If you have ever had a Pet (Beniamino) you will know what I mean.
Unfortunately, because humans have a longer life span, frequently the Pet dies before the owner. It may be an accidental death or due to disease. Whenever the Pet dies, the owner will become distraught, distressed and depressed. Because of the special relationship of the Pet and his owner the owner has had a chance to discover that the Pet has a soul.
When this knowledge occurs, the owner treats the pet as part of his family. The Pet is no longer an animal with little value; but rather, becomes another “Person” whose life and well being is tied quite closely to the life and well being of the owner.
What this means is that the owner realizes that his Pet is identical to other members of the family and must be protected, cared for and loved as other members of the family. No longer is the Pet “just an animal” with little value, like a non-living toy.
The owner has realized that the Pet has a soul.
WHAT IS A SOUL?
When any human realizes that his Pet, which must be an animal, has a soul, he is forced to think that other animals have souls as well.
The entire concept of SOUL has confused and disturbed humans since humans evolved on this planet and began to consider their experience of life and death.
No matter how far back in Time we go; as far back as to the the Age of the Neanderthals, we find evidence of burials, where the surviving family placed tools, weapons, food and ornaments for the dead family member to use in the other life.
Obviously, people instinctively believed that life did not end with death!
People believed, from the time they first began to reason, that something exists in life beyond the material elements which make up the body.
This non-material element, they eventually called: SOUL.
THINKERS WORRY ABOUT SOUL
Our earliest written thoughts about soul came from the ancient Greeks.Â (We also have drawings and pictographs from the ancient Egyptians.) Plato, Aristotle and Socrates, all discussed the nature of Soul, its characteristics and its relationship to mankind.
Aristotle wrote an entire treatise on Soul called “DE ANIMA” which translated, simply means: “About Soul.” Aristotle, without question, the most intelligent man who ever lived, concluded that all living things, including plants, have Souls.
Essentially, what Aristotle was saying, is that Life requires “Soul.”
Aristotle instinctively understood that Life, In contrast to Non-Life, requires a force.
All of us, recognize that the beings that make up the Living Universe are uniquely different than the patterns that make up the non-living Universe.
A cloud moves and changes shape, sometimes appears to be an animal or a plant, but we know that the cloud is not alive.
That force that keeps matter together and presents us with a continuity and identifiable personality, does not exist in a cloud or any pattern of molecules that is not living.
Only living beings have this force, and we call this force: Soul.
LIFE IS SOUL
Once we realize that Life has a special force within it we are forced to wonder whether that force is different for different forms of life.
The Universe, to our eyes, has an infinite variety of patterns. Even Living Beings are infinite in their form and movement. Every living being is unique. Every flower, every tree, every fish, every animal and, even, every micro-organism is different from every other being or system in the Universe. We, each of us, know, that we are different from anyone else, or anything else in our Universe.
However, the number of Forces in the Universe is very small. There is a force that determines how Space and Time can be arranged.Â This was described by Einstein. There is a force that allows Space and Time to change places.
No one has yet to explain this Force, although in the study of Quantum Mechanics, thinkers are trying to put together a description that everyone Â will agree upon as valid.
In the area of Living beings there is only one force and that is the force of the Soul. One cannot observe living beings without recognizing a common element.
If you look at a living being which has eyes, it will look back at you. It makes no difference whether it is a small fish in a fish tank or a bird in a tree or your pet; life is compelled to regard other life.
There is a fundamental characteristic of life, it identifies with other life.
Since it is obviously true that all living things are imbued with a force which compels the living being to identify another living being, we can say that all living beings have this force.
And, Â we call this force: Soul.
ALL ANIMALS HAVE SOULS
Now, we can agree that our Pets have souls. When our Pet dies, his soul disappears.
Does the Soul go back to a Sea of Souls? Does the Soul remain in the Universe as a distinct and unique Soul, waiting to enter another body?
Many religions have different answers to these questions. Almost all religions make the assertion that the behavior of the individual, The Karma, determines where the Soul goes.
Buddhism and Hinduism maintain that if the body which harbors the soul behaves in a fashion considered “Good” the soul will ascend through time, eventually to attain an exalted state called “Nirvana.”
Christians and Muslims make this trip much shorter, giving the human only one lifetime to either attain a pleasant or a painful end which lasts for eternity.
We must remember that all religions, or group beliefs, were developed from the deliberations of humans over centuries, not millennia, and must have errors.
Whatever the Soul does is not privy to men–only to a divine mind.
BUT, ANIMALS HAVE SOULS
Since we have concluded that we have souls, our pets have souls and all animals have souls, we must decide whether we can kill animals, and for many people, whether we can eat animal remains.
There is no logical answer to these questions.
In terms of self defense, we can certainly kill a human or any other animal which is trying to kill us.
In terms of nutrition, our ancestors killed animals in order to survive, which is another form of self defense.
A determination of whether to kill another living being has to be made on the circumstances. A decision to only eat plants as food will relieve many people of potential guilt. In India, entire populations survive as vegetarians. However, the death of an animal is the release of a Soul from its place within a living being.
We do not know whether this is the end or the beginning for this Soul, but we do know that it brings grief to all that witness it.
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