Re: Animal Souls
Aug 03, 1997 11:54 AM
by Jerry Schueler
> have always liked Leadbeater's analogy of a pail of water being the
>group soul, and each animal being analogous to taking part of the
>water that is in the pail and temporarily being put into a separate
>container, so that it acquires its own unique qualities (which are
>apparent even in insects), but then, when its life is over, it goes
>back into the group soul and mixes its qualities with the group soul,
>just as the water that was in the individual container gets put back
>into the pail, mixing its qualities with that of all the other water.
>I don't know how else, but by postulating a group soul, to explain
>such events as many birds acting simultaneously.
This is one way to look at it. In exactly the same sense, human
beings do the same thing. But when either humans or animals
return to embodiment on earth, they pick up where they left off,
because animals (and vegetables, and minerals) have skandhas too.
The corresponding analogy used often in the East is that we are
each like waves on the ocean, and death is much like a wave
returning to the sea. The next wave rises as a new and separate
wave, but contains a lot of the same water. We cab think of the
ocean as a group soul, if we want to, or think of it like a life-wave.
However, we think of it, it is this "ocean" that contains the collective
karma of every species or group of living beings on earth.
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