DO ANIMALS HAVE AN EGOThe value of this page is in the last section
Is play the first step to worldly pleasure and attachment?
What is the connection between play and ego?
On a spiritual forum someone asked "Do animals have an ego?" This was my answer.
Animals obviously have a sense of self awareness and identity, but is it like our ego?
Animals and early man got self identity (not quite ego) through territory and/or bonding in a group. Also i imaigine their inner body sense is far more actual than ours.
From surface research on You Tube
It seems baby and adolescent elephants have temper tantrums.
do any other animals?
Then there are a number of aggressive small creatures, like geese and cocks chasing bigger animals like horses – (is the horse the epitomie of ego-less-ness in animals?).
its all about courage ?? ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONLaK3Emod8
especially interesting are the crows 'playing' at winding up dogs – one upmanship – (9:17 long – watch only first 2.42 mins then it gets irrelevant even silly)
But don't be too hard on crows,
a Bodhisattva Crow is sharing food with a mouse – Is there any other such clear example of selflessness in animals? :
EGOISM and MIRRORS
i was thinking how since around 1850s, with mirrors, our human sense of identity – our self-image has changed enormously – the "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity" of Ecclesiastes has gotten a vivid physical appearance.
Mirrors are unnatural, this is proven by how few animals can cope with them. Only 8 animals dolphins, elephants, crows, magpies, orcas, and ...(?) can recognise themselves – the most attack or ignore their own mirror image.
Cats are the epitomy of egoism (?) and this cat, being amazed at his self-image, is wonderful – the dawn of a new understanding of life ..,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1xGtq2g8HU (1.35 long)
and another cat and mirror experience which is a real exception – is Finn really in love with his mirror image. or does he think it's another cat?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPz9KdRI5cQ (0.28 long)
You Tube is full of videos on animals with mirrors – there's lots i don't know about egoism and mirrors and animals ...
PLAY and EGO
Is play the first step to worldly pleasure? What is the connection between play and ego?
I know no other comparable example of play – halfway as clear as otters juggling with stones. Lots of videos on You Tube – The game must date back before human times. Some otters also build a long term attachment to their specific stones – Otter Juggling Rocks ...
Also good is "Close Up Of The Cute Stone Juggling Otter"
Is this sort of self-reliant self-indulgent animal play behaviour unique to Otters?
Groups of dogs or cats play with each other, but (and maybe incorrectly) we understand this as a sort of instinctive training for practical life ...
There are many You Tube videos on crows, magpies, squirrels, racoons playing with things humans have left lying around, give a dolphin a rubber ball and he will have fun, as animals learn to play with human toys, could they develop 'wanting pleasure' in its capacity to develop an ego?
(There's also pleasure but not really play – when the hippo and pig wallow in the mud bath, or the hen dust bathes in the sun – a forerunner of humans sunbathing or lying in the bathtub.)
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