In earlier times, people understood their connection with animals to be a spiritual principle. The original stories about the sacredness of all life can be found on walls of caves and temples and the first ancient writings. This original knowledge still exists in the basic writings of world religions and philosophies. Yet, virtually no Western religion today teaches its adherents how to practice compassion toward all species and how to protect the natural world.

What happened?

Could misinterpretation of the religions’ texts, and an incomplete understanding of the meaning of spirituality be why the human species continues to cause pain and anxiety upon the other animal world -- as shown by unnecessary animal experimentation, inhumane slaughtering methods, using animals in “sport” and entertainment, and the wanton destruction of animals who live in the wild.

What happened?

When and why did the other animals become invisible in our spiritual adventure? Why did we place ourselves over and above all other animals in some sort of hierarchal system? Did the separation come about simply because of our material wants and needs? Or, are there reasons that we have yet to imagine -- beyond religion, science, and history?

What happened?

Monday, March 17, 2014


      On April 8, I was honored to speak at the Dies Librorum, a popular monthly event celebrating books and authors at the BOOK HAVEN, Salida Colorado, .  Three other authors discussed their books that evening:  Kristen Moeller, Davalyn Spencer and Bob Campbell.  (For further information about Dies Librorum, contact Lisa Marvel at  
       Every time I speak about THE QUESTION. What Happened to the Animal-Human Spiritual Connection?, I share my hope: that readers of my book will accept the animals within their own spirituality.  I define SPIRITUALITY as the fully developed persona of an individual -- including but not exclusive to -- that individual's religion.   The answer to THE QUESTION lies within our  our own true self.  The QUESTION opens the door to a much greater story whereby we -- all animals -- are mere players in the vast infinite of existence.  

      EXCERPT.  THE QUESTION. Chapter 13.  That They Come Into Their Own. 
       The animals don’t have to be taught who they are.  They are what they are.  There is no discussion.  The animals don’t have to surrender to their own nature. They ARE their own nature.  Being human, I have to think about it.  Be taught who I am.
         We humans have been blessed and cursed with the ability to debate our own questions.  We demand unconditional faith in our religions’ texts as well as our scientific views.  We are too busy trying to prove our myths.  Maybe the “Tree of Knowledge” portrayed in mythologies all over the world bore the fruits of Knowing.  “Knowledge” and “Knowing” are two separate concepts.  Awesome concepts, but worlds apart.  If the mythological Tree of Knowledge bore fruits of Knowing, I am drawn to the idea that Eve’s reputation was sacrificed for her knowing the Truth.  Perhaps first Woman knew (if only briefly) she was a conscious being dwelling among conscious life forms in a conscious Universe.  She excitedly shared the knowledge with her alter ego, first Man.  As they talked over the meaning of her discovery, they became confused.  Then were afraid.  Their doubts separated them from the essence of who they were and from each other.  With that, Eden was lost. #

  Forty years ago, Seth, as channeled by Jane Roberts, explained it this way:  
May 3, 1976  Session 774.   "In early times we merged our Consciousness with Nature…  In those early times, then, consciousness was more mobile…  A person looking out into the world of trees, waters and rock, wildlife and vegetation, literally felt that he or she was looking at the larger, materialized, subjective areas of personal selfhood. To explore the exterior world was to explore the inner one.  
     "...Such a person, however, walking through the forest, also felt that he or she was also a portion of the inner life of each rock or tree materialized.  Yet there was no contradiction of identities. 
     "A man might merge his own consciousness with a running stream, traveling in such a way for miles to explore the layout of the land.  To do this he became part water in a kind of identification you can barely understand -- but so did the water then become part of the man…"
May 17, 1976. Session 776.  "Take the English sentence:  “I observe the tree.”  If that original language had words, the equivalent would be: “As a tree, I observe myself or  “Taking on my tree nature, I rest in my shade.” or even,  “From my man nature, I rest in the shade of my tree nature.”  
     "A man did not so much stand at the shore looking down at the water, as he immersed his consciousness within it.   ...Man would never have said “the water flows through my valley.”  Instead, the sentence would have read something like this:  “running over the rocks, my water self flows together with others in slippery union.”... 

     " … Man did not designate his own as the only kind of consciousness by any means.  He graciously thanked the tree that gave him shade, for example, and he understood that the tree retained its own identity even when it allowed his awareness to join with it.

(Note:  The entire collection of  Seth materials is  found in the Yale University Library archives.)

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About the Author

After spending several years in Public Relations initiating and organizing award-winning multi-state community relations projects on behalf of a global telecommunications company, Judith Hensel has written her first fictional book, THE QUESTION. “What Happened to the Animal-Human Spiritual Connection?” The book is a fantasy about characters created out of real life people who join the animals in an imaginary setting to find the answer to their question. Among articles published about the book’s premises, one article “Evolving in a Conscious Universe,” was published in QUEST, international Theosophical Journal in 2003; and inspired the magazine’s content theme. As former Associate Professor of Art and Humanities, St. Xavier University, Chicago, she received numerous awards as an artist and teacher including special recognition by the Associated Press and the Governor of Illinois. She wrote and directed two critically acclaimed rock operas, “Hosanna!” and “Taproot” performed by student talent as well as talent from across the Chicago region to sell-out audiences. Her artwork is in several private collections in Australia, the Netherlands, New York, Illinois, California, Colorado and Wisconsin; and for several years was available at the Art Institute of Chicago rental gallery. She holds the MSA in Painting and Graphics, University of Wisconsin; and the MA in Communications/Television Production, University of Illinois-Chicago Campus.

Paintings by the author.