But to the shaman discussing this, every living being has the same essence and is essentislly human, just in different forms.
He believes that shamans exist among all these beings, from insects to birds to plants, and that many of these shamans are true shape shifters because they can communicate through the illusory barriers that make us think we are divided. One could look at our communications as limited: if there were such a thing as telepathy, then language would be wholly unnecessary for communication with no misunderstanding.
They evolved in a different direction than ours, and to believe that an organism would have to have anatomy similar to our very specific anatomy in order to possess or access consciousness is, to me, so limited a range of thought that it reveals how naive and primitive we still are, tethering every understanding of every other thing or concept to our own physical bodies—the perfect reference when you believe you are the perfect creation.
Meanwhile, plants have been on this planet far longer than we have and have had far longer to evolve. They may appear simple to us, but they may be far more sophisticated and intelligent than we will ever understand. What we have here is a failure to communicate. Just discovered this site and am loving it.
Also check out Kenny Ausubel of Bioneers.
How Do We Know that Animal Communication Is More Limited than Ours?
According to Kenny, plants can see us. They have receptor cells all over them that are identical to receptor cells in the human retina and research has shown that they can see when we wear different colour clothing. Your email address will not be published. Menu Skip to content. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Science News. Story Source: Materials provided by Stockholm University. Journal Reference : Johan Lind et al. Memory for stimulus sequences: a divide between humans and other animals? Royal Society Open Science , June ScienceDaily, 20 June Stockholm University. Memory for stimulus sequences distinguishes humans from other animals.
Retrieved October 19, from www. This suggests some of the evolutionary underpinnings of the human penchant for animal-watching. First, that we are living, breathing, perspiring, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, eating, defecating, urinating, copulating, child-rearing, and ultimately dying animals ourselves. It is plausible that deep in the human psyche there resides the simple yet profound recognition of a relationship between Us and Them.
What is more, during most of our evolutionary and recent past, our well-being — survival, even — depended on relationships to other animals, many of which were predators, with us as their prey. Thus, it might be no coincidence that people are especially attuned to the doings of predators. Conversely, whether as occasional predators or scavengers — or both — our ancestors doubtless preyed upon other animals, and this would have selected for attentiveness to what possible meals might be had at the expense of our fellow creatures, a focus that would have included sensitivity to what was nearby, where they could be found, and how they might best be approached.
Careful animal-watching would have thus been doubly rewarded: not only rendering us less liable to end up as prey but also more likely to feed successfully on others. T here are many ways of looking at animals. A veterinarian looks for signs of illness versus health. A cat can, ostensibly, look at a king and presumably vice versa, but we are not supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth.
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By the way, as a long-time horse-keeper, I can affirm that there is no such thing as a gift horse, since our equine cousins require hay, vitamins, hoof care, immunisations and regular veterinary attention. Therefore, by all means, look in the mouth of any proffered horse!
A hunter looks at her prey with a mixture of excitement, hard-eyed calculation and determination; the wildlife photographer eyes his subject in a manner not altogether different. But for sheer pleasure, there is little doubt that watching birds tops the list.
SparkNotes: Discourse on Inequality: Part One, page 3
Despite their dinosaur origins which means that our most recent common ancestor was a Carboniferous-era reptile, from roughly million years ago , birds are the most assiduously watched wild animals and for good reason: many of them are fantastically lovely, brightly coloured or gloriously iridescent.
Mammals, sad to say, are comparatively drab, not surprising given that birds have colour vision whereas most mammals — with the notable exception of primates such as ourselves — see only shades of grey or brown. In addition and I say this as not only a fellow mammal but as one whose main empirical research has involved mammals , birds are more vibrant, more alive, and thus more rewarding to watch than are our closer, hair-bearing, milk-making kin, and much more so than amphibians or reptiles, which might well frustrate the watcher by doing absolutely nothing, for minutes — even hours — at a time.
Such precisely defined shape and colour can be almost too much to register dispassionately. Seeing can be disbelieving.
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Seeing the comical red-white-and-black clown-face of a European goldfinch — really seeing it, not just absent-mindedly noting its existence and maybe jotting it down on a checklist — challenges our sense of the mundane. As does the ethereal, ghostly whiteness of a snowy owl, or for that matter, the gleaming coat and bright yellow bill of a starling a troublesome species, introduced from the UK and which we in North America are supposed to despise because they crowd out native species , or the trim, forked tail of a barn swallow.
These perceptions challenge our sense of the mundane. Perhaps my favourite animal poem is by Rainer Maria Rilke. A few months might be sufficient. One thing I love about this story as well as about the poem itself , is that it speaks to the difference between the scientific discipline in which I was trained as a graduate student ethology and a competing, and in my opinion, far lesser scientific enterprise comparative psychology. By contrast, ethology — the biological study of animal behaviour — requires that animals be observed whenever possible in their natural environments if unavoidable, in a simulacrum.
Most of all, ethology insists that they are observed rather than being measured while performing an arbitrary, imposed act such as bar-pressing. For this, even a few months are never sufficient. Ethology is the scientific version of good, old-fashioned animal-watching.
How are humans different from other animals?
Thus, although the immense renown achieved by the primatologist Jane Goodall, one of the giants of ethological research, was largely due to her notable discoveries, the reality is that these findings were only possible because she spent literally thousands of hours observing chimpanzees in their natural environments, carefully watching their every move. The naturalist Henry Beston captured this in , in what I believe to be the finest paragraph ever written about animals, and the best advice I know for watching them:.
Simply open your eyes, ideally with benefit of binoculars, to the reality of animal lives separate from your own.