To respond to the world as alive is an index of spiritual health, and there is no real boundary to the perspective. Once trees become the subject of a relationship, so does grass; and before you know it - so do bricks and plastic.
The whole things is alive (although in greatly differing degrees and with different qualities) - and not just alive but in some manner of communication with us. So we arrive at the concluding simplification that life is communication.
Communication is not the purpose of life, but it is the basis of life - it is the medium in which meaning, purpose and relationship can be established.
(How could there be meaning, purpose and relationship without communication? And why, then, would communication be arbitrarily restricted?)
But without communication, or with communication restricted to one or a few species or only biological entities - then the world is only partially-meaningful, which means the world is NOT meaningful- which is a reductio ad absurdum - ergo communication is universal.
How is this? Well, there are the things created by God - organized by God - and for God's purposes (which are very much to do with us, as individual persons) - and the rest is sub-created by Man (Man being comprised of Sons and Daughters of God, and containing some of the divine spark).
So how could there not be universal communication?
There could not not!
Of course some of Man's sub-creative capacity is used with evil intent; to destroy. Therefore communications may be of suffering as well as of joy. The landscape (as well as the beings) of Mordor communicate suffering (mostly) - and so does earthly mutilation and defacement and inversion - which is why these are painful to behold. There is a crying-out.
Against this we can and must recall the possibility of healing: there is no suffering so great or complete as to be beyond divine healing - and divine complete healing is promised. So all suffering can be met with hope: a hope that is certainty.
And that hope comes from communication which goes beyond this earthly mortal life - communication with the other realm, the spiritual realm, including Heaven.
This is the magnitude of our task! - of the vast change in perspective which is necessary!
To cease to deny the reality of a living and communicating world; and to dwell, instead, in the actuality of a completely-alive and universally-communicating world!
Note added: The animistic world is not an hypothesis nor a discovery - it is a metaphysical assumption; and, as such, the framework for all possible hypotheses and discoveries - that framework within-which empirical evidence is gathered. And it is the basis for a whole way of life: a whole mode of living.
Such metaphysical assumptions cannot be proven, nor disproven - they are chosen (or passively-accepted). The choice of metaphysic has consequences, consequences flow-from it; but these neither confirm nor refute the metaphysical assumption.
If you want to hold the assumption of an animistic world; then that is simply a choice: your choice. The choice may then be validated or disconfirmed by divine revelation (or maybe neither); or your state of happiness, goodness, spirituality (etc.) may change (surely will change) - but these are the only species, kinds or qualities of evaluative feedback possible. Nobody can prove you are wrong (or right).
I rather like the animistic metaphysic. It has about it a certain elegance and creates room for such aesthetics as strings, music, spheres, resonance and harmony - also discord and distortion. There is a place for entropy also and metastability.
And so, if the media is an inseparable part of the message, there is a completeness and sufficiency to it, and time is the means by which the narrative that is intrinsic to the universe unfolds much as symphony is complete as a score and is realized through the playing.
Man has an interesting place in this. We tune and detune as an instrument; not unlike the harp in the folk tune "Cruel Sister" and can play woefully about hidden crimes, joyfully in ecstasy, softly in blissfulness, harshly in anger, sharply in fear, and sympathetically to those around us as we come in and out of tune.
see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3S2brPXjEM&list=PL8B97431D81B62E3F&index=4 (for Pentangle performing "Cruel Sister"
I have been an animist since I was 14, when alone deep in the woods of Vermont I felt strongly that I was being watched, and not with friendship, but with wariness.
You might want to check out Dembski's latest book, Being as Communion: a Metaphysics of Information. It's in agreement with this post.
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