Sometimes I wish we could communicate with the animals. Over the past millennia, a process of dis-connect with Nature has been going on hand-in-hand with our quest to become biped. In our enthusiasm to develop the ability to walk tall, we have actually moved away from Mother Earth. We have come to rely so much on logic and abstraction and analysis and theorizing, and so absorbed have we become in appreciating the prowess of our brain and muscle that we have ironically tended to overlook and undervalue anything that is not registered by our instruments. Not given to such self-absorption, animals on the other hand have remained blissfully tuned in with the elements of Nature. And had we had the ability to communicate with them, they would certainly be in a position to teach us a thing or two!
The recent news about an observation, carried out after scientific studies, that animals generally tend to align themselves with the north-south magnetic axis of the planet, needs to be appreciated from this perspective. But then they don't carry the magnetic compass with them, do they? Then how come? How is it that we, the most intelligent of all living species that has ever walked on Earth, do not possess this ability? Of being able to naturally detect the north-south magnetic direction, without any external aids, I mean?
It is called Magnetoreception, this ability to sense magnetic alignment. This ability comes easy to all types of cattle, several insect groups such as honeybees, termites, flies, etc. Fishes, birds, ...you name it, and they all have this sense. Except perhaps me and you.
In fact, we have known of the long distance migration of birds and aquatic creatures from one location to another, in tune with the change of seasons. They do their relocation unerringly, precisely, year after year, and without the aid of any technology. They all do it, all the time. Just about everybody possesses this magic, except perhaps me and you.
It has been discovered that somewhere deep inside, the magnetic axis does have an impact on us. But so subtle is this sensation, and so total is our preoccupation with the material world around us, that we have never taken cognizance of it. Take our own sleeping position for instance. When we sleep in the E-W direction, it takes us less time to slip into dreaming mode than when we sleep in the N-S direction. (The time taken to shift from sleep to dream-mode sleep is called REM Latency.) When we were less than a year old, our REM latency was very short: which means that as an infant we would begin dreaming no sooner we closed our eyes; irrespective of the direction the caregiver put us in. Now, very interestingly, schizophrenic patients too have been observed to have abnormally low REM latency. Adding two plus two, we could hypothesize that sleeping in the N-S direction is best for our physiology - never mind at what level it affects us. (And let's leave it to the researchers to reject the null hypothesis!)
When sitting for meditation, facing the north of the earth's magnetic pole anecdotally gives the best results, as my post here suggests. The brain's own electromagnetic field and the earth's magnetic field are in resonance with each other, just like that of the cattle grazing out in the fields!!!
Yes, I wish we possessed the ability to communicate with animals. We would re-learn from them so many things that we have de-learned in our race to become homo sapiens.