This article is addressed to those people who aren’t sure about the answer to this question. I am sure that many animal lovers will reply without hesitation that animals demonstrate spiritual characteristics, often to a greater degree than some humans. (!) But others aren’t so sure.
A brief manifesto here. My comments are not based on scientific evidence, but on common sense. Heaven help us humans when certain authorities insist that we cannot and should not rely on, or give credence to, the evidence of our senses, our own personal observations and our powers of deduction. How dull and meaningless life would be if we forfeited our own powers of intelligence, observation, and even knowingness – those qualities which are inborn and ours to use as we see fit. I love science and the scientific method, but it is not the end-all of existence. It has its important uses, but should not supplant our innate abilities.
So, back to the question of animals. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel like I had the picture for many years. Not all animals demonstrate the level of intelligence of humans, and so it was hard for me to conceive of what kind of spirits animals and creatures might be. Then I read an amazing, mind-blowing book by my long-time friend, graphic artist and marine mammal advocate Jon Soeder. It is called “True Tails.” In this book Jon revealed for the first time publicly a side of him few had guessed at and that I certainly had not known.
The book tells how at the age of two he discovered that he could hear the thoughts of the animals and other creatures around him, and was able to converse with them via thought. In this book he narrates many anecdotes from his lifetime in which he had communication with animals, birds, insects, reptiles. By reading these stories, you become aware of the distinct and unique nature and personalities of various animals, and what kinds of things they communicate about and live for. This is no airy-fairy invention of complex personalities like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland with his stopwatch. No, some creatures have very very simple, survival-oriented lives and don’t get into things of cosmic complexity, because it isn’t in their nature.
In his stories about the animals he has encountered, Jon makes sure to mention objective facts such as observation of the unusual animal behavior by others in his surroundings – often these observations are evidence that something out of the ordinary did transpire.
Jon’s book was a revelation to me that moved me profoundly. It connected me with the world of animals in a way that hadn’t been possible before, because finally I knew that we are dealing with spiritual entities – like us, spirits playing the game of the physical universe in the form of particular animals.
It is clear to me that Jon (and other sensitive individuals) could not communicate with animals through the exchange of thoughts and images if there were no spiritual entity to receive – and send – that communication. A dead piece of wood and a stone normally do not think or speak. They do not possess living energy. But an animal does, and it is that living energy which is the spiritual part of the animal.
My friend, Khanada, told me of things she does with her dog that demonstrate the dog’s psychic ability to read her thoughts. She wrote to me:
“You know if you have a pet there are ways to test this ability and get instant results. One of my dogs cannot help but come to me when I visualize an invisible collar and leash and I pull her toward me when she doesn’t want to come.
“When my other dog doesn’t want to come then I visualize petting and loving on her and she cannot help but come to me. Of course, once she gets to me I always reward her with that love before doing what I originally intended to do (such as clip her nails). Anyway, the power of the mind is awesome. I’ve found that animals are 100% attuned to this power and I believe it is how they communicate since they don’t use words.”
I do not believe that dogs could have such sensitivity to their humans’ thoughts if they themselves did not themselves have extra-sensory abilities – that is, have a spiritual nature.
Native Americans had a profound belief in the spiritual nature of everything in the universe; their spirit guides were and are invariably an animal or bird or other creature. In fact, they believe that every object and animal was created from and possesses spirit. To the modern person, that may seem extreme. I do not believe it is extreme in the least. I believe it is profound, particularly from the perspective that the entire universe was created by one or more great spirits. What is it that keeps matter together? At its heart, not in contradiction of scientific laws, it could be the original commanding thought, “Let there be matter.”
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Many many years ago in the chaparral hills of Southern California I heard coyotes howling together at the moon in an eerie and haunting wail. I wondered what made them create such a mournful, wistful sound. The thought came to me that they were mourning their ancient loss of freedom… they were longing for the days when they
flew free of earthly bonds, as powerful, free spirits.