As a psychologist of religion, I should like to make some observations about the relationship between the human psyche and the other-than-human natural world, in particular as one tradition in psychology sees that relationship. Let me begin by quoting words I take to be both exemplary for the tradition in question and pertinent to our discussion of "nature religion":
Yet there is so much that fills me: plants, animals, clouds, day and night, and the eternal in man. The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown up in me a feeling of kinship with all things. In fact it seems to me as if that alienation which so long separated me from the world has become transferred into my own inner world, and has revealed to me an unexpected unfamiliarity with myself.
This striking passage appears on the last page of C.G. Jung's autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, written at the end of his long life and career in psychology. It was initially pointed out to me for its evocative oddness by James Hillman, Jung's revisionist successor, in connection with a theme Hillman has pursued since at least 1982, when he published an article on it entitled "Anima Mundi : The Return of the Soul to the World."
By this Hillman means the return of psychological subjectivity to the outer, non-human world, including the...