Handbook of Contemporary Animism, 29



Animistic Science of the Earth

Stephan Harding


p. 374 aequation of life (vitality) with functionality of deities immanent in living bodies

"Of interest ... was Thales's assertion that all matter is alive, of "full of gods" ... akin to the equivalents powers within biological entities."

{Already prior to Thales, being alive was (in Hellenic terminology-usage) defined as having capacity for self-movement, so that electricity and magnetism could be accounted as biologic energies. The "innovation" by Thales was to identify such biologic energies as indications of immanence of deities in ordinary material bodies -- a metaphysical result suggestfully implied in standard mythologies, but typically ignored by mythographers and commentators alike.}

{McEvilley evilly, or tendaciously, wrote ("ShATh", p. 327) that "Thales' assertion that "All things are full of gods" may ... attempt to drain the word "god" of religious content." More actually, this assertion would be an effort to assert the immanence of divinities in the material universe, an effort (though apparently ridiculed in the Christian claim that elemental spirits are "weak and beggarly" -- Epistole to the Galatai 4:3, 4:8-9) which was afterward continuated and expanded by Paracelsus (who, as a major author of Renaissance literature, was endeavouring -- as a feasible replacement (as a metaphysical system) for atheistically-tainted (because grossly materialistic) system promoted by Christianity -- so as to redinstitute antient polytheism, and not at all "to drain" it of "religious content") and his Rosicrucian successors such as, "most important" (OLD, p. 20), le Abbe' de Villars (RHR VI:II, p. 202; WHE"CG") and Baron Fouqué (EB"U").}

"ShATh" = Thomas McEvilley : The Shape of Ancient Thought. Allworth Pr, NY, 2002.

OLD = Joseph Andriano : Our Ladies of Darkness. PA State Univ Pr, Univ Park, 1993.


RHR = Arthur Edward Waite : The Real History of the Rosicrucians. London : George Redway, 1887. http://www.sacred-texts.com/sro/rhr/rhr16.htm

WHE"CG" = World Heritage Encyclopedia article "Comte de Gabalis". http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/comte_de_gabalis or http://www.worldlibrary.org/articles/comte_de_gabalis

EB"U" = Encyclopaedia Britannica article "Undine". http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/614337/undine

p. 374 persecution of Hermetic mystic classicists by Christian materialist dogmatists

According to "Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) and other hermetists (such as Pico della Mirandola [1463-94]) ... the material world is saturated with the enlivening influences of the anima mundi (the soul of the world) ... . ... A prominent hermetist was Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), who thought of the planets as huge animals each with its own soul, and who

regarded solar systems (like our own) as the fundamental units in a universe".

{This is the usual cosmology in the Pan~ca-ratra-s, which are somewhat older than Ficino and Bruno.}

"the infamous Marin Mersenne (1588-1648), a Minim Monk,

{The Minim Order, so inimical to animals that its membres "add a fourth vow binding them to abstain from ... eggs, milk, cheese" (EB"M"), is sufficiently to democracy that it was (with some justification) suppressed by the French Republic.}

the sworn enemy of ... hermeticism, ... favoured a purely mechanistic conception of nature ... . One of Mersenne's allies was the priest Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), who

described the universe as a collection of inert atoms obeying mathematical laws imposed from above by ... God."

{In other words, these monks and priests insisted on slandering heaven by falsely alleging a tyrant of a God domineering the world by brute force : a reactionary theology contrived to favor promoting an oppressive social system of feudalist brutes dominating terrorized peasants.}

EB"M" = Encyclopedia Britannica, article "Minim". http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/384040/Minim

p. 375 the intent of Rene' Descartes

"Rene['] Descartes (1596-1650) ... declaring {viz., feigning to propound} that ... nature was ... a vast dead machine (the res extensa)."

{It is now known that he was grandmaster of the French lodge of the Rosicrucians; and that (like Machiavelli in Italy) he feigned reactionary attitudes in order to evade the Inquisition. Rosicrucianism is the disguised aspect Hermeticism, adopted to evade being persecuted a pagan adversaries of materialistic Christianity.}

{"The modern historical period of theological liberalism began, however, with the 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes." http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/590847/theological-liberalism } {"Aczel finds a Rosicrucian Descartes behind the mask, ... Descartes traveling through Europe ... looking up fellow Rosicrucians". http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/masters-and-possessors-of-nature } {"Descartes was in Bohemia to look for Rosicrucians." (Richard Watson : Cogito, Ergo Sum : the Life of René Descartes. p. 104) https://books.google.com/books?id=IRvIQkLFD60C&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq= } {"Descartes had set out in search of the Rosicrucians, and had made contacts with Beekman and Wassenar in Holland, Faulhaber in Germany, and a circle of others." (Gary L. Stewart : Awakened Attitude. ) http://www.crcsite.org/affiliation.htm } [It is unclear whether the author (S.H.) knew these facts, but witheld them -- perhaps to protect modern-day Hermeticists (at their own requaest?) from being further persecuted -- or whatnot.] {Furthermore, as for Descartes, "consider his Jesuit connections and loyalties" (A. C. Grayling : Descartes. NY, 2005. p. 84). The Jesuit Order, a civil-right group much-dedicated to assisting AmerIndians to organize themselves, for that reason became regarded as socio-politically subversive (i.e., a danger to anti-democratic royal re'gime) and was suppressed at the command of the Spanish government : all this civil-rights activity was very much in line with Descartes Hermeticist-Rosicrucian leadership-function.}

p. 375 what which is needed

"Thomas Berry (2000) sums up the worldview shift that is needed ... when he says that we need to understand that "the universe is not a collection of objects, it is a communion of subjects." In other words, we need to ... move ... to a view in which every entity is an experiencing subject, full of creative agency, which is deeply changed {how? : the essence of a soul can never change!} through its interactions with every other entity around it.

{That which is needed is a politico-socio-oikonomic system favoring spiritualist communalism (i.e., anarchist-communist theocracy), to replace to the crassly materialist and fully hypocritical greed-maddened system of ploutokratic capitalism. No general worldview-shift can occur until capitalism is in the process of being abolished, for it is the ploutokrateia of trillionaires that is upholding the dogmata of materialism officiously in the public schools-and-universities.}

Berry points out that every so-called "object" is in fact a subject with its own experience, no matter how rudimentary :

it feels like something to be an electron, an atom, a molecule, an organism, an ecosystem, a planet, a universe."

{Also, and by far more significantly, it feeleth somethingly to be a soul, a spirit, a divinity, a universewide telepathic communality.}

Berry 2000 = Thomas Berry : The Great Work. NY : Harmony Bks.

{Materialist metaphysics is based, socio-oikionomically, on maltreatment of workers as objects to be arbitrarily abused at the merest whim of a ploutokrat-trillionaire ruling-class. A "communion of subjects" cannot co-exist with the inhumanely abusive system of capitalism.}

p. 376 distribution of mind/soul

""mind" or "soul" ... are distributed throughout the universe, which is therefore, as the ancients have said, a great mind or soul in its own right."

{More actually, so-called "cosmic mind", "cosmic soul", and "cosmic intellect" are collective interactions (of a telepathic nature) mutually of vast number of beings, of which entities the praeternatural/supernatural ones are the most meaningful and the most influential.}

p. 376 extended mind {cf. the vibhu as universewide extension of the individual mind}

"the extended mind can be found in the writings of ... Gregory Bateson (1904-80), whose work has been ably analysed and summarized by Charlton (2008). ... Charlton (ibid.:48) points out that Bateson's insights imply ... awareness, which for Bateson is a characteristic of all mental systems, does not depend on ... self-consciousness".

Charlton 2008 = Noel G. Charlton : Understanding Gregory Bateson. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr.

p. 377 always "many minds"?

"there are as many minds -- as many viewpoints on the world -- as there are individual living creatures."

{They may, however, in many circumstances (of interaction) co-function more as a more-or-less unitary whole, than as a multiplicity. In such circumstances, the term individual (or /individuated/) may not be particularly applicable. Also, the term "living creatures" is may not be useful in such a context, for it is conventionally applied mainly to material bodies, rather than to mentality (which is often, as in the case of astral projection, largely dissociated from any material body).}

p. 378 "Gaia" {a materialistic hypothesis vainly contradicting the traditional understanding of elemental spirits as basis of metaphysics}

"the British scientist James Lovelock, ... adopted Gaia as the name (suggested to him by his friend William Golding) for the theory of a living, self-regulated Earth. His investigations ... led him to formulate

the bold and startling hypothesis that living beings on this planet have not only generated our atmosphere, but also actively regulated it, keeping it at a composition favourable for life over thousands of millions of years. This was a radical suggestion, for until recently scientists believed that ... It was ... the non-living world of

{The only thing "startling" about this hypothesis is its impiously omitting to mention of the responsibility of the Sylphs (who are the Elemental Spirits charged -- by other categories of spirits -- with the duty of maintaining the atmosphaire). In general, Elemental Spirits (who are living spirits abiding in inanimate substances) are more powerful and efficacious than mere souls dwelling in mortal (al-be-it "living") bodies; and it is unreasonable not to admit that they interco-operatively maintain not only the meteorology of the atmosphaire , but also (depending on the particular category of Elemental Spirit) the tectonic geological processes and likewise the hydrology of the planet. [written May 20 2015]}


{inhabited by Gnomes}


{inhabited by Sylphs}

and water

{inhabited by Undines}

which determined the Earth's key surface properties such as temperature."

{Not only do the elemental spirits control the fluctuations in weather, but also they control fluctuating anomalies in the planet's magnetic field and, therewith, the details of the movement of the magnetic poles of the planet. Furthermore, through controlling local variation in operation of the fundamental forces of physics, they control our own material bodies, and, thus, some aspects of our moods, our sentiments, our emotions. [written May 20 2015]}

p. 379 animate chemical elements

"we speak of CHNOPS -- carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur -- the six major chemical elements {3 solid, and 3 gaseous} that are of vital important for life on our planet {and, praesumably, on every inhabited planet in the material plane}. An animistic science of the Earth {or of any planet} teaches teaches us that chemistry need no longer be thought of ... as if ... dead, static cogs."

{CARBON, praepared by, e.g., CARBONari headquartered in Sardinia/Sardon (the sardonic), is etymologically that island's namesake (both from Skt /S`aradha/), mentioned (in Kemetic records) as one of the "Peoples of the Sea".} {Also known as /Heos-phoros/ (violet flame), /Phos-phoros/ (implicative of the expression /phos kai zoe/) 'luminance bearer' is, in Latin, 'Luci-fer' : both are names for the same planet (much-esteemed by Hermetics/Rosi-crucians/Free-masons) when regarded as a deity in the mythology.} {/SULPHur/ is an extended form of the name /SYLPH/, the aerial (significant as a divine spirit in Chinese al-chemy) able to imply the gaseous elements of this (CHNOPS) vitalist hexad.}

{Although the mortal material bodies inhabited by souls are based in simply this vitalist hexad, other chemical elements are of greater significance for elemental spirits inhabiting non-living chemical formats : thus, e.g., also for the "Carbonari" (ThS, p. 191) of significance is the mason-# "41" (ThS, p. 190) which the atomic # of Ni[h]obium (< */NISaG-/), is etymologically cognate with the name /NIStiGri/ of (in the mythology) the mother of /INDRa/ (etymologically /yITRaN/ the deity worshipped by Yitro^ the praeceptor of Mo^seh). 41 is the 13th prime; and the virtues of # 13 are touted in the WhG, whose author R.G. wrote the "Introduction" to ThS. [written May 21 2015] }

ThS = Idries Shah : The S[.]ufis. Garden City (NY) : Doubleday, 1964. (reprinted 1977 and often thereafter; translated into French, Spanish, German, etc.) https://books.google.com/books?id=S6pLvb5FYE0C&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=

WhG = Robert Graves : The White Goddess.

p. 379 proto-subjectivity

"The inner nature of chemical elements must entail a kind of proto-subjectivity, since, in the words of the philosopher J. McDaniel (1983:306), "our own subjective experiences are highly developed forms of what there was in the beginning, sub-microscopic matter", and "'matter' and 'mind' are simply names for different types of actual occasions of experience".

{More actually, subjectivity is a quality of the atman, experienced through some manner of body [whether (material) deha or (subtle) kaya or divya (divine)]; and, during any duration wherein the soul is encased in a body, there may be an impraecise tendency to ascribe the atman's own quality to that body.}

For philosopher Christian DeQuincey (2002:ix, referring to insights of great ... A. N. Whitehead), "matter tingles with interiority" and "matter feels to its deepest roots"."

McDaniel 1983 = J. McDaniel : "Physical Matter as Creative and Sentient". ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS 5:291-317.

{Not only must the soul's active subjectivity be distinguished from the inertness of the material body; but also the soul's qualities of activity must be distinguished from the inertness of the immaterial subtle bodies (suks.ma kaya), which are mere sheathes (maya-kos`a) for the soul (atman).}

p. 380 Gaia & anima mundi

"Gaia and anima mundi ... could well be prefigured ... in the very molecules and atoms ... in the very materiality of the Earth herself. ... If this be true ... then Gaia may well be a domain ... which ... quickens and intensifies the planet-wide {geological} interactions among atoms, rocks, atmosphere and water that Earth literally awakens and begins to experience ... as alive and sentient."

{/Gaia/ is likely repraesentative of a (reconstructed} */Gaiha/ (which ought to be the Linear B form), cognate name of with Zend goddess /Jeh/ (< */Jes-/), who (in the Zaratustrian eschatology) is to devour the other deities. This may repraesent, in the plane of feelings, the terrestrial breeder-reactor activity involving uranium's transmuting other elements radioactively in the planet's core ("D-ER"; "NREC"). [written May 19 2015]}

"D-ER" = "Deep-Earth Reactor". http://www.pnas.org/content/98/20/11085.full.pdf

"NREC" = "Nuclear Reactors at Earth's Core". NATURE 15 May 2008. http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080515/full/news.2008.822.html

{"The new theory would also bring Earth's life to an end far earlier" ("Nuclear Reactor at the Center of the Earth")". http://www.rense.com/general27/cner.htm }

{"A sign of uranium fuel depletion at the core ... indicates the end of the georeactor's lifetime to be rapidly approaching" ("Nuclear Heart of the Earth"). http://www.spacedaily.com/news/earth-03k.html }

{In the planetary core, magnetic fields and electric flux co-operate in molten metallic alloys to condense and to concentrate radioactive isotopes, forming conditions of a nuclear breeder-reactor (however "top-secret" such conditions may be officially "classified").}

p. 381 "most of" the biomass?!

"bacteria make up most of the biosphere's biomass." {How is this counter-intuitive aestimate calculated?}

{Actually, they are so tiny that their own total weight is only a fraction of that of the totality of living material bodies : though the quantity of chemical poison (as, putridity in a decaying corpse) may be fairly large, the bacteria's own bodies are by far less massive than this; even though at any moment the mass of decaying corpses may be in excess beyond the mass of living bodies.}

{Fungi are more important in the decay of corpses of dead plants; so that the living fungal biomass is likely to exceed that of living bacteria (since the totality of plant-biomass is, by quite a large multiple more, than that of the totality of animals) -- "several tonnes of mycelium can exist in one hectare of ... forest" (infra, p. 382). But the mass of corpses of dead bacteria and of dead fungi combined is at any moment considerable -- these, however, are not to be reckoned as "biomass".} {In sea-water (which is many times more abundant than fresh water), the biomass of photosynthetic algae must be, by far, greater than that of saprophagic bacteria; so that it may be that algae constitute most of this planet's biomass.}

p. 381 social life of bacteria

"Bacteria are vastly important for an animistic understanding of the Earth because their astounding communicative abilities mean that they have created an ancient (but constantly updated) global network of information transfer that constitutes a vastly intelligent global "mind" ... . ...

{Shamans who (in the dream-world) seek the curation of the ailing (who are their patients in the waking-world), often operate in realms of disease-deities, who are found to be amply communicative and in charge of networks of information-transfer, intelligent and mindful.}

Bacterial ... communication is of such startling complexity that it resembles the basic grammatical structure of human language, so much so that scientists are now talking about bacterial syntax and even about bacterial social intelligence. This sophisticated bacterial language allows for such tight coordination among different species in bacterial colonies that they are best described as multicellular superorganisms. As in human language, the meaning of a given bacterial signal depends entirely on context ... .

A key researcher in this field ... speaks of bacteria leading "rich social lives", developing "collective memory" and "common knowledge", of having "group identity", of being able to "recognize the identity of other colonies", of "learning from experience", or "improving themselves" and of engaging in "group decision making", all of which add up to social intelligence analogous to that of "primates, birds and insects" (Ben-Jacob et al. 2004)."

Ben-Jacob et al. 2004 = Eshel Ben-Jacob; Israela Becker; Yoash Shapira; & Herbert Levine : "Bacterial Linguistic Communication and Social Intelligence". TRENDS IN MICROBIOLOGY 12.8:366-72.

pp. 382-3 sentience of fungi

p. 382

"The Gaian significance of fungi is that they ... have invented ... intimate associations ... essentially mind-like ... to send information ..., thereby mediating a networked intelligence within the world of plants. ... What is of great interest to animistic scientists is that fungi possess an eerie intelligence, and ... a peculiar sense of self to boot. ...

According to Paul Stamets [2004], mycelia are ... the "neurological network ..." which sense the movements of organisms upon the land ... thanks to complex signaling ...

p. 383

through the communal spaces of their interlocking ... .

Mycologists Alan Rayner and Christian Taylor describe fungi as "brains in the soil" that have no need of the appendages and organs that encumber animals such as ourselves {or rather, not our "appendages" in particular, but our material bodies in general encumbre us}. ... Like all good brains, fungi solve problems ... . Fungi think slowly ..., but this gives them time to make good decisions."

Stamets 2004 = Paul Stamets : Mycelium Running : a Guide to Healing the Planet ... . Berkeley : Ten Speed Pr.

p. 384 modern-day resurgence of Hermetic philosophy

"Once again we witness the return of the hermeticists' animating spirits of the world".

{Such "spirits of the world", though they remote-control material world, basically reside in subtle planes-of-existence beyond the ready ken of mortal beings (who can visit them only in dreams and in trances).}


Graham Harvey (ed.) : Handbook of Contemporary Animism. Acumen Publ, Durham; ISD, Bristol, 2013.