soul

The Soul of an Elephant

We know they undergo extensive education: babies from their whole doting families, newly fertile cows guided by the more experienced, lately independent bulls tagging along after their more magisterial superiors. In situations where these teaching opportunities are absent — babies orphaned or separated, cows giving birth alone in zoos, teenage males running rampant in places where all the older bulls have been shot for their tusks — their necessity is obvious. As good a guide as inborn instinct is in so many respects, this is one animal for which society, too, makes all the difference in the world. ~ The Soul of an Elephant

Just like humans, I might add.

 

The Soul of an Animal

 

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time.

Soul

To the ancients, soul was anima, that which animates, the living-, moving-, breathing-ness of a biological being. In this sense, not only animals but plants have souls (of different capacities appropriate to what they are). For many religions, by contrast, the soul is specifically incorporeal, perhaps immortal, and believed to be unique to human beings, who are responsible (to a point) for its condition. To modern science it is, if anything, the hard problem of consciousness, also commonly thought to be the province of just one species.  

~ Caitrin Nicol