"Stay calm. Share your bananas."
Koko the Gorilla
More often than I like to admit, I’m forced to realize that some people are simply a lot smarter than I am – doggone it. At other times, I catch myself in one of those moments of spontaneous prideful arrogance, thinking how much smarter I am than somebody else. It’s easy for me to see that there are lots of people smarter than I am, and maybe a few who aren’t. I think, therefore I think I know what intelligence is – but that intelligence has let me down many times in the past, as it has for even "the greatest minds of their times" – former members of The Flat Earth Society and all.
For much of my life I thought that, at least, I was smarter than an animal – an assumption taken for granted in our modern, technological culture. Now, I think that assumption was wrong. I think animals are smarter than all of us, and it all has to do with the arrogant, typically human way I think about what intelligence is.
My intelligence seems to be a function of how well my senses and capabilities work, especially in terms of feeling "successful" about my life; but what if I could hear, see, or smell, thousands of times better than I can? What kind of world would I perceive, and how much more would I know about it? What if I didn’t have to worry about wearing clothes (believe me, I do), or whether I had a roof over my head? What if the supermarket were closed, or I was dropped in the middle of the ocean or the woods – could I feed myself, or would I end up becoming somebody’s dinner? Suddenly, I don’t sound much like ‘the top of the food chain.’
Profound Consciousness in Animals
One of the most difficult barriers for people to break is the one that prevents us from perceiving the profound levels of consciousness alive in our animal relatives. This kind of prison of human ego that demands we place ourselves above all other creatures is possibly the most soul-depleting (and destructive) obstacle to human spiritual evolution there is, forcing us to live life through the limited filter of human sensory experience, generally misinterpreted by our collective and personal ego, and the delusions of "intellect." As a result, we tend to destroy our home and hurt those from whom we could learn the most.
Science Demonstrates Animals Are Self-Aware
Let’s consider a couple of different realities about animal intelligence that science is demonstrating with increasing regularity; the first reality being what we’re most familiar with – the intelligence described by language, cognition, and problem-solving abilities.
Recent studies indicate that dolphins, and other cetaceans, display so much of this type of intelligence, in so many ways, that they should be considered as "non-human persons."
"Science has shown that individuality – consciousness, self-awareness – is no longer a unique human property."
– Ethics Professor Tom White, Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles, in BBC News
Cetaceans efficiently adapt rational processes to overcome problems, and take part in team efforts – even between species. They clearly possess complex language skills, so much so, in fact, that even whale songs which originate in one area of the earth’s oceans can become popular, and migrate to other parts of the world, like hit songs. Cetaceans also demonstrate compassion and are unquestionably self-aware.
"These are ancient, sentient earth residents, with tremendous intelligence and enormous life force. Not someone to kill, but someone to learn from."
Dr. John C. Lilly, on his research with dolphins
Crows possess human-like intelligence that includes problem solving on a level greater than most six-year-old human children. They also exhibit an elaborate and nuanced language, as well as self-awareness, superb personal recognition, character determination, personal attachments, and cooperative, community-oriented behavior. These are all characteristics also shared by elephants, whose infra-sonic speech (which they can hear up to six miles away) when speeded up, sounds remarkably articulate, like talking.
Even man’s best friend, the good ol’ family dog, has been shown through the science of MRI brain-scan analysis to demonstrate neurological activity very similar to that of humans. In addition, dogs, cats, and other animals demonstrate cognitive, and even what we may consider ‘extra-sensory’ skills that relate to another, more profound kind of intelligence – one that may add credence to the assertion that the wholeness of animal intelligence is, in some very critical ways, superior to our own.
Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, in his direct, video-documented experiments on dog telepathy and his book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, has demonstrated how dogs are aware of when their distant owners (partners) even start to think about returning home. His experiments, although roundly dismissed as unscientific, feature dog owners returning home after absences of different durations, and the video-documented simultaneous responses of the dogs, back at home, clearly indicate an awareness of their owners’ intentions and actions from afar.
Animals and Telepathy
It’s long been known that many animals demonstrate a reliably ‘telepathic’ awareness of oncoming earthquakes, tsunamis, and other catastrophic phenomena; and dogs, with their largely unexplained ESP, can read emotional states more reliably than a lie detector and are currently employed working to sense and warn of oncoming seizures in epileptics, as well as detecting cancer in hospital patients – well before standard medical tests can.
All of us can psychically connect with animals. Learn how with James Van Praagh in Spirit Talk.
All of this relates to what Dr. Sheldrake refers to as "morphic resonance," the existence of invisible connecting fields of energetic coherence, of sorts, essentially described by the larger concept of a shared field of consciousness, where the material world is imbued with the energy of intelligence, the physical realization of spiritual life. It’s the spiritual life of the planet and all of its occupants, a reality known for millennia by the indigenous peoples of every continent, but mostly denied by "modern" man. Here we know it as Gaia.
Learn more about source field and universal consciousness in this inaugural episode of Wisdom Teachings.
Animals, unlike humans, simply live their being. Their consciousness is joined with that Source intention, so they attain a purity of conscious, highly developed multi-sensory experience that humans never realize mostly due to the interference of our intellect.
Unburdened by superficial, egoic thought, animals’ senses allow them to participate in an infinitely richer world, directly joined to what we may refer to as the Divine field of being.
They are highly sentient, extraordinarily conscious, and deeply intelligent, in a very real way. In a world that is, in fact, much more real than common human sensory perception and thought ever allows.
Animals Enhance Our Spiritual Evolution
Alex, an African Gray parrot, became a practically conversational research associate of Dr. Irene Pepperburg of Brandeis, after more than thirty years of working together on a daily basis; and, by her testimony, he was her best friend. His final words said to her as she left the laboratory the night before his death were: "You be good. See you tomorrow. I love you."
I like to think that I’m smart, that I know good from bad, and right from wrong. I’ve guess I’ve eaten that mythological forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That’s what got us humans kicked out of The Garden, wasn’t it? As it is, we’ve been struggling with what our real role is here ever since, and still insist on imposing our self-entitled destruction on all the Divine life that we remain ignorant about – on all the Divine life that I like to think I’m smarter than.
"I do not see a delegation for the four-footed. I see no seat for the eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior, but we are, after all, a mere part of the Creation…the elements and the animals, and the birds, they live in a state of grace. They are absolute. They can do no wrong. It is only we, the two-leggeds, that can do this. And when we do this to our brothers, then we do the worst in the eyes of the Creator."
Oren Lyons, to the United Nations, 1977
Learn more about the unique connection we share with animals as evidenced by the findings of Cleve Backster and other scientists in Intelligent Communication in Nature.