YES, said Pythagoras, who believed we shouldn’t eat living creatures, because animals and fish had souls
NO say atheists who don’t believe humans have them either
MAYBE say some religions. Hindus, for instance, believe that animal souls evolve into the human plane during re-incarnation, while Pope Francis says all pets go to heaven as “paradise is open to all God’s creatures”. Indeed Robert Louis Stevenson was convinced that dogs would make it to heaven long before the rest of us.
Dogs are mentioned a lot when it comes to souls – man’s best friend and all that: “A dog is, on the whole, what you would call a simple soul”, T S Eliot wrote in the AD-dressing of Cats. But then cats have their own advocates and while in Islam it is believed that all souls are eternal…including those of animals, there is a particular admiration for cats because of their cleanliness, which is why you will occasionally see them walking around mosques.
Indeed cats themselves are quite keen on places of prayer – perhaps it is the quietness, the hushed tones and the innate sense of sanctuary, which is how Doorkins the Magnificat took up residence at Southwark Cathedral. A stray who wandered in off the streets and made it her home for more than 12 years, during which time she became so popular that she had her own twitter account, published a book about the cathedral and met the Queen. On her death a service of Thanksgiving was held, as the Dean – the Rev Andrew Nunn explained: “She did more to bring people to this place, than I will ever do.”
It has long been known that animals bring comfort and respite to many – just think of Guide Dogs for the Blind, while more recent research has shown that dogs can detect cancer and certain neurological diseases simply by their sense of smell. Medical Detection Dogs are now being used in research projects within hospitals and universities.
Dolphins have always been recognised as sensitive souls with intelligence and compassion, known to have helped swimmers in distress and guided them to safety. Empathy and altruism are part of their make-up. The same can be said for horses, which is why one of the top US Spas and Wellbeing Resorts is renowned for its special healing programme which helps patients deal with trauma, grief and stress. Miraval in the Arizona desert has been offering the healing power of horses with its Equine Therapy for more than quarter of a century.
And it is reciprocal…Richard Currall, an internationally acclaimed energy therapist, has used his powers to calm, soothe and heal wounded animals from , dogs to elephants, and is currently working with racing stables in the UK. Richard has no doubts that animals have souls simply by observing their “profound sensitivity and gratitude each time I have helped them”.
“For instance, a wolf I treated for arthritis used to sit on my lap and lick my face in gratitude, a chimp shared his strawberry with me while Miew a Bengal tiger with a neck injury, simply licked my hand in thanks after each session. It was a bit painful as he has a very rough tongue…but was in the end much appreciated. You give them love, they return it – what a soulful act that is.”
#SouthwarkCathedral #GuideDogs #MedicalDetectiondogs #DoorkinstheMagnificat
#Arizona #Miraval #EquineTherapy #Spa #wellbeing #RichardCurrall