FOR THE LOVE OF ANIMALS
I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and all Thy creatures as myself
Many individuals who are drawn to the White Eagle Lodge are innately lovers of nature and animals. We are very fortunate, with this affinity of heart, to have a perfect channel through which we can actively express our interest. On a weekly basis, our Animal Healing Service and/or the Animal Group Soul service are ideal ways our passion for animals can take a practical, effective, even miraculous form. Our passion “calls” us. This comment reveals the wondrous power of our work: “It was especially interesting for me to note the date on your letter. I realized when it arrived that it was the exact day that [my cat] began to seem more comfortable. The symptoms are still there, but she lies down now in the peaceful, relaxed ways she used to.” Knowing what they need, animals are almost always receptive to and welcome a healing tune up.
Have you ever considered that a marvelous way to nourish your self is to have at least one activity, like the animal healing work, which is entirely for you alone? It may appear, in this sense, to be self-centered, call it a healthy selfishness. This individual pursuit, whatever its form, is something that makes us glow from within, because it simply feels so good to our natural inclinations, and further because the word “individual” means undivided! We are made whole—a re-union of the self with the Self—when we do what we love and love what we are doing. This is loving the Lord our God!
More often than not, the self-oriented interest we choose, where we feel we are on the receiving end, is in fact one that is selfless and other-centered. It truly becomes a circle of communion and compassion, in one way or another, which gently flows from the self into some path of service or ministry, to the Self, and to knowing experientially that life is an indivisible Whole. Saint Francis’ great devotion to the animals is such a lasting example. He instructs us that “not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission—to be of service to them wherever they require it.” In giving our self by praying for the animals, they are blessed and healed as we are blessed and healed. “What you put into life,” affirms White Eagle, “flows back full measure—this is inescapable law. . . . There is no escaping the result of our actions, and as we sincerely serve our brother man [animal] so we serve ourselves.”
Resting with my beloved kids in 2004
Today animals are an integral part of many peoples’ families and daily lives. An astounding 60% of all homes in America have one pet, and 21% of homes have five or more! Cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, and turtles (in that order) are the favored choices. Our pets are excellent for our body, mind, and soul (as studies show), as well as great therapists! A puppy licking one’s face has a healing effect unmatched by any psychological intervention, and Roger Caras remarked, “dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Having extensively researched the healing power of prayer, the well-known doctor, Larry Dossey, calls companion animals “four-legged prayer.” Is it any wonder that you’ve likely heard someone remark something similar to, “My dog (or cat) was my life line when I was desperately alone and needed help; otherwise, I might have gone under.”
Many of you may have experienced or been told such an inspiring, life-changing story. Within these chaotic moments of life, when we are most fragile and vulnerable, animals often function as our trustworthy Light lines. When we are least able, they maintain that inner link of spiritual sustenance that allows us to keep on in faith until our equilibrium returns. As always, a Divine law—much like a boomerang of grace—operates through the acts of giving and receiving as this lady wrote about her dog, “He means everything to me. He is a part of me and when he is hurt or ill, I strive to do all I can for him. I believe the healing prayers will be a powerful help.”
Animals are profound learning partners who come into our life for a special purpose. This timeless notion that our fellow creatures regularly function as significant guides was astutely given in the Book of Job: “Ask the beasts, and they will teach you.” The Pawnee Chief Letakots-Lesa said, “In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals; for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beasts, and that from them, and from the stars and the son and the moon, man should learn.”
Angela and Timothy with their animals at the Lizard Farm in England (photos courtesy of Angela Gurney)
God’s wisdom is brought to us through His beloved creatures, and this is evident in the sacred texts and religious history worldwide, where animals play a major role and often point directly to God. “Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God,” wrote the thirteenth century Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart. Not surprisingly then, family pets regularly accompanied their owners to church services until the fourteenth century when this common practice was condemned by religious authorities.
Great teachers, from Buddha to Jesus to White Eagle, have taught that human and spiritual evolution is closely intertwined with the animal kingdom. All levels of life interpenetrate, and thus are we collectively One—all a reflection of God. Just like the picture of the orange kitten looking in the mirror to discover himself the magnificent, kingly lion, animals are both mirrors for us that our lives have meaning and worth and witnesses to our personal growth towards greater understanding, patience, humility, and love. What if they see us as we truly are, not as we think we are? What if they perceive us with the same loving kindness and compassion as Christ witnesses to our divinity?
St. Teresa of Avila wasn’t referring to animals when she wrote these words but she very well might have, “Yours are the eyes through which the Divine compassion is to look out to the world. . . .” Through lack of any judgment, they show us an unconditional acceptance often unsurpassed in our human interactions and relationships. In a recent interview, Eckhart Tolle commented that he believed “dogs are keeping millions of people sane who would otherwise become deeply neurotic in our alienated world. So, the dog keeps you in touch with Being—beyond mind—Being, the innermost core. You can look into the eyes of the dog and see that innermost core.”
Tess and our dog-whispering neighbor, Mike (photograph by Joni Quarnstrom)
Our prayers for the animals are not only about sending out the Christ Light and healing rays but also about the spiritual work of awakening to a more profound love for and rapport with the magnificent interconnectedness of life. As we become purer receptacles of the Divine Life, we constantly radiate a subtle, healing essence wherever we go. We too gradually become “the light of the world” while generally increasing the account of goodness and peace on Earth. In this regard, perhaps our animal brethren open us to yet another facet of our spiritual intimacy with God. Most animals, unless there has been mistreatment and thus an ensuing fear and uncertainty, are templates and teachers of how to attain an unwavering attention in the present moment, which is the only place God and love can be found—right here, right now. Traditionally composed of a mere three lines and a single seasonal image, the Japanese poetic form of Haiku is always about being present. Animals are like a Haiku poem in our lives—they help us to be present.
Since animals have the tendency to bring out the most tender, positive qualities of human nature, in yet another reciprocal way, the companionship and love we give our own animals is gradually helping them evolve towards becoming individualized and “clothed in a soul body.” The deep spiritual link we share is assisting the animal kingdom, one individual at a time, to move to a higher level of consciousness and thus also come within the domain of free will and karmic law. White Eagle says that animals are not subject to the laws of karma in quite the same way as humans and neither do they learn or grow through pain and suffering. Our healing work for our human patients helps them to balance, harmonize, and strengthen their physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies so that an everlasting temple of God—the individual—is eventually built. Is it any less probable that we are also slowly but surely helping our animals to one day become a perfect temple of God? Consider these words from the Animal Healing service: “When we call their names for the second time their souls are brought into our very midst. . . .”
Animals serve us as master teachers in still another key way when they make ready to relinquish their physical life—in their own perfect timing—and pass into the world of Light. Theirs is the gift that reveals life is an ever changing, continuing process where “there is no such thing as death, because nothing can ever be lost,” instructs White Eagle, for “you cannot be separated from loved ones, whether they be animal or human.” Shortly after her cat passed, a woman shared: “I do miss him at the physical level, but can feel his little spirit all happy and free from the burden of a sickly body and fearful psyche, so really the relationship is stronger than ever!” Her words underscore what White Eagle meant when he once said, “The mystery of death holds nothing of death, rather is it a fuller life, for death is growth!”
For an animal, whose mind does not readily separate life into this and that, here or there, the physical and etheric (spirit) worlds are very nearly the same. At their moment of death, an Angel simply lifts them out of their body with great love, out of any apparent suffering, and into a welcome place with people and other animals that are no less familiar. A lady who attended the passing of a beloved friend’s horse wrote, “Within seconds of his death, I saw him energetically standing at Andrea’s side, nuzzling her as he always did.” Without struggle or resistance, their transition between the two planes of consciousness is the gentle moving from one room to the next room in a home they loved. There is no angst or disconnect for them—only boundless freedom, health, and joy, where they are readily aware of our cherished thoughts and love for them and where our souls are nightly reunited during sleep.
In so many life-enriching ways, humans and animals share a joint destiny to help elevate one another’s consciousness. We must keep in mind, as our teacher affirms, that an animal can become conscious of divine love through a caring relationship with a trusted human in the same way we can feel the inflow of divine love through them. What more perfect gift could we possibly give them or they to us? Further, when an adored pet dies, after experiencing a deeply wonderful and contented life, they take to the other side the beautiful Light of Love to share with other less fortunately treated animals. Our animals shine their own light in the inner world so that all the animals can truly know divine love is the seamless thread throughout the Universe.
We are met for service to animals through prayer. . . .
Our bright angels—Sketty, Zoe, Bodhi, and Bacca in 1993
This article was published in Drumbeat, Journal of the White Eagle Lodge (Canada), Volume 16, pages 10-13 (December 2008).
This article, retitled “Animals as Teachers,” was also published in Stella Polaris, Journal of the White Eagle Lodge in 2009 as follows: Part One in Volume 58, No. 2, pages 78-79 and Part 2 in Volume 58, No. 4, pages 169-171.
Unless otherwise noted, the Text and Photos © by Zane Maser, 2010. All rights reserved.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.
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