Animals Sense of Self
A question on the animal’s sense of self
I must say that reading your post is inspirational. What I find interesting is that you seem to know how it works. With the insight of other animals having no sense of self and are therefore never unhappy I tend to disagree. In my experience animals can be very unhappy as I see Elephants with dead relatives, dogs that know they have something wrong and cats waiting for a dead friend to come home. They cannot express it in words but the behaviour says it all.
Yes, through grace I know how it works as I’m a realised state of consciousness. This means I’m able to address anything relating to the inner life with clarity and simplicity. There’s nothing to prove, as what I’ve realised is not my personal knowledge. It’s for people who are receptive to gain a deeper understanding of the mystery of life.
Here’s what I have to say regarding the animals and their sense of self. Animals are not self-conscious and do not get emotional. Emotion is the self-conscious expression of instinct. The unique feature of human beings is our self-reflective capability to know that ‘I’ in that body exist, as well as to reflect on the past. This is sapience or the sense of knowing discernment – hence the term Homo sapiens.
Whereas the human animal has a self-conscious ‘I’, the creatures that we love and cherish are instinctual with no sense of self. They are the spontaneous expression of life in their unself-conscious innocence. Were it possible to put self-consciousness into a cat or any other life form, it would immediately lose its innocence and become like us – suspicious, fearful and burdened with the fear of death. Thank God the animals are protected from such a curse, but unfortunately not from the overall effect, which is the condition of the world at any time.
Domestic pets, as well as wild animals that come into contact with human beings, pick up the progressive drive of humanity and appear to act less wild. They can then begin to exhibit human behavioural traits and apparent emotional reactions to events. The natural creatures, such as the elephant you mention with its dead, or even the crow when its nest is raided, will exhibit symptoms of distress for a short while. However, they quickly adjust inwardly to the outer shock of separation and are able to connect again with their own intrinsic wellbeing.