Bio-regional Animism (:relating to the land/bioregion as the source of ones religion and culture. It is a form of Personalism where other then human persons including the whole bioregion itself is related to and communicated with as a person. Animals and the elementals, plants, the land and sky, it gives up human dominion over the designation of who and what a person is. Bioregional Animism does not treat these natural phenomena as tools, or symbols, for humans to use but instead view these other then human persons as just that… persons who can be communicated with, who relationships and partnerships and allegiances can be formed with for living in mutually beneficial and reciprocal ways; In both the physical and spiritual world. Bioregional Animism sees that ones larger self is the eco-region one lives within and that animist spiritual practice, cosmology, ontology, culture, and life practices are all expression of that larger ecological and transpersonal self.
Sensualism (:Consciously experiencing the mystery of being embedded in the world. Sensual Awareness. A person who explores sensuality, enjoying pleasure while learning from pain. Senses allow access to the present moment exclusively, the present moment is where life/reality resides.)
Ecopsychology (:healing the relationship between the human soul and the “soul of the world” (Anima Mundi). It acts as a bridge between the fields of ecology and psychology to address the psychological and spiritual roots of the ecological and human crisis that we are experiencing)
I am a carrier of ideas, and believe it is my personal responsibility to teach and purvey the natural gnosis of what has come to be known through generations of wisdom and accumulative life experience. So I had to give these definitions first in order that you can have a further understanding to what I am about to say, and about my identity as an animist.
I am yet a neophyte of the animistic beliefs, and to be honest, the relationship is never finished. But I have learned a lot in this journey so far. It is not a philosophy or ideology, but an expression of the fundamental self, our personal sentience according to nature’s will. I have move around a lot these past 3-4 years. Since living on my own, I have experience deep periods of solitude, revelation, ecstatic awe, inspiration but also damaging human neurosis like anxiety, loneliness, suppression, oppression and depression, abandonment and the feeling of being stranded. My constant urban nomadism, of leaving and re-introducing myself to new lands, ecotypes, cities, standards, cultures, and social contacts has never been enough time to fully embrace the animistic dynamics to my bioregion. Never enough time to plant seeds, before having to leave them in exile. I started out living close to my homeland in northern Ontario, near the native sector called Temagami, this is where I felt the most entwined with the surroundings. However I was in the small country about 2 hours north, where the people were extremely religious and politically correct. The culture was deficient and I could never obtain more than a pseudo sense of connectivity. For the sake of making a living I was forced to move on. Then I drifted around in the industrialized wastes of southern Ontario, amidst sprawled condos and mass media. I could only take a limited amount of this, even with my niche way of living and staying inside most of time. I felt trapped here, a stranger in a strange land, always waiting for something more authentic would be provided for me. Unfortunately because of resources and money, I was forced to dwell here longer than I wanted, and began to stop functioning. Then I had a briefly did some tenting in the north again, and this involved some travel to untamed areas. People here were not so socially reclusive and had a better relationship with their ecosystem. My company was nature, and I had more opportunities to feel the essentials and let my primal needs be expressed, unfettered. Now I dwell in Montreal, Quebec, and becoming more conscious of my new place. I am rampant on slicing off whatever I can chew through direct experience and knowledge of the heritage of the land. But now even still, I have plans to migrate once more in 4 months from now to live with my mate in the UK. The journey never seems to settle in my life, so I have been pretty vulnerable and lacking a more complete embrace to my animistic tendencies.This brings me to the point I desire to make, and which may be of great help to others feeling the same. How do we experience totality with our bio-region, and how to not be too attached at the same time, by living consciously through the momentary? This is where reality always happens, never in the future, and never in the past. I am slowly discovering the sources of my discontent or absence from the sensual embrace to nature. Then how to heal it? Because of this cyclic mission we pursue on the planet, it involves training and individual evolution towards pure animism.
I believe my problems have not come directly from the movement, but from the wrong conditions. A lack of resources, pseudo-culture, social reasons, modernism, etc. The transitory nature within me and craving to see new places never involved the desire to live in highly populated, ‘civilized’ places. In systematic, and ephemeral societies ruled by corrupt laws, instead of natural ones, and permeated everywhere with religious, or political taboo. This is precisely the reason I suffer, and I have come to realize this as it lay down near the roots of my dual thinking mind. The objective is to cast away this duality that I am continually forced to conform to, because I (and our species) don’t have a dual mind. Evolution did not happen twice, and the universe exists in a sacred unity, a relationship between all things. I regularly take pictures of the plants that share their home with me, and spend 3-4 days a week walking/hiking in the forest trails/shoreline, more in summer and less in winter. Using topographical maps is the most efficient way I find to just seek out the green patches, and also learning from local sources like museums where any older sites of interest may be like burial sites, rock paintings, old-growths, and reserves. Natural science is a coping mechanism but also a tool for me, whether or not I know if I will choose to stay in one place for long or not. My personalized botanical and biological studies are a vessel which I use to strengthen animistic roots to this bio-region. Knowing the nativity and ecology of the animals and plants has done more to make me feel ‘home’ then any other method. I have been described as someone with a high degree of perspicacity and ‘below the surface type’ intuition. So this obviously has supplanted my need for social intimacy with nature and psychological connection when the society I abound in could not do it for me. Honestly, I feel that I had no other choice. I tried being ‘normal’ a long time ago, and this did not work, so reclining back to instinct took me towards all things that nature had offered, all things organic within my mind and spirit. The purpose of sensualism is essentially total reliance on sensations and perception as the source of true cognition. The ontology, I, and one would experience through sensuality is subjective rather than objective, thus it is very hard to mime what others are doing. It is just not in us, because we live through only our bodies, and our own senses. When a mass opinion, or a dogma is postulated as true meaning, it can never be! This defies the individual. One can not accept the product of instant enlightenment of meaning to be any good for you.
Because of all this, my perception has been veiled with a smokey resin. The senses are dulled by the intrusion of null fulfillment pushed on us when we live in the metropolis. Also the inherit need for involvement had pushed me into new change within and without. I have had to find my niche, finding places that cater to my unique needs like vegetarian food markets, psychonaut/’taboo’ culture distributions, music venues, kink clubs for embracing my sexuality, and to some extent, the online world of forums to build social contacts. Then I am reluctantly forced to leave these things, which I have spent so much time, effort, and also money getting adapted to. It seems only natural that I do this, even if it me psychologically harmful in the end. If I intend to thrive on what resources are available, I must throw myself into it and let it carry me, and keep an open mind to the effects if may produce. The constant change and renewal has made me strong however, and also reinforced the reasons why I do this. Becoming self-aware of what truly makes me who I am. However, this can be deeply affecting my animism and personal domain. I refer back to the personal dis-eases that I have had, “anxiety, loneliness, suppression, oppression and depression, abandonment and the feeling of being stranded”. These, while I don’t think I have been aware of all at one time, have come on strong at separate portions of my existence. They are the results of being out touch with our ecosystem and our roots. The polar opposite of Bioregional Animism. I have not been properly yolked together to full fledged animism and place like I should be. All these things can be healed by cradling our primal needs, and each issue defines the eco-psychological status per se. More of these nervosas means you will be further from the bona fide state of being, and from living with fertility. These are the sort of people I observe now, that claim ‘happiness’, yet are perpetually denying themselves. Their faces are rushed, their manner is uncouth, and their ambitions are mere hollow victories. Because with this lack of natural nourishment, we lose our spine, (metaphorically), and the anima mundi that holds us together. This is what happened with the indigenous people of the land where I live now. Although in the more northern portions of Quebec, away from the coast, the Algonkian family bands of the Innu & Naskapi have been allotted to government housing. Their youth suicide rate has been extreme from alcoholism, malnourishment and gas sniffing. The elders and chiefs no longer know what to do, as they are stripped off their culture and game, and traditions that have taken thousands of years to develop since Neanderthals began adapting to survival. I believe these to be my distant ancestors because my background lies in French-Canadian generations, and I shall write more of this in another post about their degeneration by political advance. As I have gradually cleansed negative prospects of my lifestyle and introduced more positive ones, the process of natural selection has taken over for me like they do in the grand chain of being. And admittedly, I AM still a neophyte but continue to reside on the side of the air, trees, water, and animals for my mental sustenance.
…Therefore, we may consequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related ~Plato
So even though we feel out of touch, or may be pushed into awkward situations and forced to eek out a living in a place that is truly not ‘us’, it is still possible to cultivate the right senses, and the growth in the right direction. I am just a vagabond by nature, and whenever migration is chosen, I do not feel the upwelling of distress. But when it is a last resort, it is usually the consequence of the action. Every action has a positive and negative RE-action, so it never has to leave us entirely hopeless. The only ways I have retained the balance through this constant change is by knowing the positive sides and casting out the negative. It may mean separating oneself from certain social contacts that are nothing but leeches, and this MUST be done to ensure survival. It may also mean a recession into the inner-self to attain wisdom. Make oneself the holy temple that can not be penetrated by wrong, only the animal stays. If you have be subjected to the same indifference I have, this does not take away from deep spiritual animism for the bio-region you end up in at any one time. Our real territory is the spirit in transit, and physically it is the organic stuff that makes up the earth, the milky way, the universe. It has nothing to do with imaginary borders, so don’t let this confuse you. Nature switches modes over the entire world, here dry and arid, here wet and lush, here icy, here volcanic and barren, but it does not separate us. Especially homosapiens, who can resist extreme climate and adapt like no other animal. Continents, countries, cities, and ecosystems are not boundaries so why feel bondage by them? Bioregional animism is place, it does not say which place. There is always something like this existing somewhere, even in wasteland. Cling to it for now if you must, even if it be just the grass, weedy plants growing on an abandoned building, a couple stars discernible at night through the haze of streetlamps, the suns rays, the rain/snow against your window and urban animals for they all represent the gaia. They may not be as epic or beautiful as untamed wildness, but when it is a matter of keeping the psychological state balanced, it is important never to let it weaken or be overcome. Sensuality is the archetype, because the senses will be at their finest when they find nature.