Three Damaging Programs That Keep Us From Being True Animists

damaging programs

Einstein said, ““Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.” If we want to make a deep switch to animism, we have to challenge some of the damaging programs we inherited. These damaging programs are hidden within us and operate without our conscious thoughts. They permeate our culture. If we want to change ourselves, we have to change our mindset. Here are three examples of what I mean.

Man Has Dominion Over the Earth

This quote is in the Bible. God gives men dominion over women, children, animals, plants, and minerals. We see the result of this thinking everywhere: domestic violence, gender inequality in the workplace, sexual assault, child abuse, toxic food production, toxic medical care, 5G,  consumerism, animal abuse, dietary choices, environmental destruction, widespread chemical use, and the way that we pollute the planet.

When we see ourselves as equals with other humans, plants, animals, and the mineral kingdoms, we stop exploiting people and things. We stop thinking of ourselves as individuals and see ourselves within the web of life. This can lead to attitudes of conservation, reciprocity, and respect. 

So many people take whatever they want without any thought of who they are hurting or taking from. Some judge and expect other people to live in the way that they choose, forgetting that we are our own masters. Imagine a world where I’m okay, you’re okay, and we don’t have to worry about being dominated or exploited. When we give up our attitude of entitlement, this becomes possible.

Money is How We Keep Score

Ted Turner said, “Life is a game. Money is how we keep score.” This type of thinking has many people grinding their life away. They mortgage their future for things they can have now that show the world how “successful” they are. Or they live in fear that there is not enough. That they are not enough because they don’t have huge piles of money.

Or maybe they engage in business practices to maximize profit over lifestyle quality or environmental health. As consumers, perhaps they go for what’s cheap rather than what is healthy.

When you change your measuring stick from money to connection, all this goes away. You focus on something that will actually make you happier and give you a purpose. It’s insanity that we spend so much time searching for a purpose that will make us lots of money when that is exactly the path that can take us away from connection and purpose. I am not saying that you can’t be wealthy and happy. I am suggesting that making that the focus of your life increases fear and disconnection.

Nature provides. Trust. Connect. Life is not a game. It’s an experience. If you have an experience, you win. If you use the feedback from that experience to grow in the direction of sovereignty and connection, you’ll probably live well.

They Lived Happily Ever After

I am always talking about how important stories are to spiritual and cultural development. “They lived happily ever after” is one line that is a hugely damaging program. It sends the message that if I am not happy all the time, I’m failing. That’s just not possible. The wheel of life is always turning, so we will have times that are not abundant, not happy, and not safe. That’s life. And then it swings back the other way. We just roll with it.

Nobody gets to the top and stays there. There is always another mountain to climb. That’s what makes life interesting and challenging. We can’t grow without that. So happiness is not a good yardstick for how we’re doing. It can be feedback that helps us to shift course, but it’s not a reward for goodness or hard work.

At its root, animism is just about believing that everything is conscious. If that belief isn’t grounded in behavior, it’s not particularly worthwhile or meaningful. The behavior can’t flow if it’s impeded by damaging programs. If you catch something like this living in you, challenge it. If it’s not working for you, delete it. I think you will find that your animist spirituality deepens and doorways open.