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Author Topic: Definitions of Animism  (Read 10890 times)
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Topic Start: June 25, 2007, 02:10:20 pm »

I have 'Animist' in my path description, and was recently asked for a definition.  Which made me realize I don't really have one.  I grew up with it, and didn't even know it's name until some posts by Sunflower and Elizabette gave me the lightbulb clue.  I know what it is for me, and have communicated with and woken up various beings/things usually defined as 'other' but which to me are 'cousin'.

I would be interested in hearing from people who have actually given enough thought to it to verbalize their definitions.  I live it, but I don't think about it, if you know what I mean.  It's like breathing for me, and I can't describe that well enough to give a clue to someone (!) who doesn't do it themselves either.

Help!  I'm having a failure of articulation!

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Ring the bells that still can ring
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That's how the light gets in

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« Reply #1: June 25, 2007, 02:25:16 pm »

I have 'Animist' in my path description, and was recently asked for a definition.  Which made me realize I don't really have one.  I grew up with it, and didn't even know it's name until some posts by Sunflower and Elizabette gave me the lightbulb clue.  I know what it is for me, and have communicated with and woken up various beings/things usually defined as 'other' but which to me are 'cousin'.

I don't know that I'm articulate, but ...

When I say I'm an animist I mean that everything around me has some sort of spirit and identity as itself.  Not all of those spirits are awake/alert/responsive or even comprehensible to the human mind, but they exist.  Further, working with a tool or object extensively can awaken and humanise the spirit within.
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« Reply #2: June 25, 2007, 02:30:57 pm »


Help!  I'm having a failure of articulation!

Absent

LOL if you're failing in articulation, then where does that leave me? Thanks Marilyn Wink

Quote
It's like breathing for me, and I can't describe that well enough to give a clue to someone (!) who doesn't do it themselves either.

That phrase I might like to steal tho, Marilyn, if you will permit it!

Ok, so having briefly hit wikipedia, can we add animatism to the mix too? Apparently that's my new word for the day...

Sunflower you have so much to answer for... and I mean that in a good way!
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« Reply #3: June 25, 2007, 02:50:23 pm »

I would be interested in hearing from people who have actually given enough thought to it to verbalize their definitions.  I live it, but I don't think about it, if you know what I mean.  It's like breathing for me, and I can't describe that well enough to give a clue to someone (!) who doesn't do it themselves either.

Help!  I'm having a failure of articulation!

Absent

Uh, ok, I'll try.  Wink

I read the most wonderful sentence (it was part of an interview with a Quantum Physicist) "Matter is Consciousness."

That's what I believe in a nutshell.

I believe that a kind of a spirit form has to exist before a thing, a plant, an animal, a human being, can take form in the material world. So even a tupperdish has a kind of spirit/consciousness - if you can communicate with it, or if it is awake like Darkhawk said, is another question.

As I mentioned before in other threads I work with stones, I work as animal communicator and though I have no talent for contact with plants - I never would say one of the before was lifeless. Because all of them have life, spirit, consciousness - only the forms of it don't fit that what man accepts, doesn't mean it is not there.

(Well, that surly won't win the articulation price of the week, but I hope you guys get what I mean Wink)
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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« Reply #4: June 25, 2007, 03:24:41 pm »

I don't know that I'm articulate, but ...

When I say I'm an animist I mean that everything around me has some sort of spirit and identity as itself.  Not all of those spirits are awake/alert/responsive or even comprehensible to the human mind, but they exist.  Further, working with a tool or object extensively can awaken and humanise the spirit within.

Not only articulate, but succinct as well.  I agree that the act of awakening does tend to humanise the awakened, at least as far as communication goes.  Nothing will change how 'alien' some consciousnesses are, but sometimes it's like they borrow our brains for communication purposes, or lend us their's. (which is trippy)

Absent
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"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #5: June 25, 2007, 03:27:56 pm »

That phrase I might like to steal tho, Marilyn, if you will permit it!

Ok, so having briefly hit wikipedia, can we add animatism to the mix too? Apparently that's my new word for the day...

Steal away.  It was actually an exercise in my Anthro 101 class, to teach us to 'detach' from our own fundamental assumptions.

My net is being really finicky today (I can barely keep TC open) so I'm going to leave looking up 'animatism' for a later time.  If you want to post a definition, though?

Absent

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"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #6: June 25, 2007, 03:33:40 pm »

I believe in a nutshell.

I believe that a kind of a spirit form has to exist before a thing, a plant, an animal, a human being, can take form in the material world. So even a tupperdish has a kind of spirit/consciousness - if you can communicate with it, or if it is awake like Darkhawk said, is another question.

So the spirit exists before the thing it is the spirit of?  That's an interesting concept.  Is it still the spirit of a tupperdish, though, or does it become that when the dish is being awakened, housing itself in whatever is available, rather than being that house originally?

Or could it be a Platonic Ideal type of thing.  One perfect tupperdish, of which all others are pale copies, but from which (leaving platonic territory here, I think) the individual spirit of each dish is born.

This may be why I don't 'investigate' my beliefs much.  The step from profound to absurd is a very short one for me, and both are equally legitimate in my eyes.

Absent
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"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
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« Reply #7: June 25, 2007, 03:51:59 pm »

So the spirit exists before the thing it is the spirit of?  That's an interesting concept.  Is it still the spirit of a tupperdish, though, or does it become that when the dish is being awakened, housing itself in whatever is available, rather than being that house originally?

Or could it be a Platonic Ideal type of thing.  One perfect tupperdish, of which all others are pale copies, but from which (leaving platonic territory here, I think) the individual spirit of each dish is born.

This may be why I don't 'investigate' my beliefs much.  The step from profound to absurd is a very short one for me, and both are equally legitimate in my eyes.

Absent

Well, I havn't thought in length about the construct of the tupperdish in theory and universe and spirit planes Wink just an example - but yes, it is not easy to go into the details of what yourself believe, a lot of this believe is just floating around I guess and to think it through in all parts and consequences (see tupperdishs awakening f.ex Wink) is time intensive.

But I really think there has to be some kind of prototype (spirit) - it's like creating a spell, or a piece of art, a story. Somewhere there is first the form of it in your mind and then you pull it on the physical plane. But since I havn't wrote down my theories, believes and so on I'll better stop now, because articulating is really a double problem for me here Wink
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

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« Reply #8: June 25, 2007, 03:56:24 pm »

Steal away.  It was actually an exercise in my Anthro 101 class, to teach us to 'detach' from our own fundamental assumptions.

My net is being really finicky today (I can barely keep TC open) so I'm going to leave looking up 'animatism' for a later time.  If you want to post a definition, though?

Absent

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism

Quote
The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning "soul".[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. In this general sense, animism is present in nearly all religions.

In a more restrictive sense, animism is the belief that souls inhabit all or most objects; it attributes personalized souls to animals, vegetables, and minerals wherein the material object is—to some degree—governed by the qualities which comprise its particular soul


Thanks, and sorry, I missed your comment about definition before. (That's what I get for a multi-tasking monday... )
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« Reply #9: June 25, 2007, 04:06:19 pm »

But I really think there has to be some kind of prototype (spirit) - it's like creating a spell, or a piece of art, a story. Somewhere there is first the form of it in your mind and then you pull it on the physical plane. But since I havn't wrote down my theories, believes and so on I'll better stop now, because articulating is really a double problem for me here Wink

So would that tie in with stuff that comes at it from the 'we're spirits having a human experience' angle?
I know there is a lot of debate over words like shamanic and animistic and the actual accuracy of using them, as opposed to the general (mis)usage of them and general perception of their meaning.

(And btw i'm not trying to annoy anyone with a terrible lack of accurate use of words, or using them out of their true context honestly. I wouldn't even be looking for words if it didn't matter... I hate lablelling...  Sad )
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Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #10: June 25, 2007, 04:12:51 pm »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism


Thanks, and sorry, I missed your comment about definition before. (That's what I get for a multi-tasking monday... )


That definition fits quite well with my beliefs, both the broad and the 'restrictive' senses.  What I was asking about, though, was the other word you used; 'animatism'.  Is it another form of animism used in some circles, or does it include/exclude other things as well?

Absent

(and now even TC won't stay open well.  I've been 'talking' to my comp all afternoon to keep it going, but I think it's cranky now and needs a nap, so I'll be shutting down til this evening.)
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"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
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« Reply #11: June 25, 2007, 04:22:19 pm »

That definition fits quite well with my beliefs, both the broad and the 'restrictive' senses.  What I was asking about, though, was the other word you used; 'animatism'.  Is it another form of animism used in some circles, or does it include/exclude other things as well?

Absent


I realised afterwards I should have added that one too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animatism

Quote
Animatism is a term coined by R. R. Marett to refer to the belief of certain cultures in supernatural forces and powers.

These forces are inanimate and impersonal, which is not the case with the beliefs classed as animism

And to follow wiki further since it seems I'm being drawn somewhere....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana

Quote
It is an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects and that instills in the appreciative observer a sense of respect or wonder. <snip> It has commonly been interpreted as "the stuff of which magic is formed", as well as the substance of which souls are made.

*zips her lip because people have already had to listen to her too much today*
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« Reply #12: June 25, 2007, 04:27:10 pm »

And to follow wiki further since it seems I'm being drawn somewhere....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana

And now I'm going to nurse the bruise from being smacked with a clue by four... *sigh* Why Yes I can be immensely dumb.
Why? Because I get time to read further down the page and find.... Awen.
And this is derailing, sorry guys.
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« Reply #13: June 25, 2007, 04:33:05 pm »

I get time to read further down the page and find.... Awen.

OK, you got me to click on the link.   Cheesy

I was especially interested in this tidbit:
Quote
mana as a generalized concept has attained a significant amount of interest; often understood as a precursor to formal religion

That made me think of another thread in which Midori described herself as a "feral druid".  I'm loving the idea of feral spirituality -- that is, spirituality (mana?) in its wild, untamed state.
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« Reply #14: June 25, 2007, 04:46:09 pm »

OK, you got me to click on the link.   Cheesy

I was especially interested in this tidbit:
That made me think of another thread in which Midori described herself as a "feral druid".  I'm loving the idea of feral spirituality -- that is, spirituality (mana?) in its wild, untamed state.

lol stay away from me MI, I seen to be lightbulb central just now Tongue
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