I went to hear a dialogue with Rupert Sheldrake and Andrew Cohen last Friday: Is evolution sacred? It was, without a hint of sarcasm, one of the most interesting experiences I have ever had and a radical change to my usual Friday night programme (ie, the pub). The topic covered the idea of enlightenment, a notion I always left to those granola-eating floaty type people wearing kaftans. What made it intriguing? It was the way these two men, with their vastly differing views, listened to each other and respected each others' opinions. To say it was an intense experience would be an understatement and there's no way I will even try to sum up what I got out of it, let alone try to explain what someone else might have gotten out of it. However, I will give my viewpoint on animals and enlightenment (since, quite surprisingly, Andrew and I seemed a bit at odds over the topic). Andrew said animals don't have a sense of enlightenment. Well, I disagree and this is why: my cats look directly at my face as if trying to understand my expressions. If they had no interest in me as a fellow being, why would they look at my face? Why don't they just watch what is moving? I think my cats have an awareness of me just as much as I have an awareness of them. Are my cats capable of enlightenment? Who the hell am I to say! But just look at me and my cat Bubbles sleeping! He's in my bed, under my covers with his paw on my shoulder as if to reassure me that he loves me. Anthropromorphic drivel? Yeah probably I'm projecting all over the place. But isn't Bubbles sweet?
To celebrate the potential for cats to become enlightened (and I'm not limiting this potential to cats--in fact, I might even be implying, with my next joke, that animals even have a soul!), here's a very special Mars in the 6th house joke:
One day a cat dies of natural causes and goes to heaven. There he meets the Lord Himself. The Lord says to the cat, "You lived a good life and if there is any way I can make your stay in Heaven more comfortable, please let Me know."
The cat thinks for a moment and says, "Lord, all my life I have lived with a poor family and had to sleep on a hard wooden floor."
The Lord stops the cat and says, "Say no more," and a wonderful fluffy pillow appears.
A few days later, six mice are killed in a tragic farming accident and go to heaven. Again, there is the Lord there to great them with the same offer.
The mice answered, "All of our lives we have been chased. We have had to run from cats, dogs and even women with brooms. Running, running, running; we're tired of running. Do you think we could have roller skates so we don't have to run anymore?"
The Lord says, "Say no more," and fits each mouse with beautiful new roller skates.
About a week later the Lord stops by to see the cat and finds him snoozing on the pillow. The Lord gently wakes the cat and asks him, "How are things since you got here?"
The cat stretches and yawns and replies, "It is wonderful here. Better than I could have ever expected. And those 'Meals On Wheels' you've been sending by are the best!"