I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.”
~ The myth of humans being an exception ~
All life on Earth falls under a single project or experiment administered by Nature. Humans are no exception. The myth of humans as ”not belonging”, ”out-of-place”, outsiders, demigods of animal kingdom or God’s special creation ( i.e. more special than all the others ) collapses under the weight of this discernable pattern. We are not units of separate process, intrusively installed on Earth and running beyond Nature’s control. We are not guests amongst aboriginal life, unwelcomed and ill-suited, undesirable and superflous. We are not like off-track rockets waiting to explode somewhere. We are not an expression of a separate project running apart from the rest of life on Earth, we are not existing independently of the rest of life, we are not made possible without the rest of the life being there, whether for us or against us. On the contrary: we are embedded in the bio-network and we have originated from this bio-network.We are fully-fledged Earthlings, in its whole majesty and in its whole misery. Life on Earth recognizably embodies the saying ”one for all, all for one”. What this does eventually mean is this:
We do not come to Earth, we come out of Earth.
The entity that assembles our bodies, gathers cells together, puts air into our lungs, provides us with shelter, nourishes us abudantly and generously shares its portion of received sunlight as heat – is Earth. The Earth does it using cyclically recycled resources – dead parts make up new life and living parts renew old life. We humans, as it seems to me, emerge from the creating capacity of Earth’s processes. We are one of her working prototypes, but we also work back on her, in reciprocal fashion.
Therefore, if we humans are aliens on Earth, so is all life on Earth.
~ What’s in a word? ~
What’s more, we need not to look upon animals as ”soulless beings”, we need not to equate them with beasts and we need not to discriminate them as lacking in capacity, ”not fully alive”, partially conscious, morally retarted, underdeveloped. If one were to be faithful to the original meaning of the term ”animal”, one would use it as a denotation of ”breathing, endowed with spirit, possessing the vital force – being”.
Animal is a latin word derived from ‘anima’ meaning ”breath” or ”spirit”. The french word âme meaning ”soul” is derived from the same source.
How come we missed this nuance and decided to identify animal with pitiful wildness which – we like to proudly think – we rise above?
~ Expanding the perception of an animal ~
It might be a good starting point to extend a shallow folk perception of an animal to a perception which treats animals as beings with open-ended potential including the potential found in and actualized by humans but also any other potential found in and actualized by non-humans. In this way, all that is uniquely human is belonging to ”animalism” and all that didn’t appear in humans is also belonging to ”animalism”, in equal respect. Following such line of thinking we may hope to avoid discrimination of animals and alienation of humans. The difference between human and animal lies primarly in their respective actualized potential ( for which there were practical reasons ). As usual, our inherited unchallenged perception is a troublemaker.
Even if you do not accept the philosophical perspective of this claim of oneness or the spiritual perspective of this claim of oneness, you would be hard pressed to deny the scientific perspective of this claim. The carbon in your breath will one day become part of tree trunks. The sodium in your tears once belonged to long dead bodies of water. The nitrogen in your muscles will help turn the sky blue. The phosphorus in your bones will turn coastal waters green. And the iron in your blood once killed a star. So yes, nature is an extension of you, and you are an extension of nature, even from a scientific perspective.”
The faces and eyes of the animals are not only similar to but also reflect no less soul and emotional life than faces and eyes of the humans.
If you ever had hard time trying to imagine how could it be possible that humans share a common ancestor with apes and where is the similarity between humans and apes still clearly noticeable, I chose these pictures of some of the oldest morphological types of humans ( Negroids, Australian Aboriginals, Dravidians, Austronesians ) so that they might ease your difficulties.
Can you see now… how we are just a variation of the one Nature-controlled process which indues this planet with life in a similar manner that a harp releases different sounds depending on the pressure put on it yet every sound always has its unmistaken place on the scale? So are humans included on the spectrum of the Nature’s process, on which they were granted a secured place…