ANIMALS AND PEOPLE
Amanda F. Rooke
I’m going to take this from my experience, that of other traditions, and of Theosophy. The title “Animals and People” suggests a link between these two kingdoms of nature; they’re on adjacent rungs of the evolutionary ladder as in the Kabalistic axiom: “A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; a beast, a man; a man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.” 1 Thus there is a kinship between the kingdoms and everyone can testify to this, and I’m going to talk about this link today. My parents and I found this out when were setting out in a glass bottomed boat with some other tourists, to look at fish in their habitat. The wind sprang up, the sea got choppy, we thought we’d see nothing, but while the tour guides were adjusting to these conditions, we noticed some large, curious, intelligent, black eyes looking back at us from the shallows, a “school” of squids had come to study the tourists! We were literally on either side of an almost invisible dividing line, and had more similarities than differences, when working in the higher mind and spirit like that. The link is particularly close since these kingdoms adjoin one another. 2 This barrier disappears when the entities behave as friends - when a cat goes to sleep in your lap or a dog puts his head comfortingly on your knee, they’ve won you over completely!
Epileptic people can be given dogs which can sense when their owner is about to have a fit, other dogs can detect cancers due to the chemicals released from the skin of sufferers. In California deaf people can be given Hearing Dogs to tell them when the doorbell rings or an ambulance siren is sounding near their travelling vehicle. 3 They also helped some old alsheimic ladies who saw a picture of a dog on a patch on a patchwork rug, and their director said: “The rugs are fantastic, thank you very much for all your effort. The little details are wonderful and one of the ladies was really taken with the little dog scrap and started chatting about it. I am going to showcase the use of them for dementia specific use at the next organisational meeting I attend. ...” Somehow a person’s love for their dog stirred memories of this warm relationship which rather than degrading her or holding her back, stimulated the higher faculties which are actually within all living things. It was like the distinct image of a living thing somehow focussed her mental faculties to re-awaken the capacity for symbolic thought. This ability to communicate with language supposedly distinguishes us from animals who nevertheless communicate with body language, eye contact, emotions, and non-linguistic sounds - dolphins can understand sentences with variations and correctly respond to requests to bring the frisby from the right to the fountain on the left, or invent their own way of saying they couldn’t bring the ball and put it in the basket as no balls were in the pool - he brought the empty basket to the scientist in his own way of saying this to him.
Working with children entering into literacy and numeracy (aged 4-5), showing pictures and pairing them with written words or the letters they start with, and reading stories aloud to the children, helps build the tracks on which the busy highway of thoughts enter and exit their brain. Information enters through the sensory doorways, to the brain where there is an inner version of this sense - the auditory and occipital areas of the brain process sound and sight information and lay down an inner map of the outside world, inside the person’s consciousness. We refer back to this information through memory, and extend our experience constantly with new information gathered from both sensory, and mental, apparatus. Animal intelligence is based on augmented sensory input too, being what David Attenburgh called the ability to use natural skills beyond the borders of the conditions these would be used in and solve problems not presented in nature (so Kia’s, big New Zealand parrots)can find butter inside a tube within another tube, better than a toddler or dog). Lieh Yu-kou, a great follower of Lao Tse, said animals and humans are similar in that they have innate intelligence, desiring to live, love their mates, and care for their young. All have Buddha-nature. 4
Animals cannot always communicate in a way understandable to us, but fables 5 and their predecessors the Jataka tales, always seem to use animals acting like people, to tell pre-literate people used to the oral tradition way of passing knowledge from one generation to the next, or to the youngest generation. Children can effect dementure patients in the way the dogs pictured on the rug, did, triggering the same primal nurturing instinct shown to our pets and parenthood is mostly about selflessness. When reaching out of our Self and its prison of problems and miseries, to help others, the soul is free a while to do spiritual, kindly things. This is what Buddha was encouraging in us, to combine intelligence with compassion to evolve out the Atman and combine it with our intelligence, as Buddha said to do in one of the 8 paramitas: show loving kindness to all living things.
Once a Rabbi, Judah ha-Nasi was sought out by a calf to save it from being led to slaughter - he did not help and so the Rabbi had toothache for 13 years, until he stopped his servant from sweeping a nest of weasels from a corner of his house, saying“(God’s) tender mercies are over all His works” - because of the Rabbi’s compassion for animals, God had compassion on him and healed him. 6
Jains follow “Ahimsa”which is not killing or not harming, or non violence to living things. “Whatever beings there are, whether moving or non-moving, you shall not harm them, knowingly or unknowingly - for all beings desire to live”, and Asoka Rock Edicts of c. 261 BC decreed that he desired all animate beings to have security, self-control (of their fate), peace of mind and joy. 7 Plutarch strove for justice and humanity for animals as some other writers said animals are not intelligent or rational and therefore don’t have any rights - we are still fighting for these rights for animals today. 8
When a boy, Gautama Siddhartha (later the Buddha’s) brother Devadatta shot a swan but Buddha healed it; after the enlightenment, Devadatta tried to kill his brother by loosing a rogue elephant on the path Buddha planned to take, but upon the point of attack, Buddha regarded it with love and tamed it with this love so it became quiet and gentle, he showed loving kindness to all living things. 9 There is a collection of Siddhartha’s animal tales - many about his prior lives as an animal. We have all, even the Buddha, incarnated as animals, so it behoves us to be kind to them, your dog might be the Maitraya Buddha in the making!
Once the Buddha was living in the form of a dog, in a great cemetery and leader of many hundred dogs. One day the king went riding and left his harnessed horses in the rain so their leather bridles etc. became wet. The king’s dogs came from their home and gnawed the leatherwork, then telling the king that it was some dogs who had come through the sewer outlet. The king decreed all dogs be killed, but the dog/Buddha knew none of his dogs could get past the palace guards and that the palace dogs must be the culprits. He came to the palace and crept under the king’s throne, saying he knew who did it, and to give the palace dogs grass in milk to drink, so they cast up their illegal leathery meal. “Why”, said the king, “it is like a judgement of a Perfect Buddha himself” and in homage conferred kingship for a while on the dog, commanding that all creatures’ lives should be safe from harm and treating all dogs as he treated himself, abiding by the Buddha’s teachings and spending his life in charity and other good deeds so he was reborn in the world of the gods. 10 When Buddha was a woodpecker he pulled a bone that was blocking a lion’s throat and although the lion didn’t repay the kindness later on or give him reward or thanks, the bird acted only in order to end the lion’s pain - “It is enough that I helped my friend. - kindness regards everyone as a friend”, the bird said.11 In these tales, the Buddha returns as the embodiment of great compassion, to ease the suffering of living beings, and demonstrate the power of action motivated by compassion, wisdom and love practised for the sake of the world 12 for selfless action gives rise to goodness of such power that it spreads in ever-widening circles, uplifting all forms of life.13
Practising this, we will see (according to the preamble of Friends of all Creatures) “that (the universe) is not a collection of separate, living or non-living objects at all but rather a web of continually changing energy patterns - a single, unbroken, living Whole, whose “parts” are but fluctuating ripples on an endless sea of energy. Even more remarkable, each part, in its own way, seems to reflect or contain the whole...(with) no clear-cut distinction between the observer and the observed; the universe, appear(ing) to be a kind of looking-glass that mirrors, at least to some extent, the state of mind of the observer,” where consciousness pervades the whole and everything affects every other thing; the universe is a spiritual reality, wherein a moral law sustains the whole. 14 Hence William Blake’s couplet:
“A skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing”. 15
As Sally Dougherty said “The unity of nature and the interdependence of its kingdoms is also reflected within each individual. While its ultimate root is oneness, each entity exists as a collective being, its structure deriving from that of the more spiritually evolved beings of whom it forms a part.16 St. Francis of Assisi called all living things “brother” or “sister” because, according to his biographer St. Bonaventura, they came from the same source as himself, God’s light shining through the different creatures in different ways, so we should see, hear, praise and love God in all creatures. 17
Thus scientists shouldn’t think they can experiment on animals in the name of science, and suspend moral laws in the interest of their own “Higher” ends, as animals have certain innate rights as mentioned earlier - according to K.T. “the vivisector...is hardening his inner and finer sensibilities - tearing down a part of the better structure of his being - misusing his mind and insulting the higher qualities of his nature...shutting the door against the higher knowledge which would come if his efforts were on higher lines...always the key to the Higher Self is compassion.” 18 “When we feel disgust for animal mistreatment we will no longer be estranged from other life-forms on earth, recognising the intrinsic worth of every being, we will find our own natural role in the life of the planet, nurturing the lower kingdoms even as we are sustained by beings whose spirituality and love transcend the human”. 19
Native peoples who live on animals but wish to preserve nature’s balance to ensure their supply, treat animals with respect. An Inuit from Barren Grounds said the trouble was all human food consists of souls, as animals, like us, have imperishable souls which must “be propitiated lest they should revenge themselves on us for taking away their bodies” - thus his tribe made a myth about their children turning into geese, so they would treat geese with as much respect as their own offspring. 20 The Waswanipi Cree have the responsibility to repay the gifts of the north wind and the animal spirits by: using what is given completely, acting responsibly towards the body and souls of the animals by observing the highly structured procedures for retrieving the animal, butchering it, consuming it and disposing of the bones and remains, making the kill swift and without undue suffering for the animal, and if men came by the means to kill more than he is given, not to show the ultimate disdain for his prey which is to kill for fun or self-aggrandisement. 21 The Dhewong of Malaysia see man not as superior to all other creatures and have no name for the non-human creatures as a group as each animal has its own identity, each seeing the world in its own way according to its unique sensory apparatus. 22 Theosophy, too, says that we don’t have right of life and death over the animals lower than us, or to torture them, just because Nature’s evolved us as a temple for an immortal rational soul or nous - animals like all life forms have a soul.23 Theosophy believes animals came from us, they thence evolved separately, and we have to train them up to take our place in our evolutionary niche, this is our evolutionary dharma.
According to GDP, in the 2nd and earliest 3rd root race humans “bodies” threw off vital cells like dried skin containing living and dead cells, which like spores from a plant, grew and became individuals and each “followed its own evolutionary development after its left the parent body” and reproduced its own kind. The beings who sloughed off the cells were semi-corporeal and humans’ cells came from the “wandering germ centre or vital core - of no fixed place in this ethereal body, but the mammals came from body cells. 24 4th round Man’s cells produced the mammals; the amphibia, birds, reptiles, fish are the resultants of the 2nd and 3rd round, astral fossil forms stored up in the auric envelope of the Earth and projected into physical objectivity subsequent to the deposition of the first Laurentian rocks. The human form was more variable then than now and many evolutionary dead-ends were born out of time and therefore unable to live -e.g. after the globular, non corporeal 1st Race came men with dog like faces, or fish faces and 4 arms and 4 feet, and one eye, which remained as the 3rd eye, when our 2 frontal eyes developed later.25 The mammals began to specialise on their particular line of evolution, away from the original type, to which Humankind’s separate evolution remained more true and when arriving at the time for becoming truly human by the inspiriting by the manisaputras, our cells could no longer bud in this way. All life forms have gone from less materialised to more materialised forms, 26 but all life forms shrank during the 3rd Race as the world grew colder,27 though Man must have been equal in size to the dinosaurs, he being around at the same time as them.28 Animals corporealised before Astral Man and separated into the two sexes earlier too, c. 18 million years ago during the 3rd root race in the Triassic and earlier Jurassic part of the 3rd root race during this our 4th round, when humanity was more or less physicalised but not as material as in the 4th root race Atlantean era.29 The animals had fallen into matter faster than we did when they appeared on this Globe D on the downward arc, because they were a more material type, the attraction of the material globe was stronger.
When we die our upper triad goes onward and upward, our lower elements, the astral body and the astral dregs of the physical man, become the principles - not the latent higher but the intermediate principles - of the beast world, lodging in the appropriate lower life forms to “watch over” and hopefully improve, whilst we are non-corporeal prior to re-incarnation. 30 This idea (metampsychosis/reincarnation) led to the much misunderstood doctrine of transmigration into animals. 31 But all life has a sutra atman, the thread of higher self, because part of the whole entity that reincarnated itself when the “anima mundi”, the first reawakening germ into which all was withdrawn at the end of the last manvantara, rushed through the interface and downwards through all the lives of creation, ensouling everything equally because it is all part of the whole “corporate entity”. Thus everything is ensouled as it is all “corporealised light” 32
Thus “every diamond, every crystal, every plant and stone has its own individual soul, besides man and animal...33 “Animal” means a living being, which is ensouled, though we use the word for brutes or beasts, a brute is a being which hasn’t yet been raised to a self conscious entity, “brute” meaning heavy gross and hence irrational and incomplete. “Animal” however could be used by the ancients re stellar, solar and planetary bodies, they are “animals” in the sense of being living things, with a physical corpus or body, but nevertheless animate or insouled: in the mystical teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy they are insouled things, as indeed every atom is, every tiny universe, or tiny cosmos”. 34 -anything which has an anima or living soul. We are an animal in that we have this soul; our vital physical body is a beast and it works in and with a human soul through a beast-or vital soul, enlightened by a spiritual soul. 35 The beast soul or vital astral soul is the Kama-Prama whose quasi-egoic centre is the beast ego, that elementary principal of egoship in the beast which holds it together during its existence. Each class of being has a soul appropriate to its class, so beasts have beast souls.36
Man and animals differ because the former are ensouled by “principles” potentially, the latter actually. 37 Our monads or Jivas are fundamentally identical to those of animals, but there is an impassable abyss as to mentality and self consciousness, as the human mind in its higher aspect is not only a portion of the essence and in rare cases of incarnation, the very essence of a higher being from a higher and more divine plane (our manisaputra).38 We were only endowed with Manas at the mid point of the 3rd Root Race. The lower animals, from the amoeba to man, had received the monads which contained all the higher qualities in potential. In animals this principle is paralysed, except the 2nd Vital and 3rd astral and the rudiments of the 4th Kama, desire, instinct, whose intensity and development varies and changes with the species. 39
There are animal monads in animals, and animal monads in men. The animal monads in animals will humanise themselves through evolution to no longer feel attracted to incarnate to the animal kingdom and will then seek embodiment psycho-magnetically in the lowest specimens of humans and become the animal monad in men. This is what we did on the moon chain and hence became the humans on this earth chain.
But as we climb rung by rung the ladder of self-evolution, every round will have fewer and fewer animals able to make the grade upwards and climb higher as the spiritual self conscious nature hasn’t evolved forth from their monads to provide a sufficient attraction upwards, and they are held down as the calls of matter will be too strong. “Each class of monads as it passes to the next globe leaves behind it, as seed for the next round, sishtas or remainders to serve as the 1st vehicles for the first incoming monads on that globe. 40 Thus at the end of the 5th Round on Globe D, the sishtas of animals will be found because they will be in their Nirvana... Only the apes will remain ...semi humanised and they will go up into the lowest part of our kingdom. Animal bodies, there being no monads to incarnate, die out. This is because the “door” into our kingdom shut, mid 4th round and the animals now are just hanging on as it were because of the impetus or momentum from the dawning of mind in some of them, they got in coming down the descending ark, a momentum which has carried them up to the present, will carry them onward even into the 5th and 6th (rounds) where they will die out, as have the grossest ones, already. 41 The “beasts” on globes F and G and almost so on Globe E, are 100s of times more highly evolved than men are on this earth, because these globes are ascending and therefore more evolved, both as to the kind of entities there and as to their status 42
As stated before, Man in this round preceded every mammalian - the anthropoids included - in the animal kingdom. 43 There were 7 creations, (I think they are really still occurring because there are 7 rounds, 7 aspects of the Self, and 7 root races and we’re only part way through the globes (lowest on the arc), so creation is continuing too). There are 7 creations symbolised by 7 animals. 44 Much different Manu’s or Adams brought forth from the earth the bodies of the 7 types of living thing, one brought forth the grain and vegetable life, another the reptiles, snakes, etc.45 HPB wrote: God brought forth the animals and birds from the ground and brought them to Adam to name (Gen ii, 19) But in Gen I, the animals mentioned are the signs of the Zodiac, while the man, “male and female,” is not man but the Host of the Sephiroth, forces, or Angels, “made in God’s image and after his likeness”. The Adam, man, is not made in that likeness, and the second adam is esoterically a septenary which represents 7 men, or rather groups of men.46 Man in the preceding round was a gigantic ape-like man, and in the first 2nd root races he wasn’t as he is today. 47 There’s no missing link48 and in the times of the Ramayana apes were more human than now, they had their own systems of government, formed armies, and understood written intelligence; but like all animals they go towards extinction as they approach the luminous arc upwards and they are degrading intellectually and physically. Ape souls needed an evolutionary niche to fill, and the bodies for these were provided by the lowest humans of the 3rd root race breeding with animals just below them and their kingdom. Then in the Atlantean 4th Root Race repeated this “sin of the mindless” so there were 2 drops of human blood in the progeny, the apes. They’d the glimmerings of mind and by aping or imitating their human “minders” learnt language etc. But the Atlanteans realised their error and made wars of extinction on them. 49 Only the very animal apes were left, which deteriorated more, becoming less human still.
But apes are still similar enough to be the only animals to go on through the “door” and will have just touched the human stage at the end of the 7th round when the animals will have died out, except for a few which had just reached the human stage and were ready to enter it just as the 7th round was closing. But the kingdoms don’t rise, just the individuals passing through them; nature keeps them and each at its own level for the monads coming up from below to reach up through. They rise, by bringing out from within themselves those spiritual, mental attributes which would enable them to climb up to the next kingdom, from the very essence of that higher being. When an animal is ready to go into this door it does so only when its “baby ego” has become ready to do so, ie. is more or less human. Then it enters our kingdom by attaching itself because of karmic links of the spiritual past when an embodying human at some stage of that human being’s destiny and thus because an animal monad of that human. There are many intermediate stages of mental and physical growth that must be passed through before an animal monad can become a true human. The various animal monads in the human, are the intermediate stages between them and us. 50
Animals do reincarnate, because they are like all of the individualised and animate entities, a ray from a reimbodying monad. But animals’ egoity is only awakening. 51 They possess will power or free choice, intellectual discrimination, judgement, and moral instinct to guide its choices for good or ill, but only latently. 52 Animals as themselves make no karma self-consciously as man does - what they do carries no moral stigma whereas a man, being so much more evolved, if he did beast-like acts he would have great moral iniquity from this, as he knows better. But every kingdom has karman and is caught up in that of the time of which they are a part. The animals on the 4th Globe “are suffering degradation and have fallen from a higher state because of karmic defects in that higher state in past manvantaras”.53 Animals’ sufferings are karmic consequences of actions done in previous universes or rather in previous embodiments of the Solar System. If I stuck my finger in the fire, the skin atoms on it would perish though I made the decision to act; they were nevertheless there at the time, and by this karman. 54
We may accelerate the evolution of our pets, and humanise them, drawn near by ties of affection and companionship but this doesn’t help the animals go through the door into humanhood as they lose their animal instincts and survival skills - we will pay for this dis-service! 55 The monad of the animal is as immortal as that of Man, yet the beast knows nothing of this, living a life of sensation just as the first humans prior to manisaputrising in the 3rd race. 56 As we remove our divine selves from our animal (sexual) instincts they’ve been separated out into animalism and sensuality, the animal soul and sensual desires, and classified as original sin - it wasn’t our original sin that thence made the animals procreate, either. 57 The separation occurs in daily life, in initiation, and also the post-mortem separation of the divine from the animal man. 58 Thus the animals (passions) shut up in the ark symbolise the human passions we had to overcome and typify certain ordeals of initiation and many nations’ initiation mysteries commemorate this allegorically. 59 The horse was an emblem of the sun or solar powers, the Bull, of the moon and the mysterious functions of the initiate undergoing the dread trials of initiation - overcoming the animal self/moon powers. Hence Mithraists slew bulls, and Virgil’s reference to bees hatching from the carcass of a bull, refers to initiates (gathers of the honey of wisdom) as bees emerging from the death of the moon-self. 60 In the Syrian mysteries, outsiders were called swine and dogs (because they are despised in the Orient), betrayers were called wolves because wolves are cruel and lacked conscience, and those who tried to enter the mysteries unlawfully were called foxes because foxes are cunning 61 -speaking of animals’ bad skandas or qualities.
With all this evolutionary process, one may think humans and animals are/have become irrevocably separate - if so this is only temporary. Since they’re our “spin-offs” we owe them full parental responsibilities, at all times, and should cease to hasten their demise and not think “good riddance” instead. We will be the devas next round and the animals now will be the humans, with their own brood of lesser stocks, the new animals, to nurture up to humanhood and then godhood. If we follow the conscience of our ever evolving higher self, this growing-process will evolve in us mind linked with compassion. It is after all this love for animals which benefits humans because it engenders compassion via the sutra-atman in all things, thus going upward to join and become part of the great Sutra-Atman and becoming a selfless part of the greater organism which it is, and whose body all living things combine to make up.
1 SD 1, 196-7.
2 SB Dougherty, “Animals and Man”, Sunrise April/May 1990, p. 113.
3 Friends of all Creatures, pp. 115-6.
4 Friends of all Creatures, p. 39.
5 Buddhist Birth-Stories (Jataka Tales) Trans from Prof. V. Fausboll’s edition by TW Rhys Davids, Indological Book House, Varanasi, 1973.
6 ibid, p. 27/
7 Friends of all Creatures, pp. 11 and 19-20.
8 Friends of all Creatures, p. 25.
9 Friends of all Creatures, by Rose Evans,Sea Fog Press, Inc., San Francisco, 1984. pp. 15-17.
10 Jataka Tales Tr. by HT Francis and EJ Thomas, Jaico Publishing House, Bombay, 1956, pp.14-16.
11 Ibid. (The best of friends).
12 The Best of Friends. A Jataka Tale. 1989, Dharma Publishing USA, illustr. by Rosalyn White, p.1. Buddhist Birth-Stories (Jataka Tales) Trans from Prof. V. Fausboll’s edition by TW Rhys Davids, Indological Book House, Varanasi, 1973.
13The Best of Friends. A Jataka Tale. 1989, Dharma Publishing USA, illustr. by Rosalyn White, introduction, p.1.
14 Friends of all Creatures, by Rose Evans,Sea Fog Press, Inc., San Francisco, 1984. p. 1.
15 William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”, quoted by S. B Dougherty “Animals and Man”, Sunrise April/May 1990, p. 113.
16 SB Dougherty, op. cit, p. 112.
17 Friends of all Creatures, p. 57.
18 Katherine Tingley, The Gods Await, pp. 66-67, in SB Dougherty, op cit, pp. 113-114.
19 SB Dougheerty, op cit, p. 116.
20 Wisdom of the Elders, p. 85.
21 Wisdom of the Elders, pp. 77-78.
22 Wisdom of the Elders, pp. 89-90.
23 SD II, 279.
24 GDP, Dialogues III, 176-8.
25 SOP 123.
26 SD !! 289.
27 SD II, 329.
28 SD II, 219.
29 ET, pp. 323 fn, 324 and 325.
30 Fundamentals of the ET, p. 447.
31 SD II 552.
32 Fundamentals, p. 447.
33 KH, Mahatma Letters, p. 56?
34 Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, 63.
35 ET, 199.
36 ET, 227.
37 Key, 104.
38 SDII 81.
39 SDII 255.
40 Fountain Sources, 352
41 ET 680-1.
42 Fountain sources 352.
43 (SD II 254)
44 SD II 254.
45 SD II 259
46 SD II, 1.
47 SD II, 261
48 SD II, 260.
49 SOP, p123 or ref before this on my page?
50 Dialogues, 69-70.
51 ET II 699-700.
52 ET II, 699.
53 ET II 341.
54 Dialogues, III, 56.
55 Dialogues III, pp. 339-43, & ET, II, 821.
56 SD II 525.
57 SD II 412.
58 SD II, 496.
59 Isis II, 447.
60 ET II, p.848, fn.
61 ET, 233.