A Viable Animism (Alles ist beseelt)


Alles ist beseelt. (Everything is alive.) If we believed this, we might treat our planet, other life forms and each other rather differently. In fact, believing that Alles ist beseelt might be the best thing that we could all do, not just to save the planet, but also to enrich our own lives.

But we can’t believe something just because we think it would be beneficial to believe it. We believe things when we are convinced that they are true. And it seems to many of us that Alles ist beseelt is, well, obviously and blatantly untrue.

Ashley Curtis wants to change this. In nine vivid and entertaining chapters he takes us on a magical mystery tour of the assumptions behind both animist (Alles ist beseelt) and non-animist (Wenig ist beseelt [few things are alive]) worldviews. Through playful encounters with philosophers and physicists, hunters and shamans, talking trees and receptive rivers, our apparently well-ordered world of subject and object, mind and matter, consciousness and inert things is turned upside down and inside out. In the end we find ourselves in a new world, one that is not only saveable, but all the more worth saving.

Alles ist Beseelt was published in its German translation by Sabine Wolf in September 2021.

Order the German edition from the Kommode Press here for shipping within Switzerland.

Order here for shipping within the UK, and here for shipping within the US.

Publication of the English original by the Kommode Press is scheduled for spring 2022.