They live closer to the bone


In common parlance, the word ‘soul’ pops up everywhere…Soul music gets us swaying. We want our lover, body and soul. In each case, ‘soul’ connotes deep feeling and core values…Today, studies increasingly show that many non-human beings feel. Elephants appear to feel grief, while dolphins and whales express joy, or something much like it. Parrots can become cranky, pigs and cows terrified, chickens saddened, monkeys seemingly embarrassed. Experiments have shown that rats become agitated when seeing surgery performed on other rats and that, when presented with a trapped lab-mate and a piece of chocolate, they will free their caged brethren before eating. […]

One might even argue that other creatures are more cognisant of feelings than humans are, because they possess a primary form of consciousness: they are aware of themselves and their environment but are less burdened by complexities such as reflection and rumination that typify human consciousness. They live closer to the bone, so to speak. Jeffrey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep (1995), has remarked that animals possess feelings of ‘undiluted purity and clarity’ compared to the ‘seeming opacity and inaccessibility of human feelings.’[…]

Extraordinary examples of ensoulment among non-human animals abound. Ethologist Adriaan Kortlandt once observed a wild chimp in the Congo ‘gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colors’, forsaking his evening meal in the process. Elsewhere, African elephants belonging to the same family or group will greet one another after a separation with a loud chorus of rumbles and roars as they rush together, flapping their ears and spinning in circles. […]

A particularly striking case of animal gratitude occurred in 2005 off the California coast, where a female humpback whale was found entangled in nylon ropes used by fishermen. As recounted by Frans de Waal in The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society (2009): ‘The ropes were digging into the blubber, leaving cuts. The only way to free the whale was to dive under the surface to cut away the ropes.’ The divers spent an hour at the task, an especially risky one given the sheer strength of the animal’s tail. ‘The most remarkable part came when the whale realised it was free. Instead of leaving the scene, she hung around. The huge animal swam in a large circle, carefully approaching every diver separately. She nuzzled one, then moved on to the next, until she had touched them all.’ […]

In the end, soul may be a profound matter of fellow feeling. The stronger the capability of a given species for fellow feeling, the more that species can be said to exhibit soulfulness. To view things in this way offers another important step in humanity’s progression towards understanding its place in creation – and to appreciate the inheritance we hold in common with other sentient beings on this increasingly small, restive, and fragile planet.

~ Michael Jawer, Do only humans have souls, or do animals possess them too? | Aeon Ideas

Photo: Humpback whale bubbles by Scott Portelli (via lovely seas)



The way is not really a way.
It is a depth.
It is not a distance.

~ Mooji, “Inspirational – Into the Deep” from White Fire


  • Thank you Val Boyko for her inspirational post: Inspiration – Into the Deep and for Mooji quote.
  • Photo: National Geographic – Whale of a Tail by Shane Gross: “A sperm whale “waves goodbye” to Shane Gross, who had traveled to Sri Lanka’s east coast hoping to photograph blue whales. “While we did have some success with the blues, it was the sperm whales that stole the show,” he writes. He captured this picture toward the end of the six-day expedition. “It was late in the day and the sun was low as this small pod swam toward me, and I did my best to keep quiet so as to not frighten them. This one started to dive and I free dove right after her, trying to get as close to that massive tail as possible. I knew she might be the last whale I’d encounter on the trip, and indeed, she was.”



The first word “Ah”
blossoms into others
All of them true.

~ Kukai,  774–835,  Japanese monk, civil servant, scholar, poet.


Sunday Morning: Blue

Mother Whale and Mother Dolphin with babies


Credit: Gif Source –

Sunday Morning


“Researchers made a surprising and encouraging discovery in British Columbia this week: a new baby orca among the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population in the Pacific Northwest. “The calf, designated as L122, was spotted alongside mother L91 by NOAA scientists and colleagues near Sooke, British Columbia,” NOAA Fisheries West Coast announced on Facebook. “L122 is the fifth new baby to come into the population since December 2014.”

See and read more: Baby orca adds to endangered killer whale population

Source: Grindtv

Stand rapt in awe (50 sec)


  • Source: Grindtv
  • Title inspired by Albert Einstein quote shared by Mindfulbalance: “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”

Big Blue

“When Patrick Dykstra saw a life-sized replica of a blue whale in the Smithsonian at age 16, he dreamed of having an underwater encounter with the biggest animal on Earth, according to the Daily Mail. The filmmaker, born in Denver and currently based in Dubai, fulfilled his dream in the tropical waters off Sri Lanka where he captured stunning underwater and aerial videos and images of blue whales while swimming with the giant sea creatures, which can reach 98-feet long and weigh 200 tons.

The whales are the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth, and outsize even the biggest dinosaurs. Stunning drone footage captures the enormous mammals from above, while in other shots a kayaker paddles just metres from one of the awe-inspiring creatures.

“Nothing on Earth compares to the experience of being side by side with the largest animal to ever inhabit the planet and to dive into its environment,” Dykstra, 35, told the Daily Mail. “I use my photography and videography to help study these animals in hopes of understanding and protecting them.”


Let’s just say: Wow!


Don’t miss all of the 2015 Winners: National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

This photo, Whale Whisperers, was taken by Anuar Patjane, who was diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf at Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico.  Be sure to check out his other whale shots here: Anuar Patjane.

Thank you Eric.

Hump Hump Hump Humpbacks!



Amateur photographer Katrina Begg took this incredible shot of two whales breaching in tandem off Flynns Beach, off the coast of Port Macquarie in Australia.

Read more here: Herald Sun (July 7, 2015)

Sunday Morning


Every year, humpback whales come to Kingdom of Tonga during July to September. The mothers raise their babies and when they are enough strong they go far away to the cold water. During whale watching activity, you can live some incredible experiences by interaction with this fabulous mammal. This young calf played with me during 30 minutes under the control of his mother, a great memory. Photo by Marc Henauer.”

Don’t miss the other 9 pictures in The Telegraph: In pictures: The 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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