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Ken Korczak

The chimp messiah, the cow Christ ?

June 24, 2006 | Comment icon 10 comments


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Is it possible that animals have a sense of God? Do animals worship, have religion, possess a belief of afterlife? There is evidence that they do, and we began with man’s closest cousin -- the chimpanzee. Dr. Jane Goodall spent more than 40 years observing chimpanzees in their natural environment. One day in 1960, she witnessed something amazing. Watching a group of chimps that had just finished eating, a bolt of lightening suddenly struck nearby, followed by a loud clap of thunder. Immediately, one of the big male chimps stood up and started dancing rhythmically, foot to foot. It then rushed up to a small tree, climbed it and tore off a branch. Two other males, watching, tore off their own branches and began moving toward the chimp in the tree, seemingly using their branches as talismans or wands, waving them ahead of themselves as they ran. The rest of the chimps in the group watched the ceremony, and then joined the males in odd chanting and rhythmic behaviors.Goodall also noticed that certain places, especially those involving moving water, seem sacred to chimps.

At one particular 80-foot water fall in the African jungle, Goodall said: “Sometimes the chimpanzees, hair bristling, perform their displays in the stream bed below the falls, swaying rhythmically upright, hurling rocks, climbing the slender hanging vines, and pushing out into the spray. Afterwards a male may sit on a rock at the edge of the streams, looking up at the sheet of living water as it falls, watching as it flows past him on its way to the lake.”Elephants have large brains and are obviously very intelligent. It seems they mourn their dead, perform funeral-like ceremonies, and even gather the bones of dead elephants into graveyards. Early European explorers found many “elephant graveyards,” collections of elephant bones arranged in tell-tale patterns. At first, human cults were suspected, until explorers actually observed elephants themselves collecting the bones of their dead.Elephants have also been observed mourning a recently killed member of their pack, performing elaborate rituals around a dead elephant's body, and sometimes, sitting with their back to corpse, touching it with their tails, while facing the setting sun. You can see photos of this by Wouter Theron at the AnimalSentience.Com web site.All of this makes me recall one spring day when I was 16 years old. My uncle kept a herd of beef cattle on his small northern Minnesota farm. I got an unexpected call one afternoon from my uncle who asked if I could come out and help him butcher a young bull.
In a bizarre accident, the bull had broken both its front legs. The only thing my uncle could do was shoot it, and take the meat.By the time I arrived, my uncle was out in the cow pasture. He had the dead bull hoisted up and hanging upside down the front-end loader of a tractor. I joined him, he handed me a large knife. We began the grisly task of gutting and skinning the bull. As we continued our gory job, the rest of the herd of about 30 cows gathered in a near-perfect circle around us. They stood wide-eyed and silent, watching us with their soft bovine eyes, breathing evenly, rhythmically through wide, moist nostrils.My uncle, a Polish Catholic, was nevertheless fond of making slightly irreverent jokes of a religious nature. He said to me: “They way they’re looking at us, it’s like we’re crucifying the Cow Christ.” Never to be outdone, I quipped back at my uncle: “Yes, and remember what Christ commanded. ‘Take my body, and eat of it.’ ”I stopped for a moment, covered with blood up to my armpits, and looked back at the cows. They looked me in the eyes, and looked back to their fallen herd mate. Despite my and my uncle’s waggish humor, the sense of solemnity was palpable. The very air in the center of that cow circle in that green pasture seemed to vibrate at a different level.

I felt like an ancient Druid performing a sacrifice, or perhaps like a shaman of the mysterious Catal Huyuk culture of the neolithic, a forgotten civilization known to worship bulls.When our job was done, my uncle trundled the cleaned body of the bull away on the tractor, and the spell was broken. Yet, that feeling -- that sacred cow vibration -- stayed with me. A few years later during my study of physics, I learned about a phenomenon called “entrainment.” My mind leapt back to that day I helped my uncle butcher a bull. Here’s how entrainment works: Put ten grandfather clocks in a small room, and set all of their pendulums going at different times. Come back an hour later, and all the pendulums will be swinging in unison. The reason is entrainment. The vibrations created by each pendulum are transferred through the air, causing all them all to swing in alignment.Maybe that’s what was happening in the center of those cows I had stood among on that day, long ago. Perhaps the prayerful solemnity emanating from the brain impulses of 30 cows in prayer had entrained the very atmosphere within that circle, catching me up in a sacred send-off composed of pure animal spirituality -- of Buddha nature. And get this: There is a famous story of a young Buddhist monk who asked the Zen master Chau chou if it was possible for “a dog to have Buddha nature.” And Chao chou’s famous reply? He said: “Mu.”

Ken Korczak: www.starcopywriter.com



Ken Korczak is the author of Minnesota Paranormala:
http://www.amazon.com/Minnesota-Paranormala-Volume-1-ebook/dp/B004Y5G114/

Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Bigfoot_Is_Real 16 years ago
Not to be rude but i can't help this Your cow experience sounds a little like the Cow Cult from South Park
Comment icon #2 Posted by earthchick 16 years ago
Although I had heard some of this before I still found this article quite moving. I have always felt in my heart of hearts that animals have a secret relationship with God/The Creator, the likes of which we can only hope for. That is because they haven't lost their innocense, as we have. Animals are deeper beings than we often give them credit for.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Caana 16 years ago
Animals do have that sense, if you've ever had a dog and was close with your animal friend, then you already know they can feel pain grief and loss. I think the sense that people call divine, is based on emotions and an attempt to deal with strong senses of loss and the grief and pain that go with it. What you posted was real and backed up by goodalls observations. My niegbor had a small meat herd of cows. When i was little, at times i would watch them for long periods of time and they do seem to have a sense of communication between them. There is a greater energy beyond what the religious co... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by ama 16 years ago
This is my first post on this website. And I was drawn here from a link to your excellent blog article about intelligence. (Also appreciated one about what little we know.) Animals are sentient beings, that have deep feelings & intelligence sometimes superior to humans - humans in this era of degenerate self- realization. Anyone who does not realize it personally - has not examined their own personal reality deeply enough. But for now - the sole reason I post is because I am seeking out *others* who might be interested in discussing the aquatic ape theory of human evolution. Which I hope t... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by IronGhost 16 years ago
Welcome, Ama! We're glad to have you here! I'm intrigued by the aquatic ape theory -- I confess, this is one I have simply never heard of before. I will look into it, though. Sounds fascinating.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Darkwind 16 years ago
Watching a group of chimps that had just finished eating, a bolt of lightening suddenly struck nearby, followed by a loud clap of thunder. Immediately, one of the big male chimps stood up and started dancing rhythmically, foot to foot. It then rushed up to a small tree, climbed it and tore off a branch. Two other males, watching, tore off their own branches and began moving toward the chimp in the tree, seemingly using their branches as talismans or wands, waving them ahead of themselves as they ran. The rest of the chimps in the group watched the ceremony, and then joined the males in odd cha... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by snuffypuffer 16 years ago
I think this might be very relevant. And if animals do have Buddha nature, then they experience it much more keenly than we do, not having all the mental clutter humans have. So that brings me to ask, if animals experience God, then that would mean God exists, right?
Comment icon #8 Posted by ama 16 years ago
Thanks for warm welcome Iron Ghost. If I have more time - I'd really like to get some intelligent debate going - about the **aquatic ape theory of human evolution** - and this web site seems perfect. (I hope someone takes on the topic!) Here is a good place to start: www.riverapes.com ************************************* Back on Topic. TO ALL: When Elephants Cry is one nice book to consider profound animal emotion. AND IF the experience of "GOD" is generally defined as being a necessarily emotional awareness of love/death/awe, the size of the neo-cortex, ability to articulate, etc. are merely... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by ama 16 years ago
Snuffypuffer said ---- I think this might be very relevant. And if animals do have Buddha nature, then they experience it much more keenly than we do, not having all the mental clutter humans have. So that brings me to ask, if animals experience God, then that would mean God exists, right? __________________________________________________________ I love this line of thought. Even though we cannot DEFINE God, we can try and DESCRIBE. And it would seem - by many of our OWN best attempts at deions - that many animal species are much closer to knowing GOD than we are. IE- Not hurting or eating o... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by anthrosciguy 16 years ago
But for now - the sole reason I post is because I am seeking out *others* who might be interested in discussing the aquatic ape theory of human evolution. Which I hope to post on soon, but implore someone with greater insight and time to address herein. (I searched this site and found nothing.) This controversial theory is most fascinating. A recent article on this site - made mention that there is no acheological bone record of chimpansees (sp?) - presumeably due to humid tropical climes. The same thing could be said (and has been) for the imssing link of millions years that could support the... [More]


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