Who Will Write the History of Languages -or- Hopi Mythology

Hopi Dream Vision -or- Cultural World Views in the Global Village

 As a University student one of the topics in anthropology and linguistic classes were the studies of Benjamin Lee Whorf of the Hopi Indian language. Whorf used these studies to formulate a theory about how different grammar, language usage and cultural idioms created a different world view of one's existence. Said differently, each  language creates a different cultural conceptual world based on different ways to categorize and classify experience. Said differently again, each speech community constructs its own social distinctions to think about and see the ways the social world and reality works. 

Whorf called this language principle "linguistic relativity". We can use this idea and ask whether our dreams mirror the concepts laid down by linguistic relativity theory. The essence of such a dream theory is that each language classification system influences and structures the way we think, which in-turn influences the way we dream. Charlotte Beradt, "The Third Reich of Dreams", provides insight into how the Nazi's influenced ordinary Germans dreams, by subjecting them to indoctrination. Read the dream interpretation "The Third Reich of Dreams" to understand how the Nazi's language and propaganda influenced dreams. 

If language structures thought, then linguistic relativity theory can be used to see where there are cultural similarities and differences of world views and dream visions in order to clarify misunderstandings and avoid conflicts that are based on different ways of looking and dreaming the world. 

The dream below refers to both Celtic and Hopi mythological ways of organizing consciousness, thinking and seeing the world and nature. 

Angel, 34 American 

I see pink and white pixelated light which gradually forms three triangles. The triangles begin to swirl into three spirals joined at the middle, turning clockwise and i hear one word - "triloka." My inner screen goes black for just a moment and then burst into a bronze-rainbow downpour of light. 

After the dream, i did a bit of research on my own, this was not the celtic triskele - it turned "the other way". An anthropologist credits this mirror image to the Hopi Indians as a symbol of tribal migration, cyclical in nature, by a people consisting of a few large tribes or clans. 

Collective Totemistic Representations -or- Mythological Cycles of Nature 

The artistic symbol of the triple spiral most likely predates both the Celtic and Hopi designs. The archetypal idea of movement in a clockwise fashion suggests the movement of the perception of time. In this sense your anthropological interpretation of tribal migration, and ecological cycles of nature appears valid. We could however take a few more interpretative steps. Lucien Lévy-Brühl "How Natives Think" would see the the clockwise triskele as well as the counterclockwise Hopi symbol as "collective representations". Said differently, they were religious ritualistic totems of the tribe or clan and as such, they were intended to induce "participation mystique" connecting the whole tribe with the cosmic rhythms of nature. In this sense, we find evidence from your dream, that the first conceptual schemes of tribes (society) were based on the mythological design of nature. Has our technological society deprived us of our ties to nature?


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.