Love Between Worlds * How Our Love For Animals Expands Our Souls

Transcending Human Limits * Love Between Realms of Creation

Many people are quite impatient with the devotion of human beings  to their pets. Their grief for a pet sometimes seems beyond reason to those who understand grief in human terms only – for the loss of a spouse or child, a friend or one’s parents.  I recall the bemusement of co-workers when one of us took a 6-week bereavement leave to cope with the loss of her dog. There was a sense that this was somehow inappropriate, though no one actually said so…

More and more people are opening their lives to the perhaps surprisingly deep, poignant bond between themselves and an animal.  We are learning that the love between a human being and and a dog, a cat, or even a special giant – one whale in a vast ocean – can not only equal, and at times may even transcend the bonds of love between  humans.

This seems to tell us something about the nature of love.  For one thing, people feel very strongly that the love they give to their pet is returned a thousandfold – indeed, its most poignant characteristic is that the love from a pet seems given without limits or conditions.

In response to such purity and goodness, the human heart expands, striving to meet and return that love in kind.

This experience can open the heart chakra and begin a transformation of a human being in ways which we cannot always see but which lead us to higher levels of consciousness.

And indeed, in mythology and studies of dreams, the dog, for example, is portrayed as the one who conducts us to our new world following death. Is this because there is something uniquely spiritual in our bond with the animall world?

The love between species – between worlds – opens a window for us onto the true nature of cosmic Love and its vast potential to lift us beyond our quite narrow “human” limits. When we love a member from another order of beings we leave behind a good deal of the hidden selfishness of human love. Love becomes a gift freely given and received without burden or obligation, and we catch a glimpse of the nature of Pure Love.

When we love our pets, we really expect nothing from them in return. In fact, their love for us seems a new and startling gift each time we see it in their eyes and small, endearing ways.

Legends are born of the St. Bernard dogs who rescue the lost in mountain passes, while the great Newfoundland dog has stood guard for men at sea for centuries.

Who can forget the great 1925 Serum Run by dogsled, powered by the heart and will of two great dogs – Balto and Togo?  Great acts of heroism and self-sacrifice by such dogs, horses and other entities on behalf of human beings bring wonder into the human world – for a moment, we grasp that there is something momentous happening which we seem quite unable to fully grasp, much less express, in words.

These events seem sent to awaken us to the possibilities of pure, unselfish love in ways which go beyond even the unselfish acts which humans may show each other. In many ways, the animals who keep human company on Earth are emissaries of Cosmic Love. They offer themselves without price, risking harsh lives and terrible mistreatment, to show us the pure Love we will one day be capable of feeling for, and receiving from, all of Creation, and not just those special humans to whom now, in our family, tribal and social circles, we have become attached.

Chief by Robert Bateman – a symbol of the spirit of Buffalo, who may arrive in the life of a shaman.

Animal Allies, Magic, And Karma * Opening – and Closing – the Windows

And all of this bears upon the ancient relationship between the animal allies who appear, unbidden, to guide and protect those who are called to the Shaman’s path. We must assume that the ability to form this partnership is much more than it seems; does it arise from the Shaman’s care for animals in other lifetimes? Is it perhaps a mysterious gift which simply arrives in the life of the Shaman?

Whether we are shamans or not, it is becoming more and more clear that the bonds of love between the human and animal realms is truly extraordinary, even if its full dimensions remain a mystery to us.

We learn from these trusting, loving, unselfish bonds with other species how to open to travel between the realms, to open to mystery and alchemy, and how to feel completely at home in worlds no longer exclusively human.

This magical relationship – for that is what it is – is seen early in our lives. Nearly all the stories most loved by children feature animals.  Indeed, animals often play a larger role than human characters in the stories which so delight the heart of a child.

We are human, yes, but this seems just to be a beginning – we need to be connected to, completed by, our relationship to other species. Children know this, for they are natural shamans, still connected, as they are, to the realms from which they have so recently come.

Atlantis * A History of genetic and other experiments deforming animals and humans, said to lead to the sinking of Atlantis.

And Yet, A History of Cruelty Which Must Be Repaired

Yet we cannot overlook a troubling and ever-present reality. While many children love and cherish animals, cruelty to animals is quite common among children of all cultures. And this carries on in the adult world – from bear-baiting and bull fighting to cock-fighting and deliberate internet-fuelled other forms of quite personal cruelty, this ugly history unfolds.

There is an old expression – God sees the sparrow fall.  Karma is a law from which the only escape is Love. Until a certain level of selfless love is attained, and we repair such harm as we have meted out to those in the animal world, our lives will reflect the hidden wheels of justice grindly delicately and precisely through all that we experience.

Human beings need to understand that this relationship with the animal realm – and repairing it – is not optional, is not incidental, and is far from trivial. Where there has been cruelty to an animal in this or other lives, it creates one of the heaviest of karmic loads for the Soul.

More than we understand, such cruelty violates the Web in ways which damage the pathways between worlds both within and without the human being who engages in it.

The use of animals in medical, military and scientific research damages our psychic environment and destabilizes the planet as much – indeed more – than atomic tests or experiments with earthquake formation. In fact, it is possible that we have still not found real cures for many major diseases precisely because our research paths lead through cruelty.

The Atlanteans were known to have engaged in great cruelty and metaphysical evil with their experiments in mating and mutating of animals and humans – this was very likely the vibration that set off the cataclysms which sunk Atlantis.

Great remorse and reparation can mend the Web, but this must be undertaken as a serious and major karmic commitment by those – as nations, groups or individuals – who have erred in this area of life. Great remorse and reparation can mend the Web, but this must be undertaken as a serious and major karmic commitment by those — as nations, groups or individuals — who have erred in this area of life.

Showing special care and concern for animal shelters through personal involvement, or at least through regular donations, are important beginnings in this regard. In a country such as India, laying humble offerings of love in the appropriate temple offers another path. For it is the intention of the heart that is read in the Temple of Justice…

We are not ready for other realms, as we have been told many times, until we learn to create and explore our Earthly realm within the framework of the Law.

This includes forming bonds of love and cooperation with other species in general, and with special members of other species – however humble they may seem -who come into our lives to open windows of love between worlds.

© Carol Leigh Rice 2024

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