Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Being Conscious

On another blog, Duckpond, there is a discussion which includes the consciousness of animals. One blogger writes clearly with human consciousness, but as a dog. Below is my response to Oorvi, the dog, more or less:

Oorvi - Thanks for your words. Lovely. I wonder, however, with your consciousness does it enable you to not only respond instinctively but to create actually? For example, what contributions have you made to the universe beside your awesome role as compassionate friend and protector? These may be enough indeed.

But as far as one with consciousness, one who thinks and responds, what have your thinking lead to that would actually (as in actions) make a difference in the world, besides as I’ve said your historical role as compassionate friend and protector? If you’re wondering what have humans done for dogs, aside from the love we show in our care of you, and I pray not the abuse, though I’m fully aware of this, I’m not sure. Maybe or love and care are indeed enough too.

Watched a lovely movie yesterday, Running Free, about a horse named Lucky who spoke with human consciousness. Funny thing…the other horses if I’m remembering correctly never spoke, like the parents in the Charlie Brown movies. Have you noticed that only the kids speak in these movies? Parents never speak.

As a child I understood the parents’ language but only through the response of Charlie Brown. The parents said only “Wa wa Wa Wa wa Wa” with greater or lesser veracity. But they never spoke with human words. But lucky, being a horse, spoke verbal language humans understand. The reality, however, is Lucky was more like the parents of Charlie Brown, and not Charlie Brown himself, whose response or understanding is based on our actions with greater or lesser veracity. Lucky’s speech, in essence, betrayed conscious reality, even though I was thoroughly engaged in the movie, totally loving Lucky.

But because we are not horses (dogs, etc.) their voices can only be ours. (We don't even know what's in the minds of our fellow humans, let alone horses and dogs.) We can, however, learn from them and learn their language, but then it would be among the pack of wolves in the mountains that we would undoubtedly have to observe from afar. We breed and train dogs in order for them to live peaceably among us as friends, otherwise there would be a distancing for sure. What do you think? I hope I have said something worth considering.

Consciousness in and of itself means absolutely nothing unless it is translatable and used for the betterment of others, humans and animals alike. In this regard, all the thinking in the world will not change anything until we act with conscious decisions to make a difference whether at home or at work.


wmmbb said...

I like your comment about consciousness and betterment, mainly because I agree. It seems to me that consciousness, whether of humans or dogs, encompasses reason. We both seek outcomes.

If I might for the moment pose the unstated question as it might be: "Why are you still sitting on this rock when we could be moving on and finding smells and other interests to us along the way?"

This reminds of a quote from Alfred North Whitehead, attributable to Plato, that "the purpose of reason is to live well, and then live better".

judith ellis said...

Beautiful question, wmmbb. Thank you.