From his readings of sacred texts and mythology, Paul sees evidence that humans could communicate with animals in the distant mists of time. Not just a few saints and sages, but everyone. Like children growing out of their ability to remember past lives, the human race eventually lost this ability as it developed in ways that separated us from nature.
Yet there is among us a small number of individuals who retain this ability today, and I discovered one such person last week while searching for images of Edward Hicks’ paintings of “The Peaceable Kingdom.”
I pay attention to unexpected coincidences and clues because they are evidence of what I understand as Divine Guidance.
They keep one on the particular path the Universe intends.
Years ago I was mentored by an old man who had given over his whole life to following the Guidance of God with absolute obedience, even when his own instincts gave him pause. My mentor’s path led him into lifelong filial relationships with the Edison, Ford, Firestone, and Lindbergh families, as well as many other notable and ordinary individuals and their clans. He said he never sought out these famous people—they were attracted to him. He said that without having given himself over to obeying the Guidance he received, none of these friendships would have ever come to be. He told me his life proved to him that God has a greater plan for us than we ourselves can ever imagine. You just have to still your mind and listen for the Voice which is already and always there.
I had been thinking for some time about how we should relate to animals here at Estrella Vista if our goal is to live in harmony with nature. I had come to the conclusion that in our relations with animals, as with children and all other human beings, it is essential to accept the basic nature of the Other as divine and good as it is. It is always a mistake to, say, marry a spouse and then proceed to try to change him, or take on a student and disregard that individual’s unique gifts and interests and proceed to shoehorn her into a mold. We should instead be serving them and shaping around them.
Recognizing the divinity and rightness in Others and serving that divinity is central to our philosophies of “hospitality” and “family,” and I have lately come to believe this must also extend to the animals we live with here. I have always resisted the arrogance of calling myself a “pet owner,” and have preferred to frame these relationships as “co-habitation.” Yet now I am thinking that maybe even this frame is too limiting, because it does not suggest a core spiritual component.
So it is against this background that I attached significance to the clue when, beneath the heading “Peaceable Kingdom” I read, “Cindy Wenger has been communicating with animals for many years and is one of today’s leading animal communicators.”
I called Cindy and we talked for a while. I researched her website and those of other people in her field—about a dozen practitioners in this country alone—who act as communication “interpreters” between animals and people.
Researchers have been studying intra-and inter-species communication for years. According to Betty Lewis, another interspecies animal communicator, “studies range from trying to interpret whale calls to teaching sign language to chimpanzees, but the fundamental, most basic type of communication, common to all species including humans, is telepathy.”
Telepathy, she says, is defined as the transfer of pictures, thoughts and feelings using mental energy. “This is how geese know when to change leads in their flying formation or how your dog knows when you’re going to the refrigerator. Have you ever noticed that the cat who always comes home for breakfast stays away on the day of his veterinary appointment?” These animals, she explains, are simply focusing or tapping into the thought processes of another.
So I asked Cindy if she would mediate a communication session between Otto and me. I prepared a list of questions which would test her and others’ claims of telepathy and reveal information of which Cindy could have no prior knowledge, but known to Otto and me. I prepared a list of questions which might give me insight to the intensity and duration of our relationship from Otto’s perspective.
Before I could ask a single question, Cindy accurately described Otto’s personality as “brave, bold, and loyal—very loyal—but laid-back.” She said she had telepathically connected with Otto a few minutes before our scheduled call and asked him if it was alright for her to serve as an interpreter.
She told me Otto had told her we had been together in previous lives, once in medieval times when he had been a black Friesian horse and I a knight and we constantly traveled together on “treasure hunts.” (Animals can remember their past lives, Cindy said, even if humans do not.)
It immediately struck me that this same “treasure hunt” pattern had been repeated in my Gump years when Otto and I traveled together on our quests in the BMW M Roadster, which was also black. Cindy hadn’t known that.
Then I began asking my questions about Otto’s health, memories of places we’d lived together, and why we had been put together again in this life (Answer: “To complete the hunt!”).
I learned details about his health including the time his hips gave out and he called for me, and the time last year when he was bitten by the snake. I learned that his sessions in Paul’s hyperbaric chamber really do give him more energy. Cindy said Otto thinks about God all the time because he perceives the divinity in everything everywhere all the time. I learned that of the five homes we shared in Marathon, the house on Iron Mountain Road was his favorite (it was Paul’s favorite, too). I learned that he misses our friend Genevieve from Minneapolis.
Skeptics may say I am the victim of a hoax, but so many things Cindy said rang too true to have been lucky guesses. I was convinced enough to have resolved that I will continue this line of investigation as a way of understanding some of the deepest things in life and to better understand living in harmony with nature and animals.
I’ll keep looking into it as well, and will report what I learn.