Some religions deny the possibility of animals having souls––or even consciousness––and claim that humans have dominion over other species. Other religions believe that souls incarnate in a variety of forms, not only as humans but as animals and even insects. If you accept the theory that humans evolved from animals (and you believe humans have souls), when did said souls enter into the picture?
Early Egyptian myths include a number of human-animal hybrid deities, such as the jackal-headed Anubis, god of the afterlife. In India, the elephant-headed god Ganesh helps humans overcome obstacles. Native American teachings speak of spirit animals who guide, protect, and instruct human beings (see my book The Secret Power of Spirit Animals for more).
Will You See Your Beloved Pet Again?
For many of us, losing a pet can be as devastating as losing a human family member or friend. If you’ve lived with and loved an animal who’s passed over, you may wonder if you’ll meet your beloved companion again on the other side. If you believe animals have souls and consciousness that continue after their physical bodies die, you may wonder if they go to the same place formerly human souls go. My guess is yes, they continue to live alongside us in spirit form––for if everything is interconnected energetically, as many researchers profess, how could it be otherwise?
During one of Dr. Brian Weiss’s past-life seminars at the Omega Institute in New York, a number of participants received messages from one member’s deceased white dog. Other people’s accounts in his book Miracles Happen describe seeing animals in the world beyond. Dr. Piero Calvi-Parisetti’s course Love Knows No Death also includes accounts of people witnessing animals in the afterlife. Bill D. Schul, in his book Animal Immortality, discusses animal ghosts. My long-time partner, Ron Conroy, who left his physical body in 2013, told me that the world where he now lives is populated with all sorts of animal spirits––not only animals we’re familiar with, but also those who’ve long been extinct on earth, as well as many that have never lived on our planet.
The Goodness of Animals
If you’ve spent any amount of time living with animal companions or observed wildlife, you can’t help admiring their wondrous qualities and beauty. We hear accounts of animals risking their lives to save other animals or humans; stories of animals traveling vast distances to find their families; stories of animals adopting and aiding animals of other species. We’re awed by the compassion of service dogs, the healing abilities of horses, and the intelligence of dolphins.
Again and again, animals display amazing intelligence, compassion, devotion, kindness, patience, courage, insight, unconditional love, and generosity of spirit. These are the qualities religions and spiritual traditions teach humans to develop. I think we’ve been blessed with animals as teachers, and often wonder if our furry and feathered friends may be bodhisattvas who give so much of themselves and ask so little in return. Can we but wonder if, indeed, they are the higher species and we the lesser?