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Aboriginal Australians on the Ensouled Land

When it comes to being respectful towards nature, we can learn a lot from indigenous cultures. This is very much the case with the worldviews of Aboriginal Australians. They believe in an ensouled world where everything that exists has consciousness and hence deserves care:

Animals, trees, rains, sun, moon ~ all are conscious. They watch us humans, and think about us. No one person, animal, tree or hill knows everything, and the purposes of much that exists may remain obscure to others. It is important, therefore, to bear in mind that obscurity, from a human point of view, is not the same as purposelessness. There is a profound sense that this world was not created specifically for human beings. Wisdom for humans lies in being aware of life systems and in behaving responsibly so as to sustain the created world. Aboriginal people in many parts of Australia see and understand that other living things ~ birds, kangaroos, flying foxes, Rainbow Snakes and all the rest of them ~ also know that wisdom lies in being aware of life systems and in behaving responsibly.[1]

The Aboriginal worldviews particularly encourage people to take care of their places and its beings. Some Aboriginal people believe that foetal humans are animated by a spirit from their places, hence their attachment to their places and their motivation to take responsibility for them.


Let's imagine if we all shared the approach Aboriginal Australians have towards nature. Perhaps we would treat nature with more respect.


[1] Bird, Deborah Rose (1996): Nourishing Terrains: Australian Aboriginal Views of landscape and wilderness. Australian Heritage Commission. Canberra, p. 28.


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