Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bringing Back the Magic

I am going to quote Margaret T. Wright, publisher of the on-again, off-again magazine "Nature's Corner", and I am not going to comment on the quote. I hope that anyone reading this blog will leave a comment (click on the Comments link at the end of this post). I need to know what people think.

In Ms. Wright's book, Bringing Back the Magic, she talks about the worldwide reaction to the death of Alex, the African Gray parrot:

Why? Why were so many people so traumatized and saddened by the death of a parrot... a little bird that was no larger than a pigeon? His scientific accomplishments were astounding and he had been a trailblazer, proving beyond a doubt that animals are intelligent. But he represented something even more profound... something even more important. Alex was the "quintessential talking animal". He tapped into the primordial memory of our collective unconscious that remembers a time when animals physically talked to man... a time when man and animal lived together and shared mutual respect for one another. Some people may call that time the Garden of Eden when the animals talked to Adam and Eve, and others may call it the magical Land of Pan (Pangea). Whatever it is called, it did happen and it was real. Alex represented the possibility that we could get back in our hearts to that place of mutual love and respect, before evil and destruction separated us: Humankind from Nature. He was the archetypal talking animal that exuded unconditional love, and he captured our hearts and provided a loving place and a memory to which we could return within our own primordial souls.


  1. I was very sad to hear about Alex, but I find it strange that so many people seem to forget about Koko, who converses with people regularly, and tells them about her dreams and expresses her wish to have a baby. She's not using a vocal language, but she's using a language that is just as valid and shows just as much thought behind each answer - when asked where the world came from, Koko said a mother made it.

  2. You make a perfectly reasonable point. In this blog, I have been deliberately bypassing stories about monkeys and apes, because it seems to me most people are more open to relating to them, because of their outward similarity to humans. I've been focusing on other animals because, well... how many people would think octopuses have individual personalities?

    Koko is a very interesting person herself, and for her to give a reasonable answer to a metaphysical question like where the world came from... that just opens up lots more questions, sort of along the line of questions inspired by Margaret Wright's words.