I will try to stay removed from the comment that MARK BEEKSMA speaks only from religious point of view, while I speak only from a non believers point of view. In today’s paper the spiritual leader on Kauai spoke about animals. I would like to respond as a human being, an agnostic atheist, a non believer, a secular humanist, as someone, who tries very hard to reason her way through these ‘deep’ religious conundrums.

For years, over forty,I have lived with my animals as the native American Indians and Bedouins lived with theirs. Can I answer the very deep religious question, do animals have souls? Nope? But, you know what, neither can they. Do I believe they have souls? Nope. And  I’ll admit, I do not know. But what I do know is, animals are much more intelligent and sensitive than we give them credit for. They are ‘dumb’ animals only in the sense they cannot vocalize. They have no vocal chords; but remember Coco, and that darling young girl from Stanford who taught Coco how to sign? And,  a further pursuit of an answer, I would suggest you read THE SEAT OF THE SOUL  by Gary Zukov. Gary is one of our finest interpreters of frontier science, He graduated from Harvard. He won the American Book Award in Science for THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS, and he concluded that animals have ‘collective’ souls.   THE SEAT OF THE SOUL  is “A readable, thought-provoking (work) on how our perceptions must change dramatically if we are to survive.” From the Library Journal. If you have a curious, creative, loving  mind I hope you find it. Read it.  You’ll love it.

But this I do KNOW, from years of observation, from love, from an open mind that can look and question and not get lost in the god/no god thing, animals, all animals, that’s us, too, our closet living relative on this planet is the chimp. We can exchange blood providing our type is the same, of course.  For me, a non believer, it is a wonderful thought that we are related to this incredible animal. I wear that relationship proudly. Darwin and I have no quarrel.  I know  we can measure years by carbon dating. I know we can measure years by the rings  we see in the trunks of the trees we fell. I know we re a glorious, incredible creature, I hope our life on this planet will be long and fruitful and prosperous and happy.

I’m going to cut this short. I hope many of you on this line will lean towards these wonders. Will love the animals on this planet, all of them as much as I. This, the essence of this column, is all about love. Not love of god. but love of life. Be thankful you are a living thing on this incredibly beautiful planet. Let’s hope closed minds do not destroy it because their beliefs differ.

Let’s hope the voice of reason dares speak out loud and clear once again.


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