Can I find healing in times of sickness? disguised or formulated, must be investigated and seen for what it is metaphysical belief and not empirical fact. We also assumed-as did many environmentalists-that the alleged ecologically sensitive relationship with nature embraced by Native Americans and other indigenous people was a direct result of their religious beliefs and practices. Trust: 1997- Nor did Indians always use every portion of the kill, as often alleged. For traditional, pre-agricultural cultures animistic beliefs gave them a deep sense of connection and meaning in their daily experience. Their various engagements with what might otherwise be considered the environment or nature con- stitutes a complex of cultural relationships with a large and diverse community. In a world full of spirits, witchcraft, sorcery, black magic, curses, bad omens, broken taboos, angry ancestors, human enemies, and false accusations of many kinds, life is rarely carefree and secure.”10. idealism that equated going back to nature with salubrious and irreprehensible living and which, at least in part if not in the main, The person or social group with an âanimisticâ sensibility attributes sentience â or the quality of being âanimatedâ â to a wide range of beings in the world, such as the environment, other persons, animals, plants, spirits, and forces of nature like the ocean, winds, sun, or moon. Freedom from the Human Condition Happy and Harmless, Richards and Peters Text ©The Actual Freedom In the United States, animistic beliefs are especially prevalent in New Age channeling and with personal spirit guides.8 Nevertheless, for the purpose of classification, animism can be considered the “religion” of indigenous cultures worldwide. Animism and Environmentalism. It has a direct bearing on what actually motivates their reverence for nature and apparent ecological sensitivity. The purpose of these activities is not to praise the spirits or nature itself, but to ward off evil, such as sickness and barren wives, and to enlist the aid of spiritual forces to help the tribe enjoy the good things in life: many children, successful hunting, plenty of food, wealth, respect, and long life. Technically, animism is not so much a distinct religion as a belief or component of many religions, including Shinto, some forms of Hinduism, and neopaganism. Spirits may also dwell in inanimate objects and natural phenomena, such as trees, rocks, lightning, wind, rivers, lakes, caves, mountains, and numerous other strategic places. 2 A person who is concerned about or seeks to protect the environment, esp. For an actualist, any spiritual belief, no matter how it is Fires were used to drive and encircle animals so that they could be more easily killed; to create forage for animals the Indians depended on for food (or alternatively, to ruin forage and force animals into areas where they were more easily hunted); to improve pasture for horse herds; to clear land for crops; and even to “confuse, hinder, maim, or kill their enemies, Indian or white, to drive them from or into cover, or to mask their own actions.”3, Archaeologists have also documented that Indian tribes in North America sometimes engaged in massive overkill by stampeding entire bison herds over cliffs, slaying considerably more than the tribes could possibly use. Oxford Dictionary Environmentalism: 1 A person who holds or advocates the view that environment, esp. Christianity, on the other hand, possesses the theological framework necessary for formulating environmental ethics and providing guidance in environmental stewardship. Lev.19: 23-25; 25:1-7; Deut. individual or society. Environmentalists care more for the spirits of animals and plants and Mother Earth than they do for the welfare of their fellow human beings.