Saturday, September 27, 2008

Animals Can Teach Us Spiritual Lessons

I will wax philosophical--I have always seen animals do things that I thought were meant to teach me some lesson about spiritual growth.

I belong to a study group that reads and discusses works of Eckhart Tolle. If you are not familiar with his writings, he writes about escaping the dictates of the ego with its endless chatter and judgments and flights into the past and into the future. One of the things that I have realized from reading Eckhart Tolle and Tony Parsons and Ken Wilber, and others is that, as humans, we add thought to pain. We tell ourselves all kinds of scary stories about our pain or our diagnoses and that changes them into suffering.

I have always thought that animals don't suffer like we do. Yes, they have pain, but they don't amplify it by labeling it and judging it and worrying about it and describing it to themselves. I think they just feel it.

I ran across this quote today and it fits: "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -- D.H. Lawrence

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