Going to A Higher Level
By Barbara Janelle M.A.
Published in the “Voice of Experience Column,” Species Link, Issue 62, April-June 2006
From all the energetic and spiritual teachings I’ve attended, one of the common themes is that ALL beings are here on Earth of their own choice. And, there are no victims. My confusion lies in the volume of animals who suffer: in factory farms, research facilities, used for fur, used for entertainment, and so on. I’ve been told, by teachers who work with humans rather than animals, that ALL animals have made a conscious choice for their experience so as to help the humans evolve. I can understand a one-on-one relationship (dog and person) where the dog would be willing to suffer to help the human. However, I do wonder if the huge numbers of animals in the situations mentioned above also fall under that category.
Response from Barbara Janelle
When we recognize that animals as well as humans (and many other forms of existence too) are magnificent spiritual beings, we can see them and their lives as a conscious part of the Earth experience, rather than as some inferior beings that we must pity. All who come here no matter their form, come to learn and to support the learning of others. The important question is not why do some suffer, but why is suffering part of learning on Earth and what do we do with it and learn from it?
It is true that many animals suffer physically, mentally and emotionally, and people do as well. I doubt that any being in human form goes through life without suffering. Grief over the loss of human and animal family members and friends is excruciating. Look at infant mortality rates and recognize that they represent human agony. The real suffering though is that we believe in separateness. If we can see another human or animal’s pain and recognize it as our own and move to bring healing, love and respect, we can shift something very difficult into something profoundly wonderful.
For example, see the many sides of the Katrina disaster and its affect on animals and humans. Yes, there was terrible suffering but overshadowing that is the ongoing outpouring of love (the workers who went to rescue, the people who contributed funds, the humans engaged in ongoing prayer and meditation, etc.) and the emergence of a strong commitment that animals shall not be left behind in disaster areas again. How much love came from this disaster?
The challenge for us is to not get caught in pain. Feel it and recognize it, yes, but not stay in pain because that will only build agony on this planet. As humans, we have a very powerful ability to dream what might be and to ask for help from each other and from the universal force of compassion and order. Our challenge and our job is to go to a higher level and bring healing – another word for wholeness and the recognition that All is One.