About animals and memory

It is even easier to fall into the error of ascribing memory to animals than it is to ascribe consciousness to plants. It is very natural to think of memory when a dog recognizes its master whom he has not seen perhaps for a long time. Yet, in reality, this recognition does not rest upon memory, but upon something quite different. The dog feels a certain attraction to its master. This attraction proceeds from the master’s personality. This personality causes pleasure in the dog when the master is in its presence, and every time the master’s presence reoccurs, it causes a renewal of this pleasure. Memory, however, is only present when a being not only feels with its experiences in the present, but when it retains also those of the past. One might acknowledge this and still fall into the error of thinking that the dog has memory. For it might be said that the dog mourns when its master leaves it, therefore it has retained a memory of him. That also is an incorrect conclusion. Through sharing the master’s life, his presence becomes a need to the dog and it, therefore, experiences his absence in the same way that it experiences hunger. Whoever does not make these distinctions, will not arrive at clarity concerning the true relationships of life.

Out of certain prejudices, one might object to this exposition by maintaining that it cannot be known whether or not there exists in the animal anything similar to human memory. Such an objection, however, is the result of untrained observation. Anyone who can observe quite factually how the animal behaves in the complex of its experiences notices the difference between its behavior and that of the human being, and he realizes that the animal’s behavior corresponds to the non-existence of memory.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – OCCULT SCIENCE – II. The Essential Nature of Mankind

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.



Children will no longer be born in the manner of today

A time will come in the physical evolution of the earth — it will be after the year 5,700 — when, if he fulfills his rightful evolution, man will no longer tread the earth by incarnating in bodies derived from physical parents. In that epoch, women will be barren; children will no longer be born in the manner of to-day, if evolution on the earth takes its normal course.

There must be no misunderstanding about such a fact as this. Something else, for example, might come about. The Ahrimanic Powers, which under the influence of the impulses working in men to-day are becoming extremely strong, might succeed in preventing earth-evolution in a certain respect. It would then become possible for men — by no means for their good — to be held in the same form of physical life beyond this time in the sixth or seventh millennium. They would become much more like animals, while continuing to be held in the grip of physical incarnation. One of the endeavours of the Ahrimanic Powers is to keep humanity fettered too long to the earth in order to divert it from its normal evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Some Conditions for Understanding Supersensible Experiences – Dornach, January 18, 1920

Translator Unknown


Animals that predict disasters

The whole mineral world is infiltrated with forces which make it shake and which the human being does not perceive. The animal perceives this fine shaking, these forces in such a way that it feels something as sympathetic, something not. If the animal turns back, for example, from one soil type to the other, it is not so that the animal sees it like the human being, but because something is a little bit painful to it, because the fine movements go on reverberating in it, because it feels as if it belongs to it. This is a kind of instinctive hearing like a hearing of that which takes action in the ground or this is like smelling. So that we can say: the animal perceives an elemental realm.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – THE PRESENCE OF THE DEAD – IX. The Relation of the Human Being to the Realms of Nature and the Hierarchies – Prague, 13 May 1915

Survivors reported seeing cows, goats, cats and birds,deliberately moving inland shortly before the tsunami came

The earliest recorded reference to unusual animal behaviour prior to a natural disaster dates back to 373 BC, when the Greek historian Thucydides reported rats, dogs, snakes and weasels deserting the city of Helice in the days before a catastrophic earthquake. Other reports dot history.

Minutes before the Naples quake of 1805, oxen, sheep, dogs and geese supposedly started making alarm calls in unison, while horses were said to have run off in panic just prior to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Link from BBC: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220211-the-animals-that-predict-disasters


Horses were said to have run off in panic ahead of San Francisco earthquake of 1906

Dangers of Occult Development

When a pupil becomes clairvoyant, the passions that emanate from people, look to him like a tableau, from which centre they radiate. Mirrored passions appear as animals assaulting him. Man sees the lower passions around him as all kinds of wild animals, such as mice, rats and the like. If the student, not having learned this, experiences for the first time his own passions as mice and rats rushing at him, then pathological conditions such as paranoia might easily occur.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 101 – Mythen und Sagen Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole – Cologne, December 27, 1907 (page 224)

Anonymous translator

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Previously posted on 6 November 2018

How should the relation between animal and man be thought of?  

How should the relation between animal and man be thought of? The theory of man’s ascent from apes may be considered as obsolete, for it is based upon a false train of thought. Think of a morally degenerate and of a highly ethical man. The assertion that man is descended from apes is like saying that the perfect man descends from the imperfect one. They need not descend from one another at all, but they may have a common father and be brothers! The one developed upwards, the other became decadent. Also the relation between ape and man may be viewed in this light. On Atlantis, the human form was still ape-like. During the Lemurian age the sole possession of a body which was even less perfect. This body then took an upward course of development. But the ape-like forms have partly degenerated and have become the apes of to-day. The apes are therefore the degenerated bodily brothers of man.

In the Atlantean age the human race branched out; the one main stem to an ascending development and became the human being of to-day, whereas the other descended and became the ape of to-day. All animals which live among us are consequently human beings who were expelled and condemned to degeneration. The ascent of certain beings is only possible through the fact that others sacrifice themselves. The higher expels the lower, in order to rise still higher; later on there will be a compensation for those who were expelled.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – POPULAR OCCULTISM – IX. Lemurian Development – Leipzig, 7 July 1906


Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, lies in the arms of her caregiver, Andre Bauma, shortly before her death in September at a gorilla orphanage at Virunga – Africa’s oldest national park – in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Bauma rescued Ndakasi as a two-month-old in 2007 after poachers killed her parents. With no relatives, rangers decided it was too unsafe to let Ndakasi back out into the wild, and so raised her at the gorilla orphanage.