“To return to our subject. The child lacks reason, it being as yet latent in him; and meanwhile he is inferior to the animal as to instinct proper. He will burn or drown himself before he learns that fire and water destroy and are dangerous for him; while the kitten will avoid both instinctively. The little instinct the child possesses fades away, as reason, step by step, develops itself.
It may be objected, perhaps, that instinct cannot be a spiritual gift, because animals possess it in a higher degree than man, and animals have no souls. Such a belief is erroneous and based upon very insecure foundations. It came from the fact that the inner nature of the animal could be fathomed still less than that of man, who is endowed with speech and can display to us his psychological powers.
But what proofs other than negative have we that the animal is without a surviving, if not immortal, soul? On strictly scientific grounds we can adduce as many arguments pro as contra. To express it clearer, neither man nor animal can offer either proof or disproof of the survival of their souls after death. And from the point of view of scientific experience, it is impossible to bring that which has no objective existence under the cognizance of any exact law of science.
But Descartes and Bois-Raymond have exhausted their imaginations on the subject, and Agassiz could not realize such a thing as a future existence not shared by the animals we loved, and even the vegetable kingdom which surrounds us.
And it is enough to make one’s feelings revolt against the claimed justice of the First Cause to believe that while a heartless, cold-blooded villain has been endowed with an immortal spirit, the noble, honest dog, often self-denying unto death; that protects the child or master he loves at the peril of his life; that never forgets him, but starves himself on his grave; the animal in whom the sense of justice and generosity are sometimes developed to an amazing degree, will be annihilated!
No, away with the civilized reason which suggests such heartless partiality. Better, far better to cling to one’s instinct in such a case, and believe with the Indian of Pope, whose “untutored mind” can only picture to himself a heaven where “…admitted to that equal sky, his faithful dog shall bear him company.””
H. P. Blavatsky