But of a brilliant present, which in a way, compared to our framework, has no beginning or end. Time in those terms, does not exist for them — and in the deepest of terms, a life’s quality on a human scale cannot be judged primarily in terms of its length, either. Time is in the present for an animal, in a way its life was eternal to it, whether it lived 10 months or 10 years, or whatever.
There is no such thing as a cat consciousness, basically speaking, or a bird consciousness. In those terms, there are instead simply consciousnesses that choose to take certain focuses.
I want to avoid tales of the transmigration of the souls of men to animals, say — a badly distorted version of something else entirely. If there is no consciousness ‘tailored’ to be a cat’s or a dog’s then there is no prepackaged, predestined, particular consciousness that is meant to be human, either.
The cellular announcement is made that the strong possibility exist, for the birth and death of each cell is known to all cells in the world. Cellular communication is too fast for us to follow.
The quality of identity is far more mysterious than we understand, for we assign an identity in a blanket fashion, say, to each living thing. A dead cat for example exists in the following manner: ‘The units of consciousness that organized to form his/her identity as we knew it, still form that pattern — but not physically. The cat exists as itself in the greater living memory of its own ‘larger’ selfhood. Its organization from which it came.
That identity remains vital, known to itself whether or not it is reactivated in our terms. This is not necessarily always the case — and there is great variation — but the cat identifies with ‘the larger organization’ of the litter [that is, with his brothers and sisters, all of whom may be also dead], and the consciousnesses of that litter are together. They may be forming a gestalt, where the litter’s consciousnesses will merge to form a new identity.