Romaine Rutnam reviews John Koch’s book, 'Portal to the Dreamtime', that tells the story of his rare experiences at Oasis Anu Ta, Victoria.
I COULD ONLY focus on the title’s ‘Dreamtime’ when offering to review this.
I felt reassured by these first words:
This book is dedicated to the Australian Aboriginal people in recognition of who they really are and what they have sacrificed. What was lost will some day be reborn in a bright new form that all can share and honour.
Koch’s acknowledgments begin with:
'Deepest thanks is given to the Spiritual Hierarchy who created the Portal from the power of love. Thanks also to Wharumbidgi and the other Dreamtime spirits, whose courage and wisdom helped dissipate the anger and misery of the disempowered ancestral spirits, and by so doing set up the etheric blueprint for reconciliation in Australia.'
The acknowledgements end with thanks to Charles Bartlett and Lee Mitchell ‘for the dedication, time, and talent which you put into the work at Oasis Anu Ta, and for your friendship over the years'.
Koch ends his preface thus:
'I ask the reader to maintain an open mind and to see what the possibilities are, even though they might appear unfamiliar and outside one’s own experience. Be free of the limitations of the past. Allow your consciousness to soar and explore new realms, and to find your own truth.'
Thus alerted, I proceeded to read the whole book, heavy at nearly 1.2 kg. It was hard to hold with my shaking hands.
The book has a stunning front cover, only explained on page 192; it is a drawing of Bartlett's, depicting the spirits being released. Two more of his drawings are included, one of a Rainbow Serpent (which can be found on page 156) and another of the goddess energy (page 230). The text is also interspersed with excellent colour photographs of country and people.
The book has seventeen chapters. 'Chapter 1, Preparing the Land' introduced me to the concept of ley lines and includes a description of the conjunction of the seven ley lines on Koch's property, Oasis Anu Ta. These lie between the four mountains of Dandenong, Macedon, Buninyong and the You Yangs in Victoria.
'Chapter 2, The Opening of the Portal', begins the transcribed conversations in 1994 between the author and Wharumbidgi, channelled by Charles. The remaining chapters then report on further conversations leading up to 1997.
I responded most warmly on a personal level to 'Chapter 14, Power and Creation'.
Koch’s interpretation goes thus:
Scientists explain life in terms of evolution over millions of years … I have no argument with that as a likely process, but it ignores the development and the reality of consciousness … By accepting that spirit is the creative impulse behind all matter and all life forms, and recognising that in spirit realms, time does not exist in a linear sense, we can begin to understand the paradox of spontaneous creation and evolution occurring simultaneously … Creation is transference of energy from one form to another.
I found 'Chapter 6, The Dreamtime Council Come to Oasis' challenging:
It was the meeting of Dreamtime Council and the Brotherhood of Light that Wharumbidgi asked us to prepare for. It was the reconciliation of black spirit and white spirit taking place at the etheric level. From this moment, the potential was defined … for reconciliation between the black and white races to translate into the physical world.
It was not long before people started to call for reconciliation, and governments started to listen. The march on 28 May 2000 across the Sydney Harbour bridge was to become a defining moment…
The blending of the cultures is another matter. Wharumbidgi says it will never happen, and that the time of the Aboriginal people is over. There can be no return to the past, and many of the customs and beliefs contained within all cultures, including Western culture, are no longer sustainable or relevant. True reconciliation requires a common understanding of the spirit that is in all things, the knowledge that we are all one.That, to my mind, is Wharumbidgi’s main message. [Emphasis in original.]
Many of Independent Australia's readers want to see a reconciled republic of Australia in our lifetime.
The spirit shared two other relevant publications with me the day this book arrived. Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay was one and the other was Billy Griffiths’ Deep Time Dreaming.
I look forward to sharing this book with my Aboriginal friends, particularly local Elders.
Find out more about 'Portal to the Dreamtime' here.
Romaine Rutnam is a retired public health policy analyst. She is active in Dying with Dignity NSW and many other advocacy organisations for healthy social change.
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