Thoughts on "The Man Who Talks to Whales"
By Kirsten Howard (04/09/10 20:42:47)
Related animals: Anemone, Turkey

There is a part of Jim Nollman's text that caught my attention. It is from "The Man Who Talks to Whales," in the very first chapter and second paragraph. He states,

"They say that a human fetus retraces the path of evolution in its development from one-celled creature to human being. This is known as ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny. I say that the process continues long after birth, but now on the level of culture. A five-year-old is much closer to his animal roots than a six-year-old. And so, with each passing year the chasm between us humans and the rest of nature grows wider and wider." (5)

I would agree with Nollman in that we do begin to separate from animals as we grow up, at least in this culture. However, I have recently begun reading the Hindu text, "The Bhagavad Gita," as well as "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali," and something that both mention is that with the study of meditation, yoga, and spiritual practice, a sort of involution happens (the opposite of evolution). By this, I mean that one can come to realize that the Self is the same inside everyone, every being, everything. With this realization comes a further compassion for others and animals. I came to this realization before reading those books, during a yoga class. I had a sudden strong sense of oneness with all beings, and after that class, I have never eaten meat for that reason. Therefore, when I read that paragraph by Nollman, I realized that it doesn't have to be the case that we come into this world being one with animals, and we slowly become separate from them further and further with age. I think that if we work on understanding animals, and that they have spirits within them, that we will return back to a state of oneness with all animals and all beings.

I have been thinking about what to do for a project, and I keep coming back to this idea of feeling close to animals when meditating and doing yoga, and I wonder if there is someway I could incorporate this into a project. I also have thought about ideas of giving. One idea is to brush my hair and my dogs hair, and leave the strands that come out under a tree where birds are present, because they make nests out of things like that. Perhaps my dog and I could also collect branches and twigs and leave them there too for the birds to make nests. These are my current thoughts, we'll see what comes of them :)

The Man Who Talks to Whales: the Art of Interspecies Communication (Book) [Write Comment]