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The International Journal of Ecopsychology (IJE)

Abstract

This paper explores some perspectives of indigenous animistic belief systems from researchers who have made observations while studying amongst North American tribes. Specifically, it will address indigenous interactions with the natural world and, in particular, their belief that humans are a part of nature. Next, other perspectives, not rooted in Indigenous belief systems, will be discussed that demonstrate how other cultures and individuals across the globe also view humans as a part of nature, including concepts found in Morita Therapy (Morita, 1928), Arne Naess’ (1987) theory of the ‘ecological self’, and nations around the world that are implementing policies that address ecological crises. Furthermore, the paper will address how a conditional love relationship with nature might lead to humans focusing on the ‘good’ aspects of nature while wanting to eradicate the ‘bad,’ such as COVID-19, through necessary, but also short-term solutions. Finally, long-term solutions based in ecological sciences will be discussed that promote a responsible interconnected relationship with nature in order to prevent, or at least mitigate, the impacts of future epidemics and pandemics.

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