I was prompted to do a follow up on my previous blog post about the soulful gaze of animal eyes. Last night I was awakened by a racket in the tree on on the front porch. As I investigated the source of the noise I found myself face to face with with a pair of raccoon youngsters. As I stared into their eyes to see what they were going to do I was struck by the fact that they were staring back into mine.
The incident got me to thinking about the eyes and the soul and the intelligence of various animal species. Many animals, from our kitty cats and dogs to lions and tigers and monkeys at the zoo look deeply into our eyes as if trying to understand what we are thinking. So on the subject of oddball things to wonder about, I am wondering how these animals of supposed limited intelligence know to look into the eyes of another. Why do they look into the eyes? With their limited brain power why is it that they don’t just look at the chest of another, or perhaps arms and hands that may be moving about, sometimes in a threatening manner?
I think the answer lies in the fact that our furry friends know a lot more than we think. Perhaps they are aware of the universal notion that the eyes are indeed the windows of the soul. Just like people, they can look into the eyes of another and discern intent, good and evil.
I think the lesson to be taken away here is that humans are not as far above the rest of the inhabitants of this planet as we would like to think we are. It also means our responsibility for compassion and kindness must extend beyond our human brothers and sisters to our four legged brethren as well.