Those that know this blog know that posts of just eleven words coming from yours truly are as rare as hen’s teeth. So stay with me!
The number of LfD followers has just passed 900. To say that I am amazed, grateful and humbled still feels like an inadequate response. Thank you: to everyone of you.
One of those new followers left a recent comment that said, ” I love this blog, dedicated to dogs ..” It struck me that as the number of new followers has increased significantly in recent times that it wouldn’t do any harm to return to the principles behind Learning from Dogs.
For it’s not a blog about dogs per se but about the qualities that we, as in mankind, have to learn from dogs.
The starting point is truth; as in what is truth? Such a straightforward question of just three words requires many more words, indeed a book, to answer. A little over two years ago, I published a post called The evolution of the domestic dog, that included the following:
The exploration into the truth of man’s activities is unique, intriguing, and provocative. From a new perspective, one quickly grasps the levels of truth expressed by the media, the arts, writers, painters, architecture, movies, TV, politics, and war, as well as academia and the greatest thinkers and philosophies through the ages and up to present-day science and advanced theories of the nature of the universe. Most importantly, the ego and its structure are revealed to facilitate the understanding of religious and spiritual truths expressed by the mystics and enlightened sages over the centuries. It becomes apparent why the human mind, unaided, has been intrinsically incapable of discerning truth from falsehood. A simple test is described that, in seconds, can solve riddles that have been irresolvable by mankind for centuries. This book delivers far more than it promises.
Reveals a breakthrough in documenting a new era of human knowledge. Only in the last decade has a science of Truth emerged that, for the first time in human history, enables the discernment of truth from falsehood. Presented are discoveries of an enormous amount of crucial and significant information of great importance to mankind, along with calibrations of historical events, cultures, spiritual leaders, media, and more.
A science of consciousness developed which revealed that degrees of truth reflect concordant calibratable levels of consciousness on a scale of 1 to 1,000. When this verifiable test of truth was applied to multiple aspects of society (movies, art, politics, music, sociology, religion, scientific theories, spirituality, philosophy, everyday Americana, and all the countries of the world), the results were startling.
Trust me, I am (slowly) getting to the point!
Dr. Hawkins created a ‘map’ of those calibrated levels of consciousness, see details of that map here. Also, it wasn’t too difficult to find a plain B&W version on the Web, reproduced below.
As you can see when you study the map, the boundary between ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood’ is the calibrated level of 200, the blue line in the above described as ‘The beginning of integrity’.
Anyway, back to Jon. When I used to visit him, I always had Pharaoh with me and he would settle down behind my chair and let the human talk just flow over him, happy at some dog level to be included.
One day Jon was talking about the different levels of consciousness and looked over at Pharaoh asleep on the floor and said, “Do you that dogs are integrous!” I responded that I didn’t know that, please tell me more.
Jon continued, “Yes, dogs have been calibrated as having a level of consciousness in the zone of 205 to 210.”
So dogs, horses, cats and many other warm-blooded species of animals are fundamentally integrous creatures. Creatures that display the qualities of unconditional love, trust, courage, integrity and forgiveness. Just see where those emotions appear on David Hawkin’s ‘map’ above. However of all those animals, dogs have been man’s longest companion by far, perhaps all the way back to neolithic times.
So what gets written about Learning from Dogs is what we, as in society, have to learn from dogs. Because the time for mankind to place integrity, as in integrity of thought, word and deed, at the highest pinnacle of our domain is fast running out.
Going to close with a photograph taken yesterday afternoon here at home in Oregon, showing a pair of geese that are giving every indication of using our ‘island’ in our so-called pond as their base for having their goslings!
Some content on this page was disabled on August 23, 2017 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Susan Hawkins. You can learn more about the DMCA here:
Yesterday’s long rant was the outcome of me promising ‘a debate’ with Patrice Ayme. Succinctly, I had disagreed with a comment from Patrice where he had written: “Force is the truth of man. Everything else is delusion, even the vegetarian style.” and wanted to respond within the space of a post rather than the more restrictive comment.
For my disagreement with Patrice had been essentially about his statement, ‘Force is the truth of man‘. I don’t recall a war in the last 50 years that has been a force for good.
But then it was Alex’s comment, see below, that stopped me short. For I realised that I was confusing ‘force’ with ‘war’ and that was probably a big mistake on my behalf. Of course, I’m writing this without the benefit of knowing better what Patrice meant in his comment! Blogging, as powerful a media as it is, does not provide for immediate interaction!
Nevertheless, Alex’s comment yesterday was powerfully inspirational. Because so many of us (and I include me in that ‘us’) all too often behave as though we are a species utterly divorced from Nature.
So what to do? Because I am fundamentally at odds with the sentiment expressed by Patrice Ayme; “Force is the truth of man. Everything else is delusion, even the vegetarian style.“
The answer takes us to tomorrow’s post, A return to integrity.
And, yes, it does mention dogs! Rather a lot as it happens!
Dogs are the one species that man has lived with longer than any other species. So when we refer to the qualities of the dog it is simply because we are so familiar with them. In no way does that exclude the numerous other species that bond with man and share the same wonderful qualities.
Qualities so easily seen: Love, Honesty, Loyalty, Trust, Openness, Faithfulness, Forgiveness and Affection. Together they are Integrity.
Of course dogs will kill a rabbit, for example, as readily as a cat will kill a mouse. In this respect force isthe truth of Nature.
The only way for species man to survive on this planet is for every element of man’s existence on this planet to be rethought of in terms of the natural order. Read the comment left by Alex in yesterday’s post:
Hi Paul, what you highlight are examples of disconnection between humanity with nature and each other. I have on my own blog highlighted a concept of Ubuntu – “I am because we are” – which is only possible when the self realises they are part of an inter-connected network of life. Your example of islands of fragmented forest where disconnected wildlife are dying out is how it is with disconnected humanity, we are doomed to destruction because we are cut off from the life-giving connection to nature.
All the problems you highlight are symptoms of the disease of disconnection, until there is reconnection to nature none of these symptoms can be successfully addressed.
War is an integral part of nature, when people seek to dismiss this then they add to the disconnection from nature. I was stung in the face by a drunken wasp a few days ago, this is how it is with nature, it is beautiful but also brutal. Peace and balance are illusions, life is in a becoming because of unbalance and strife. I advocate harmony, like a downhill skier we do not seek to control our surroundings, but instead act in harmony by moving around the obstacles such as rock and tree.
Disconnection can be as large as destroying whole forests by ignorant energy policies to those idiots who kicked a puffball to pieces before I could harvest it, or the new owners of my former home who have taken a chainsaw to all the trees and bushes in the garden. People who are disconnected do not consider how their actions impact nature or people contrary to the philosophy of Ubuntu.
“I am because we are!” Each and every one of us is where we are today, for good or ill, because of what we are: part of Nature. It’s so incredibly obvious – we are a natural species – yet who reading this wouldn’t admit at times to behaving “as though we are a species utterly divorced from Nature.”
Millions of us have pets and animals that we love. Yet we still miss the key truth of our pets. That we are a part of Nature, subject to Natural order, just as much as our pets are. We have so much to learn from our animals.
Take this rather sad story but, nonetheless, a formidable story of the integrity of one species for another. Watch the video.
Take this rather happier story about the integrity of one species for another. Watch the video.
Thus when we see the extraordinary benefits that arise from love and trust, from loyalty and faithfulness, and much more, why oh why is so much of our society fundamentally broken?
As John Hurlburt wrote in a recent email, it is because, “we are spiritual bankrupt. We spend too much of our time thinking about ourselves and what we want and too little of our time thinking about other people and what we all need.” John went on to add that this spiritual bankruptcy had preceded our moral and economical bankruptcy. He pointed out that the solution to our moral and financial problems, as well as our salvation as individuals and as a species, is spiritual. “We simply need to love the Nature of God, the earth and each other regardless of what we may believe God to be.”
Now whether you are a religious soul, or a heathen, or somewhere in the middle, it matters not. For if we continue to defy Nature and the natural laws of this planet we are going to be dust before the end of this century. Again in John’s powerful words:
Denying climate change is a death wish.
Nature always wins in the long run.
Nature is balanced. Are we?
As if to endorse the great examples that Nature offers us in terms of the benefits of love and trust, take a look at these three recent photographs from here in Oregon.
Now these are not photographs to ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ over, these are reminders that kindness, generosity, selflessness and trust are part of Nature. All the great virtues and values of man do not come from a vacuum, they come to us via Nature.
We have been blessed by an evolution that has allowed mankind to achieve remarkable things. Even to the point of leaving the confines of our planet and setting foot on the Moon and sending probes from out of our Solar System. There’s a sense, a distinctly tangible sense, that man has conquered all; that we have broken the link from being part of Nature; from being of Nature.
And now Mother Earth is reminding all of her species, every single one of them including species man, that everything is bound by her Natural Laws.
Does this mean that man has to revert to some form of pre-civilised stone-age era? Of course not! Progress can be as much within the Natural order than in competition with it, as it has been in recent times. In fact, Professor Pat Shipman explains our progress is benefited by being part of that Natural order. Here’s how Amazon describe her book, The Animal Connection.
The Animal Connection: A New Perspective on What Makes Us Human
A bold, illuminating new take on the love of animals that drove human evolution.
Why do humans all over the world take in and nurture other animals? This behavior might seem maladaptive—after all, every mouthful given to another species is one that you cannot eat—but in this heartening new study, acclaimed anthropologist Pat Shipman reveals that our propensity to domesticate and care for other animals is in fact among our species’ greatest strengths. For the last 2.6 million years, Shipman explains, humans who coexisted with animals enjoyed definite adaptive and cultural advantages. To illustrate this point, Shipman gives us a tour of the milestones in human civilization-from agriculture to art and even language—and describes how we reached each stage through our unique relationship with other animals. The Animal Connection reaffirms our love of animals as something both innate and distinctly human, revealing that the process of domestication not only changed animals but had a resounding impact on us as well.
It’s a powerful read and greatly recommended. Here’s an extract from the book [page 274, my emphasis]:
Clearly, part of the basis of our intimacy with tame or domesticated animals involves physical contact. People who work with animals touch them. It doesn’t matter if you are a horse breeder, a farmer raising pigs, a pet owner, a zoo keeper, or a veterinarian, we touch them, stroke them, hug them. Many of us kiss our animals and many allow them to sleep with us. We touch animals because this is a crucial aspect of the nonverbal communication that we have evolved over millennia. We touch animals because it raises our oxytocin levels – and the animal’s oxytocin levels. We touch animals because we and they enjoy it.
From the first stone tool to the origin of language and the most recent living tools, our involvement with animals has directed our course.
So to round this off. These last two posts came from my need to debate with Patrice the statement that “Force is the truth of man.” If Patrice’s meaning was that the truth of man is subject to the force of Nature, then I agree one-hundred percent.
For the time for man to recognise that the force of Nature is “the truth of man” is running out.
Each of us, whoever you are, for the sake of your children and for all of the children in the world, embrace today the qualities, the values of Nature.
Further to the guest post from Patrice Ayme, an introduction to John Hurlburt.
I wrote on the 2nd May that an unintended consequence of my beautiful minds articles about Hugh Everett and Stephen Hawking was a recognition that the need for ‘beautiful’ thinking is more important than ever before. I wrote,
The French philosopher Voltaire was reputed to have said, “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” In these days where ‘spin’ and ‘counter-spin’, to put it kindly, are so widely used, and millions live in a culture where our societies’ communication outlets compete for the maximum provocation (sorry audience!) it is challenging, to say the least, to think independently.
But of course as you, dear reader, will instantly acknowledge, these are just THE times when independent thinking is so, so important. Thus I want to acknowledge two completely different and totally disconnected people who set such wonderful examples of the power of a beautiful mind.
Unlike Patrice Ayme whom neither do I know nor have I met (Patrice Ayme is a pseudonym), today’s guest post is from someone that lives here in Payson and whom I have met on numerous occasions. What John writes about couldn’t be more different to Patrice’s article but that isn’t the point. Well, to be honest, that is the point! It goes towards underlining my proposition that these are times where we need a huge variety of thinkers who can be honest about their approach to life, and not hostage to any particular ‘group think’.
John’s essay is entitled, What’s for Dinner?
What’s for Dinner?
Ancient man had a legitimate fear about being gobbled up for dinner by a ravenous beast. The vestigial fear remains in spite of the reality that mankind has become a ravenous beast which is gobbling up nature for dinner. It’s interesting to note that although God and Nature can get along without earth or man, man and earth could not and would not exist without God and Nature. After all, God is Nature.
We get careless when we don’t stop to think about what we are, where we are and who we are. We don’t have to make a choice between God and money. We can invest in the business of God which includes education, formation, transformation and the well being of the earth which sustain us all.
Walking the way we talk means having the courage of our convictions. What can we do that is possible, plausible, practical and probable to protect ourselves and our descendents from the results of ravaging mother earth for personal profit?
Wisdom is neither an individual conclusion nor an opinion. We live in a world that is financially dominated by economic interests which are gambling with humanity’s future. It’s time to end the game. We grow best when we live and learn together in harmony with God, nature and each other. Saving the Earth from which we come and which sustains all planetary life is called conservation. That’s as conservative as life gets.
There is a fraction of our population which prefers fear, hate and ignorance to faith, love and our common well-being; both as a nation and as a world. What does this say about the United States of America? Well, for one thing, it says that we’re hell bent toward our own destruction and can’t get our act together because of the influences of money, power and tribalism.
The facts of nature can not be ignored indefinitely. While our nation becomes divided and we continue to face economic collapse four years after a journey to the brink of a world economic abyss, the environment which is our source, our natural birthright and our home continues to be stolen from us by those who seek personal gain and aggrandizement.
Let’s go back to the beginning and keep it simple. We hold these truths to be self evident.
1. The bible tells us the same thing as all sacred scriptures; love God and each other.
2. We are a country that is chartered as one nation under God. The powers of our government come from “We the people”.
3. Economics: a pump won’t work when the well runs dry.
These fundamental truths of faith, humanity, economics and the American vision transcend petty bickering and are ignored at our common peril. Considering recent world events, it would seem that we have a window of opportunity to refocus our priorities. We pray for God’s guidance.
An old lamplighter
Amen to that!
So two wonderful examples that illustrate the power of beautiful minds and how, in my opinion, we need the minds of Ayme, Hurlburt and countless others to pick our way out of this self-defeating mess that we are all in and lead us to a true long-term sustainable future for the Planet Earth and all of God’s creatures for whom this is the only home we will ever have.
I wrote on the 2nd May of the French philosopher Voltaire who was reputed to have said, “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” Let me end with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln, “All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.”
When we’re in love with God, the cosmos, our living garden planet and the steadily growing conscious interconnection between those who understand and serve, we live in awe and wonder and realize a peaceful natural serenity in the midst of our daily concerns and responsibilities.
As our world, our environment and our culture appear to be unraveling, it becomes increasingly necessary for human beings to slow down to re-energize. It’s clear that our species has recently lost spectacularly to natural forces in the Gulf of Mexico and Japan. It’s no coincidence that it’s our technology which continues to reveal the fundamental weakness of human ego. It’s more than a metaphor that our individual and species arrogance is our Achilles heel.
There are many people who fail to perceive, understand and appreciate parallel realities from a rational, sensory and unified perspective by learning to see through a mystical third eye. Mysticism may be misunderstood as simply thinking outside of the box. Forget about the box. Let go of self-centered fears. Become aware of being unaware. Nurture capabilities to perceive non-locally and act locally. What’s happening worldwide comes with the territory. We are each responsible for our collective destiny
Meditation reflects that imagination and creativity are necessary to invent and utilize tools. Creativity did not begin with humans and is not exclusive to humans. God’s nature precedes emerging technology. Morality derives from our common need for species unity.
The message is that God doesn’t care about money and the sky is no longer a human limit. The fact remains that except for occasional astronauts we all continue to live on the same planet. Those who understand need no explanation.
There is a need for productive use of intelligence and technology at our natural frontiers. We need to refuel world economies with clean energy visions that provide solutions for our present local planetary emergency.
We may choose to implement the changes necessary to avoid impending local ecosphere, cultural and technological meltdowns while preparing for a migration to the stars.
Unification is a common goal. Leaving the nest of our garden planet is a partial unifying solution for the problems of our exponentially expanding species. An alternative is that our obsession with the symbol of money will have the same dire consequences for those who are obsessed as for those whom are oppressed.
Please love God, maintain an even strain, follow your bliss, continue to learn, share and serve our common purpose under God, proceed as the way opens, cross the next bridge as we come to it, enjoy the journey and stay in touch.
It soaks up resources that could be better used, including to save lives of people dying from lack of or dirty water.
In short, it is absolute folly. What on earth is there going for it? At the same time, it is big business and very popular? Why?
Are people ignorant about all the above? That’s quite worrying …. not much future with so much ignorance about.
Are people paranoid about what comes out of their taps? Oh dear – paranoia is not good for us.
Do people place their vanity and status-image before the above-mentioned points? Hmmmm …..
Are many people just suckers for slick advertising? I guess the answer to that one is a straight “Yes”.
Have millions of people no common-sense and/or social conscience? Oh dear, this time it’s a clear “No”.
Bottled water is nonsense, except of course where there is no alternative.
If rich, fat Westerners really like bottled water they could export it to developing countries where millions die through lack of or poisoned/polluted water every year while at the same time pouring funds into building water infrastructure for these very same people.
Yes, I know the industry provides jobs, but so did making nerve-gas for the Nazis.
The point is, we should direct our energy and money into things which are not totally unnecessary and destructive. I’m not a great fan of the “nanny-state”, but in some areas – and this is one – the government should be taking a more forceful lead. Help us kick our silly, selfish, faddish and destructive addiction to bottled water.
The expression “mind-boggling” seems most appropriate here.
After reading my book, “The Ascent of Science“, referred to yesterday, I gathered together just a few of the randomly-miscellaneous statistics which most struck me. No doubt there are plenty more! PLEASE SEND ME YOUR MOST AMAZING NATURAL STATISTICS!
We are carbon-based creatures. EVERY SINGLE CARBON ATOM in our bodies
was created in a supernova explosion of a giant star. We are truly “Children of the Stars”.
The “Nature” of our world and existence is indeed almost unbelievable.
MOLECULES: They are extremely small: a teaspoonful of water contains about 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules. If everyone on the planet set out to count these molecules one per second it would take over ONE MILLION YEARS.
A molecule of hydrogen in a steel cylinder travels at about 3,800 mph.
Molecules NEVER stop moving. A molecule in the air makes 6,000 MILLION collisions with other molecules PER SECOND.
The above two facts explain why the progress of molecules through space is extremely slow unless assisted by an external force (e.g. the wind)
Every second, your skin is subject to bombardment by 2*10 to the power 24 (200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) blows from molecules in the air.
ELECTRONS: When you switch on a light bulb, approximately 3*10 to the power 19 (30 million million million) electrons flow through your lamp EVERY SECOND
A man is about 10 BILLION times larger than an oxygen atom. If an atom were the size of a golf ball then a man would stretch from earth to the moon.
A teaspoonful of solid nuclei of atoms would weigh about 500 million tons.
The nucleus of a typical atom contains about 99.8% of the total mass of the atom.
The diameter of an atom is about 100,000 times the diameter of the central nucleus.
Most of an atom is empty space. Imagine a sphere of FIVE MILES to represent an atom. The nucleus on the same scale would be the size of a tennis ball.
Most of your body is empty space …..
A black hole is supposed to consist entirely of material from the nucleus; all the “empty space” has been stripped away. A black hole of the mass of the earth would be ONE CENTIMETER in diameter.
There is believed to be a black hole at the centre of our galaxy with the mass of ONE MILLION times that of our Sun.
A pulsar or neutron star is a collapsed star that spins on its axis up to three or four thousand times per second.
A pulsar is ONE HUNDRED TIMES DENSER than a white dwarf, which is what our Sun will become once its nuclear fuel has been used up.
Pulsars sometimes send out gigantic amounts of visible light, equivalent to many times the total light emitted by the Milky Way.
A tablespoon of material from a neutron star would weigh about 3 BILLION TONS.
THE HUMAN EAR
can distinguish around 400,000 different sounds.
can detect sounds so quiet that the vibratory movement induced in the eardrum is not much more than the width of a calcium atom.