Animism: A Spirit Within All
What would you consider a living entity? Does it have pre-existing conditions that have to be met such as a pulse or breathing? Does your idea of a living being consist of movement or some mode of transportation? What about needs to be met such as food, water, and oxygen? While for some of you out there, this may be a requirement, there are some who find a soul exists within everything. Not only do they find a soul in humans and animals, they also find a soul in entities outside of the two: From the rocks to the trees to even the wind that blows though our hair, everything harbors a soul or spirit within.
Derived from the Latin word for Life, Animism is the belief that everything and everywhere, living and non, carry a distinct soul within. Evidence for this practice can be found in many beliefs and faiths around the world. It's existence can be traced by before that of even Paganism, thus putting it in the spot for the oldest belief to exist. And, like many other beliefs, it still around the world today. Those who often follow this belief generally come from indigenous tribes and traditional societies, though some in today's society claim to be firm believers as well.
It is even said that Shamans are included within this structure to some degree, regardless of being traditional or contemporary. As healers within the human world and the messenger between us and the world beyond our senses, they journey into the beyond to find an answer or remedy to an affliction within their human world. That the spirits around them, whether they be human or something else, eventually help lead them to the answer or solution they seek out. The land, the trees, even the forces we as humans cannot normally feel, all of it speaks to the shaman who is in need of guidance or an answer and helps teach them what to look for.
Learning this much, this raises a question for me: Does Ayahuasca possibly allow us to interact with animism personally? I often hear of people speaking of interacting with things, with the room around them. How they could connect to the people in that very room, and seeing the items around them suddenly holding a key note with what is in tune with them. Touching bases with something on a level most people never tap into anymore?