The animal kingdom and nature has always been facinating to me and it continues to be so with our family. We are first exposed to animals through the domesicated ones like rabbits, cats or dogs. I often make the statement that 'I grew up with the dogs' as I was the youngest of a family of seven, with a large gap to my older brother and sisters. I therefore found the dogs I grew up with to be my playmates and confidants. Furthermore in the Chinese Zodiac made up of animals, I happened to be born in the year of the dog.
Man can relate to animals in a number of ways.They can be our pets, or work horses to help us in our farms for work or for transportation. Some beliefs suggest that Man can become reincarnated to become animals in their next life. I like to relate to animals in the sense of our common instincts to survive and certain recognizable behaviors of Man that can been regarded as animalistic. Somehow we share common natural instincts when it comes to survival. The Circle of Life has physical laws governing a harsh environment in which our body systems are equipped to handle. There is an automatic system designed that is self preservative and hence prolong life itself. Most times it is reactive in nature ie our body system is created to quickly react to perceived danger and triggers off immediate responses that can be called fight or flight responses.
The commonality of the two species begins to diverge when Man begins to use his thinking ability to make his behavior become more superior than that of animals. Instead of reacting to situations of danger or need for survival, Man has a superior mind to change the environment itself through his ingenuity of reorganizing elements in the environment to finally change the nature of the situation itself. The instinct to fight can become harnessed by a higher thought process that suggest peaceful cooperation is a better way of life. The instinct to fight is changed to become a decision of thought. Man therefore can choose to make the fight a sport for entertainment instead of a natural reaction to survive after he has conquered the environment with his superior mind.
So therein lies the connectivity of the body and the mind. We need to understand therefore that having a physical body gives us animal instincts that cause us to be reactive to situations. If we feel threatened we will fight or run but if we take time to THINK or use our mental capabilities, we could decide another alternative like negotiating a settlement. Thinking helps us to rationalize our FEARS and gravitate towards our VALUES