This essay proposes animism as a strategy to readjust humanities’ relationship to earth – the shared life of human and nonhuman beings. The essay suggests to explore emerging ideas in anthropology and biosemiotics which highlight the animistic understanding that the material world displays subjectivity, feeling, and personhood. The insistence of western culture to rely only on a material science and to declare aliveness an illusion is a colonisation of the living cosmos, which severs humans from their aliveness and destroys the lifes of other beings – humans and non-humans alike. This essay asks animistic cultures for guidance in a process of western self-decolonisation. The shift towards new animistic perspectives – and practices – must come about as dialogue in which western thinking is willing to undergo radical – and painful – changes. Then animism can lead us into a truly new worldview of the Anthropocene, where human and non-human agency contribute to a fecund earth.
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This contribution is part of "Alternative Worldviews", a collective exploration: