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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Spiritual Lives of Animals

A few months ago my friend Geoffrey sent me a link to an MSNBC report highlighting new academic research indicating that animals have a spiritual side. One hypothesis it offered was the fact that in human beings, the spiritual center lies in the "most primitive part of the brain" so it would be likely that animals, being more primitive creatures than we are, share that primitive spot. As pleased as I am to see the scientific world corroborate what shamans and metaphysicians have known through experience for thousands of years, I would disagree that animals are primitive. I would say primal, not primitive. We once clung to this notion in a human development context as well; as knowledge and technology have propelled us further into the electronic, industrial, and later cyber ages in the last few hundred years, our culture mislabeled as primitive indigenous peoples without the high powered gadgets and mass production. Does simplicity dictate primitiveness or does it free us fr