One of the most horrible and unenlightened topics discussed by some who have strict religious convictions, rather than centered spiritual beliefs, is whether or not animals are spiritual beings having souls. Most of the time those people will state, "NO!" Often they have the same limited or judgmental view of other human beings who act or make choices differently -despite the well-known, "Judge not, least ye be judged."
What an unenlightened and narrow-minded view to have! In our development and growth as humans, it is hard to believe that there are still those who look down on others. Memories of similar views held against people of color, those of different sex or age, and different religious convictions reek of the same horrible stench - and are still a fresh part of our history.
It is hard to understand that some people overlook what is written about God being present in all things. Our spiritual nature is striving to be seen through all of our humanness. Watching animals and how they operate, and paying attention to what they can teach us, could push us forward in our development on many levels.
When you look at the scientific details related to matter and energy, it is clear that we are all composed of the same material. Our genetic code and heritage is different, but we can all be broken down into simple components of matter. Everything is comprised of the same thing and this includes animals, plants, rocks, humans, and those things that we create. The spiritual force also has the same energy and components. Our ideas about these things, however do not.
The Native Americans honored everything as having the Great Spirit within. Their prayers were said to those who were inanimate and animate, seen and unseen. Many also honored others who held different beliefs and did not try to instill the belief they carried in those they met; there was respect and humility. Animals were also honored for the lessons they taught, for their strengths, and as brothers and sisters.
Animals are an important part of our lives. They have been and will continue to be so. They have long been in our history as paintings and in mythology as symbols and teachers. To say that they do not have souls or are not spiritual beings is ridiculous. They have impacted us in ways that only spiritual teachers can.
To say animals have no soul is also an excuse that allows us to be less than accountable for the way in which we house them, invade their territories, and dishonorably destroying them. We need to honor them for the creatures they are, and for the spiritual flame that they ignite within us. We also need to honor them for being there for us in all the different ways they are: as food, material for clothing, companions, and teachers.
Animals are Angels of the earth, sent here to connect us with those parts of us that long for our roots with nature. They touch cords in us that motivate us to gaze upon them and wonder in awe. They inspire respect, dredge up fear, and create a longing for contact with them that motivates us to take action, however inappropriate, to obtain their acknowledgment and blessings.
Overstepping the boundaries of etiquette, we force animals to ack-nowledge us. We invade their territories, approach them without permission, hunt them without honor, capture them, confine them, and try to feed them from our hand, just to get that second of interaction or recognition - an interaction or recognition that would come if we would simply watch, wait, and respect them for what they are.
Angels watch over us, they give us guidance and don't judge us. As spiritual beings, they help us move forward in our development, but they allow allow us to make our mistakes without judgment or retaliation. We don't always see them - but we know they are there.
Animals also watch over us, accept our actions, and allow us to move into their lives. They show us their unique nature, and usually will retreat rather than retaliate at our indiscretions. They too, do not judge us but accept us for what we are - other beings. They are there in the wilderness and just beyond our vision, but they are there.
As spiritual beings, animals set an example about living in the present. They take time to play and rest amid their daily struggle. In the struggle to survive, they do not complain or wallow, but move on. Animals take what they need and use it wisely. They respect others and operate according to their laws and rules. These noble creatures don't destroy their environment while doing so; they fit within their niche.
Reverence for other creatures, God, and each other, are things many of us have forgotten. Perhaps we are unenlightened angels fallen from heaven, struggling to remember how to live life fully as spiritual beings. The animals around us, Angels of the earth, show us their wings by pointing out differences and challenging us to remember to use compassion, wisdom, honesty, respect and honor in dealing with all other beings. A good lesson for us to remember.
Diana Guerrero has achieved international recognition for her work with both wild and domesticated animals. Working with some of the most endangered species in the world, she is known for her unique training methods using trust, respect and understanding as a foundation. Diana can be reached through Ark Animals Behavior Consulting and Training at (619) 599-3697 or (800) 818-7387, or you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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