Animal Evolutionary Consciousness Through the Diverse Religions I
An Overview of the Existence of an Animal Spiritual Consciousness
“Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.” ~C. S. Lewis
Animal Evolutionary Consciousness And Wisdom Traditions
Many folktales and legends refer to the ancestral eras of fables that portray the time when the "myth" of man and animal's coexistence was a genuine expression of religious emotion. From the conception of the ancient Sphinx, summarizing the characteristic of the four noble animals as the four mighty Cherubs, protectors of Creation, to the shape-shifting of the old Gods of Greek and the animal-shaped Gods of the Hindu pantheon; we see our animal partners as active elements of an ageless and integral understanding of spirituality.
The opening of Imaginary of men saw the archetypal myths engraved in patterns in the sky. These myths were told according to the movement of the stars and/or entire constellations. The Denderah zodiac in Egypt and the Babylonian sky mapping tell us how relevant were the animals to explain and categorize these myths. In the free chapters of the Bible, in Genesis, it is spoken clearly of no power and privilege domain from the essential part of Men toward other Creation elements. Instead, it announces the covenant of God with men, with the birds, the creatures, and all the beasts of the earth. They are with us during this cycle of Creation.
 Cherubim are mentioned in the Torah (five books of Moses), the Book of Ezekiel, and the Book of Isaiah. They are also mentioned in the books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicle, and 2 Chronicles mainly in the construction of the House of God. They are also mentioned extensively in the Psalms. There is only one mention in the New Testament, in Hebrews 9:5, referring to the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. NOTE: The two cherubim placed by God at the entrance of paradise (Gen. iii. 24) were angels created on the third day, and therefore they had no definite shape; appearing either as men or women or as spirits or angelic beings (Genesis Rabbah xxi., end).
 The zodiac is a planisphere or map of the stars on a plane projection, showing the 12 constellations of the zodiacal band forming 36 decant of ten days each, and the planets.
Animal Spirituality and Ancient Traditions
Even the Egyptian “Book of the Dead" recounts the confession of the deceased before his judges of the other world, testifying that the Egyptian professed care for animals. They also accepted the belief of the Animal Evolutionary Consciousness, He says: "I have not hunted animals hiding behind bushes. I caught the birds of the gods ".
We find that "Hymn to the Sun" of Pharaoh Amenophis IV was certainly an inspiration for Psalm 104 from the Bible: “How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.”
“All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” (Psalm 104, 22-30).
Greek Mythology and Animal Consciousness
In Greece, Orpheus, the prophet of Thrace, like all great spirits, enchanted people and animals (even the wild beasts) with the lovely tone of his voice, and the sound of his flute. The thoughts and feelings of this vegetarian priest of Apollo-Sol have been preserved in the hearts of his disciples by the millennium, finally reaching the code of conduct preached by Pythagoras and Plutarch.
Orpheus was a Greek historical character, who gave lectures in his mother tongue, in Rome. It is said that he had been initiated in the Egyptian religion of Isis and Osiris, and his precepts on the treatment of animals were respected: Just like you, they have a soul ... Refrain from eating a meat offering!
Throughout Greek literature, we see a manifested noble sentiment regarding animal care. A good example is the episode of Argo, Ulysses’ dog, which is attended by his master at the time of his death.
Animal Wellness and Kindness
The philosopher Aristotle distinguishes three different types of souls: vegetative or nutritive, sensitive, and rational. Correspond to the first are plants, the second and third animal’s men. The animal incarnations in the ancient religions always had a value in themself, and they became conceived as having an immortal soul. Pythagoras and Anaxagoras, unlike the Stoics, attached to the animal life a divine emanation and thought that the soul was always immortal in both animals and men. The same was thought of by Plato and the philosophers of Alexandria.
Nowadays in Roma, we can still verify the existence of many altars dedicated to Mithras. The Obelisk and the Temple of Mithras coexist with the Olympus symbols; the Pythagorean Basilica and the palace of the nobles all display, in a row, the symbolic animals that make up a polymorphic glorification of the cosmos and all its energy and consciousness.
In Iran, Zarathustra (the prophet Zoroaster)’s said “... whoever takes care of animals, without nourishing from their meat "shattered or massacred" shall receive the vision of the Holy Spirit and The Truth.” He also said that “whoever kills an animal, would kill his own soul”.
Buddhist Point of View
Buddha asks for unconditional compassion for animals, and as Zarathustra, prohibits the slaughter: "instead of sacrificing animals, let them free. Let them seek grass, water, and wind caress. Animals killed had given you the tribute of their milk and wool. They had put their trust in the hands that now slaughter them (...)”.
Buddhists in India built, in the time of Emperor Asoka, the first animal hostel. This initiative was revived in the nineteenth century by Vivekananda.
Gandhi claimed that respect for animals is the Hindu gift to mankind. The Hindu religion always emphasized animal’s rights and had protected them against cruelty. The Oneness of Souls but a Plurality of Physical bodies have been a system of Belief for eastern traditions, and their Animal Evolutionary Consciousness accepted and emphasized.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~Mahatma Gandhi