by Lawrence A. Parent
In the Indian Way there are many things that others consider superstition or blowing smoke, yet, when confronted with the reality of some of these superstitions when visions walk into your world, they can be impossible to deny. These are the gifts of the Mysteries of our world. Dreams, for many, are nothing more than pleasantries of that which is desired, the utopia of Shangrila, perhaps. Or maybe they are the things of nightmares, strange shapes invading the subconsciousness. These are indeed what some dreams are, and these are what the elders speak of when they tell you that when you have found your place in life, your purpose in this world, your dreams will end. But for some that is not the case.
The vision is a dream also, but can happen while you are awake as often as when you sleep. These dreams feel different, like you are caught up in something from which you cannot break free, like something else is in control. If you pay attention to these you will learn many things that have been hidden, understand social senarios, find things otherwise unfindable, and become closer to the Manitoo. But these dream/visions do not come without a sacrifice, and this is where the vision quest comes from. When you sacrifice by fasting, showing the spirits that you are a weak being, unknowledgeable, unwise, then they could take pity on you and give you the gift of a vision to help you fulfill your reason for being. This was once the Way of all the people’s of the earth. I believe it is the way we were meant to approach life, with humility in the face of the overwhelming reality of the spirits. The true world. The world of the dream.