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October 3, 2013

Iroquoian dream cult

The Iroquois Huron and Seneca American Indians, as early as the first European contact in the 17th century, had developed a deeper psychological understanding than the white races of the time. They had no divinity but the dream – wrote Father Fremin who studied their customs. They clearly described the conscious and unconscious, and said that through dreams the hidden or unconscious area of psyche makes its desires known. If it does not receive these desires it becomes angry. The Iroquois therefore developed a system of allowing the dreamer to act out their dreams socially. Although a moral and disciplined group, during such acting-out the dreamer was allowed to go beyond usual social boundaries. This included receiving valuable objects and making love to another persons spouse. This was to allow unconscious desires to be expressed, thus avoiding sickness of body or mind. Such hidden desires were seen as the basis of social as well as individual problems.

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October 3, 2013