Carl Jung believed that Nature could cure almost all our ills, at least our mental and emotional ills. Immersion in Nature certainly has for me, as it bridges gaps in consciousness that sees life in parts – separate rather than whole and connected, interrelated to a viable ecosystem of the living planetary body of Earth.
While not everyone can live in Nature, many people in city life unconsciously seek the urge to reconnect to their origins in Nature by adopting companion animals. Companion animals provide a mediating link to the natural world. Bridging our psyche in Nature through them is invaluable for psycho-emotional wellbeing. They are our greatest allies. Unfortunately, the human animals that we are, forget our origins in Nature. We forget that as humans, we are also Nature and yet, the Patrix (patriarchal matrix dominator system) conditions us to believe that we are superior to all life forms and reign over their destinies, rather than steward life. This mindset is a psychological disconnect that continues to destroy our planetary body, animal and plant life in our failure to relearn lost understanding that all of our lives are sustained in the ecosystem of sentient Earth.
Another disconnect in our society spawned by the degenerative sciences imprints the belief that animals are wholly instinctual with no capacity for thought or feeling and without value. Perhaps this gives them permission in their own mind to submit animals to a life of tortuous experimentation and bondage in a zoo, or confined animal feeding lots (CAFO). This is conditioned perception of animals is not as they are.
Animals are intelligent personalities that bring their gift of companionship to an entirely new and more profound level. They enjoy friendship, exhibit glee and gratitude, wonder, and they even grieve over dead members and other things we human animals experience like, fear, confusion, anxiety, and most of all pain. Observe how they preen and strut their stuff, are eager to please, to serve their protective role in the family unit, and offer companionship. Dogs didn’t acquire the saying “A dog is a man’s best friend” for no reason. Some people, however perceive companion animals as living, breathing stuffed animals. Something to pet, to cuddle, to dress up, to love—on their own terms and without real concern or awareness that each has their own desires and needs, which might be different from ours as an entirely separate species. This stunted awareness not only limits them—limits their lives and their freedoms—but it also limits the value we can gain from interacting with them.
My observation from growing up with animals is they interact with me similarly, to how I interact with them in ways that are advanced beyond dog’s years. They wholly understand and appreciate your respect and in return are dutiful to their end. When two mama cats gave birth 2 days apart with two litters, the kitty zoo began.
Interaction with kittens in their personality development stages showed me that each cat was unique and had their own preferences. My dogs taught me in a more obvious manner how deeply they feel, how much they know, the sensing of danger, of moods and illnesses – of their desire for adventure, love and affection.
Animals can teach us a lot about ourselves that might go unnoticed, if only we honored their right to exist and acted more respectfully towards them, cages would be empty. “We once knew we existed as a part of the great web of existence and did not see ourselves as distinct, as a completely separate species. We knew that other animals operate with awareness, understand the world in different, sometimes superior ways, and respond consciously to the world. We saw them with compassion.”
We need to remind ourselves that humans are animals displaced from Nature by our usurpation in both land and psyche, and that we share a common thread with other species that are different from us in degree only and require respect over superiority. We need to act and treat the animals in our lives, as we want to be treated – with Love, Care, and Respect.