RECALLING THE SONG:
How Communicating with Animals Will Change Our World
"Animal communication is very important now
and in the upcoming years.
The lives of humans must expand
by communication with all life
or they cannot grow spiritually.
It is not for the animals –
we already communicate.
It is for you."
~ Briana (horse) to communicator Anita Curtis
Before I knew much about animal communication, I once asked a question so ridiculous it made a parrot laugh.
What I wanted to know wasn’t all that ridiculous; perhaps it was the way I phrased it. What’s it like for animals to communicate telepathically? I asked. Can every animal hear the thoughts of every other animal? Surely that would be awfully noisy. Maybe it’s more like how humans use the telephone, I conjectured. Is it like dialing up a certain person’s number in order to make contact with that individual?
That’s when the bird laughed. That’s when I knew I was in way over my head…
A Single Language
In the time before we started worrying about such things as time or inventing such things as telephones, there was a single language. It was a language of being and feeling, a silent language that worked equally well for fish and bird, bear and whale. It was a language of universal connection in which all were free to share.
The growing field of animal communication – or, the ability to telepathically converse with an animal – is simply a remembering of this, our earliest natural language. Professional animal communicators are consulted for a wide variety of reasons – from resolving behavioral problems to finding lost pets to answering questions about animal health, illness, death, even the afterlife. Many communicators offer classes to help humans learn to quiet the mind and "tune in" to the animal channel. Most teachers in the field maintain that by rediscovering our innate abilities to commune in this way with other species, we can learn a great deal of information – not only about animals, but also about ourselves.
Indeed, how might our lives change if we shared conversation with our cats or dogs on a daily basis? What news of the world might we learn from the traveling songbirds who visit our feeders? Would we be more caring of the earth if we took time to share thoughts with insects and worms, the earth's greatest ecologists? How is it that at some point in time we removed ourselves from this spontaneous, informative and joyous connection with all life?
Penelope Smith, one of the leading teachers in the animal communication field, notes that the underlying focus of all her teachings is to restore this communion, "this ability to be at one with and communicate with all life, whether it's animals, plants, rocks, the earth, the air, all the elements, and realizing that everything is alive and we are all in kinship.”
If we are not used to seeing animals as sentient beings, remarkable mentors and fine observers of life, then we may be surprised to find that a horse possesses wisdom, a fox deep insights, a mosquito keen wit, and that all life has something special and precious to share. If we are willing to let go of the idea that humans are “better” or “smarter” or “more sophisticated” than animals, however, then we may be ready for the tremendous experience of opening ourselves to a deeper relationship with the grand web of life.
While talking to animals may at first seem bizarre or alarming or mystical (depending upon your perspective), opening to animals is ultimately an opening to our own inner mystery. In a mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart connection with an animal, we expand our very being. As Smith puts it, "Another part of the universe is experienced; another part of ourselves is recovered. We are closer to the true divine nature, present in us all." We begin to remember who we really are.
If there was something in the air
If there was something in the wind
If there was something in the trees or bushes
That could be pronounced and once was overheard by animals,
Let this Sacred Knowledge be returned to us again.
~ Atharva Veda
While finishing the final chapters to a book I was writing about animal communication, I unexpectedly discovered the writing of Michael Roads. In his first book, Talking with Nature, Roads wrote of forming a deep relationship with nature. Even so, he was totally unprepared when sitting by a river one day, contemplating how he might write of this relationship in a simple way, the river began to talk. Then a heron spoke. And again, the river. Clearly, the forces of nature were conspiring.
Roads noted what the bird and river had told him, and then he wrote of his central fear: “Nobody’s going to believe this." Over a period of time, Roads went on to have conversations with trees, waterfalls, rocks and birds. The experiences often left him feeling elated. But still, he returned to his fear. Nobody’s going to believe this. Each time I read the words, tears welled up. I knew the feeling all too well. I had watched expressions of disbelief, bafflement, even horror cross the face of others when I spoke of my experiences in opening to animals and “hearing” their voices. I had learned the hard lesson that some things may die as a larger vision, greater truth or deeper remembering begins to grow.
As a tree later explained to Roads, "We can offer you no proof. What do you need? Would a recorded communication heard simultaneously by a dozen or even a thousand people meet your need? Or would you then be one of a small group of confused and victimized people seeking further proof? Only by knowing who you are will you find peace."
J. Allen Boone, author of Kinship with All Life, observed that by moving beyond the human habit of differentiation we begin to understand the flow of life, and thus ourselves, at deeper levels. However, like Roads, Boone was also startled by his own experience. It happened as he was outside, watching his canine mentor, Strongheart. With a subtle yet penetrating shift in consciousness, Boone suddenly awoke to a more expansive vision. He wrote, "Then I knew that what I was actually being privileged to watch was not a dog expressing great qualities, but rather, great qualities expressing a dog. He was radiating them from deep within himself, flinging them out as freely and as lavishly as the sun does its rays. He was not trying in the least to achieve this effect; he was just letting it happen."
“We’re the only species who can forget who we are," Penelope Smith once told me. “At one extreme, you could think humans are really pathetic. Or, you could see it as our creativity, our particular gift. I think that’s why the animals are so understanding of us. They stay with us to remind us. Then we get our real mind back – our “re-mind,” our Universal Mind.”
“We remember,” I said.
“Yes. The word ‘remember’ is good because it means bringing the members back together again. We agreed to be separate and not remember because that was part of our experience on this planet. But we’ve done the separation bit to its max, and now we’re remembering. Some are remembering before others, but eventually, we will all come back and be members together.”
Meeting the Elder
One morning, while seated by the computer working on my book, a fly landed in front of me on the keyboard. It was a very unusual looking fly, with some short, fuzzy white hairs growing on his back. The fly’s appearance made me smile, for the white hairs made him seem very old. When I asked if he had a message, the fly flew to the top of my leg and began,
I am an Elder of my species. Our kind has been on earth for much longer than your kind. I impart this not in the sense of being better, but to point out that in many ways we are your elders. We have interacted with you, then and now, as intermediaries, healers, messengers, guides and sometimes even friends.
As you peer beneath the surface, you will find many treasures and insights that are not found out in the light. Think of the metaphor ‘buried treasure’ – part of the reason it is valuable and exciting is because it is buried. The metaphor is also linked to this particular time on earth. Much wisdom and understanding have been buried in the ‘past’ because at that time it was harmful for you – too much light for you to hold. Now is the time of digging and finding the past buried treasure so as to face the future. There will be more ‘discoveries’ of past information and hidden knowledge.
In many ways, animal communication is about rediscovering the stories that both animals and humans have to reveal. Humans are the vocal storytellers on the planet, at least with words, though others do this in a variety of means, with song, dance, energetic patterning, and more.
Our buzzing is a communication, a toning frequency which signals and sometimes initiates change. At times, our buzzing signals an energetic shift to deeper levels of understanding.
Flies are the messengers of shadow. We call explorers to the shadow side of life: the mystery of death, renewal, change. We are the ancients. We were with you in the caves, part of the mystery of return and remembering. Now, more than ever, shadow is a worthy exploration. This is your change – to go deeper, to grow. This is why you came to earth.
Buzzing off in a large circle around my head, the fly left me alone to ponder the mysteries of which he spoke.
I recalled another conversation I had with Penelope, in which she referred to the same buried treasure the Elder Fly had noted. "All the old needs to come out to go into the new," Penelope explained. "We have to recognize all the old, just like we have to completely embody the human condition before we move onto the next thing.”
“It’s not just a return to the old, then.” I said. “It’s a recalling of the old.”
“That’s right. Re-calling – you are calling it out, to sing it out. Everything has to be sung again. Everything that needs to be completed is coming to be recalled, and then we have the complete new, which is both old and new.”
Penelope paused. “Well, there’s nothing ever really new – it’s all God. It's more like putting the sparkle back into everything – and then we’ll see what creation comes. But we have to not hide anything. That’s why all the shadow stuff, all the things that used to be secret knowledge, are now coming out."
In recalling our songs – individually and culturally, as a species and as a planet – we of necessity retrieve our shadow. In A Little Book on the Human Shadow, poet and author Robert Bly calls it eating the shadow. It’s a slow process, Bly notes, and we do it not once but hundreds of times. We begin by recognizing all that we have abandoned, lost, forgotten and pushed away from conscious awareness. We begin by reclaiming the "other" – with all its myriad projections – in our lives. Down on hands and knees in the rich soil of the earth, we dig up the roots of buried fears that have grown into bushes of anger, sadness, doubt and feelings of separation from all life. As we eat the shadow, we become wholly nourished and more fully alive, for we ingest the power and energy of all we have disowned. And then we begin to sing.
Dreaming Ourselves Awake
“Listen,” said my dog Barney as I wrote about eating the shadow, recalling the song, feeling at deeper levels our connection with all life. He got up from where he was lying, under the desk, and came to sit by my side.
Listen. In the deepest part of you is a remembering, not merely of mind or thought but of greater Being. We all come from that place, that space which holds form before form. We are here now as an event, a happening, a twinkle in the Larger Being’s eye who chooses to experience the joy and pain, sadness and elation of being in form.
We are all participants in the larger flow of Life becoming. There are many metaphors with which to express this, but the best is the one you live and experience yourself.
By awakening to your own dream, you also awaken the larger Dream. It is said that the dream and the dreamer are one. This is so. We are now dreaming ourselves awake.
I am a being of stillness and depth. A large part of my being resounds at the level of deep and old wisdom, a different form of knowing. You might think of this as a bass note that moves upwards from the center of the earth, as well as from the center of each individual. The note expands as it rises, becoming deeper and stronger, louder and more purposely known. As it plays into consciousness, you become aware of the magnificence of the world around you, the incredible detail that is fabricated into the making of this world, this event, this moment of Nowness.
As more awaken, the note of the planet begins to sound louder, to rise up, and there is knowing of another form of reality, another tone that is heard and felt and experienced in another way. The Dreamer awakes.
All of you know this in your heart. It is a profound remembering, a regathering of knowledge and ancient wisdom, but also a time of new creation. As you open to oneness, you open to the greater majesty of the God Self, of All That Is. As we tone together, we open to a larger experience of who we all really are. The beat goes on. The beat is One.
A Final Movement
A few hours after our conversation, after my brief reflection of the mystery of return and remembering, the Elder Fly returned to where I sat. It wasn’t with words, but with feeling, that I understood what he had come to share. He was going to die.
Following him to the windowsill, I sat nearby, watching as he rested upon a flat rock on which I had placed a small wooden statue. As the fly lay on his back, his bottom two legs stretched outward and relaxed in a graceful motion. His other four legs stretched upwards and pulled together at the tips, stiffening, as if forming a tent above the body. Then, like a living prayer, an unfolding poem, the old fly expanded into death with a smooth and elegant flicker.
Deep down there stirs a memory, a faint recall – like the moment when you first wake up, like the deeper feelings of love you don’t fully understand, like a song, whose time has come.
~ ~ ~
Excerpted from Animal Voices
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