Are Animals Expanding Consciousness?
By Allen and Linda Anderson
During a radio interview we did a few months ago, the
host asked if listeners were learning spiritual lessons from animals. One young
man called in and said that he loved his dog but didn't think she was teaching
him anything spiritual. He thought he could only get spiritual insight from the
one source of his religious beliefs. How could a dog ever demonstrate a
Then the host asked the man if he thought he'd learned
anything by sharing his home with this animal. The man said he was looking at
the dog, resting comfortably on his couch, as she patiently waited for him to
take her for a walk. He said as much as this dog loved her walks, no matter how
busy he became doing graphics out of his home office, the dog never pestered
him. He said that he often wished he could be as patient as she is.
We smiled, listening to this man describe a spiritual
quality--patience--while denying that an animal had anything of spiritual value
to teach him. He was demonstrating something that we've seen in the hundreds of
stories we've collected from around the world to share in our newsletter, book,
interviews, and workshops. Repeatedly, people who are willing to put the human
ego aside, tell us how animals show from their hearts--not through animal
instinct, behavior or training--unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and
joy. In other words, animals demonstrate an expanded consciousness.
Animals have been on this planet long before humans.
Have animals grown spiritually to the point where they now serve as healers,
teachers, and angels? Are the animal and human consciousness becoming so
interconnected that these two kingdoms live in greater harmony with each other
Is it the spiritual nature of animals that has caused
the phenomenal growth in human-animal, interspecies relationships? Do humans
need more of what animals have in spades--the ability to love
Statistics indicate that sharing our homes with animals
is the norm rather than the exception. Nine out of ten people consider their
pets to be members of the family--offering them presents, birthday parties,
gourmet food, and spending over $20 billion per year on them. Animals today
sleep in the same beds as their humans. Fifty-three percent say they'd risk
their own lives to save a pet.
We believe that many animals, with consciousness that
seems freer of mental limitations and emotional baggage, have are clear, pure
conduits for Spirit. Indeed, they are "angels"--messengers who let us know that
we're loved and miracles are possible. As spiritual beings they demonstrate
virtues that humans have often forgotten. Animals offer some of the most
enduring and endearing examples of gratitude--a quality that serves as a
spiritual vitamin for expanding consciousness.
A Grateful Kitten
We had an example of an animal's expanded consciousness
with Cuddles, a kitten with whom we share our home. She sparked the fire of
gratitude in our hearts.
Cuddles has taken a fancy to the edges of our sofas.
She flies into the living room and immediately stretches herself out for a good
scratch, leaving the fabric in tatters. We've read articles about how to change
this behavior, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, an organization sent us a
booklet that contained a photo of a tall scratching post made of gnarly yarn. A
cone-shaped structure, it perched firmly on a stand that didn't wobble. The
article mentioned that this type of scratching post would save our furniture. To
get a cat to use the post, the author suggested rubbing catnip on the yarn. Then
the article suggested that the human should get down on all fours and scratch
the post to show the cat how to use it. This sounded like a weird thing to do,
but we were feeling desperate to save our sofas and were willing to try
While shopping at the pet supply store, we found a post
that looked similar to the photo we'd seen. We brought the post home, smeared
catnip on it, and called the kitten into the living room. Then we hunkered down
on the floor and tried to entice her to follow our lead. Cuddles watched us for
a few minutes. Tentatively, she began to scratch the other side of the post. The
sound, touch of the twine, and smell of catnip combined to transport her into
some kind of kitty ecstasy. Overcome with happiness, Cuddles scratched,
stretched, rolled, and purred.
Then Cuddles did something we'll never forget. She
stopped this intensely pleasurable experience for a moment, looked into Linda's
eyes, and with great emotion, the kitten communicated her gratitude for the new
scratching post. As loudly as if she'd said, the words, Cuddles communicated,
"Thank you." Then she returned to her joyful pursuit.
Later that day, Allen found Cuddles alone with her new
friend--the gnarly post. The kitten sprawled out on the floor in front of it.
She pressed her cheek against the platform and spread her little arms around the
post to hug it with all her might.
It brought tears to our eyes to see such a heartfelt
display. This demonstration inspired us to sit down and begin talking about the
many things we appreciate in our animal family of spiritual teachers. Cuddles
had evoked the spiritual quality of gratitude with such intensity that we had to
reflect on the abundance and love all around us.
Is an animal in your home or backyard helping you
remember to be grateful for the blessings in your own life?
How to Express Gratitude,
On another radio interview, the host gave us another
example of an animal's expanded consciousness. He told us how his dog reminded
him daily to be grateful. He said that when he puts the dog's bowl in front of
him, piled high with food, the dog never lunges into it immediately. Instead, he
always stands in front of the bowl, looks up at the man, and with his eyes
expresses such thankfulness that it almost moves the man to tears. The host
believes that this is the dog's way of saying grace before meals, offering a
blessing for the food he's about to receive.
Animals remind us that we're not separated from each
other but connected a thread of divine love. A woman from Switzerland wrote to
us about how expressing her gratitude for the animals and earth showed her the
true meaning of love.
Kathia said that she was participating in a workshop
held in the San Bernadino desert. The residence where she was staying had a hot
tub outdoors at floor level. One night Kathia couldn't sleep so she got up in
the hours before dawn and decided to soak in the hot tub.
She closed her eyes and let the warm water lull her
into a meditative state. Kathia began to contemplate on a question that she'd
wondered about for a long time. Inwardly, she asked God to show her what love
is. She asked, "What is love?"
Kathia said that she seemed to drift away into a world
where wild animals roamed peacefully, living together in harmony. It was such a
wonderful daydream that Kathia felt a rush of gratitude as she lingered there.
Suddenly though, her quiet moment was interrupted by the sense that something
was licking her hand. She looked up and met the gaze of a pair of deep,
sparkling eyes looking into hers. A coyote had silently appeared and brought the
answer to her question.
"This is love," Kathia whispered, as she appreciated
such a beautiful example of her spiritual connection with all life.
Could you ask the same question Kathia did? When you're
out in nature or relaxing at home, sit quietly, close your eyes, and reflect on
the question: What is love? Fill yourself with gratitude for the blessings that
are all around you. Be alert to the subtle yet profound ways your question may
A spiritual virtue that leads to respect for life, for
the earth, for each other. We can learn it from the expanded consciousness of