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When Your Animal Companion Dies
By Rev. Simeon Stefanidakis
(In Loving Memory of Wrinkles, Rocky, Christal, and Seth)

Animals are Spirits, Too

wrink01Over the years, many have asked us what happens when animals pass into the Spirit?

We could answer this question very simply by stating that animals are spirits, as we are spirits. They are born, they live, they die, and they come back, again and again, into earthly bodies. In Spirit, they experience very much the same type of growth that we humans do.

To some, this may seem distressing. After all, humans are supposed to hold a very special place within creation; well, indeed we do. But this does not mean that we humans are the only living spirits in God's great Kingdom of Spirit. Animals are spirits; plants are spirits; even the rocks and minerals of the earth have some form of spirit life within their bodies. Catholicism and Orthodoxy both teach that animals are spirits, but they lack souls. Personally, I do not see how one can exist without the other. Let me make it perfectly clear: Animals are part of God's Creation and are endowed with Spirit/Soul.

But, are animals, in fact, like us humans? The answer to this question is both YES and NO. Most of whom we would consider to be members of the wildlife kingdoms belong to what is known as group souls. They have not experienced what Ancient Wisdom calls "individualization"; that is, one spirit/soul to one body. They tend to travel as a group oversoul and incarnate, jointly, within many different animal bodies. For instance, one hive of bees may, in fact, be one group spirit/soul incarnated within all of the individual bees. Anyone who has studied the behavior of honey bees will attest to the incredible organizational skills inherent in the hive. Furthermore, the hive acts almost as one entity. Anyone who has observed a huge flock of birds can attest to the amazingly synchronous movements it exhibits. When it's time to shift direction, the whole flock seems to know and follows accordingly. The "choreography" matches the finest human dance team. Many would attribute these observed traits to inbred instincts. For me, that just doesn't tell the whole story.

rocky01In the Bible, when it says that God gave us "dominion" over the earth, it means that our task is to take care of the earth and her inhabitants. Part of that responsibility is to help members of the "lower" kingdoms move along in their spiritual progression. We do this by showing, through example, what it is to love, to sacrifice, and to think and reason with logic. This influences members of the Animal Kingdom and inspires them to be more "human-like" in their interactions.

We all know of great men and women whom we wish to emulate. These great people walk the earth with wisdom, love, and charity. We observe their kindness and wisdom, and that inspires us to want to be more like them because we see something in them that we have not yet attained in our lives.

This causes us all to grow and move along. This is why, from time to time, God sends us such great men, women, prophets, and masters. Thus it is with us and animals. They share life with us, and a little bit of us "rubs off" on them. This causes them to grow and move along in their journeys.

At some point, these animals will want to become even closer to us humans; they do that by planning, as spirit, incarnations which will bring them into close human contact. They do this primarily by becoming domesticated. These are the multitude of animal companions which we humans receive into our care and custody.

In this respect, these animals become even more intimate with humans and share in the "human family" experience. This causes them to learn, even more, about love, dedication, loyalty, responsibility, and all the other characteristically human traits.

Eventually, certain animals will have achieved a high enough level of human-ness to make what can be considered a quantum leap in their spiritual growth and evolution. They separate from their group and become individualized souls. That is, they are no longer dependent upon the group. They are totally separate souls and spirits, just as we humans are. Each spirit incarnates into one body. There is no sharing of experiences or of bodily forms.

At this stage in their development, their progression is very similar to that of humans. They incarnate, reincarnate, develop experiences (as domesticated animals), and become more and more human-like in their character. They learn to love with greater passion; think with greater focus; plan with greater ability; and, generally, become more and more "human" in their overall behavior. Many people comment on how human their animal companions seem to be. The fact of the matter is: they are becoming more human in nature.

I would be remiss if I did not mention something which I truly believe. Animals are here, also, to teach us something! Let us not underestimate the many lessons which our beloved animal companions, as well as those in the "wild", can teach us. Nature abounds with lessons for all of us, and we are ALL part of the learning/teaching experience. God does not create any thing or any one without Divine Plan and Intent. There is nothing unintentional or accidental in God's Plan. Can we say the same about our individual and collective plans? Only the individual can answer that for himself or herself.

Animals Do Communicate Through Mediums

Christal080904BOur animal loved ones are spirits, just as all life is spirit. When they pass away, through death, they will endeavor to link with us and, if the opportunity lends itself, to communicate. Over the years, I have had many animals communicate through my mediumship in order to let their human loved ones know they are OK. They have given evidence of their survival by showing themselves, as they were while on earth, and conveying many of their character traits. And believe me: for some, communication from an animal loved one can be just as moving as communication from a human loved one; sometimes, even more so! Why is that? Well, I can only base this on my own experiences as a medium. Human communicators often come with "baggage". Animals simply come! Their communications are often more pure and less complicated. They bring with them the same degree of love (albeit a different form of love) that humans do. It's really quite amazing to experience.

Animals do not communicate in exactly the same way human spirits do. They appear -- through clairvoyance -- just as humans do, but their communication tends to be more "thought-form" oriented. If you consider this, it makes perfect sense. Animals have not developed speech, yet they do communicate with us, through telepathic transmission of thought forms and desires. When my dog wants a treat or wishes to go out, he sits and stares at me intently. You can see he is focusing his thoughts and thinking so very strongly what he desires to communicate to me. At times, you can almost see the thoughts jumping from his head to my mind. And, if after a while, I just don't get the thought, he comes up to me and barks; his way of verbalizing those thoughts.

When animals communicate through mediums, their "message" comes forward in much the same way. The medium just knows what the animal wishes to communicate to his or her earthly loved one. Other than that, mediumistic communication from animals is very much as it is from humans.

Animals and Humans

Seth061204DHow often have I heard someone say: "I just know my pet is going to come back as a human next time." Does this really happen? Again, the answer is YES and NO. Certainly, an animal spirit will eventually become so human-like that he or she will take the next logical step in progression: reincarnate into a human bodily form. But, this does not happen as frequently as many would have us think.

Ancient Wisdom teaches us that this step in consciousness takes place at great spiritual turning points, where we ALL make some remarkable transition or "step up" in our spirituality. At times such as these, many animals, those ready and willing to take the next logical step in their progress, will incarnate as humans. But they tend to do so together. We all progress through the Kingdoms. Some day, we humans will make another leap in our consciousness and incarnate, not as members of the Human Kingdom, but as members of the Spiritual Kingdom. At the same time, many of our beloved animal companions will make a similar transition into the Human Kingdom.

The next question which some might ask is this: are these "new" human spirits of a lower order than other people. Not necessarily. What brings an animal to the point of being able to take that great step in his or her spiritual evolution is the fact that he or she has become driven less by animal instinct and more by human kindness, love, forgiveness, and response. Therefore, we must not assume that when such spirits do incarnate into human form, they will be savage. To do so would be very judgmental on our part.

Finally, can a human spirit reincarnate back into an animal body? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Some cultures teach that this does happen, primarily for purposes of punishment. This is called "transmigration of the soul" and is counter to all aspects of the Spirit. Spiritual evolution is ever onward and upward. Certainly, some may sidestep things, but to consider that a human goes back into an animal body is totally false.

Thus it is with our beloved animal companions. They come into our lives and give us such joy and companionship. They are spirit/soul and deserve to be loved and respected as such. They look to us for spiritual guidance and nourishment. In many ways, their love is totally unconditional.

Truly, they, too, are children of God and brothers and sisters of the Spirit. Please check out these web sites.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

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