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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity



Inspiring Lessons of Service and Devotion
from Our Furry and Feathered Friends
Revealing the Open-Eyed and Unpretentious Mind of God




"Animals fulfill God's will most faithfully: they live to fulfill their Creator's purpose. We do not do this. We meddle with the work of the Creator. But the animals are themselves, and they fulfill the will of God that is within them in a true and faithful manner." Carl Jung






click on each of these titles:


Editor's essay: Some higher-level animals have been taught to communicate via sign-language, even with many hundreds of hand-symbols. And these tutored animals string together symbols to create proto-sentences and, by such, do convey messages. But, is this communicative interchange of the same order of language that humans experience?

Augros & Stanciu's The New Biology: Animal and Plant Cooperation: Nature is not at war, one organism with another. Nature is an alliance founded upon cooperation.

Editor’s Essay: Do all dogs go to heaven? A strange question, but here’s something most haven’t considered.

Jasmine the dog that rescued other animals

The hippo that saved an antelope

A koala asks for a drink

The goose that asked a policeman for help

Judy the nurse dog

Maria the devoted goose

Christian the lion: "I will always love you!"


the open-eyed and unpretentious mind of God



Immanuel Kant: "He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

Anatole France: "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened."


"THE BLT" - Baloo, Leo, & Shere Khan

Baloo the American black bear (Ursus americanus ), Leo the African lion (Panthera leo), and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris); known as "The BLT" came to Noah's Ark in 2001 after they were discovered by police officers in a basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished, and infected with internal and external parasites when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought them to Noah’s Ark.  Shere Khan the tiger was underweight and malnourished, but with the treatment of his parasites and a healthy diet, he began to regain his cub like energy and appetite, as well as increase in weight. He is the most mischievous of the BLT, always pouncing Baloo and Leo. Shere Khan also seeks out affection the most and numerous times throughout the day he rubs heads and grooms his brothers, strengthening their bond. In fall of 2014 he was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease but is responding well to treatment and should live many more years with his brothers. Bengal tigers are native to parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan and because of habitat loss and poaching, they have a conservation status of endangered.They weigh 300-500 lbs and live to be roughly 20 years old in captivity. (Noah's Ark)


Mohandas Gandhi: "Man's nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature."

Winston Churchill: "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."

John Berger: "Nothing in nature around us is evil. This needs to be repeated since one of the human ways of talking oneself into inhuman acts is to cite the supposed cruelty of nature."


baby hedgehog


Richard Adams: "Animals don't behave like men, he said. If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill, they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality."

Silver Birch: "There is individual survival for domestic animals that have had positive association with humans. Thus they have been helped to achieve an individual evolution that is not possible with animals who are still in a group soul, or soul group, even on earth. It is part of the wonderful relationship that can exist between humans and animals, each helping the other to develop spiritually. You help the animal that comes into your surroundings to achieve a consciousness that is more personal and individual that it otherwise would have been. It is that which survives death. But where there is not this more evolved 'human' expression it joins the soul group or group soul."


animal genius

Victor Zammit brought to our attention this amazing video of about a hundred fantastic examples of animal intelligence.

see the video 



Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, interviewed by Alex Tsakiris:

"The research really was designed to look at the idea that telepathy and other psychic abilities, like premonitions and the sense of direction, are part of biological nature. If humans have them, we have them not because we're special or supernatural but because they're natural and these are normal abilities which occur in animals. So as a biologist I thought, 'Well, if these phenomena exist at all they should exist in animals.' That's where I looked for them, and I collected more than 5,000 case histories from people who work with animals, including dog trainers, police dog handlers, blind people with guide dogs, riders, etc., and also vets and cat owners. I found that many people had noticed things that suggested that animals could pick up their intentions. One of the easiest to test scientifically was the claim that many people make that their dog or cat knows when they're coming home and goes and waits at the door or window... I did proper experiments to test this. We had people come at random times in unfamiliar vehicles and we filmed the place where the dog waited. We found that with a dog called J.T. that 85% of the occasions when the owner was coming home, the dog was indeed waiting for her. He started when she decided to come home, before she even got into the vehicle, and he waited there most of the time. This happened at random times of day in different vehicles, taxis and other vehicles, that she'd never been in before. We built up a body of evidence from this and other dogs showing that there seems to be a real ability and that it seems to be a matter of the dog picking up the person's intention."



MEDIUM'S DOG, FREIDA, MATERIALIZES: On April 17, 2011, Kai Meugge, the medium of the Felix Experimental Group, posted on Facebook the sad news that his dog Freida, whom he had rescued from the streets of Athens and lived with "in total symbiosis" for eight years, had died unexpectedly. He hoped that she would be throwing sticks with his friend Hans Bender in the spirit world. However, that hope turned into knowing when Freida materialized in his seance a week later. In the presence of Dr. M. Mnahm and several other sitters, Frieda was giving signs of survival in the seance room. Above the plaque where usually only hands of spirit people are showing, suddenly her small paw became visible. Then she was doing her typical demand-behaviour, touching considerably with her paw the knee of sitter, as if wanting a treat or something. Her tail was waggling extensively at the lower legs of many sitters.



glimpses of animal life in Summerland 

"their own eternal life"

The following was reported in "Letters From the Spirit World,” channeled information via the mediumship of Carlyle Petersilea who accessed testimony from his father on the other side:

“… within the waters here, glide beautiful fishes — the spirits of those that have died on earth, and it is the same with our animals… nothing is crowded here and there are vast areas of space… When wild animals die on the earth, their spirits rise into great spiritual forests which… human spirits seldom or never visit ... when great sea monsters die, or smaller fish, their spirits ascend and find homes within boundless spiritual oceans. Your globe of earth, that seems so vast to you, is but a small speck, or like a grain of sand, compared to eternity and its eternal heavens… Forms come up through the material, not that they may perish, but that they may be conserved to fill eternity with beauty and intelligence — not only the intelligence of mankind, but the lesser intelligence of beasts, birds, reptiles and fishes — these forms, to Nature, are just as beautiful as is that of man.”

Editor’s note: It strikes me just now that certain ones of us, particularly drawn to the animal kingdom, might choose, while a rare opting, to live among our feathered, furry, and finned brethren on a somewhat permanent basis. No one would stop you.

And just think – the dinosaurs would be over there somewhere, too! and in far greater numbers than our familiar mammals. Why? - the “age of dinosaurs” lasted for about 200 million years but mammals have been around a mere 65 million. For the adventurous, there’s a real jurassic-park to be explored, and you can play fetch with Dino.


Excursions to the Spirit World by Frederick C. Sculthorp: "I saw a sheep that was squatting down with head up and its eyes wide open in a sightless stare. It seemed to be enveloped in a watery haze, and was completely shorn. Surrounding it on the grass ... was a circle of sheep, also squatting, who looked very contented and serene. I sensed that this central sheep was a new arrival in spirit, and that the surrounding sheep were induced by higher minds to be there as some comfort when it became conscious. I felt something sad about it - something about its treatment before passing. I did not want to know more."

"Animals on entry to the spirit life, animals do not at once settle down in harmony together. The earthly instinct of hunting to get food subsides in time owing to the futility of it, and apparently the spirit laws are on the side of the hunted. However, I have not seen animals which had always been naturally wild. I once saw a cow with a calf walking by its side. The calf was very small and I sensed that it was yet unborn when its mother was slaughtered on earth, and resumed a separate existence in spirit. A greyhound approached and instinctively the calf ran and naturally the greyhound chased it, but even this swift dog was easily outpaced. Physical powers do not apply here and the frantic desire of self-preservation draws more deeply on the spirit resources available. The calf made a wide detour and regained its mother once more and I picked it up and it laid contentedly in my arms. It seemed to know that it was being protected, or sensed my sympathy."

"I sensed that this horse had been long in spirit and was used to the love and kindness in the thoughts of the people of this plane. To describe a ride on a spirit horse seems to call for some swift, Pegasus-like ride, but it was not so... We simply walked, and I did not wish for anything better. Sometimes I would be attracted by the beauty of a scene and, my desire being known, the horse would halt and give a half-turn so that I could dwell on it and then on again. We seemed to be of one mind. The happiness this apparently simple ride gave me is hard to describe. Every time my thoughts strayed to the horse there would be an answering thought which was an utter love for humans. I could not detect the slightest trace of 'subjection by mastery'."



Do animals have souls?

In the channeled book, "A Wanderer In The Spirit Lands," Franchezzo's friend and guide on the other side asserts that the soul can be individuated only once; also in this discussion, the subject of animal soul is touched upon:

To originate a thought or to impress your thoughts upon another requires the possession of an intelligent soul germ or spark of the divine essence, and once this has been given the being becomes possessed of an independent individuality it can never again lose… once endowed with soul life it can never cease to exist, and, in existing, must retain the individuality of its nature and the responsibility of its actions.

This is alike true of the human soul and the intelligent soul principle as manifested in the animals or lower types of soul existence. Wherever you see the power to reason and to act upon such reasoning manifested either in man, the highest type, or in animals, the lower type, you may know that a soul exists, and it is only a question of degree of purity of soul essence.

We see in man and in the brute creation alike a power of reasoning intelligence differing only in degree, and from this fact the [philosophical] school of thought to which I belong draws the inference that both alike have a conscious individual immortality, differing, however, in the type and degree of soul essence, animals as well as men having an immortal future for development before them.

What are the limits of the action of this law we cannot pretend to say but we draw our conclusions from the existence in the spirit world of animals as well as men who have alike lived on earth, and both of whom are found in a more advanced state of development [in Summerland] than they were in their earth existences.

See extensive excerpts from Franchezzo's book on the "Dark Realms" page.

Editor’s note: From certain sectors of the afterlife, we hear dicta, from some, that only the animals which have contact with man will survive; and, even this, only temporarily. I think this is fake-news. Reports such as these originate from those who also believe that people, you and I, will someday lose individuality and be swallowed by some Grand Nirvana. This is all propaganda from the crowd that craves to be “rid of the spoiled self”; and, concerning animals, why should they be spared? But this is all rubbish philosophy. See “the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” writing for much discussion concerning dysfunctional ones, over there, who desire to be “rid of themselves.”



The Andy Griffith Show, "Dogs, Dogs, Dogs," April 1963: Barney Fife (Don Knotts): "Selfish giraffes! lookin' out for number-one! runnin' around! gettin' strict by lightnin'! Now, dogs, they take care of their own."

Robert Louis Stevenson: "You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."



Unknown: "Dogs have owners, cats have staff" ... "To err is human, to forgive, canine."

Samuel Butler: "All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it."



perfect trust

December 10, 2011: Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62-foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat.
"Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to... circle the boat, looking directly at us. We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed. I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat. In all my years fishing, I've never seen anything quite like it! Once on-board, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering. We headed for Taku Harbour. Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had been pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back as if to say 'thank you' and disappeared into the forest.
"After a bit of prodding and assistance, two more followed, but the smallest deer needed a little more help. My daughter, Anna, and son, Tim, helped the last buck to its feet. We didn't know how long they had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive. My daughter later told me that the experience was something that she would never forget, and I suspect the deer felt the same way as well!"





Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling: "Even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him, and would say, 'Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you,' and his mother said she wished he had never been born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him." READ MORE



This Pit Bull wouldn't leave the animal rescue without the frightened Chihuahua she had been protecting. This is a picture in the new owners car after being adopted together.



Mahatma Gandhi: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Rudyard Kipling: "The Cat. He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him."


Editor's note: Friends called her Maribelle, a timid and gentle dove that made a nest on my livingroom windowsill. She had grown less fearful, however, more accepting of momentary glances assessing her progress. Sadly, one morning (May 1, 2011), both Maribelle and her eggs, without a trace, were gone! the victim, I presume, of some natural predator.


following the bread-crumbs of every thought, every feeling, back to source

We speak of “going within,” of “standing back” and witnessing the antics of the ego. What does this mean in actual practice? It may signify many things but, one thing for sure, it describes a journey to the center of the ego's domain.

In one of his lectures, Krishnamurti asked the question, have we ever followed the directives of the egoic mind all the way to point of origin? See the entire lecture here:

14.July.1968. "To look at ourselves is one of the most difficult things, to see ourselves as we are. How can we bring about this state of inward awareness? Have you ever tried to examine every thought, every feeling, to trace out the source of these to motive and various layers of the mind? This will reveal the whole content of our conditioning."

PBS Nature with George Page, in my opinion, the
greatest animal-kingdom series ever produced

When we embark upon this self-introspection, we will find that much of what motivates us, especially in the unenlightened state, is lock-step in line with the bio-impulses which govern the activities of our fur-and-feather brethren.

we follow our bellies

In the unenlightened state, we follow our bellies. Our hungers and cravings lead us. Everything we do, essentially, serves to stave off the ghoulish hand of death. We fight for survival. We sell our souls for fleeting moments of bio-stimulation – we call this “happiness” – a crust of bread, an opportunity to procreate, a more secure position to ward off danger. All the beasts of the field live and die by the inglorious credo: eat, procreate, fight, sleep, defecate, guard one's territory. (See Dr. Ernest Becker's related comments in "The Denial Of Death.") This is what passes for living on “animal planet.” As Bugs used to say, "monotonous, isn't it?"

Editor note: The primordial “thrill of the hunt” is well preserved in today’s out-of-proportion emphasis on violent sports. Historians Will and Ariel Durant comment: In the very word game "memories of the chase linger in the pursuit of anything weak or fugitive." There is a reason why Neanderthal sports are so popular, but we hesitate to spell it out.

driven: communion with the beasts of the field

When we lie in bed at night – meaning, when the distractions of the day fail to readily protect the mind from its fears – sense the bio-neediness. Can we feel the animal cravings, the hungers, the fears of survival? – all of which mayhem longs to envelop us as the only reality.

shared biological fellowship

Allow these impulses to invade. Do not fight them but mentally open the inner eyes to see what they’re made of. Permit them to ravage but, this time, follow them back to source. When we do, we will find that much of what we call the ego’s dominion is simply that of shared biological fellowship with, what Saint Francis would say, our “dear brother” animals.

Our animal proclivities are not something "wrong" as such but only inadequate to take us to where we need to go. We are more than bio-fever on legs but contain another nature, a spark of God, begging for unfoldment, whispering of grander destiny.



cockatoo bebops to elvis


A very funny animal video -- a cockatoo (right) thoroughly gets into Elvis's "Don't Be Cruel," gyrating in-time with the music. A less-than-enthused friend (left) raises his foot, but not a ruckus, to maintain a discreet distance lest he be drawn into the mosh-pit.

CLICK HERE to see the video



Father Robert Benson, More Life In The World Unseen: Robert and Ruth have just helped 18 year-old Roger transition to the Spirit World (the year 1951). Weakened by a terminal illness, Roger has awakened after his inter-dimensional trip and is regaining strength in a new land. Ruth summons a tiny bird, having flown into the room through an open window, to light upon her finger:

The bird was dressed in a smart livery of pale gray feathers. Roger was greatly interested when Ruth transferred the bird to his own finger.
"He often visits us here," I told him, "though he really belongs to two old earth friends of mine."
"Then what is he doing here [in Summerland]?" asked Roger.
"Well, he was found by my friends in great distress when he was but a fledgeling; they cared for him, watched him grow, but sad to say, he came to grief. Possibly he became a trifle too daring, overdid things, had some sort of sudden seizure, and died almost at once. A great pity. He was like you, Roger, he had hardly begun his life. And exactly like you, Roger, he passed into these beautiful lands and was cared for immediately, just as we try to do for all the human souls who come to us. That small bird, so very inconsiderable on earth, and the action of my two friends, equally inconsiderable, have not been lost. Their affection for that tiny atom of life has preserved that life for all time. At present, he is part of the household of a mutual old friend, who already has other bird and animal friends of his own. They're a merry family, and we'll take you along to see him and them. Don't you think he is a rather handsome fellow?"


Mary Bly: "Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you."

Abraham Lincoln: "I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."



turtle power!



An inspiring scene, two turtles, one having capsized, with his friend to the rescue.



Alfred North Whitehead: "If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer."


the earliest known painting of bees, Mesolithic cave painting 8-6000 bce

bees’ natural inclination is to live high above the earth; research has shown that when bees are free to select their own site, they always choose to live between 2.5m and 6m off the ground; see more on the "ecosystem" page


Montaigne: "When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her?"


a dog assists one of the great unrecognized heroines of WWII

 80 year-old Art Bosman in the Netherlands, sent this story to me with a note:

"I send [the report] to many... I lived that war... Saw them all being loaded in those terrible freightcars. With machine guns. Chased in. Terrible sight to see."

Irena Sendler

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the  Warsaw ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist.

She had an "ulterior motive." She knew what the Nazis' plans were for the Jews (being German). Irena smuggled infants in the bottom of the tool box she carried and in the back of her burlap sack, (for larger kids).

She also had a dog that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms, and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.



Edward C. Randall and Emily S. French worked together in the area of direct-voice mediumship for 22 years, receiving thousands of audio-communications from the Spirit World. A person on the other side relates her crossing-over experience:

"[My spirit guide] said the place I was in [a most beautiful world] was the destination of those who spend their lives and energy on earth for the sake of their fellow-creatures, people who do great deeds for the uplift of the oppressed - the abode of people who showed equal compassion to both men and beasts."




A memorable story of animal love, devotion, and loyalty. Hachi waits 10 years for his master's return!






Editor's last word: