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A Viable Animism

Why the Worldview That Will Save Our Planet is More Credible Than the One That is Destroying it

CONTENTS

Introduction

The Bomb That White Dropped (I) 3

In which an astronaut tells of a cosmic epiphany, and the themes of this book get a scholarly christening.

1

The Good Bishop 6

In which famine depletes a wig-powder supply, and matter depends on the hand and the eye.

2

Saint David 14

In which states lay down limits and drivers obey them, and science is based on intractable mayhem.

3

Zombies, Armadillos and Square Roots 22

In which specters and swamp creatures spook the academy, and bats are much more than their neural anatomy.

4

Ravens, Elk and Magic Bullets 31

In which a starving man drinks from the teats of a moose, and frames of reference determine truths.

5

Zooming Out and Zooming In 46

In which apples and oranges are summed, and measurement obscures what comes.

6

To Be or Not To Be 60

In which Peugeot produces a brand new car, and existence is simply what you are.

7

We’ll Always Have Paris 72

In which Holmes hears no barks and uncovers a horse with them, and Cartesians are guilty of anthropomorphism.

Conclusion

The Bomb That White Dropped (II) 81

In which Francis the pope says what Francis, his guide, would, and we all can return to our animist childhood.

Appendix

The Noble Savage, or: Was It No Better in the Past? 89

Notes 91

Zombies, Armadillos and Square Roots

Zombies are not only an obsession of teenage horror movie geeks. An older, better educated, and more refined sector of the population is turned on by them as well. Witness the following titles: Continue reading Zombies, Armadillos and Square Roots

The Good Bishop

One day I, Chuang Zhou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

—Chuang Tzu

In 1744 the Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland, published the bestselling book of his lifetime, one that ran through six editions in the first year of its publication. Continue reading The Good Bishop

“O Switzerland!” Interview

The questions are from Satu Binggeli. This interview is also on the Bergli Books website. 

Can you explain the title of the book? 

The title of the book consists of the first two words of the book, and comes from a letter that Mark Twain wrote to a friend in 1878 expressing his longing to return to Switzerland. In the context of this letter, “O Switzerland!” is a cry in the vein of Continue reading “O Switzerland!” Interview