Animism (from Latin anima, “breath, spirit, life”) is the worldview that non-human entities, such as animals, plants, and inanimate objects, possess a Spiritual Essence. In a future state this Soul or Spirit would exist as part of an Immaterial Soul. The Spirit, therefore, was thought to be Universal.
Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of some indigenous tribal people, especially prior to the development of organized religion. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, “Animism” is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples’ “Spiritual” or “Supernatural” perspectives. The Animistic perspective is so fundamental, mundane, everyday and taken-for-granted that most Animistic indigenous people do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to it.
Animism encompasses the belief that there is no separation between the Spiritual and Physical (or Material) World, and Souls or Spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in some other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows. Animism thus rejects Cartesian Dualism. Animism may further attribute Souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in Mythology.