I have just been reading an article in Cosmos, a magazine about the ‘science of everything’ (thanks Jennifer). The article was about tickling rats and making them laugh (rats laugh ultrasonically, apparently). It also talked about the laboratory rats exhibiting all of the same basic emotions as humans: fear, joy, anger, and love. Electrical stimulation of particular parts of the brain produced the same results in those laboratory rats, as similar electrical stimulation of human epilepsy patients during surgery.
This started me to wonder about the use of animals in laboratory experiments such as these. Without experiments like these, we wouldn’t have scientific confirmation that animals are just like humans. However, the question needs to be asked: Why do we need scientific confirmation? Have we not seen these same emotions exhibited in all the animals with whom we come into contact?
The answer might lie in a theory posited in the book, The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield. The theory was that we turned to science as a means to answer all of our unanswered questions about our world, when we realized that our churches were no longer the source of all the answers. In discovering the humanness of those running our churches, our society became more secular and turned to science, instead, for its answers. In a sense, we put science onto the same pedestal that the church had previously occupied. Whereas previously, as a society, we believed whatever the church told us, in our modern world, we tend not to believe anything until we have some scientific evidence for it.
What this book, and many others, are leading us towards is a dependence, not on science, church, or any external source of answers, but a source of answers which was created within every person. No matter what you call this internal source of answers: intuition, sixth sense, Source, Inner Being, Higher Self, God – we all have it, and it is extremely reliable, once we learn to trust it.
This internal source of answers is primarily experienced through our feelings: those same emotional feelings which the laboratory rats have taught us about, but also our physical feelings, such as a tightness in the stomach.
We have many spiritual teachers now, such as Esther Hicks and Abraham, who are helping us to understand the meaning of our feelings.
The number one lesson is:
- Follow your bliss, reach for that better feeling thought, do what makes you feel good, focus on the positive.
As we learned from the scientific journal, animals, particularly mammals, have the same feelings as humans. They, too, have an internal source of answers, but unlike humans, they trust them more.
It was widely reported during the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami, which claimed so many human lives, that wild animals escaped the devastation. Was it because they were listening to their inner guidance, which humans in our modern society are no longer able to recognise within ourselves?
The lessons from the animals are not to be found in the laboratory, but in observing them in their natural environment. Had more of us done so on Boxing Day 2004, more of us may have been saved.
The Cosmos article went on to explain that the rat-tickling experiments were conducted as part of research into developing a new anti-depression drug. The article mentioned that depression “affects around 14.8 million American adults every year”. If the scientists observed the animals in the wild, instead of in the laboratory, they would see that animals don’t suffer from depression. They may suffer from sadness when their mate or offspring passes, but grief is not depression. Grief is a natural way of dealing with a traumatic life event.
I believe that depression is what happens when we have forgotten the natural way of dealing with events in our lives. We have forgotten how to listen to our inner guidance.
We can learn a lot from the animals, but not in laboratories, but in nature. Even our domestic animals have much to teach us.
Observing my dog, Cassie, I have learned the following lessons:
- Exercise out in nature, at least once a day – notice the sights, the smells, and the sounds around you. (She tastes things in nature too, but that might be going a bit far for most of us humans.)
- Feel the sun on your skin and absorb some of its beneficial energy.
- Play, at least once a day.
- Love – give love and receive love every day, as much as you can.
- There is a calming effect in nature that has probably been scientifically proven, but I can vouch for it from personal experience. Even in the densest of cities, there are some places where nature can be found, even if it is an isolated tree in the footpath, or observing the birds in the air from an apartment window. Along with its beneficial physical effects, exercise has been shown to release chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which provide beneficial mental effects.
- Vitamin D in sunlight has many beneficial physical effects, but, as has been shown with the disorder known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a lack of exposure to sunlight can contribute to depression.
- There is a reason for the old adage: Laugher is the best medicine. It is beneficial for both physical and mental health.
- Love is the answer to all questions, and the source of all power.
I believe it is time now to learn to follow our inner guidance. As we turned from the church to science, the church didn’t end, but evolved to be more human and more humane. Similarly, as we become beings who follow our internal guidance systems, science will become more humane.
I believe our inner guidance would tell us that keeping animals in laboratories, without any concern for their desires, is no longer necessary. As has been scientifically proven, animals feel the same emotions, which we feel. They suffer just as we would, if we were confined in cages all of our lives and deprived of those things we crave (see 1 to 4 above).
I believe that, if we follow our inner guidance, we would have no need for the drugs which those laboratories are now developing. By redeveloping our ability to follow our inner guidance, we are not only providing ourselves with a happier and healthier life, we are also removing the excuse, for which millions of animals are made to suffer every year.
What can we do to redevelop our lost art of following our inner guidance?
- Take a psychic development course
- Read books by spiritual teachers. Some of them are listed at http://www.newspirituality.org.au/ . Your inner guidance can lead you to countless others.
- Follow Cassie’s advice above.
Do you (or your dog or cat) have some other suggestions?