The Nature of Animals

From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:17 am
Subject: Re: The Nature of Animals

Hello Kim, Daniel, et al,

I really, really want to write a treatise on this subject, but I can't right at the moment. But your example, Daniel of your brother's dog is what I would base the treatise on.

I sit here surrounded by books and cats. I have 11 cats. I used to have a dog but it was too difficult to keep him here in an apartment with no one else to help walk him, etc. if I couldn't get home on time. His name was Archer, short for Royal Archer Goldenheart. When I was sixteen (going on seventeen) I had and lost a kitten while I was at Threefold Farm in Spring Valley for the summer, my first exposure to RS & Anthroposophy. I was really upset and I young woman from the community comforted me and told me for the first time about what happens to animals when we have loved them. She told me that by the very fact of their loving contact with us, they do not go back to the group soul as such (or at least not all parts of them do) but that they become "salamanders" ie, spirits of fire that stay around our auras and work to create further bonds of love between us and other animals.

Nothing in the past 36 years has made me believe anything different. What I understand from Occult Science and especially "Man as Symphony of the Creative Word" is that there is a difference between what we find in nature as animal, plant or mineral in its "untouched" state and what it becomes through contact with Man. When we see a tree, we can "release" the nature spirit within it to go on in the spiritual world through our being concious of its existence, for example. So we have to view the question raised here in terms of past present and future and in terms of the effect of contact with Man. Occult Science teaches us about the Past in relationship to the evolution of the earth and its four kingdoms, mineral, plant, animal and man. We live now in the Present and find each one of us, a relationship with the other three kingdoms. Then we can move into the Imaginations that Steiner gave us and ask ourselves, how will what I do now affect the evolution of the other kingdoms of earth?

We cannot lump "Animals" together anymore than we can say "Children" and mean every age and stage of development.

This is what comes up in my imagination. There are three basic "types" of animals:

1. Animals born and living "in the wild" in areas that still exist relatively untouched by Man's presence. While this type of animal used to be predominant, there are very few such domains left.

2. Animals used by man as food or "slaves" to be exploited and mistreated if it creates a perceived benefit to man. This has always been a dominant area of man's relationship, but in my opinion has become even more cruel and harsh as man has moved farther away from being able to perceive the spirit in nature.

3. Animals "owned" by man as pets or companions. While some in this relationship, especially dogs and horses may seem to fall into the second category, because many dogs and horses "work" for or with man, I make a distinction when there is a real bond of affection and respect between them. Other animals like cats, birds, gerbils, etc. may not serve any outward purpose at all other than furnishing their human with something to talk to or to cuddle with.

The animals that are still part of the first group, whatever species they may be would then return to the Group Soul or Group Ego after their death, more or less as they were except for whatever they bring into that Species of their recent experiences.

The animals of the second group probably return to the Group Soul, too. But I have to ask myself, could they really ever be the same? Does their horrible experience at the hands of Man change or affect the very nature of the Group Soul and its relationship to Man in general? I would think that it does somehow.

There are examples to be found in certain works of fiction, but I wonder if we can really grasp the karma being created here.

The animals of the third group, however, could perhaps be the ones to work as redeemers of the second group in a sense, to counter the negative karma between the Animal Kingdom and its Human Slaveowners and Cruel Overseers. Perhaps, whereever an animal has shared love and respect with a human, this love can act as a kind of homeopathic remedy to the illness that our blind cruelty is causing. I think that animals in this third group contribute much to the group soul, but part of them begins to form the seed of an individual Ego that will develop in the far, far reaches of time, maybe past the Jupiter and Venus ages of the Earth. By this I mean to the point of creating specific Man-like bodies in which to incarnate as Egos on the planet. This is really hard to put into concepts, because the physical nature of the earth and the physical forms of individual Human Egos will have changed so much by then. But from the moment that love arises, each animal "soul" (little Ego) can come into Being.

One really has to have pampered pets or know someone who does to really experience their individuality. It can lead an outward observer to think, perhaps, well, animals have personalities to begin with. But not exactly. This "personality" arises from the interaction of animal soul with human soul, like the human soul arises out of the interaction of human body with human spirit. That's why it's so much fun to go to a dog or cat show just to see the animals with their humans and to see how much they look alike!!! The etheric bodies grow so connected. It can be really funny!!

But this is not to belittle the connection. It is a very serious matter. For with Love comes Responsibility and we become responsible for these "little Egos" the way our Angels are responsible for us. We are the tenth Hierarchy. The Animals are the 11th, the Plants - the 12th and the Minerals, the 13th. There is so much work yet to do!! For all practical intents and purposes, we are NEVER going to get to lie around heaven playing harps!!! There will always be more unfolding, creating and transforming to do!

I often wonder (really) what it means that my animals hear music in their immediate environment, never mind the hours of conversation!!! No animal "in the wild" hears Beethoven or the Beatles! (or me singing, for that matter - lucky them!) What can this mean? Certainly an animal who hears music all of its life cannot just go back to a group soul as something less than an individual! Something totally outside the spiritual reality of the Group Soul has been added. What does this really mean? I don't know, I just wonder.

So, no, in terms of the current human population of the earth, we are not side by side with recently evolved animals (just not fair to the animals, this idea!) But we are side by side with animals who look to us for the love (in action) that will activate the "little Ego" within them which will grow in long ages into Individuality similar to what we now consider Human.

OK, now for a REAL confession (ooh, I can just hear many of you going to be howling at me for this) - I just LOVE the Pet Psychic, Sonia Fitzpatrick. Please, please DON'T condemn without experiencing her program at least once. I personally don't find any problem reconciling who she is and what she does with RS. She is day-waking concious, there is no mediumship involved. She is communicating with animals on this side of existence and the other side who are deeply loved by human beings, most of which are in long term relationships. Therefore, the "little Egos" that she is speaking with are something more than group soul members. There is so very much love. And not just mushy sentimentality - real love in action, real forgiveness, real redemption and healing. The one phrase she uses over and over again is "Remember, Animals are Forever!" In terms of Love, which is all that really is Eternal, this is absolute Truth.

With love,
Christine

and Baldur, Wicca, Maxi, Perseus, Govinda, Cleo, Calli, Bijoux, Andromeda, Sasha and Molly : )

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From: Daniel Hindes
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:09 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

Christine,
Thank you for this detailed post, which helped me bring clarity to a number of thoughts I have been having recently. I agree with nearly all you have written (and to the rest it is more that I am unclear at the moment, and not that I believe to the contrary). I have heard the salamander explanation before, perhaps even read it, though I can't seem to locate the source right now. What is not clear to me (because, among other things, I am not able to directly percieve it) is the nature of this salamander (or other elemental) and it's further evolution in the world. I can understand that in my relationship to Oso (my brother's dog) I transform a part of him. This transformed part survives his death, and does not return to the group soul. That transformed part then has a relationship to me, becomes a part of my being, and works for good or ill upon my supersensible members. Where it goes after my death is unclear to me. Further, should this elemental continue to higher development rather than dissolve back into the world eather or astral, then the group soul of dogness and I have together created a being, an offspring, that would continue independent of me. That's a lot of responsibility!

Where does this leave Oso in this theoretical exercise? He is still not an ego-endowed being, or even himself the creator of one, he is a canvas, provided by the group sould of dogness, upon which I create the subsequent being by my actions and feelings.

Perhaps I am looking at things from the wrong angle, or am missing an important piece of information. But I will continue to try to understand. Thank you for the help.

Daniel Hindes

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From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:04 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

Hi Daniel,

Well, first of all, Oso isn't your dog, with whom you have a day to day long term relationship, so he probably won't be your responsibility. : )

I really tried to make the distinction between the wide angles of our relationships with animals. I can't say exactly HOW this all works after death, but I picture them as beings of special warmth that come close again to us after death and retain their "emotional" form as the pets we loved in life until we are ready to "see" them in the spiritual world in a little less specific form. I think they simply stay with us and work as little "love angels" (probably too mushy stuff for the guys here!). Probably something of their nature goes back to the group soul, like parts of our physical, etheric and astral bodies go back to those spheres. When we come back to earth, they probably come back as animals in our lives too. Sonia Fitzpatrick, the pet psychic has been very definite about their ability to come back to us. She often, but not always lets grieving pet lovers that their companion will come back during their life time. I know it sounds awful out of context, but you need to watch her interact, please before being too closed minded. I think in the first place, I don't feel that animals are "mindless" to begin with. Especially in the species that have been so intimately connected with humans for so many eons, I think even the group souls are quite "with us" in a sense, not necessarily remote.

In any case, animals are certainly tied to us intimately in the entire evolution of the earth and we have a mutually dependent relationship already. We already bear responsibility for their well-being whether we choose to accept it or not. Individual animals who live with us are just special ambassadors in our lives. How we treat them and act out of love or not is as significant as how we act toward one another.

Personally, I love the responsibility. I love the thought that we will be able to give to them someday the kind of love that the angels give to us now. But don't mind me - I'm just a crazy old cat lady!!! : )

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From: Daniel Hindes
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

Christine,
Thank you for the additional material. I am still working on the question, and suspect that I will be for some time to come.

For a little fun I offer this article from the Atlantic (July 1999) on canine behavior: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/99jul/9907dogs.htm

This is the summary:
Recent explorations into the field of canine genetics are changing the way we think about man's best friend -- "man's best parasite" may be more like it -- and could help us repair the damage done by a century of inbreeding.

Among some of the interesting statements: "Probably 90 to 95 percent of the dog genome and the human genome are identical."

Daniel

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From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:58 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

From the article you pointed me to:

In the United States there are about 50 million owned dogs and millions more unowned -- eloquent evolutionary testimony to the wisdom of mooching off people rather than fighting it out in the wild.

Yeah, but they are amateurs compared to cats!!!! : )LOL

Thus reading social cues adeptly, down to such details of body language as a flick of the ear or the angle of a tail, is the most basic of canine instincts. "That's what dogs do for a living," Gregory Acland says. "They figure out what's expected of them in a social situation and do it."

Cats don't even bother with that nonsense! They are only concerned with what they expect from us!

And in a very real sense mutts today embody the evolutionary heritage of the True Dog -- that animal that evolved with us, that adapted to and exploited our society, and did so largely on his own terms. Defiant of human fashion and whim, selected only in accordance with the ancient evolutionary dictate that demands nothing more than an ability to get along with rather gullible human beings, mutts are really what dogs are about. If worst comes to worst, perhaps they will set us straight, just as their ancestors so ably did -- at least for 99,900 of the past 100,000 years.

But Cats will be the ones to set both Humans and Dogs straight in the end! :)

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From: Richard Distasi
Date: Mon Dec 1, 2003 5:03 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

Christine, Kim and Daniel:

Christine, you wrote:

When we see a tree, we can "release" the nature spirit within it to go on in the spiritual world through our being concious of its existence, for example.

And:

She told me that by the very fact of their loving contact with us, they do not go back to the group soul as such (or at least not all parts of them do) but that they become "salamanders" ie, spirits of fire that stay around our auras and work to create further bonds of love between us and other animals.

This has been the point that I had tried to make earlier in another posts. It is not the animal soul, the plant and mineral essence that becomes Ego-endowed in the future (at least I should say as I understand this) but rather it is the nature spirits in these realms that are eventually freed from these realms of which they are dependent upon us to free them from the realms. They are the next wave of Beings to become Ego-endowed. That part of the animal that does not go back to the group soul is the salamander; not the astral body of the animal. By contact with humans it does grow closer to becoming and Ego-endowed Being. Does the family dog have a personality. Anyone who has ever lived with a dog would certainly agree to this. Is this the dog or is it the salamander that grows in soul forces due to its contact with humans; that is, humans act as a conduit for the salamanders growth.

rick distasi

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To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
From: eyecueco
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 21:53:00 -0000
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, golden3000997 wrote:

I sit here surrounded by books and cats. I have 11 cats. I used to have a dog but it was too difficult to keep him here in an apartment with no one else to help walk him, etc. if I couldn't get home on time. His name was Archer, short for Royal Archer Goldenheart. When I was sixteen (going on seventeen) I had and lost a kitten while I was at Threefold Farm in Spring Valley for the summer, my first exposure to RS & Anthroposophy. I was really upset and I young woman from the community comforted me and told me for the first time about what happens to animals when we have loved them. She told me that by the very fact of their loving contact with us, they do not go back to the group soul as such (or at least not all parts of them do) but that they become "salamanders" ie, spirits of fire that stay around our auras and work to create further bonds of love between us and other animals.

Christine,
I wanted to write and thank you for this post as it has been a comfort that I needed.

My dog-child is going on fifteen and is on her way out. I've been incredibly worried about her and if she would be able to find her way back to her group soul (my Steiner focus over the years has been on the Christologies even though I studied the basic books).

She has, from the beginning, been way too attatched to me; kind of like the stage of a two year old child. This past six months I have worried that this too-close-bonding would result in her not being able to make it back where she needs to be.

I just hope that she will be happy as a salamander! LOL

Another thought that occurs to me on this salamander tranformation, so to speak, is how in the past year she had been seeing something or somethings that she doesn't like very much that seem to be circling around her from time to time. After meditating on this I concluded that my past pets, in some kind of spirit form, might be drawing closer to her in order to be with her when the time comes for her to leave.

Now, thinking on the salamander, I don't wonder if this might be what she is seeing. Whatever it is it they are small and when they get too annoying I'm able to tell them to leave her alone with a protective prayer I learned years ago.

I don't know, maybe the problem is that she just doesn't want to leave inspite of the increasing deafness, loss of sight, etc. It really is depressing to watch her decline to tell the truth. So thanks so much for this post which is the answer to a question put out by my heart to the higher worlds about a little dog I came to love way,way too much. :-(

paulina

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Dec 2, 2003 3:40 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

Hi Paulina,

You have my total sympathy. I'm not mature at all about the idea of any of my little ones crossing over. I don't have human children and I think I just couldn't bear it if I did and something happened to one of them! No maturity at all - just a big blubbering mess!

BUT - despite all that, I really do know that they go on. And I don't think of these kinds of "salamanders" - let's call them Fire Spirits - are like the elemental spirits commonly found in nature. I think they are akin to them, they live in the sphere of warmth, but it is a special kind of warmth - a warmth engendered only where love exists between animals and humans. I believe that they are not amorphous, but retain their "personalities" and are recognizable to the ones they love and who have loved them.

Oh, I wish you could watch "The Pet Psychic". She used to be on Animal Planet on Monday nights, but then they said they were moving her to a daytime slot. I don't have any cable right now, so I can't find out what is happening. I taped a couple of her programs, but I wish I had them all. She is absolutely emphatic about both animals and people crossing over exactly when they are meant to. Even if the human companion has to put the animal companion "to sleep" this is usually the right thing and meant to be and the animals she has spoken with thank their humans for releasing them. Other pets come to them just as people we love who have gone before come to us. Several times she spoke of other people who the humans knew being there with the pet on the other side. Absolutely remarkable, the way she speaks. Nothing fuzzy, remote or generalized about it. Totally specific references and impossible for even a production company with a huge budget to have researched so extensively. She is totally down to earth and direct. In one part of her show, she interacts with the animals in an audience setting; another part, she works with grieving humans there in the studio (usually three per show); and the third part is where she goes to many different places (pet sanctuaries, homes, etc.) and works with particular questions, usually behavior problems that the humans haven't been able to figure out.

Like I said before, there is nothing atavistic or medium-like about her - just a total gift. Really one from the future, I think. One of the faculties in fairy tales which come from the atavistic past but have to be renewed through concious love is the ability to speak with animals. I think flying (levitating) is another such faculty.

Yes, these little ones are our "children" in a sense. We take them on freely, at least where there is love. And we give them our hearts and they give us theirs. And love, in all its many forms and expression, is Eternal.

As Sonya says "Animals are Forever." : )

Peace to your heart now and at the crossing,

Christine

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Dec 2, 2003 3:41 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

PS

about a little dog I came to love way,way too much. :-(

NEVER TOO MUCH!!!! : )

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Dec 2, 2003 7:39 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

Very cool Paulina!! : )

I think it's important that we check things out before making assumptions. Everything is very complex, the material and the spiritual world, and not everything fits neatly into slots. We need to understand the construct, but use it as a springboard to be able to see outside the box. There are literally millions of things in the world that did not exist in 1925 when RS died. He couldn't simply see them all and say AB and C are going to happen. He said himself that Waldorf Education is the perfect system for the 5th Post Atlantean epoch, but it wouldn't do at all for the 6th. The directive I value most from him as an educator and indeed, as a person simply trying to live in these times is to OBSERVE and take it from that as a starting point. We can't observe if we pre-judge and refuse to look.

Not trying to be "preachy" - I've just watched "The Matrix" - thanks to Michael H's mention of it in one of his posts and my infinite suseptibility to the power of suggestion!

I really want to analyse it and analyse it! Part of me says, I want to get to reality, SEE REALITY, but my real self, the woosie says "Let me out of here! I don't want to see anything!" I'm going to find a nice quiet cave somewhere and wait until it all blows over. Unfortunately for Tarjei, who said that he wanted to wait for a nice long time between incarnations and come back when Ahriman had come and gone, he is already here and it's too late to turn back now. I think it's definitely the time to "head for the hills" as the Bible says!

By the way, I watched "The Education of Little Tree" last night. Wonderful film. All about the same thing, really, but from a 1930s point of view. The battle for Truth is still there. But MUCH nicer scenery!!!

: ) Christine

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Dec 2, 2003 7:39 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

OH, PS - but wasn't Whoopi Goldberg wonderful as a medium in "Ghost"?!

LOL Christine

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To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
From: eyecueco
Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 03:06:23 -0000
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Nature of Animals

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, golden3000997 wrote:

Oh, I wish you could watch "The Pet Psychic". She used to be on Animal Planet on Monday nights, but then they said they were moving her to a daytime slot.

Actually, I stumbled arcoss this woman just this year on Animal Planet, and after watching her several times decided there is something special going on wth her.

Don't quit know what to make if it as I am a skeptic when it comes to contact with the deceased and feel strongly with Steiner that most of such messages involve elementals playing around with astral shells left behind, but the pet psychic just blows me away.

Wonder if she isn't a soul with a special mission having to do with humanity developing a deeper conscious awareness of animals spoken about by Steiner?

I'm a believer in this woman, for sure.

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