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How can we see animals in terms of the Eight Circuits Model of Consciousness?

Some thoughts from Rasa

Thanks to Yodhe Edwards for getting me to think about this.
I suppose I have previously been too chauvinistic to give this much thought.

Click here to visit a Wikipedia page for a
quick overview of the model.

Rasa with his deer friend Eva

Circuits 1 and 2 seem easy to recognize in most mammals. Circuit 3 may have to be slightly redefined to include the kinds of logic and symbolic thought animals develop to navigate in their world. For us, the deer offer a great opportunity to see how individuals differ. We’ve gotten to know the deer in our local herd as individuals, and they do all act differently from one another in a wide variety of ways. Most of that seems like Circuits 1 & 2 responses, but if you think of the objects in their experience as holding some symbolic meaning, then yes, they seem to understand the symbolic meanings. Because I often have almonds in my pocket, and I don’t mind sometimes sharing a couple with a deer friend, as soon as I put my hand in my pocket, the older smarter deer immediately know what might happen. There is some kind of logical deduction going on there. When I first moved into my new house here, I found that one time a deer had defecated in the back yard. I scooped up the shit and went from deer to deer, holding out the scoop for them to smell. They are curious, so most of them came up to smell what I was holding. When they got a whiff and heard my forceful “don’t do that!,” they all got the message. No deer has shit in the yard since then. They can be hanging out in the yard and when they get the urge, they will walk out into the nearby woods, shit, and then come back. I’m always amazed to see my instructions were heeded.

Circuit 4, social/sexual behavior, seems easy to identify. The deer are very social creatures. They have a hierarchy within the herd, and yet that hierarchy evolves as members age and exert their dominance or not. It is interesting to see that when there are a lot of fawns running around, the does often don’t know if an approaching fawn is theirs or not unless they first smell the little guy’s butt. Another mother’s fawn will be forcefully pushed away. And yet, on the rare occasion when a doe dies and leaves young fawns orphaned, very often the matriarch of the herd will adopt the orphaned fawns. While mating is carried out instinctively at one time every year, the bucks have to work hard to get a doe to be a willing participant. There is a LOT of running around as the bucks chase after and entice a willing doe.

As for the higher circuits, that has to be much harder to figure out, if indeed there is any correlation. As far as some Circuit 5 indication, over the last 20 years we’ve been hanging out with the same herd of deer, we have had two very intelligent deer enjoy getting stoned with us. Normally deer get freaked out with the smell of smoke. That is maybe an instinctive reaction to forest fires, but those two clever deer who just liked to be near us often figured out that breathing in our smokey exhalation was a pleasant experience. We know that a lot of animals in the wild are attracted to fermented fruit. I suppose you could say that enjoyment of feeling high indicates some neurosomatic experience of multi-dimensional space more expansive than lower Circuit experiences offer. 

As for the neuro-electric Circuit, mind becoming aware of itself independent of the patterns imprinted by the previous five circuits – that is perhaps difficult to ascertain. For evidence of that, we may want to look at Lily’s work with dolphins. 

The neuro-genetic Circuit may be developed in some animals in a way that seems so foreign to our understanding that we don’t recognize it as such. That is certainly just a guess.

Circuit 8 – even Tim and Bob were not certain of the parameters of an experience with this Circuit. It could be that animals are simply not evolved enough to go so far beyond their more primitive programming, or, conversely, perhaps their lack of the more typical human restraints of ego identification allow them to always have a direct awareness of the unified field of all existence. Are they aware of that if that is true? I’m not even sure how one might observe or measure that. 

4 replies
  1. Phil
    Phil says:

    Great article!

    „perhaps their lack of the more typical human restraints of ego identification allow them to always have a direct awareness of the unified field of all existence. Are they aware of that if that is true?„

    This thought is fascinating to me! It fits perfectly with the strangely Intuitive understanding of humans and other species that animals seem to have.

    This could mean, they might actually understand us more then we understand them.
    Our ego would make us limited in comparison. They might pity us blind ego robots from their perspective of reality.

  2. Garland G. Hewlett
    Garland G. Hewlett says:

    Animals DO have a developed neuro-electric system. In 1973 I was tripping on one and a half hits of Windowpane LSD and I had a telepathic experience with a dog. My roommate and I had driven across town to check in on his sister’s dog while she was out of town for the day. When we arrived at the house we split our 3 doses of Windowpane we had between us and by the time an hour and a half had passed we were beginning to peak. I had been sitting on the floor doing some hatha yoga and had passed into a vision of the crucifixion in which massive amounts of blood were flowing from the cross and washing over me, leaving me all clean, white, and shinning inside (a vision represented me as a sanitized, perfectly balanced medicine cabinet). When I came out of the vision I was whispering in tongues and repeating the word “shekhinah”, meaning, per Google: “(in Jewish and Christian theology) The glory of the divine presence, conventionally represented as light or interpreted symbolically (in Kabbalism as a divine feminine aspect)”. In other words, I was in the afterglow of a deep mystical experience of being freed from all guilt and shame, leaving me in a state where my senses were super heightened and the air around me was a thick fluid substance that refracted beautiful auras of rainbow colors around everything in the room. I felt as though the Christ presence that had awakened within me was looking out upon the room through my own eyes. This made me feel a telepathic connection with the dog that happened to be in the room with us. When I looked into the face of the dog, I felt as though the dog was looking back, not at me, but at Christ, who dwelt within my heart at that moment. I attempted to speak telepathically to the dog, I found that by giving the dog commands silently from my 4th circuit heart center, the dog would respond correctly, then turn his head toward me as if to ask, “What do you want me to do next?” This telepathic encounter lasted for about 30 minutes before we got up and left to go across town. That evening when we returned to check up on the dog, the acid had worn off and the dog (a male Dachshund) was looking at me with a perplexed expression as if to say, “What’s wrong? Why can’t you communicate telepathically anymore?”


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