REVIEWS: Species Link: The Journal of Interspecies Telepathic Communication

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2004:

Species Link: The Journal of Interspecies Telepathic Communication
Quarterly, $25/year, c/o Anima Mundi Incorporated
(P.O. Box 1060, Point Reyes, CA 94956; <www.animaltalk.net>.)

A skeptic might ask why telepaths need a periodical, when
they have telepathy.
Why do any of us need paper and filing cabinets, when we
have computers?
Telepathy alone, if it existed, might be sufficient to
share ideas, contact information, and details of coming events,
but even the most powerful communicating mind might become cluttered
and confused if obliged to archive and organize the sort of
information gathered and shared for 56 editions so far by Species
Link editor Penelope Smith.
Further, not everyone interested in telepathy is a telepath–yet.
Smith and others believe “animal communication” can be taught and
learned. Many of the Species Link participants believe that they are
telepaths, but some do not. Many others hold a more practical and
quantifiable perspective on how wordless communication with animals
occurs.

For most, including the alleged telepaths, the essence of
animal communication–no matter what the transmission mode–is
translating what the animals are trying to tell us into human words.
The rest is just being observant.
I personally suspect that wireless internet communication is
about as close to telepathy as we will ever get.
Still, wordless communication among animals and humans does
occur. It is possible to become better attuned to what animals
“say,” and to “talk” with them, much as the fictional Dr. Doolittle
did. Some “dog people,” “cat people,” and “horse people” are quite
obviously better than others at recognizing and responding to the
expressions and gestures of the animals they know best, even if they
cannot explain why.
As a tracker, I learn constantly from bent blades of grass,
broken twigs, droppings, a faint whiff of urine, and many other
clues that elude most others. After decades of practice I sometimes
“read” a story about wildlife in my surroundings before consciously
realizing which clues tipped me off. A more intuitive person might
easily reach this point without actually studying tracking.
The expertise of the most insightful animal handlers and the
most skilled trackers could be perceived as “animal communicating,”
including by the handlers and trackers, even though there is nothing
mystical or magical about it.
To me, “animal communication” is a metaphor for
understanding often subliminal perceptions. The effervescent
quackery and New Age woo-woo rhetoric that characterizes much of the
most visible “animal communication” activity amounts to no more than
the buzzing of flies showing the way to a fox’s buried food cache,
and thereby to the den of a fox with cubs.
“Animal communicating” attracts the interest of tens of
thousands of people as a manifestation of growing human awareness
that animals have thoughts and feelings, and that neighborliness
requires considering our nonhuman associates as well as those of our
own species.
The paranormal aspect of “animal communicating” may be silly,
but so, superficially, are many of the rituals that we use in
making friends with each other, mostly unaware of the evolutionary
antecedents of making small gifts of food and flowers, using
deodorant, and not urinating where we might send an offensive signal.
Species Link does not point in the direction that I feel most
comfortable in going to learn more about the animals around me. I’m
more likely to poke a turd with a stick.
Still, I would bet that I have more in common with most of
the readers than with folks who learn tracking only to kill the
animals at the end of the trail.
I bet most Species Link readers are warm, intuitive,
empathic, intelligent, and generally quite nice, and I don’t think
one needs telepathy to see that.

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