(Posted on: June 11, 2015 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” I have noticed that the love of pets (both giving and receiving) seems to come up at some point during one or more lessons (usually the Love lesson). So it was in the following exchanges which began as an observation on “unconditional love” in which “pets and especially dogs love without question.” The group member went on to note that “when I was a kid I was always reminded by my elders that the word dog is god spelled backwards … dogs, pets love their owners no matter what and greet them with the same enthusiasm if they have been away five minutes or five days – never getting angry with the 'where have you been' issue – God's love for us is like this – no matter how long it has been since we last 'checked in' through meditation or other means, God is glad to hear from us ...” Here is my reply. – Dave]
… I had almost forgotten how much of a dog consciousness you have. I used to have that with many dogs over the years (mostly hunting breeds – bird dogs). Could never have imagined having a cat – until we got Moonshadow as an orphan kitten 17 years ago. He's quite the senior citizen now. Yes, dogs are great at expressing unconditional love. But cats can be so very conditional! (“You expect me to eat that? I had that yesterday. Get real!”) Diversity – I love it! And while reflecting on the love of dogs and cats, if you haven't seen the video I did on “The Dog That Roared” you might want to check it out. A pet owner got a Cayce life reading for herself that also described the reincarnation of her beloved little dog Mona (that had a past life as a big cat in the Roman coliseum). Love does comes in many flavors, but has the same One Source.
Just as the theme of Oneness runs through all these lessons, I have come to appreciate how much the pattern of Cooperation (Lesson 1) also recurs, even in this lesson on Love. The pattern is – God First:
Cooperation with God => Cooperation with others => Cooperation within self
Love God => Love others => Love self
It's that last step that many of us find so challenging on the spiritual path. If we could only love ourselves as God (“dog”) loves us …
Thanks for sharing so generously from your own experience with Love. As usual, much to ponder. Blessings, Dave
[After watching the linked video about Mona (The Dog That Roared), this individual wondered about animal consciousness and soul growth. Here is my reply. – Dave]
… you've raised some fascinating questions about the possible meaning of reincarnation for animals. In Hinduism there doesn't appear to be much distinction, as the soul may incarnate as an animal and then progress (over many lifetimes) into human incarnation. Technically, I think this is called “transmigration,” rather than strictly reincarnation (especially in the Cayce readings which strongly make that distinction between humans and animals). Perhaps others in this eGroup (who are more familiar with Hinduism) would care to comment on this, and particularly your question about “soul growth” of animals.
And of course there are the Cayce pre-history readings that indicate part human/part animal composite beings (such as the sphinx, mermaid, etc), in which souls projected thought forms and eventually became encased within those forms:
Those individuals who had through their sojourns in the earth as souls pushed into matter as to become separate entities, without the consideration of principle or the ability of self-control, might be compared to the domestic pets of today, – as the present development of the horse, the mule, the dog, the cat. This is not intended to indicate that there is transmigration or transmutation of the soul from animal to human … yet in each there is still the instinct, the predominant nature of that class or group-soul impregnation into which it has pushed itself for self-expression… (2464-2)
In one of the ASFG readings on Destiny we find:
For Mind is the dividing line between that which is human, that which is man, and that which is animal – or of that division of a group soul or consciousness. (262-80)
Thus, as nearly as I can determine, the Cayce readings indicate that animals do not have individual souls (created to be equal companions with God), but rather are part of a “group soul” or consciousness.
With regard to this lesson on Love, I do find it amazing the amount of “love” that humans can express for animals, especially pets – often as part of the family (such as Moonshadow McMillin – at least that's what they call him at the vet's office 🙂
The book text for this lesson, under the heading “Love Manifested” states:
“It is the privilege of every soul to find joy in communing with God in nature; for each creation is a complete unit of expression of the Creative Power.” (ASFG)
Similarly, in the Cayce readings we find:
For Life as it manifests, whether in the grass, the rose, the tree, the dog, the cat, the bird, the animal, IS a manifestation of that ye worship as God. (1367-1)
Perhaps the joy that we experience in relation to an animal (such as a beloved pet) is simply an aspect of Oneness and Love we feel for God's creation. It does seem that this aspect of "love" (of animals, that is) comes up in one or more of these ASFG lessons every year. There must be something pretty important about such relationships.
[The group member posted one final comment about this subject, noting that while driving (“kind of a driving meditation”) he reflected on "creation arguments" with regard to Darwin's theory of evolution and its implications for Love (which seems to be contradicted by “survival of the fittest”). Here is my reply. – Dave]
… you might want to check out the work of E. O Wilson (“father of socio-biology”) who studied ants and postulated natural selection at the group level. Thus while “survival of the fittest” may apply for individual animals, in groups we find more of COOPERATION (ASFG, Lesson 1) as a driving force of evolution. Interesting concept.
I have noticed that as I get older (and hopefully wiser), I tend to be less concerned about “creation arguments” (or any kinds of arguments) trying to convince or convert others (which is usually more a matter of trying to convince myself).
With regard to survival of the fittest:
(Q) Now, let's take the animal. One great belief at the present time is the survival of the fittest –
(A) Applies in the ANIMAL kingdom – not in man! (900-340)
And from a reading for the ASFG Knowledge lesson, "physical evolution – in the MIND of God":
When the earth became a dwelling place for matter, when gases formed into those things that man sees in nature and in activity about him, then matter began its ascent in the various forms of physical evolution – in the MIND of God! The spirit chose to enter (celestial, not an earth spirit – he hadn't come into the earth yet!), chose to put on, to become a part of that which was as a command not to be done! When those so entering MUST continue through the earth until the body-mind is made perfect for the soul, or the body-celestial again. (262-99)
Here are a couple of my favorite Cayce excerpts relative to Nature and God:
… he who understands nature walks close with God. (1904-2)
For the love of nature grows, and is akin to God. For all nature manifests life, and life IS the manifestation of God. (1968-1)
Searching For God 3 has a lesson on Nature:
Much more to meditate upon. Drive safely 🙂
[At this point another member chimed in: “My treasured, loved pet of the last 10 years is into his last week or days. He has a neurological disease that has been destroying his muscles … His love helped me survive stroke and divorce. I am searching for faith that his spirit will go on. One thing I am experiencing strongly is the privilege it is to care for him in his final days, its difficult at times but feels sacred … I have always been on the receiving end of that kind of care. The video and comments have been comforting.” – Here is my brief reply. – Dave]
Glad that you found the information helpful. I too have experienced that sense of the "sacred" in caring for our elderly cat (Moonshadow) who is currently having some health challenges. Whether we call it compassion or love, it is powerful and a valid part of our Search for God. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Dave