On Animals

In a recent discussion, animals came up and I thought it worth touching on a few points.
DNA tells us that animals are built of the same stuff as we are. We also share a lot of the same DNA blueprint. Similarly, animals have souls, chakras, feel pain & emotions, have thoughts, and have many of the features we attribute to humans. Yet most animals live in the flow of life. Humans are distinct because we have the gift of perception of free will plus the higher intellect. This gives us the opportunity to understand and change the world but also to suffer and cause suffering.

Just as in humans, there is a range of what’s inside looking out.

– Many animals are simply that – the soul of an animal on its journey through experiences.
– Sometimes, more evolved beings will take an animal form to resolve something, like having a life of service or devotion.
– Nature structures species of beings, physical and subtle, in hierarchies. Humans have lost their “royalty” but most species have not. Usually the top of a hierarchy lives on a more subtle and powerful level. Rarely, you may experience a leader of a species in form. They would be an exemplar.
– Other assorted beings may take an animal form just to be in the physical arena for a time.

Modern western culture tends to treat animals as chattel but they deserve better. Some faiths see humans as the Shepard’s of the earth. On that front, we’re a failure. We’re missing the “leg” of Daya, compassion.

Earlier, I saw research done with animal communicators on animals raised for food. They found that such animals see themselves in a service role. Some species like chickens have always been food animals to nature. It’s their dharma.

But this isn’t permission to mistreat them. They don’t serve us because we deserve it. We’re not meeting our side of the deal if we’re not treating them with gratitude and respect.

Many pets are in service roles, helping us process stress. They deserve care and attention and a balanced life so they can fulfill their role.

Animals can have a remarkable perspective on the world. Our old black lab cross was always friendly and enthusiastic. Always happy to see us after a long day at work. It was good for everyone to go for a walk. It still is. πŸ™‚

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22 Responses to On Animals

  1. Jim says:

    So beautiful. Yes, any species is a nation unto itself, defined by physiology and frequency.

    When I first moved to the foothills at the meeting of the Sierra and Cascade ranges, I initially had a profound appreciation and love for the buzzards, 5 and 6 foot wingspans, absorbing tamas, and neutralizing disease, circling daily in the updraft.

    Followed by the hawks, redtail and redshoulder, the eagles, great horned owls, mountain crows, bluebirds, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, doves, and quail, and the land animals, black bear, cougar, bobcat, deer, coyote, fox, skunk, mountain squirrel, jackrabbit, snake, and lizard.

    I love them so. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Davidya

    • Davidya says:

      Yes, and you’ve shared photos, including from your wildlife cameras.
      We have similar in the region but I’m in the city enough that I only see a little here, more when I go for a walkabout.

  2. Rick Archer says:

    β€œCompassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. Sabrina Page says:

    Davidya so lovely to hear you speak of the beautiful animal beings that we live among. I am blessed to live in nature in California and have realized how much they all need water. So by placing many bird baths and other bowls around the property – and refilling them during the day – they come to drink. The birds of course, ravens and woodpeckers, bluejays and robins, but the raccoons and foxes, the cats, and who knows who else. It is a delightful way to serve and also be entertained by their numerous antics. My life is enriched by this daily interaction!

  4. Michael says:


    the more awakeness, transformation and transmutation here happens the more i feel moved away from humans and towards animals. They are just great!!!

    My cat was a higher evolved cat, not usually coming into form…but for us he did, to teach and to enjoy good human company…though sometimes he was a little bored with being bound to a physical body and the behaviour of the other cats. πŸ™‚ after he died he visited me several times…he is much more happy on the other side. πŸ˜‰

  5. Davidya says:

    On royalty, while humans don’t have that these days, we do have exemplars managing aspects of our world and guiding our growth. Some sages of old, for example, have remained with us. There are also what might be called celebrants, what Dante called Paradisio.

    • Michael says:

      do you know more about that “royalty thing”? I mean why have animals not lost it in the dark ages but humans have?


      • Davidya says:

        It’s an interesting question and one I’d not considered until writing the article. I suspect it relates to free will. Most beings, animals and subtle, are structured in hierarchies and have defined roles. We’re not so much.

        In ancient times, there was more defined roles for humans as well. I assume we had something of a subtle royalty. Perhaps thats what legends like the Greek gods relates to.

        It would seem the fall took free will to an extreme.

        • Michael says:

          Wow!!! That answer totally blew my mind!!

          Never considered that! …”that the fall may have taken our free will to the extreme”.

          But it makes sooooo much sense and it clickes on so many levels. πŸ™‚

          • Davidya says:

            Yeah – our world today is a reflection of our limitations and shadowed vision. If we open the doors and allow higher intelligence to guide us, we’re able to accomplish and enjoy more.

            This isn’t a constraint. It’s like inner GPS. We’re still here to have the full range of experiences.

            Of course, by higher intelligence, I don’t mean some random subtle being you may run into. I mean source itself, flowing through life.

  6. Cathy Smith says:

    I remember Maharishi Mahesh Yogi telling a story about Indra, King of the gods, entering a pig body. He loved being a pig and he loved his pig family. The gods became concerned and wanted him to leave that existence behind. Indra was content to stay as a pig so they killed his pig family that surrounded him. When that happened, he released himself from the pig body and rejoined the gods. He was surprised he had stayed in that existence for so long. He experienced it as pure love. I hope I am remembering this story as it should be. It is beautiful to me that Indra was pure love as the pig, not the experiencer. I always think of this story when I see pork! Any refinements to the story would be appreciated! Thanks Davidya for the discussion!

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Cathy
      I vaguely remember hearing the story but couldn’t add to it. A couple of points come to mind though:
      – It was Indra experiencing being a pig so it may not have been typical of a pig. But it was within the range of being a pig. Another perspective – someone in established Unity can experience what it’s like to be any other being just by shifting their point of consciousness. However, they are experiencing that life with a Unity perspective so not exactly the same as how the being is experiencing it. Same emotions, ideas, & sensory info but not from as identified a place. Becoming the pig physically takes it further.

      – Indra lost some perspective in becoming the pig and forgot who he was. As there was enjoyment, there was nothing to self-reflect about and recognize who he was. In some ways, there’s a similar process in waking up.

      However, when there was a contrasting experience, it jolted him back to remembering. This isn’t the easy way but it’s one of the ways people wake up.

  7. Rick Archer says:

    In Rishikesh, Maharishi gave a lecture in which he said that all cows are reborn as human beings, and not only as human beings but as Brahmins – teachers. He said that cows must be assisted in developing their full potential as cows, otherwise they will be reborn as undeveloped teachers, and the society won’t be taught properly. It will necessarily live in ignorance.

    I don’t know if this was a rare insight or a common understanding among Hindus.

    • Davidya says:

      Interesting, Rick. It suggests why Hindus venerate cows and let them wander around. The teachers I know who know prior lives had human ones. But perhaps this is bigger picture – the cows become humans who grow to become teachers.

      2 of the Uttara nakshatras are associated with cows but who knows. So much of this has been lost.

  8. Bojan says:

    Hi Davidya
    Yes animals are a real blessing to us and to the world. I am living several hundreds of meters away from a small village. Around the house is forest. Close to the house is a river Kolpa which is at the same time a border between Slovenia and Croatia. So many animals are here! Deer,bears,foxes and many birds. Also one neighbour has few sheep nearby too. It is such a joy living in the nature. And my cat Pika is so lovely. I really think that animals and the nature are in some way helping us to discover our Self!

    • Davidya says:

      Beautiful, Bojan.

      Yes, our higher mental abilities sometimes cause us to forget who we are and how to be in the world comfortably. Animals show us. Eckhart Tolle spoke of that too.

  9. George says:

    Hi Davidya

    Are there other species that also serve as food animals to nature, similar in dharma with chickens?

    • Davidya says:

      Hi George
      “Domesticated” animals are an extreme but nature is full of more balanced versions. Herding animals are commonly the prey of predators. But they have to work for it. Fish are the prey of many birds and animals. Herring “season” is bringing many bald eagles to the area, for example.
      It is a curious dynamic that life requires the sacrifice of other life to continue.
      I have heard it said that in high ages, no animals eat other animals. But to not consume any other life forms would mean we’d need to draw life force from the air. Most of us are a long ways from that.
      In the meantime, recognizing the sacrifice other lives have made for our own would be a good practice. πŸ™‚

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