Definition of animism:
- The belief that inanimate objects and the phenomena of nature are endowed with personal life or a living soul; also, in an extended sense, the belief in the existence of soul or spirit apart from matter.
- The doctrine, taught by Stahl, that the soul is the proper principle of life and development in the body.
They lacked no less the ideas and practices of shamanism, the universal accompaniment of animism: namely, the belief that certain men, through communication with the animate supernatural world, had the power to accomplish what was contrary to, or rather above, the events of daily ordinary experience, which latter in so far as they were distinguished from the happenings caused by supernatural agencies, were of natural, meaningless, and, as it were, accidental origin.- "The Religion of the Indians of California", A. L. Kroeber.
- "Essay on the Creative Imagination", Th. Ribot.
It took for granted this spiritual- unspiritual background of animism, ancestor- worship and Taoism, but reshaped and adapted it as a whole so that it might fit into that proper organization of the state and nation which was one of its great objectives.- "Buddhism and Buddhists in China", Lewis Hodus.