Below is a trailer from an interview I did on KyKNET’s ‘Dierepraters’ series.
I was invited to speak with Daniah about nature connectedness, meaningful experiences and the provocative topic of ‘animal communication’ on a series currently airing on the Afrikaans-speaking DSTV channel ‘KykNET’.
Here is the trailer from the screening on September 15, Episode 8. The series will screen internationally on SHOWMAX later this year:
I would like to clarify my views on animal communication which are not wholly reflected in this interview:
- Firstly, it is important to clarify what we mean when we say ‘animal communication’ as there are constant information exchanges in the human-nature relationship, whether we are aware of it or not. Animals are well-versed in ‘reading’ our ‘vibe’, intent and signals. Humans have largely lost that ability, which historically was a skill innate to hunter-gatherer peoples through the art of tracking.
- If we speak of a more conscious ‘telepathic’ communication then I believe that whether the experience is ‘real’ is largely irrelevant. What is important to appreciate is that the interpretation of a reciprocal communication exists with ‘the other’ (i.e. animal) and that belief in itself can be a reliable pathway toward a more respectful and reverent relationship with earth and the rest of nature.
- Irrespective of one’s personal experience, there is however more scientific evidence in support of intuitive / telepathic / intentional communication (i.e. that transcends normal time-space boundaries). Whilst this has been tested more in human-human exchanges (and less so with animals), there are many compelling anecdotes and witness stories that suggest it would be foolish to categorically deny the possibility out of a dogmatic belief ‘that it cannot exist’. Further, the fact that science still does not wholly understand ‘consciousness’ is an invitation to remain open and curious toward such experiences.
My doctorate research on meaningful nature experience was filled with stories of persons who perceived they had an experience of communication with ‘nature’. It was not for me to judge whether that was ‘real’. Instead, I focused on the core qualities and common themes of the experiences themselves. Nonetheless, I became intrigued as to whether ‘something more’ was going on.
Since that time, I have furthered my reading and research into matters that sit uncomfortably at the edge of science and believe there is sufficient evidence for these kind of ‘noetic’ experiences to be taken seriously. Indeed, I have since conceived a field in this direction which I call ‘noetic ecology‘.
If you are equally intrigued by these notions, I encourage you to first listen to Mark Gober’s “Where’s my Mind” podcast series. Also, familiarise yourself with the work of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (and their Chief Scientists’ book “Real Magic”), as well the work of Dr. Saskia von Diest, Dr. Monica Gagliano, or check out the Journal for Scientific Exploration and their free quarterly magazine EdgeScience. Issue 44 of EdgeScience is devoted to exploring the topic of plant sentience and communication.