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December 20, 2014

Do Elephants Have Souls?

The birth of an elephant is a spectacular occasion.
Grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins crowd around the new arrival and its dazed mother, trumpeting and stamping and waving their trunks to welcome the floppy baby who has so recently arrived from out of the void, bursting through the border of existence to take its place in an unbroken line stretching back to the dawn of life. After almost two years in the womb and a few minutes to stretch its legs, the calf can begin to stumble around. But its trunk, an evolutionarily unique inheritance of up to 150,000 muscles with the dexterity to pick up a pin and the strength to uproot a tree, will be a mystery to it at first, with little apparent use except to sometimes suck upon like human babies do their thumbs.
Caitrin Nicol Keiper - The New Atlantis

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 20, 2014 3:38 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Of course they do. Why would anyone think differently? They can't vote and verbal skills are limited but with their behavior a few of the Seven Deadly Sins can be observed.
Mostly elephants live by The Ten Commandments along with Jesus' mandate:

Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

Matthew 22:39
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Think not harshly of elephants nor offer judgment on them.

Matthew 7: 2-4
2 - "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
3 - "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4 - "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye.

My uncle Louie Lozko, we all called him "Letsgo Lozko", he raised bantam chickens. he always said that chickens were the most honest animals he knew.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2014 6:30 AM

I agree Chas, and I believe ALL animals have souls. I have no proof, just experience. I know people that believe animals are just things, meant to be used in any way possible but I don't spend much time around them. I prefer the company of animals, over people, because they are honest in the truest sense of the word.

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2014 2:47 PM

Yes ghost, animals show simple straightforward emotions. No lies, hypocrisy, avarice. Even when a beast threatens and then attacks it is for very simple motive: hunger or fear of danger or protection of turf.
What you see is what you get. Most folks' problem is they look but cannot see. I have a knack with animals, my father did too. So did uncle Letsgo. I can establish a sort of rapport; there is a sixth sense that gets me closer to animals than a lot of people get. "Horse whisperers" they call people like that. Not like we are on a first name basis but a connection is made.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2014 7:15 PM


Next question?

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 22, 2014 12:09 PM

@Chas, I too have a certain rapport with most dogs and I can feel it in the first few seconds after meeting it.
The day we went to see our Shannon (named Spirit at the time) at the shelter, they brought her out to Sherri and I and we were all glad to see each other for our very own and particular reasons.
Shannon was overly bubbly and was jumping up at us uncontrollably and I was knelt on the ground at her level.
We still have not broken the jumping up thing yet.
The leash and collar arrangement they had on her was difficult to work with as it was all one piece.
The leash was basically wrapped around her neck, and acted as a collar, and it's impossible to control an animal in that manner.

After a few minutes we went inside and then to an outside area in the rear that was enclosed on all 4 sides.
This area was about 100' wide by about 50' deep and had 10' chainlink fence on the 2 ends.
The front of this area was enclosed by the office building itself.
The rear of this area was contained by the row of kennels with chainlink fence seperating them from this large open area.
Each of the kennels had dogs in them, some 30 kennels in a row and each kennel had a barking and curious dog in it.
Various people were coming and going so the distractions were immense and a quality interview with Spirit was almost impossible.
We were in this area for about 20 minutes and weren't making much headway.
Sherri and I frequently looked at each other in frustration and wondered aloud if we were doing the right thing.
The situation was so difficult I had my doubts as to whether this whole thing was right.
I needed to find a way to break through the chaos and discover what I needed to know.
I needed to know if Spirit was the dog I was going to invest a big part of my life in and with.

At one point I decided to try something to see how Spirit would act toward me.
Without saying a word to anyone I walked to one corner of the 50'x100' space and just stood there for a moment.
In short order Spirit came over by me and just stood there.
Without looking at, or acknowledging her, I started slowly walking to the opposte end some 100' away.
Spirit followed, and Sherri stood in the middle observing, not saying a word.
The mayhem meanwhile continued all around us.

When I got to the corner I stopped and just stood there, again not saying anything to anyone and just observing out of the corner of my eye.
Spirit stopped at that corner too and acted like she was waiting for direction on what to do.
After a moment I started slowly walking toward the next corner, Spirit again followed.
Keep in mind there were numerous distractions all along, dogs barking uncontrollably, kids and adults running about, cars coming and going, etc.

I repeated my previous behavior at this corner and then started walking to corner 4, again Spirit followed me.
Spirit had been off the leash the whole time we were in this enclosed area so she was following me of her own volition.
I stopped at corner 4 and stood there, by now Spirit was in tune with what I was doing.

I started walking to corner 1, where we had started, and Spirit followed me again.
When we got to that corner I stopped and just stood there, and so did Spirit.
I looked down at her and she was looking around, but she already knew where she was supposed to be - by me.
I knelt down and wrapped my arms around her and told her she was a good gurl and she turned into a fountain bubbling all over the place.
Her natural charms had worked their spell and cut through the fog of distraction and confusion and overwhelmed my emotions.
She won me and I stole her.

That clinched the deal for me, she was now my gurl and we just had to go through the formalities to make it so.
Sherri went inside and handled all the administrative tasks and I releashed Spirit with my own hardware I had brought along and her and me went out front to the huge grassed yard with large shade trees and boulders. We walked about and Spirit grew more comfortable with me, and I was learning her. I had not spent more than a few minutes with any dogs in more than 6 months and they of course were other people's dogs, so not only was I finding Spirit I was finding me.

I sat down on a large boulder and Spirit climbed up on top to be near me. I spoke to her and she listened to me. I could see it in her eyes. Finally, she had found someone that wanted to spend time with her, just her, for the first time in her life. And I found someone to help me heal, to become whole again, to fill a void that had only seen despair for so long. She seemed appreciative if that is possible. She was very excitable but I attributed that to her very young age of 4 months. Everything around her was new all the time and warranted investigation. I understood this and allowed her to find her way. In a moment I was back in her main view and she was glad of it.

The printer was causing problems inside so it took Sherri an unusually long time to join Spirit and me, maybe 20-30 minutes.
The yard we were in was vast and was surrounded on 3 sides by an immense cornfield with stalks 10' high, it was like we were in an enclosed castle yard. Cars came and went from the parking lot next to the yard and people would walk past us to their cars. On 2 occasions people stopped and told us how good we looked together and wished us luck and I thanked them.

Soon, Sherri emerged with the paperwork in hand that legally made Spirit ours, and us, hers.
The 2 women that owned the place came out and wanted to take a picture of us for their Facebook page.
Everybody thanked everybody and wished each other luck and we, Sherri, Spirit and I, jumped in the car and headed for home, Spirit's new home.

Spirit, now named Shannon, is laying on her blanky here next to my chair in front of my desk in my office.
Shannon is sleeping, and just now she let out with a low woo-woo-woo, from something she is dreaming about.
I hope she is not having a bad dream of the days when no one wanted her.
I hope she is dreaming about the good times she and us have had since she's been here and the many more good times we will have in the future.

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 22, 2014 3:01 PM

The Bible explicitly says that the animals were created with a nefesh chaya, that is, a living soul.

Next question?

Posted by: Punditarian [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 22, 2014 4:12 PM

You must have a different translation than... everyone else.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 24, 2014 10:53 AM

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