</SPAN>Ok...after pondering and researching a little more, I've decided that I'm going to have to change my research subject to "DIVINATION" instead of witchcraft and more specifically, divination by means of dreams. So to rephrase my research, I'm going to investigate the similarities and differences between my culture and the Mayan culture with regards to "divination" through dreams.
First off...let's discuss what I mean by divination.
Divination basically means insight into the future, but it’s more than just insight, it’s an attempt to control the future, so with that definition in mind, I’m going to show ways in which Americans and Mayans use of dreams are similar and the ways in which they differs.
From my own cultural perspective, dreams can be looked upon for the use of predictions. There are many historical accounts of people being visited with insight into an event, particularly disasters, through dreams. A recent example is of people having prophetic dreams is regarding the terrorist attacks of 9/11. http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa100101a.htm However, this use of dreams is wrought with skepticism and usually dismissed as coincidence as it’s hard to verify the evidence. A more frequently used and more socially accepted rational for dreams in my cultures is as a means of revelations into the subconscious for the purposes of psychoanalysis with the intent of curing a possible mental ailment. Sigmund Freud is perhaps one of the most famous people associated with the use of dreams as a tool for psychoanalysis; the “royal road to the unconscious”. So it seems that for Western philosophies, the dream analysis is an attempt to explain and indeed even control behavior through the deciphering of imagery.
Mayans also see dreams as both a means of prophecy and as a psychoanalytical tool. However, unlike my culture where dreams that are viewed as prophetic are “poo pooed”, prophetic dreams are common place and viewed as a form of communications amongst the Mayans who lack many of our modern forms of communication. In fact, Mayan view prophetic dreams as so common that they are surprised when dreams don’t work. On the other hand, Mayans also believe they learn skills from their dreams, but this is usually only for the hmen or shaman who are called to be hmen through dreams and through their dreams they are given the skills necessary for the task.</SPAN>
So the difference between the dream world and the real world is blurred, for both my culture and the Maya, but for different reasons. Which is the more real, and which is the influence on the other? The point of each is divination; an attempt to understand and in some way control the future. Whether the dreams we have are portents from the spirit world or subconscious musings is not now known, nonetheless, we both see dreams as a means to control our destinies.
I am certain that your success as a runner, and in all things is due more to the strength of your fighting spirit than anything else. Seabee