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Author Topic: Do your pets have religion?  (Read 2919 times)

beachglass

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Do your pets have religion?
« on: November 07, 2013, 10:30:42 pm »
My city chorus will be performing Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" this season, which is based on a poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart. I've been thinking about the bit where he talks about how his cat Jeoffrey worships God in cat ways:

Quote
For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
...

(You can read the whole section about Jeoffry at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15798 ; it's actually quite charming.)

Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

Personally I lean toward the latter; I anyways suspect I'm just anthropomorphizing when I try to guess what my cats are thinking. Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D
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Fier

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 12:13:57 am »
Quote from: beachglass;128717



 
Religion? No. Spirituality?

If spirituality is inner peace, mindfulness, and living in the moment, then I believe that domesticated animals, at least, have it. Wild ones are probably too busy dealing with survival to get to a state of peace.

stephyjh

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 12:21:50 am »
Quote from: beachglass;128717
My city chorus will be performing Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" this season, which is based on a poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart. I've been thinking about the bit where he talks about how his cat Jeoffrey worships God in cat ways:



(You can read the whole section about Jeoffry at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15798 ; it's actually quite charming.)

Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

Personally I lean toward the latter; I anyways suspect I'm just anthropomorphizing when I try to guess what my cats are thinking. Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D


I have cats. The closest they come to religion is, "Our human feeds us, cares for us, provides for us, and even scoops our wastes out of the litterbox. We must be gods."
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Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 03:09:44 am »
Quote from: beachglass;128717
Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D

Hah!

My cats mainly engage in the worship of my valerian tea every evening. There is competition to see which of them can set the spirit of valerian free. (All over the bed, usually.) Also the ritual use of the entheogen catnip. And nightly ritual feasting. And the great hunt of the evil pigeon.
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Tana

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2013, 05:42:40 am »
Quote from: beachglass;128717

Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?


Why would they have the need for a religion?

They don't fall to the illusion of separation, like humans do. And the feeling of separation makes it necessary to relate back to the connection.

Non human animals are at one and at peace already.
And all cats - of course - are the spirit of Zen. ;)
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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2013, 07:57:33 am »
Quote from: Tana;128752
Why would they have the need for a religion?

They don't fall to the illusion of separation, like humans do. And the feeling of separation makes it necessary to relate back to the connection.

This. They don't need it as they're lives are it.
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Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2013, 11:26:56 am »
Quote from: beachglass;128717
My city chorus will be performing Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" this season, which is based on a poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart. I've been thinking about the bit where he talks about how his cat Jeoffrey worships God in cat ways:



(You can read the whole section about Jeoffry at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15798 ; it's actually quite charming.)

Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

Personally I lean toward the latter; I anyways suspect I'm just anthropomorphizing when I try to guess what my cats are thinking. Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D

 
My Labrador's religion is the worship of the food bowl and I think she believes that if she partakes in the ritual rolling in fox poo she will be blessed with more food after she endures the Ordeal of the Bath.

My other dog knows that she is a god and that we are merely her servants to provide her with all she wants. Otherwise she will smite us with the Punching in the Boobs.

beachglass

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Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2013, 09:40:07 pm »
Quote from: Tana;128752
Why would they have the need for a religion?

They don't fall to the illusion of separation, like humans do. And the feeling of separation makes it necessary to relate back to the connection.

Non human animals are at one and at peace already.
And all cats - of course - are the spirit of Zen. ;)

This makes sense to me in terms of my cat, but it makes me wonder about animals that demonstrate more self-awareness, for example other great apes and dolphins... animals that pass the mirror test. Does self-awareness = illusion of separation?
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beachglass

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2013, 10:49:42 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;128776
This. They don't need it as they're lives are it.

 
Hmm... I wonder if that's actually what Smart means. Like at the beginning where he says:

   For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

I was interpreting that as the cat intentionally doing this motion as an act of worship, but maybe "in his way" should be read in "in the mode of his existence," rather than "with this particular method."
"The further we go, and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."  ~ Robert Smith

MadZealot

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2013, 08:29:26 am »
Quote from: Tana;128752
And all cats - of course - are the spirit of Zen. ;)


More like the spirit of Zzzzzzz  :p
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Allec

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 12:37:40 am »
Quote from: beachglass;128717

Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

Personally I lean toward the latter; I anyways suspect I'm just anthropomorphizing when I try to guess what my cats are thinking. Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D

 
My sassy answer is: Go ask a cat :P

My actual answer is to agree that it's not something I can determine. I can theorize, but more than likely I am projecting how I see the world onto my kitty. She might think in terms of Gods and Spirits, she might not. Unless I learn her language, I don't think I'll ever know.
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Bear-craft

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 12:55:45 am »
Quote from: stephyjh;128732
I have cats. The closest they come to religion is, "Our human feeds us, cares for us, provides for us, and even scoops our wastes out of the litterbox. We must be gods."

 
Heheh. The same probably goes for my cats. They truly do rule the house.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 07:47:28 pm »
Quote from: beachglass;128717
My city chorus will be performing Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" this season, which is based on a poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart. I've been thinking about the bit where he talks about how his cat Jeoffrey worships God in cat ways:



(You can read the whole section about Jeoffry at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15798 ; it's actually quite charming.)

Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

Personally I lean toward the latter; I anyways suspect I'm just anthropomorphizing when I try to guess what my cats are thinking. Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D

 
I don't think animals need religion.  I have noticed the cats take an interest when I set up the altar for ritual and will sometimes stare at the candles in awe....

Also the dogs and cats like it when I pray long repetitive prayers or perform rituals.  They will come lie near me and be unusually calm, quiet, and well behaved.

I don't think they have religion themselves, but they do seem to be in sync with the behavior and habits of their owners, and they enjoy my prayer time -- they just chill out with me.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Juniperberry

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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 08:35:11 pm »
Quote from: beachglass;128717


Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

Personally I lean toward the latter; I anyways suspect I'm just anthropomorphizing when I try to guess what my cats are thinking. Though my observation suggests that if there is a cat religion, its daily practices consist of 22 hours of deep meditation punctuated by episodes of ecstatic battle dance. And the ritual pushing of objects off the edges of tables. :D

 
I lean towards the theory that the Vanir in heathenry are zoomorphic deities. Freyr isn't a man who has a golden boar, he is the great golden boar, much like NA traditions are said to have the Great Bear spirit. There *is* a divide between man and beast and this, to me, explains the divide between the Vanir morals and the Aesir morals. The divide between man and beast is also dramatized in the swan wives motif, or the selkie myths. So, anyway, my point is that I do see my pets and animals as having gods, of being in the image of gods, and my interactions with them are the merging of two cultures and customs.
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Re: Do your pets have religion?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 01:44:55 pm »
Quote from: beachglass;128717
Do you observe your pets to have any spiritual practices? Do you think it's just a human thing? Or maybe the gulf between human and animal thinking is too wide for us to know?

 
My fish, Henry the Innsmouth Familiar, clearly worships Dagon and Great Cthulhu. This may not bode well for me.

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