Feeling like an animal

May
7
2010
by
Lynne McTaggart
/
50
Comments

To the scientific community, an animal is essentially still perceived as nothing much more than a robot with an array of chemical processes, without the ability to register much more than the crudest pain or fear—certainly none of the more complicated human feelings such as excitement, boredom, annoyance, anger or suspicion.
Mark S. Blumberg, of the University of Iowa, and Greta Sokoloff, of Indiana University in Bloomington, number among the most vocal proponents of the behaviorist view, claiming that the idea that animals process emotion is pure fiction and ‘anthropomorphic’.
A variation of this theme is the suggestion that animals have a kind of ‘animal consciousness’ that is far less sophisticated than ours. 
So it came as a shock to many in the field when researchers at the University of Stirling in the UK published stills in Current Biology last week from video footage they’d taken showing how chimpanzees in a UK safari park handle both the deaths of their children and one of their senior members.
Funeral cortege
What made this footage so precious and rare was the fact that very few researchers have been witness to the response of chimps at the very moment of death among one of their group members.
The evidence to date had showed that chimpanzees react in a noisy, frenzied manner to the traumatic death of one of their members.  Nevertheless, in this instance the dying and ultimate passing of the old female was dealt with in a highly dignified and empathetic manner.
In the days before the old chimp’s death, the group focused attentively on her, offering much caressing and grooming.  As soon as she died, they attempted to test her for signs of life.  Although the group grew quiet and left quietly shortly after her passing, her adult daughter returned and spent the night with her.  All of the others avoided sleeping on the platform where she’d died, even though previously it had been one of their favorite spots.
For some days afterwards, the chimps comported themselves with a subdued dignity – as though they were part of a funeral cortege.
“We found several similarities between the chimpanzee’s behavior toward the dying female, and their behavior after her death, and some reactions of humans when faced with the demise of an elderly group member or relative,’ said James Anderson of the U of Stirling team.
Although chimps are not thought to have a religious beliefs or rituals surrounding death, they certainly were acting like they did.
After death do us part
In the other study, a University of Oxford team observed the rituals surrounding five deaths among an isolated community of chimpanzees in the forests near Bossou, Guinea. 
When two infants died, the mothers continued to carry their babies’ corpses on their backs for weeks, even months.  Even though the bodies had mummified, the mothers continued to groom them, brought them into their nests during rest periods, and carried them always on their backs throughout the course of the day.
This extended ritual enabled them to gradually ‘let go’ of their attachment to the infant’s earthly presence.  As time when on, they allowed others to handle them, separated from the bodies for longer and even consented to having other young chimps carry off and ‘play’ with the corpses. 
Human beings have been credited as the only species with the ability to reason, speak language, make and use tools and to create cultural variation. 
Increasingly, scientists are having to concede that animals have sentience — the ability to have a conscious experience, to compare and understand experience, to have an internal representation of what is going on in their lives — in effect, to know that they know.
In fact, as these studies demonstrate, animals display an array of sophisticated emotion as well as a great degree of self-awareness, possibly even a sense of larger consciousness after death.
The boundaries between us and other species are nowhere near to being as clearly defined as many people used to think, ” says Anderson.
Sophisticated emotion
‘Specism’ — our usual attitude to animal emotion — is also being challenged with the advent of sophisticated brain-imaging technologies. A number of scientists, in studying the brains of both animals and humans, have discovered remarkable similarities in emotional biology between species.
We now know that the brain biochemistry connected with certain sophisticated human feelings is found in a range of other species.
According to Jaak Panksepp, professor emeritus of the department of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, animals display evidence of a vast array of secondary ‘social’ emotions: separation distress; sexual attraction and lust; social attachment and bonding; and play.
These secondary emotions are of the more complicated variety as they require reflection and choice — a weighing up of the effects of different actions.
Panksepp and others now  believe that secondary emotion is not a uniquely human trait.  As noted animal scientist Temple Grandin says, the difference between animal and human emotions is a matter of degree, rather than of kind.
Through understanding that animals lead complex emotional lives, have passionate relationships with each other and adore their children, and may even have a respect for death must come a moral obligation to change the way we treat animals  — for testing in science, for food or as adornment, or purely as an object of our amusement. 
Perhaps our most important lesson as beings tortured by choice and cognitive reasoning is to learn from an animal’s purity of emotion.  Unconditional love comes naturally to a dog or cat; animals aren’t ambivalent or repressed about their emotions. 
As Grandin says, there’s no such thing as a love-hate relationship in the animal kingdom. “If an animal loves you, he loves you, no matter what.  He doesn’t care what you look like or how much money you make.”

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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50 comments on “Feeling like an animal”

  1. This is wonderful... anyone who has ever had a beloved pet can attest to the findings in this study. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the human race valued all of the earths animals the same way, not just the so called domesticated ones with love and kindness, compassion and respect...?

  2. I think it is wonderful to use the intention of the week toward the oil leak (My intention is for the Deepwater Horizon's oil leak to be immediately and successfully contained with no damage to the environment), however believe that an intention should be only phrased in the positive. The above intention keeps damage to the environment in mind. Wouldn't it be better to word it along the lines of 'and for the environment to be completely harmonious, balanced and healthy' for example.

  3. Emotions serve a very utilitarian function in humans and animals. Emotions are the ability to resolve a complex field of data into relatively fewer decision factors.
    I look at emotions as just our biological inheritance of of our system underlining significant data.

  4. If you use Dr Bradley Nelson's Emotion Code protocol with any animal, it will quickly become apparent that animals have as extensive a range of emotions as humans. Dr Bradley's approach to eliminating trapped negative emotions has helped us change behavior patterns and improve the lives of numerous companion animals. It's remarkable. Check it out.

  5. I echo Ashley's sentiments. Having loved and known pets, there is no question that they are sentient beings. Isn't it just so characteristically arrogant of humans to want to decide on the sentience of other beings and even pronounce denial of sentience when it suits them best.
    Some time ago the Europeans declared house pets to be sentient beings (excluding others). Not so in my country (South Africa). So should my dog travel from my country to Europe, it suddenly becomes sentient over the Atlantic, just to lose its sentience on the way back - go figure.

  6. That's a fantastic insight that everyone in the world should have as soon as possible! It's wonderful that science is actually trying to prove that animals are just like us in so many ways...and that they're actually proving it!

  7. I've lived with animals for years and years. They are far, far more emotionally literate and emotionally authentic than most of us humans allow ourselves to be. They can feel energy fields of all other beings from great great distances, can we??? HELLO researchers, why don't you try living with embodied beings like animals, and get out of your silly mis-lead ego heads, instead of observing them in in cages or boxes. Animals are OUR teachers, not vice-versa. Gary Larson's cartoons of animals are so much more sophisticated than any animal behaviorists and researchers!!
    May ALL beings be happy, healthy, vital, peaceful and remember the god-self we truly are!!
    blessings, infinite love and gratitude!!

  8. It constantly amazes that science can be so far behind reality. My bias would certainly not be acceptable in the eyes of the scientist. Anyone who has animals in their lives needs only to look at their eyes... certain emotions are quite evident if the human animal allows their intuition to see...to feel their energy. Scientific experimentation is only as effective as the robotic human making them...NOT at all!! My opinion...

  9. I'm a cat person, and over the years have had several cats. Lost my 12, 15, & 16 year old fur-babies last year to cancer and old age. Spending that many years with them, I wittnessed so many wonderful things, the love we had for each other, the grudges & rivalry they carried from time to time against each other, sometimes lasting several years, but would put aside if the other was in trouble! They games they created, one's attempt to give me affectionate attention by gently scratching behind my ear like I did with her, or how she would brush the hair off my face with her paw sometimes. I've finaly begun a new fur family, and look forward to many years of little surprises and miracles.

  10. Well, it's about time! And a huge THANK YOU, Lynne, for writing this piece. I was already aware of this recent finding via another blog forum, so it's good to see it getting even more exposure here.
    Not needing to adopt the classic "scientific" view/paradigm, I've been blessed to know this about other species since I was a child...just as MOST children innately realize before they're programmed out of it by adults & society later in life.
    Nicer-sounding quotes aside, I'm not a fan of Temple Grandin, mind you, as I don't believe in the entire idea of slaughtering & eating those who are our fellow brethren (and as much a part of the All as anyone/thing else), no matter how 'well' they may be treated in their few, final physical moments here. The hell they are forced to endure prior to this point cannot be shrugged aside, and ultimately, Temple Grandin is working for the big ag. industry's continuation. This extends to using "by-products" of animals, too. If everyone knew, for example, how much even CRUELER the dairy industry is, it would most likely come to a screeching halt (as I believe it should).
    The "evidence," if you will, of other species' sentience & emotional realities have always existed. All that was ever needed were the eyes, ears & willingness to see what was there all along. It's really only been the mind-set of desiring JUSTIFICATION for using & abusing other species that has kept man'kind' from giving credence and support/funding to such studies that would quickly defy this old, human-centric perspective. In other words, man'kind' just hasn't WANTED to know, as lifestyles and ethical considerations would then have to change, and that's simply considered too "inconvenient." Anthropomorphism is to me nothing but a phrase coined by past scientists who wished to completely avoid the reality of ours & other species' emotional components, and so it has become touted as a "dirty word" in *their* minds. As Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson so eloquently puts it in his brilliant book, "When Elephants Weep":
    "We are restricted only by ignorance, lack of interest, desire for exploitation (like wanting to eat them), or by anthropoCENTRIC [emphasis mine] prejudices that preclude us, as if by divine fiat, from recognizing commonality where it might exist. How can we be gods if animals are like us?"
    Anyone who "talks" to the animals, insects, etc. already knows all this...and there are many, & a rapidly-growing number of us, who thankfully do. Their inner worlds are as rich & diverse as ours (even IF different), we are not "above" them in any real sense, and frankly, I believe they choose to come here to teach us (since we've obviously grandly forgotten!) about the highest forms of living, loving and connecting (back) to Source.
    Lynne, I would also be very interested in you writing a piece on studies done with birds & their "songs." I'd read something a few years ago about how the human ear cannot even discern MOST of what birds vocalize (I believe we only hear aprox. 20%? of their song) and its complexity rivals the works of such great human composers as, say, Mozart. So when humans arrogantly claim only HUMANS can write great musical compositions, they're so sadly mistaken.
    If anyone would care to see just how wondrous and spiritual the connection between human and non-humans can be, and actually IS in some parts of the world, please spend some time viewing one of the greatest art exhibits that pays homage to other species AND the connection that SHOULD be there between us all, @:
    http://www.ashesandsnow.org/en/flash-popup.php#vision
    If you search for & read the artist's motives for his brilliant work, you'll also find out that none of these amazing pictures/videos were contrived. These relationships are REAL, so what does that tell you about other species' emotional & spiritual lives?

  11. Thank you for this. It is wonderful that scientists are finally catching up to the rest of us in their awareness of non-human animals' emotional lives. And in fact, many more "discoveries" are being made with many different types of animals, not just the primates you cite. But I must comment on one thing. You say, "Through understanding that animals lead complex emotional lives, have passionate relationships with each other and adore their children, and may even have a respect for death must come a moral obligation to change the way we treat animals — for testing in science, for food or as adornment, or purely as an object of our amusement." But it should not be animals' similarity to humans that causes us to rethink our treatment of them. The simple fact that they can suffer and that they value their lives should be enough. To think otherwise is an example of the speciesism you speak of.

  12. Just agreed with all those who stated that anyone who has lived with animals already knows that their intelligence and emotional development is quite on a par with humans It is perhaps the scientist with his/her discoveries which shows how "backward" they seem to be in their understanding of their fellow creatures

  13. Only someone with very little awareness of the world around them and an extremely low level of consciousness could think that our fellow beings are not as intelligent, or in some cases, more intelligent than humans. Most are certainly more compassionate and definitely more respectful of the earth.
    It would be like saying that someone who speaks a language you do not understand is lesser than you. Oh, I forgot, many humans do that too.

  14. I intend to print this out and send it to my local university medical center, which, I believe, is involved in animal "testing".
    I urge others to do the same in their own communities.

  15. It is perfectly clear to me that animals, my pets as well as the wild ones I am surrounded by, read my mind. My pets don't always agree but usually let me have my way. The wild ones greet my appearance each day when I go out with happy songs or screeching in the case of the Hawks. They absolutely know I love them and are not afraid. A miracle to me are the Bluebirds who only show themselves when I am experiencing extreme happiness. apparently they are called the Bluebird of happiness for good reason. Let science measure all of this!

  16. Feelings came before speech and learning a symbolic language from an early age directs attention away from one of natures, most efficient feed back mechanisms. Feelings 'connect' and relating to our own feelings, helps us to relate to the feelings of others. Just because an animal has no 'apparent' form of language does not make it a lessor in being. More often than not an animal is more in touch with nature and their feelings than those that have learned to replace them with intellectual alternatives. Feelings are the feed back mechanism of the navigator within and language used in the ways of our current educational system, is the built in 'auto pilot' of the external navigator. Get back in touch with your feelings and turn off the auto pilot and learn to fly!

  17. It will forever amaze me that "experts" so often have less expertise in their subject than a lay person who immerses themselves in a subject because of an intense interest or passion for the subject.
    Being the type of person who would actually spend my free time as a kid in front of my mouse collection, or the ant farm, or the bird's cage, for hours on end, watching and observing in fascination, their interactions and how they went about their lives - I have come to the conclusion that no one who has "lived" fully with animals - by which I do not mean their relationship consisted of putting dry food outside for "the cat" until it finally just doesn't ever come back - has an opinion worth a whit regarding whether or not an animal is a chemical robot or not.
    My animals have shown me some amazing emotional responses and compassion over the years - that can only be interpreted as feeling and thinking.
    I think the first one that had my mouth drop in amazement was when my three wary cats suddenly came out of hiding all at once, in a group, and literally "stalked" a friend's visiting dog in an apparent effort to protect our old Collie (the cat's dog), when the visiting dog had snapped and growled at "their" dog, who being deaf, didn't hear the low growls for her to keep her distance. I had to rush to remove the cats from the room to keep them from beating up the visitor's dog!
    And when my 20 year old kitty was in his last days, dying of kidney disease - not only did his best kitty buddy lay with him and groom him - but his household nemesis - who in better days, couldn't pass each other in the house without whacking each other, much less sleep anywhere near each other - lay with him and groomed him for days - until just a day or two before his death, when they both gave him his space to be alone.
    And finally, my "Gone with the Wind" moment, when I went to see my horse, who I had had to put out at pasture for several months and had not seen him since, while I dealt with moving to a different part of the state. I wondered if he'd remember me, or if I'd even be able to catch him after all this time. I saw him far in the distance on top of a brush covered hill, grazing with his herd. I called his name, he looked up, looked at me, nickered loudly, and then ran full blast, like a shot, thru the brush (didn't even take a trail down the hill) until he was right before me, sniffing me all over and happy as hell to see me.
    It's these kind of observations that certainly convince me that these are true beings with comprehension and emotions far beyond what we give them credit for.

  18. Dear Lynne McTaggart, now that you have published this piece, perhaps you will stop referencing studies that include testing on animals as you have previously done. You need to show congruence with your ideas, if you propose that animals have complex emotional lives, then don't quote from animal studies to support your other assertions.

  19. He tenido un par de maravillosas experiencias con los canes una de ellas fué con mi perrita Bonnie que la compre en una tiendea de animales su mirada fue la que me indujo a llevarla conmigo , sus ojos me decian sacme de aqui y asi lo hice , vivo conmigo tres años luego al cambiar de apartamento se la regale a mi ex suegra por no disponer un lugar ideal para ella . La experiencia mas bella fué un dia sonùo el telefono de casa al otro lado de la linea me daban la noticia mas terrible que podia haber esperado , se trataba del suicidio de mi hermano , no quise saber mas corrí hacia mi cama a llorar desesperadamente y mi pequeña bonnie en un principio quizo jugar conmigo , daba vueltas sobre mi saltando de un lado a otro y luego al con tener respuesta se acerco a mi cara y trataba con su osico de retirar mis cabellos de mi rostro para darme lametazos , hasta terminar gimiendo junto a mi. esa fue para mi una seãl de que los animales sienten tanto como los humanos , gracias a todos.

  20. What a lovely, lovely article. As humans, we have the ability to discriminate and to choose between right and wrong, which animals lack. We are tasked to be kind to them because we can be.

  21. Animals and nature have much to teach US if we listen. My cat and I had a special relatioship that staqrted out with me clealry not wanting him in our home. I was angry he was here. The cat was clearly anoyed and aggressive towards me. Finnaly I decided to see if he would make up with me. I lied down beside him quietly and just used my mind to THINK good thoughts. Finally he and I made up, I recall hime patting my face with his paws and cradling my fingers in a similar manner..
    The native people clearly had an understanding of plant and widl life that was right. And WE converted them. What a contradiction

  22. I agree that the intentions should only focus on the positive, only on what is wanted and desired, and never mention what is not wanted. You get exactly what you ask for or speak of, regardless of whether it is wanted or not. No mention of the spill is necessary, only that the gulf should be clean and environmentally healthy.

  23. It is deeply disturbing that we need scientific evidence of something so fundamental as the emotional life of animals.
    Further, animals have their own codes of right and wrong, and this is not for us to judge.
    And yes, it is equally disturbing that science needs to expirement on animals to come up with infomation, if natually intuited, we would know, and have known in indigenous times.

  24. Lynn,
    So bringing this information back to the concept of intention, if we all seem to agree with the studies you’ve mentioned, then what effect does an animal’s intention have on the world?
    You only have to spend a couple of hours watching the Discovery Channel to see how amazing the world of animal behavior actually is.
    You may have seen that video where the baby wilda beast is taken by the crocodile while drinking, at the river’s edge, then is dragged away from the crocodile by some lions, then is finally saved when the other wilda beasts drive away the lions?
    In another video I watched recently, there is another herd of horned, cattle-like animals, and the leader of the herd is being attacked by lions.
    At first, the second in command assists the leader of the herd to fight of the lions, but then, when it becomes obvious the leader is starting to struggle to defend itself, the second in command turns on the leader and spikes him in the gut with his horns.
    The leader then stumbles and is taken down by the lions.
    Now while this might be a bit disturbing to watch, the reality is the second in command decided to sacrifice the older leader to then take control of the herd.
    It was obvious that a decision had been made at the time, using what has to be classified as “animal intention”.
    Is intention the basis for evolution?
    Write on!

  25. Uplifting stuff. Won't it be great when we can stop talking about animals as somehow being different from humans. Humans are animals too, although one could forgive the other "animals" for not wishing to be reminded of that fact.

  26. Maybe what we need is a "scientist whisperer. " Or perhaps some in the scientific community are beginning to hear the whispers of angst and the pleadings for a fairer hearing in the intuitive wind blowing in their minds these days. Abused animals and abused humans are often more suspicious than those with warm and open upbringings. And whether scientists or farmers or mailmen etc., some have had their compassion and happy dispositions dampened. I'd like to thank Lynne for all she has done for us and for encouraging the release, here, of our distress(I think she's doing that). I'd also encourage those who would criticize her to look into their own hearts as they cast stones. I still have a lot of work to do on that and I don't think I'm alone. Think of the swatting cats that soften a bit when their sparring partners are going down for the count. Think of the Simpsons. Think of the Three Stooges.

  27. A week ago we acquired a new 7 week-old male tabby kitten. We brought it home and were met in the garage by our 5 year-old female tabby, Misty, whom we have had since she was 8 weeks old. Nadine held the new kitten in her arms to bring it into the apartment. Misty's response to the kitten was one of antagonism as to an invader of what has been her sole domain for over 5 years, albeit that we recently changed residence (Dec 2009). But what was most astonishing was Mist's reaction to her beloved "mother", Nadine. Anytime Nadine attempted to approach or touch her, Misty growled, hissed and struckout at her with her claws. She did not show the same reaction to me, her "father". She allowed me to hold and caress her even though every now and then she would emit a cry which can only be described as anguish. All her life she has slept between us on our bed and the bed is one of her favourite daytime places to snooze. Since Nadine brought the kitten in, Misty has refused to set foot in the bedroom. Today, a week later her behaviour has moderated somewhat both toward the kitten and Nadine but still shows signs of anger at Nadine for her "betrayal". Throughout she has shown no such emotions towards me. We feel this incredibly targetted display of anger and hostility towards her beloved Nadine is astonishing evidence that animals have very real emotions. We hope that Misty will get over this soon and realize that she is still queen of the hill!

  28. Lynn: Thank you for this observation. Convincing evidence exists of the telepathic contact between human beings and their cats or dogs . I have had strong evidence of it over the past three years in reference to the passing of my wife and the behavior of "Charlie," redoubtable welsh terrier! Charlie could care less about nuclear physics, but he cares deeply about this family.

  29. Great post as always Lynne. It raised a few points for me. The story about the chimps reminded me of a story my sister told me over 15 years ago. Walking to the train station on her way to work, she saw a small pack of stray dogs sitting around one of their companions, apparently struck and killed by a car. Their heads were bowed like mourners at a funeral and they took no notice of the bustle of commuters around them. Upon returning some 9 to 10 hours later. One of the dogs was still there. My sister came to the rather 'unscientific' conclusion that the remaining dog had a closer emotional bond with its fallen comrade and so stayed to grieve longer.
    This brings me to my second point. Many debunkers deride us for having 'unscientific' opinions such as those we are expressing here while simultaneously proclaiming themselves the keepers of some monolithic infallible science which does not exist. Don't drink that Koolaid! Our own dear Lynne is a scientist. Dean Radin is a scientist. There are so many people that are doing good work expanding our knowledge through scientific models. Mysticism itself is scientific as it relies on experimentation not 'belief'. I'd wager most of you reading this are scientist by that definition.
    Two storys from the Institute of Noetic Science's newsletter (Spring/Summer 2010) which I read just prior to this post illustrated this point. In the cover story 'The Emerging Science of Subtle Energy', Scott Anderson MD writes, "We need to be crystal clear that science is a method, not a philosophy." So when debunkers use it as a philosophy to be pitted in some MMA steel cage death match against any theory opinion or phenomena they don't like, it becomes a strawman worthy of Burning Man. Take away this foundational fallacy and the rest of the fallacies they stack upon it tumble like a stack of cards.
    In the second article 'The Limits of Neuroscience' author Rycharde Manne points out that many neuroscientist in their attempt to cut out feelings and concentrate on interpreting brain activity they are finding that the only way to make any sense of the complex electro chemical readings is to ask the subject hooked up to the machine what they are feeling! Manne writes "It is perhaps a bit ironic that neuroscience...has been forced to fall back on a technique rejected as unscientific 100 years ago!" So not only can science not negate emotion. It is proving that the best way to learn about anothers feelings is to ask, oh while they are hooked to a multimillion dollar brain imaging machine of course.
    I know I'm ramblin' on but one last point. In a recent debate on the existence of God, uber skeptic Michael Shermer derided his opponent, Deepak Chopra for using concepts from quantum physics to illustrate his points since Chopra is "not a physicist" and then proceeded to make many authoritative yet misguided assertions about how neuroscience proved that nothing beyond the physical exist. Hummm. Last I checked Mr. Shermer was not a neuroscientist. So he appeals to the fictitous priestly scientist caste and then proves himself unable to adhere to the standard he set! We'll never convince that sort, but as researchers and interested laymen with a growing body of scientific evidence, logic and common sense on our side, we need to stop being on the defensive and call debunkers on their bunk! This will encourage more honest researchers to think outside the orthodox box and get this paradigm shift in high gear. Deny dogma, try catma instead. 😉

  30. dear lynn,
    pl feed in CATS WHISKERS-- THE SPACE TIME FABRIC SENSOR-- into google search, to find out the cats antenna system.
    also most cultures and certain religions , condemn the pig -- the animal has emotions. Punch in PIGS-- AJIT VADAKAYIL into google and check out why George Orwell selected a pig for the role of Napoleon.
    BRGDS
    CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL

  31. Sri Ramana Maharshi's believed that animals can even reach spiritual realization. Apparently, he knew a cow who did... Animals lack certain human skills, but many of them are closer to perfection than most of us.

  32. this article is precious and help us to understand how feeling like an animal we can be more human!
    Feeling like an animal we are able to harmonize ourselves with the universal rythm. We find the lost connection with the nature, we fill ourselves with energy and vibrations.
    Then the communication with the animal will be very positive

  33. "... the world is full of persons, only some of whom are human,"
    Graham Harvey - Animism:Respecting the Living World.

  34. Mostly the result of intuition and the "sickness" I experience when I read about or see cruelty inflicted on animals, I believe because of the connection between us and the animals, there exists "second hand cruelty". Although the anaolgy is not perfect, think "second hand smoke"
    When non smokers discovered that they were being made sick by smoke, what did they do...they
    banned smoking on the grounds of Self defense.
    I believe that we are connected on an emotional level (and indirectly therefore on a physical level")
    to all sentient beings and when an animals suffers
    pain and terror we are are suffering it also.
    Again, not a perfect analogy, think acid rain.
    Chemical smoke rises from the factory smoke stacks to pollute rivers miles away.
    The negative vibrations pouring from the slaugherhouses pollute the emotional world.
    This is a brief report. Please go to my website
    and click blog to read my work in progress on this
    subject
    My goal is to prove that we are being harmed directly by anyone who inflicts cruelty on animals
    even if we are unaware of that cruelty. This harm
    gives us grounds to bring suit against the perpetrator be they individuals, research labs, or governmental agencies who allow the cruelty to take place.
    All comments welcome.
    Thank you.
    David J Mauriello

  35. I also believe we have to make sure that the wording of our intentions are aimed at the result and not the so called 'problem'. What we are doing is calling forth something. The words we use and the pictures we hold in our mind must reflect the positive result we intend. We get exactly what we focus on. This is not only an opportunity to change the world in a positive way but to look deeply into what and why we have intended what we have presently. Remember that all 'problems' were once the solutions to other problems. The power of intention is not given to be used carelessly.

  36. In his keynote address to the 2006 International Remote Viewing Symposium, in Part 6 on YouTube, after discussing Patanjali"s Sutras(on Siddhis etc.) showed an article in the New York Times on Mirror Neuron research( two monkeys in apparent telepathic rapport). See also Wikipedia on Mirror Neurons. In Chapter 2 of the Intention Experiment, Lynne describes Dr. Gary Schwartz's experiments with the Human Antenna. The comments to this blog and much experience involving empathy within and among living species suggests that we really are in communication with our world. What passes for science in certain respects reflects the extent to which we shut down our vast potential for direct experiential contact with our world. Meditation and other activities that start to reverse the shutting down process expose us, it seems, to the mechanisms we've been using to close ourselves off to our innate antenna competence. It seems the people commenting on Lynne's blogs are finding it troublesome to be somewhat in the vanguard of reawakening.

  37. My sincere apologies for omitting Ingo's name from the first sentence above. Ingo Swann was the keynote speaker. He's amazing.

  38. Bevaviourists would have a hard time accounting for this amazing story, by Belvie Rooks in 2005. It is taken from Shift, 7, June 2005 and suggests that lions too have a collective unconscious.
    "There’s a story that really
    brought this home for me. I have friends who were
    making a film in Zimbabwe. And they brought a lion
    from Hollywood because they had a lion scene. They used various tribespeople from Kenya as
    extras. One of the things my friends noticed quite by
    accident is that different tribespeople would come by
    the lion cage and the lion stayed cool. Every time a
    Masai came by the lion cage, though, the lion would
    start to cower. At first they thought it was just the
    individual person, but they brought in a different
    Masai, then another African, and the lion always had
    the same response.
    Hearing that story, it dawned on me that from time
    immemorial, the rite of passage for a Masai child had
    been to kill a lion.Was that experience and relationship
    part of the consciousness of the lion, even one born in
    captivity? This Hollywood lion was not born in Africa.
    I’m not even sure if his parents were born in Africa.And
    yet, the lion still cowered before a Masai. That whole
    story raises the question for me about the nature of the
    fields that both the Masai and the lion were carrying that
    could communicate across that kind of time and distance."

  39. I think that we are all in agreement that animals are sentient and spiritual beings, and that we really shouldn’t need science to tell us so.
    However, I believe that we need the science because some people will only listen to science; and lack the experience, enlightenment, or the willingness to see, without it.
    Particularly if a person is involved in ‘processing’ hundreds of animals, they might not wish to think of such things and are prone to dismiss sentient theories, finding myopia preferable because it makes their job more bearable. They feel the need to remain justified, hardened and distant; otherwise it would just be too uncomfortable.
    This is what makes the work of Temple Grandin so important. Some may slate her for working with the meat industry, but sadly, under current circumstances these animals will be slaughtered regardless. So I applaud her efforts to try to make the process as stress and fear free as is humanely possible.
    But that said, I also agree with previous posts that draw our attention to the ‘psychic pollution’ that is generated, and affects us all, whenever animals are harmed or put under tremendous stress. After all we are all connected.
    I grew up among many different types of animals and now work as an animal healer and communicator. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that animals have emotions, and complex one’s at that. Animals can experience highly convoluted emotional blocks and erroneous beliefs, just like the rest of us. These emotional blocks often go on to cause challenging behaviours and physical diseases that do not respond to more conventional veterinary drugs, surgery or behaviour management.

  40. I am in agreement that intention is best in the positive without bringing up the negative. I also believe that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico deserves more than being the "Intention of the Week".

  41. When I give healing to animals they respond as humans do but without the placebo effect. they have spirit and souls and know love and fear.
    Robots ............never

  42. Today, our tomcat swattted one of his own small kittens, worried he might do worse - i gently then swatted him back. He waited twenty minutes then he went up to my studio where i had bubble wrapped some newly framed paintings....and pee d on them.....hmmn. Pretty sophisticat or what.

  43. For anyone who doubts that animals have feelings and can think, plan, remember, etc. I recommend "The Pleasurable Kingdom" by Jonathan Balcombe. It's a great introduction.

Why wait any longer when you’ve already been waiting your entire life?

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