Do animals have a sense of profundity or spiritual significance in their life’s experiences? Regards

Philosopher's reply

Dear Conal,

Thank you for a great question. If we think of spiritual profundity as a deep and truthful perception of reality, I think that at least some other animals are more likely than humans to have it. Transcendence, for Iris, is not going beyond the world but being connected to it. What is to be transcended are the self and its filters, not reality. Spirituality, then, is seeing clearly, often with joyous amazement at the infinite richness of the reality outside of ourselves. Animals can spend time just looking at, or simply being in, a world that, it seems to me, they are more ready than we are to accept as it is.

Best, Silvia

Philosopher's profile

Silvia Panizza

UCD, Ireland

Freedom and inspiration. The freedom to speak against the establishment, to return to the common sense, and to think through more uncertain, and yet more real, frameworks. The inspiration that comes from thinking of goodness as something that reaches into one’s guts and takes one out of oneself, towards the not-yet-realised, and constantly stresses the possibility of being better in a way that is ever self-creating and therefore exhilarating.

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