The Wakeful World : Animism, Mind and the Self in Nature by Emma Restall Orr



Over the past few hundred years, animism has been dismissed as a primitive, naïve and irrational perspective, relevant perhaps amongst tribal peoples but not within the intellectual arenas of the civilised West. In The Wakeful World, Emma Restall Orr argues that this is based on the misrepresentation, ‘drawn in crayon’, that each tree and stone has its own Christian-like immortal soul. With the popularity of animism growing once more, this book provides the comprehensive definition so urgently needed.

Taking the reader on a philosophical adventure, Restall Orr explores the heritage of Western thought with precision, enthusiasm and sensitivity, considering how soul, spirit, mind and consciousness have been understood through millennia. Challenging the prevailing worldviews of materialism and dualism, she outlines the alternatives, presenting animism as a radically different, yet mature and coherent philosophy.

Providing deep green ethics with a wholly rational metaphysical foundation, The Wakeful World is a compelling view of the nature of existence and the experience of reality, giving solid ground for the now necessary journey to an integrated and sustainable world.

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Emma Restall Orr (born 1965) is a British neo-druid, animist, priest, poet and author . She worked for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids in the early 1990s, becoming an Ovate tutor. In 1993 she became joint chief of the British Druid Order (BDO) staying until 2002. Together with the Order founder Philip Shallcrass, she developed the BDO into one of the largest and most influential of its time. Feeling the system of Orders too limiting, in 2002 she created The Druid Network, which was officially launched at Imbolc 2003. Since the late 1990s she has organised the largest annual gatherings of Druids and those interested in Druidry, first at The Awen Camp with Philip Shallcrass, then since 2001 The Druid Camp with Mark Graham. In 2004 she founded Honouring the Ancient Dead.

Newsnight With Emma Restall Orr – Honouring the Ancient Dead

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