Every person and every mammal (perhaps other kinds of creatures as well) feels.  The ability to feel is at the heart of our connectedness on this planet.  When we and other animals express our feelings – when we play, when we sympathize, when we’re awestruck, when we grieve – we’re demonstrating that connection.  Through emotion, we evidence soul: deep and genuine feelings for one another and for the lives we live.  Each of us is a soulful part of the natural world.

“Other mammals are more empathic than people and their sensitivity exceeds our own.  Many are affected by stress in the same manner as we are.  Even rats seem to sigh with relief and elephants can be affected by PTSD.”

Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, chapter 12

“Extraordinary abilities stem from non-human animals living ‘closer to the bone’ than we do.  Death, in particular, seems to be something of a trigger mechanism for emotion-laden sensitivity.”

Sensitive Soul, chapter 6

“Our spiritual life begins with a sense of wonder and awe, an experience built into our relationship with the natural world.  Other life on earth is literally our kin.”

Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, chapter 13

“Feelings form the basis for what has been described for millennia as the soul.  At its root, spirituality is a matter of fellow feeling.”

Sensitive Soul, chapter 5 

“If we can be considered ‘ensouled’ creatures, then it’s a short step to imagine that we’re tangibly connected to the Earth itself and that our spiritual nature derives from this connection.” 

Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, chapter 13