Why The Aspiring Animist?

We can’t become something because we call ourselves a particular name. I want to be an animist, but I know that I am deeply conditioned by materialistic thought, and other influences – and that means, for the moment I can honestly only aspire to be an animist. Maybe one day I will get there.

This is a blog about thinking, and learning to think the way we want to. That means there is a lot of unthinking to be done – de-conditioning of the psyche. Its not quite Materialists Anonymous, but the truth is that if we want to develop deeper spiritual insight we must all see ourselves as Recovering Materialists. We should be taking it one day at a time.

We have imbibed the essential messages of Materialism as mother’s milk from the day we were born. We are conditioned by, and addicted to, a way of thinking that does not serve us or other lives well. And even with our best intentions escape is immensely difficult. If its not, you are not trying hard enough. Am I doing more than performing a role that is little more than a pretense to be something I want to be – am I actually being who I want to be?

Some few people can escape to the fringes of the ‘system’. Others, like me, are burdened with the task of remaining within it – maybe to change it from within. We are surrounded by materialism. We breathe it, we are saturated by it. We risk being hypnotised by it and sedated if we are not careful.
It is well said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. I am not a preacher or a teacher. I just like making arguments and saying things that stimulate and agitate – reviving vigilance.


I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. I have been a lifelong experiencer of psi phenomena, which led me into esoteric philosophy when I was 16 – and that was a long time ago now. I trained in the Western Mystery Tradition and then in Wicca. I have qualifications in Social Ecology. My primary interest is in the challenges of transitioning from materialistic thinking to animistic thought. I am also trying to reimagine religion as a rational response to an existential awareness that reality is living. In my day job I am a state bureaucrat with, most recently, 17 years in the disability sector. Since April 2008 I have lived with an acquired disability of my own. It’s not something I recommend for everybody, but it has been a useful stimulant that has spurred me to greater vigilance.


I am happy to take comments and engage in conversations up to a point [I have to manage my time here and I know conversations can become lengthy and time consuming -and hence beyond my capacity to sustain them. So please don’t think me rude if you think I have cut you off too short]. You can email me at the address below if you want to engage in a conversation that may go on for some time. Its easier for me to use email for longer interchanges.

Michael Patterson