In an Enlightened World
By Allen and Linda Anderson
In her book, “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” author Amy Tan writes, “I was like a turtle lying on its back, struggling to know why the world was upside down.” How likely is it that much of the world is like that turtle, trying to view the complex animal-human relationship from a perspective that only yields false results?
In an enlightened world the veil would be lifted, and golden threads that connect all life would become visible.
In an enlightened world you would communicate easily with species that have lived on this earth longer than people, can move about it more freely, and view life in an entirely unique way. Animals would become a valued resource for decision-making, health, and happiness.
In an enlightened world there would be no doubt that the souls of animals survive death and move on into an afterlife. You would be comforted in the knowledge that you’ll be reunited with those who have placed their indelible paw prints upon your heart.
Even though you personally may be enlightened about your spiritual connection with animals, unfortunately we’re not living in an enlightened world — yet.
In our opinion future generations will look back on our modern-day era and ask, “Can you believe back then people actually didn’t know that animals are souls?” Our cultures will seem as primitive as previous periods in history when one class, society, clan, or tribe looked down on, treated cruelly, or subjugated another and justified their actions with the viewpoint that the enslaved had no feelings, no ability to care for themselves or to make choices, no awareness, no souls. Today’s humans will appear to be arrogant people who confused the power to dominate with being superior to those who fell under their rule.
As always, a story says it best. The following one shows what life could be like in an enlightened world.
Judy Tatelbaum, a psychotherapist from Carmel, California, wrote to us about a little black Labrador-mix dog named Noodles who has become her sacred companion. This dog brings a loving element to Judy’s work that can only be experienced through a creature who licks you or sits on your lap.
Judy says that Noodles’ given name should have been Compassion. She believes that Noodles senses when people are in need, and the dog deliberately bathes them with all the love expressed in her soulful brown eyes.
Let’s let Judy tell Noodles’ story in her own words.
“I first noticed Noodle’s compassion when she was a puppy. I gave a party for 30 volunteers from our local AIDS project. Noodles spent the evening going back and forth among the three people there who were ill with AIDS.
“When I took her to the HIV/AIDS support group I led, she spent the two hours every week lying on various clients’ laps. If a member seemed particularly upset, she would remain with him all evening. She was my co-leader.
“Then Noodles became my co-therapist. I was referred a teenager, Kathy, whose father had murdered her mother in a very public and disturbing way. As a psychotherapist, I had never worked with anyone in the immediate aftermath of a murder.
“When Kathy arrived at my home office, I ushered her toward the sofa. Noodles followed. Kathy sat down. Noodles, who isn’t allowed on the furniture, immediately crawled up on the sofa and spread her body across Kathy’s lap like a warm, fuzzy blanket. Noodles spent much of the session looking up into Kathy’s face and licking her every once in a while. Noodles stayed that way for the entire hour, and for every subsequent therapy session. I was never sure how much I helped Kathy, but I knew Noodles’ love and support made a huge difference.
“Since then, whenever Noodles sees someone in pain, she goes to them, licks them, and stays by their side.”
Noodles and Judy form a spiritual team that is greater than the sum of its parts and accomplishes more than either of them could do alone.
Enlightening the World about Animals as Souls
A skeptical radio host interviewed us and began the conversation with a closed mind. But when one after another, callers from his area related stories about animals who had appeared to them after death, he kept repeating the word, “Amazing! Amazing!” He was a “convert” by the end of our hour on the air with him. Since over half the homes in America now have pets as family members, many people are experiencing the spiritual nature of animals firsthand. And even having afterdeath spiritual encounters with beloved pets who have passed on.
Repeatedly in our own personal experiences with animals and through the stories we have received, we’ve been shown that when animals end their physical existence, the soul lives on. Many people have had visions, signs, and dreams in which the spirit of an animal has comforted a human friend with the promise that they’ll reunite in heaven or that this soul will return to earth in a new animal body and find the person again.
Soul Equals Soul
A corollary to the belief that animals are souls is that soul equals soul. This concept levels the playing field between humans and animals. Soul equals soul involves viewing animals not only as the cuddly, lovable creatures they often are, but also as vibrant, vital, and vastly complex players on the stages of our lives.
In the Anderson household, soul equals soul requires that we pay attention to reactions and signals from the animals who share our lives. We don’t view Taylor, a bouncy yellow Labrador retriever, Speedy, a shy tabby cat, Cuddles, a gracious black and white kitty, and Sunshine and Sparkle, devotedly mated cockatiels, as “dumb” animals. Instead, we cherish them as guides God often uses to help us chart our courses in life.
We’ve seen that grasping the concept and truly living as if all of us are cut from the same cloth by the same Divine hand literally changes everything.
Meditations for an Enlightened World
We invite you to reflect on the following questions. Observe how you and your special animal friends have served as spiritual catalysts for each other.
What have animals contributed to your physical, mental, and emotional health? How have your sacred companions transformed you into a more whole and complete spiritual being?
Why and when have animals entered your life? Could you have soul agreements with them? What do you think are the promises you might have made to one another before entering this world?
Allen and Linda Anderson are co-editors of “Angel Animals: Exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals” (A Plume Book, 1999) in local and Internet bookstores. Angel Animals plush toys are now available at www.incrediblecreatures.com or call (305) 532-3111. You may get their free online newsletter at www.angelanimals.org . Story submissions are gratefully accepted at P.O. Box 26354, Minneapolis, MN 55426 or by e-mail at AngelAnimals@aol.com . For more information call (952) 925-3309.
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