as an encyclopedic theatre where lives can be observed as a stage presentation. In this encyclopedic theatre of possibility and reality is where all our dreams begin.
The Sacred Canopy -or- The Shield against the Terror of Nightmares
Peter L. Berger "The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion" believes that; "primitive theodicies typically posit an ontological continuity between the generations. The individual finds his ancestors continuing mysteriously within himself, and in the same way he projects his own being into his children and later descendants. As a result he acquires a (to him) quite concrete immortality, which drastically relativizes the mortality as well as the lesser misfortunes of his empirical biography"
Berger believes that the "nomos" of a community provides the foundation for social order. When individuals no longer feel connected to the solidarity of the nomos of nature and the community they experience "anomie". Emil Durkheim "Suicide" described the various types of anomic experience created by the human condition. For Berger; "The sacred cosmos, which transcends and includes man in its ordering of reality, thus provides man's ultimate shield against the terror of anomie. To be in the "right" relationship with the sacred cosmos is to be protected against the nightmare threats of chaos." The nomos and anomic experiences are reflected in the archetypal ontological fabric of our dreams.
For Berger, the ontological continuity and rational-irrational continuum of a specific form of theodicy creates different ways in dealing with anomic experiences. The ontological generational project of immortality was described by Ernest Becker in "Denial of Death". From the perspective of my own field notes and notebooks, two ideas stand out, the first, where Becker sees the "terror of death", I see the "terror of aloneness" as the primary terror which is denied at all cost, then comes death. The second idea is Berger's concept of the "rational-irrational" continuum of theodicies. Nowhere is the extreme pole of the irrational force of a theodicy more evident than in that which propelled Hitler's National Socialism Movement aka "The Nazi's". In my notebooks we can find the search for a theodicy that encompasses the Socratic ideal of rational-mysticism. Nowhere is such a scientific theory better represented as in the dreams of the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. (Read the IIDR interpretation "Quantum Mysticism") .
From a popular culture perspective, nowhere is such a natural primitivism and theodicy better represented than in the film "Avatar". The native inhabitants of the moon Pandora live in ontological harmony with nature and the mother goddess "Eywa". (Was Eywa, a word play on Yahweh?) The simple primitive spiritual belief system and solidarity of all life, bests the far superior technological irrational-destructive powers created by humans, who in Jake Sully's words; "They killed their Mother, and they're gonna do the same here."
The idea that primeval matriarchal religious social order was based on the archetypal Great Mother of nature was explored in "Myth, Religion, & Mother Right" by Johann Jacob Bachofen. Maryse Choisy has used this concept to explain the battle of the sexes. The battle of the sexes is viewed as a generational war that marks the transition from matriarchal to a patriarchal form of religion. The dream interpretation "The Holy Prostitute" discusses Choisy's ideas.