Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recovering the Indigenous Mind

art by Erin Langley

Here I will attempt to illustrate what indigenous mind recovery looks like for many people. A whole new batch of ancestors has recently been making itself known to me. They show up in many ways, repeatedly, so that I start taking notice. Dr. Apela Colorado, founder of the Indigenous Mind program, requires the principle of triangulation to verify information coming to us. That is, information must come once and be confirmed twice to legitimize the content. Triangulation provides a practical way to stay grounded in the midst of the deep process of indigenous mind recovery. Often, once we're aware that the process is underway, we see that its first tendrils extend back many years, sometimes to childhood.

As a teenager, I had an out-of-body experience (OBE), in which I'm in a boat in a vast sea. All I can see is water and fog, except for one other boat carrying a lone man. I shout to the man, "Where are we?" He says, "Look around you! This is the Black Sea!" At that time, I had no idea I was on an ancestral journey. In 2006, I completed a painting, pictured above, entitled "Black Sea" in honor of this dream. I hadn't planned to make the Black Sea. It just appeared in the chaotic forms I happened to lay down as I experimented with the paint. I only elicited what was already there. Around this same time, I was having dreams of being in a gulag, a term I did not recognize until I looked it up. I also dreamed of caves and mountains in the Caucasus region. These dreams came back to me when I read a book that Ryan Hurd of the Dream Studies Portal recommended called Entering the Circle, about a Russian psychiatrist learning from Siberian kams (shamans) who teach about some of the topics that appeared in my dreams about the region.

Then, when my daughter was born this summer, a nurse took us on as her special case for some reason. She really rallied for us in the hospital when we had trouble checking out and going home. As we were finally leaving, she told me about the charity work her foundation does along the Black Sea each year. Within the past month, I decided to revisit this theme of the Black Sea by using a satellite shot of it as my computer wallpaper. The next week, a relative gave me a piece of granite whose shape is reminiscent of the Black Sea. Etc., etc. This is what triangulation looks like.

I bring up ways of knowing that supplement Western research methods that we also rely on in the Indigenous Mind program, such as the genealogical sections of our libraries, the Mormon temple, Cyndi's List, or living relatives who may have done ancestral research. Eventually it occurred to me that I could incorporate lucid dreaming into this process, and that is just what I attempted to do last night. I don't know very much about my ancestors from Russia, except that some are Jewish, and lived in Odessa. In last night's lucid dream, I got to visit Russia and learn a bit about its history. I will report on its content in my next post.


  1. Entering the circle is such a powerful book. It's really unlike anything else out there in the popular lucid dreaming literature. a distant second is Malcom Godwin's book "the lucid dreamer": many pretty pictures and multiple perspectives.

  2. I will scout for Godwin's book now! So far you've steered me rightly.