Everything is animated

Hillman: Somehow we've got to see that "personal relationship" is a symptom of our culture. 

Read what the Muslims feel, what the tribal societies feel, what we know of antique culture, of Chinese culture today: they weren't hung up on romantic love, as we are, expecting all our sexual fantasies, and other fantasies, to be fulfilled by the person we sleep with. Why are we in our Western culture of the nineties, in the therapeutic culture of the white bread world, so hung up on the significant other for fulfillment?

: You tell me, Doc. 'Cause we're just like everybody else, you and I, full of longing to have our sexual fantasies fulfilled - or at least serviced.

: All right, I will tell you! My obsessive sexual fantasies, and yours, come straight from Descartes. Because Descartes, the good Jesuit-trained Christian that he was, declared to Western civilization that only human persons have souls. No soul anywhere else. And, since love always seeks soul, you've got to have a "significant other," as psychology calls it.

That's why we have those images on billboards, in the movies, on the tube, of hungry mouths kissing, the divinely perfect man and divinely perfect woman with lost soft eyes and luscious washed hair, flying into each other's arms, getting it on. Notice these couples are always isolated. On an empty beach, a sailboat, a private bathtub. No other voices. Just us.

... The only solution can come when the world is re-animated, when we recognize how alive everything is, and how desirable.

Maybe that's what consumerism and advertising are really all about, unconsciously, compulsively: a way to rekindle our desire for the world.

[James Hillman]
with Michael Ventura
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.177, 178, 184

A famous Japanese anthropologist Iwata argues that among the Japanese as well as most southeast Asian people, whether the people are formally Buddhists or Christians, there exists an intuition of animism. 

Everything surrounding human life, including mountains, hills, rivers, plants, trees, animals, fish and insects, has its own spirit (kami), and these spirits communicate with one another as well as with those who live there. Apparently most Japanese are familiar with such spirits, and experience them: natural things cannot, therefore, be seen by them merely as objects, as in Western science.

We should be careful before we patronise or dismiss any element of this sophisticated culture, in which there have been high standards of education and literacy for centuries during which half our populations could barely sign their name.

[Iain McGilchrist]
The Master and his Emissary, p. 453

It is a question of restoring to nature - to space, to things, to landscape - those characteristics of distance and foreignness to mankind that were hidden in the epoch of individualism, when man projected his feelings, his passions, his lyrical ardor, onto reality to make it closer to him.

It is a question of rediscovering the language of the inanimate that cannot manifest until the “soul” has ceased to impose itself on things.

This is the sense in which nature can speak to us of transcendence. Our attention automatically shifts from some principal aspects of nature to others that are more propitious for opening us up to the nonhuman and the nonindividual.

To return the world to a calm, stable, clear, and cool state; to restore to it its elementarity, its self-contained grandeur—this was also said to be the demand of the “new objectivity.” Here prominence was justly given not to insensibility, but to a different kind of sensibility.

[…] it is a matter of a human type whom nature no longer interests by offering him what is “artistic,” rare, characteristic; he who no longer seeks in nature the "beauty” that merely feeds confused nostalgias and speaks to fantasy.

He hears the language of things of the world not among trees, brooks, beautiful gardens, before oleographic sunsets and romantic moonlight, but rather in deserts, rocks, steppes, murky Nordic fjords, the implacable, tropical sun, great ocean currents - in fact, in everything primordial and inaccessible.

If for the bourgeois generation nature was a kind of idyllic Sunday interlude of small-town life, and if for the latest generation it is the stage for acting out its vacuous, invasive, and contaminating vulgarity, it is for our differentiated man a school of objectivity and distance; it is something fundamental in his sense of existence, exhibiting an absolute character. 

At this point one can clearly speak of a nature that in its elementarity is the great world where the stone and steel panoramas of the metropolis, the endless avenues, the functional complexes of industrial areas are on the same level, for example, as great, solitary forests as symbols of a fundamental austerity, objectivity, and impersonality.  

[Julius Evola]
Ride the Tiger, p. 125-6