Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done nearly 500 of them now and if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com b-a-t-g-a-p and look under the past interviews menu where you’ll see all the previous ones archived in various ways. You’ll also see a few other things such as a link to an audio podcast and email notification of future interviews and things like that. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers so if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it to any degree, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. My guest today is someone whom I’ve been aware of for quite some time and had been wanting to interview – Anna Breytenbach. Welcome Anna.
Anna Breytenbach: Thank you, good to be here.
Rick Archer: Anna is a South African based professional animal communicator. She’s gonna explain what that means in a few minutes. She’s been practicing this art for 18 years in South Africa, Europe and the US with both domestic and wild animals. She was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, where she is now and she holds a degree in psychology, economics and marketing from the University of Cape Town. She was trained in tracking and mentoring at the wilderness awareness school in the US. And she also mentors children and adults in nature awareness based on the ways of the Native American and San Bushmen peoples, and as a qualified and experienced master training facilitator focusing on bringing forth participants’ skills through coaching and mentoring in a practical manner, she consults exclusively with wildlife and offers workshops around Southern Africa, occasionally touring Australia, Europe and the US. She travels a lot. Her work includes working with wild dolphins and whales, leading animal communication safaris, interspecies projects at permaculture and organic farms, and giving numerous public talks. Her pro bono work focuses on conservation projects such as elephant management, anti-poaching assistance, baboon rehabilitation, whale and dolphin research and predator conservation. She’s also the subject of the feature documentary movie, the animal communicator on interspecies communication. And, incidentally, I’ll link to, there have been some lovely documentaries and videos of Anna’s work posted on YouTube and I’ll link to several of those on her page on batgap.com. I highly recommend that you watch those since she may not be communicating with any animals during this interview other than me, but it’s beautiful to watch her do her work. So some of you may be wondering now is this Buddha at the Gas Pump? What does this have to do with spiritual awakening, the usual types of themes that you discuss on this show? And I think Anna can give us a very good answer to that. So maybe in one go, let me ask you two questions. What is animal communication? And what is its spiritual significance? Why should people who are interested in enlightenment and awakening and all that stuff be interested in animal communication?
Anna Breytenbach: Well, animal or interspecies communication really is the term that’s come to be used to describe the energetic transference of direct knowing and of shared experience. And usually the setup is that that happens between two beings who are focused on each other and connecting in a state of empathy to be able to understand and really deeply understand each other. Another way to describe it using more technical language would be telepathic communication, which has been well described and in fact researched between humans since the 1880s in both the UK and the US. And in more recent decades, the scientist Rupert Sheldrake proved telepathy between animals and humans, specifically people and their dogs. And he has experiments and his books about it. And the various things available online to watch as well are to do with that. The title of his study was dogs who know when their owners are coming home.
Rick Archer: Rupert was on the show a couple months ago, we talked about that a little bit.
Anna Breytenbach: Brilliant, brilliant. So with all of that empirical experiment design, it’s been proved beyond statistical probability or guesswork alone, that of course, telepathy does happen between different beings. So that’s what interspecies communication is. It’s a deliberate and focused, literally a communication. And it is two way I must emphasize. Some people think this is a form of psychometry, or doing a psychic reading or a channeling. And I’m certainly not a medium in that way at all. It really is live, clear and present two-way communication between myself and the animal in question. Not that it’s limited to just animals. And as much as I might be feeling a question or conveying a question or desired behavior, to the animal, so to they can ask us questions also. So perhaps later, we can discuss more about the seeming mechanics of it. But to answer the second part of your question about what on earth this has to do with awakening, I have found that the animals and the natural world at large to have been my greatest spiritual teaching. And this is even in the context of sitting for over 10 years with a Sangha and all sorts of other forays in the in the spiritual realm, broadly speaking. And if what can be regarded as spiritual qualities across any discipline include states of being like presence, and awareness, and absolute acceptance of what is, then the nonhuman animals have got that, as the sentient beings that they are, which can be defined as self-aware, which they are, they have these qualities readily available to them in their shining is a present authenticity. And this is why it has a lot to do with awakening to self, or at least a clearing out of ego stuff and things that are nothing to do with the present moment, or the collective good for that matter. And so we nonhumans, when we connect with the sorry, we humans, when we connect with the nonhumans, we pick up on almost a feeling of that limbic resonance. We get to bathe in their states of being and that can’t better affect us, it certainly does affect us in all sorts of positive ways. And another way or reason that this has a lot to do with awakening is it really is about astral remembering our native states, this is about us humans remembering our original wiring, how our brains and how the intelligence of our heart more importantly, were once in our conscious awareness, deeply wired to the collective to all the beings in our immediate environment, the very particles with soil under our feet, the spider and her web, the leaf on every tree, the root under the ground, or the deer species in the distance. And as we again, remember, through communication through connection, as we again, remember, we literally, again, become members of greater collectors. And we learn more and more about those unified states of shared awareness. And we experienced ourselves less and less as separate from the web of life.
Rick Archer: Excuse me, I had to cough. I remember hearing a story, it might have been a Sufi story about some, someone who got enlightened or awakened by sitting and watching a cat watching a mouse hole, you know, and just sort of tuning into the sort of presence and alertness of the cat. He kind of been trained with it, you know, it triggered his awakening.
Anna Breytenbach: Absolutely, it is that presence and awareness infinite and the nonhumans to show up as probably themselves here to each and every moment. Most of us get to experience that briefly through living with pets, perhaps just think of any dog was the wagging tail and the aliveness in the moment. And most of us get to experience it through animals we get reminded of our own nature and of non-separation. Yes.
Rick Archer: I want to remind those who are watching live that if you have a question for Anna, you can post it on the form on the upcoming interviews page on batgap.com Down at the bottom of that page, there’s a forum through which you can post a question. What Sangha have you been sitting with for 10 years? What sort of…
Anna Breytenbach: Advaita Vedanta?
Rick Archer: Under whose auspices or tutelage or whatever?
Anna Breytenbach: Oh, there’s an un-teacher here in South Africa who was with Ramana Maharshi. In the old days. Yeah. Yeah. And that is, you know, the path of nonduality which I discovered about 10 years after I’ve been doing interspecies communication. And it really, really resonated with me. Because this, this work, and this passion and this joy, that is what I, what I’m up to in this lifetime. It’s been an ongoing and remains an ongoing inner work, I have to do the inner tracking to keep on watching where my belief systems are getting in the way of the truth of the other, where my very paradigms are getting in the way, you know, this form of communication has nothing at all to do with knowledge about a certain species, which could lend us to project onto any individual member of their species some beliefs or generalizations. And that’s not appropriate at all. We’re dealing with a sentient being after sentient being after sentient being, when we’re dealing with, with individuals. And so it’s it behooves me to constantly be looking at who I am in that equation. Because if I am to know the, the truth and the real thoughts, feelings, what’s moving for that other, I need to be a clean slate and as neutral as possible on the inside. And this is why this form of interspecies connection is not really about learning any fancy technique or, you know, having a magic one way or having one’s 27th strand of DNA activated. It’s nothing unnatural like that. It really is about clearing out, clearing out the baggage and continue clearing out. Well, if we were all to have reached that stage, we wouldn’t even be having this call none of us. So it’s not about having achieved that. But it is about the inner awareness. Again, the inner tracking so that I can notice when even my desire for a wishful answer from the animal is getting in the way of me perhaps clearly hearing their answer. Imagine if I’m saying to one of my cats, do you want to move fast with me and kind of live in a new location? Yeah, I would love that answer for them to be a yes. I would love that. I am personally vested in that outcome. And this actually happened a few months ago. One of my cats said nope, not at all, he wanted to stay where we had been living on the forest edge. And for me to hear that no, I had to get beyond my own inner yes and my emotional investment in that. And it wasn’t that I didn’t have my wishes as an attached human being. It was that I could sit still enough long enough to subtly pick up on his feeling of no existing through the filter of my yes that was in the field for me.
Rick Archer: One of the things I found most fascinating about the videos I watched on YouTube of you doing your work is the expression on your face while you’re doing it. You just settled into this really innocent, clear, settled state, which is really evident on your face. And then the communication takes place. That was as fascinating as whatever content you were coming up with in the communication. And I mentioned that because of what you just said, that you have to be totally clear and centered and balanced and without any kind of static in order to do this.
Anna Breytenbach: Mm hmm. Indeed, actually, my grandmother commented on that the first time she saw it. She phoned me from the semi-arid higher desert, where she was living. She was like, hello, Anna dear, your face looks so different. You look like an angel in church. Of course, I’m completely unaware of it, because I’m not trying to, you know, be anything or be in an elevated state. It’s just about dropping and dropping. But I do get that feedback when I have people around me and in nature or in front of an animal and connecting and I get that feedback afterwards. But during the time as a communication, I am largely unaware of self, like really, I don’t know. You know, the persona drops away and my ego based identity takes a little bit of the background, and the inner narration and the dialogue, you know, the internal critic that’s going is just background noise. I don’t bother trying to push that away. Because as Carl Jung rightly said, what we resist persists. So I don’t bother to give my attention and my focus to those thoughts that I’m finding unhelpful. Instead, I just stay with the moment and stay with the moment. And the best way I know how to do that from my animal communication tools is mindful breathing, to simply watching my natural breathing rhythm. Seeing as the mind insists on being busy, but something may as well just tell it to run along and watch the breathing, which presumably I’m doing anyway.
Rick Archer: It also looks like when you’re doing the animal communication, you’re not even looking at the animal. You’re, you’re kind of, your eyes are downcast. You’re, you seem very inward.
Anna Breytenbach: Indeed. I am very inward and being with that very fine, fine tuned inner listening, and I don’t mean clairaudient necessarily. A very fine inner awareness. Also, I often have my eyes closed or downturned so that my busy mind is not distracted by my physical surroundings, and any movement or things that may be happening for this monkey mind to attach to and start to wonder about. And another reason to not hold direct eye contact with the animal is that from that animals’ cultural perspective, and within their species, being stared at by a human might not be such a grand thing, it may not put them at ease, in fact, quite the opposite. So with the exception of kind of stare at a cat, which they really don’t care about, no one can win a staring competition with a cat. But otherwise, looking deeply into an animal’s eyes can just kind of freak them out. And it’s really, as humans who have this thing about eye contact, meaning deep and intimate connection. It’s not at all necessary and can actually be counterproductive in communication and make an animal feel like they are going to be on the backfoot, which may make them less open to relaxing into a free flow of communication as well.
Rick Archer: I gather you don’t even have to be in the presence of the animal. I heard some accounts of you communicating with whales and sharks that were not in your immediate vicinity. So it’s sort of a long distance attunement.
Anna Breytenbach: It is, as telepathy has been proved to be, is long distance. It works as easily remotely as if the animal is right in front of me. There’s no loss of signal or weakening of signal for distance, or mountain ranges, or big city buildings being in the way. And again, for the sake of my very busy mind, I sometimes find it easier to be clear when I’m connecting remotely, because I don’t have things like the animal’s facial expression, or body language, to lead me down the path of some interpretations. And my cognitive interpretation of the dog was his mouth open and tongue hanging out, would look like happy dog face. And perhaps the dog really is happy to be connected with me in that moment. But perhaps what I’m inquiring about is some deeply traumatic part of their past. And they are conveying to me the abuse that they suffered as a puppy. And my greater awareness is going to be less available for the details of the sadness when my mind is busy processing their happy face in that moment. So remote can often be easier because we don’t have that other interference for our thinking brains to be having a party with.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Are you aware that in the Yoga Sutras Patanjali talks about one of the cities or, or attainments as being the ability to understand the language of animals?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, I am. And I’ve met a couple of spiritual teachers along my path, one of whom is Leslie Temple-Thurston, who you and I were just mentioning recently, and in the 1980s, she was gifted with one of the siddhis as well and would so dearly have loved to have made that her focus. But she was guided that her work is with the humans. And we found each other about 12, 15 years ago, and we created some sacred activism initiatives together, both of us tuning in to another layer of communication that’s possible, which is into the collective consciousness. So far, we’ve been talking about individual communications, as if it’s a walkie talkie set, or to a radio, or tin can to the ear and a hamstring between the two. That’s just the, it’s a metaphor of a mechanical process, it isn’t actually mechanical at all. It’s about us as a receptive being really being open and being coherent. So that we can aware anything really, and particularly that we can aware, the aspects of creation where the light of our attention is calling with a bit like a lighthouse beam. So which, whatever we choose to focus on is where we through this vessel of the human brain and being would get a more clear kind of reception signal to put it that way. But we can connect also with any layer of, of existence. And we can connect with the collective consciousness of a certain species, which is what Leslie and I did with elephants, along with a couple of other people at that time. And when we deeply tuned into the collective consciousness of elephants, and asked how we could help at this time of their extreme dire need and their possible imminent extinction, we’d imagined we might be given advice by that collective consciousness about some practical things we could do, or petitions or projects, or very specific location based assistance, but instead, the energy and the message we got from the collective consciousness was that it’s almost really too late to do anything practical. And what they really wanted people who cared to around the world to do is to hold them, to hold solidarity with them. And to hold them in compassion, and to visualize them roaming free and having space and being the fullest versions of their most wonderful selves. And bringing that positive energy in holding them in the light, holding them in that way instead of working against the, the, the terribly unpleasant things that are happening to them around the planet. So we can connect into that, at that collective level as well. Or there’s many ways to slice and dice the idea of a collective consciousness. I was, just last weekend, facilitating some things at Africa’s largest reforestation initiative, a festival with workshops and planting thousands of trees in an area that was otherwise, just really inhospitable, and really struggling. And there, the collective consciousness that that the team connected with was the, the planting site of the forest, which of course comprises many different species. And that forest and the planting sites, too, have a very specific collected personality.
Rick Archer: That’s very interesting. Let’s talk about that a little bit more. Firstly, I want to mention that Leslie Temple-Thurston, whom we mentioned, has been on BatGap. You can find her in the past interviews menu. And then also Andrew Harvey does stuff in South Africa with lions and all. You’re probably connected with him, are you?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes. Yes, indeed. And yeah, I’m a big fan of his sacred activism, work and wisdoms. And we’ve had a few conversations about, again, the work on self that’s required for us to be truly helpful, and truly clear, it really does come down to our own spiritual work, not even for the sake of other. But by just doing that work on ourselves, we are automatically being that, we are literally vibrating out into the world. And we have to be careful that we’re not doing it to be the hero, to be the rescuer, or for the sake of spiritual ego.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s not about us. But this, this notion of collective consciousness, I think is very interesting. And I think it’s something that spiritually inclined people would want to understand more clearly, and, and probably most of them do. But what you’re saying, I believe, I’ll let you say what you’re saying, but just to get you started, that, you know, there are all sorts of different arrangements of collective consciousness. Rupert Sheldrake was talking about it in his, his interview, in terms of morphogenetic fields, and even a different, different species, we each have their own field, as well as geographic locations would have fields like a city or a nation or the whole world has, has a collective consciousness. And these can be influenced reciprocally by us, you know, we can have an influence on them, and the ambient field has an influence on us. So why don’t you elaborate on that a little bit?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, another, another very eloquent scholar who speaks about this and writes about it is Gregg Braden.
Rick Archer: Right.
Anna Breytenbach: And yeah, so he’s looked at the quantum physics and the very ancient principles and practices in a number of the Eastern wisdom traditions. And of course, this, this influence on the collector, and the influence of the collective on us is, is absolutely provable. In fact, there’s a formula for it even. So in all those experiments, there’s large group meditations in the mid 1970s, outside Chicago and other cities, were proof of this.
Rick Archer: I was in them.
Anna Breytenbach: Fantastic, fantastic. So it literally takes square root of 1% of the population to cause a real 3d result in the experience of the rest of the population. And that’s all just numbers. And, you know, either interesting or not, but what it is, is that let’s think of it this way. Even ourselves as a seemingly individual human, we have several roles that we play in our life, we’re a child, we’re perhaps a sibling, we’re a niece or a nephew, maybe we’re a parent, we’re a colleague, we’re a student, we are a teacher, we are a friend. And these are several roles that we have embraced within our sort of biological units, you know, skin bags going around acting out these different, these different roles and these different, these different expressions of our truth. You know, it’s not a mask that we’re putting on. It’s just a role that we genuinely arise to in the constellation of things, constellation of our lives. And we are part of the constellation of the biome, whether that’s on the real macro level close to home. We are related to that spider in the garden who knows us and recognizes our energy field. We are related to that bird who migrates and comes to visit once a year, we are related to the clouds that go by and we are in a constellation. And even as we play out our different roles, so we too could be said to be part of different collectives, we’re part of our family collective, we’re part of our workspace collective. And it’s not like a pie that only has a finite number of slices that are possible. This whole way of looking at it is really simply the human mind’s attempt to try to grapple with the enormity of life itself. And we forget that we’re not separate, we forget that we are holographically a representation of that life. Not as a symbolic act, but as a very real energetic fact. We are vibrating with that same pulse that is vibrating through everything. And as we can bring some self-regulation, perhaps to how we are vibrating, so too those ripples are going to go out in concentric circles, from the pebble of us that is dropped into the pond of life. And those concentric rings will go out into infinity, vibrating through and affecting everything they touch, and any other perceptive being in the universe is able to perceive and known who we’re being. So as humans are able to, again, connect with those ways of knowing ourselves, as we walk into a field where some horses are grazing, we are literally giving off the electromagnetic signals of various of our roles. We might be thinking about our work week, we might be walking with a family member, and we might be feeling something happening with our body because it’s a bit sore, we haven’t been outdoors lately. And all of these things are being radiated from us. And all those horses in the field are getting us loud and clear, they are knowing all aspects of us. Haven’t you noticed it’s impossible to fake it with an animal? We can’t pretend to, for example, be not afraid of them if we really are. We can’t pretend to be, being kind if we actually have ulterior motives, when the dog gets to us, and we’re going to give them a spanking. So who we are being is being broadcast. And it’s for us humans to be able to receive the broadcast of all of life around us again, when we so choose. So there’s many different ways to, we can group the idea of a collective in whichever way, whichever constellation we choose to because it is our ideas. Life is just simply being itself with no hierarchical and no value difference between the smallest and the biggest, between the seen and the unseen.
Rick Archer: Okay, your last comment triggers a question that had been in the back of my mind. Various spiritual teachers and traditions kind of offer a hierarchical arrangement of levels of evolution, which kind of parallels even biological evolution as it’s understood. In other words, they would say that a rock is fairly primitive soul if it has a soul, and that a microbe is more evolved, and an ant is more evolved, and a turtle is more evolved than a monkey and so on. And this is kind of paralleled by development of the brain and the nervous system, a human brain and nervous system is much more sophisticated than that of a turtle or even a horse or even a monkey. So would it, would it stand to reason that the subjective experience of all these beings is similarly arranged, and that, you know, it’s much more simplistic and primitive in a sense in a so called lower species than, than it is in the more evolved ones? And I don’t want to make this question too long. But when you’re communicating with, let’s say, I don’t know, any kind of animal, a dog or a cat or a turtle or whatever kind of animals you communicate with, it’s not like you’re communicating with a human mind which behaves and functions the way human mind does. Aren’t you communicating with something sort of much more rudimentary in a sense?
Anna Breytenbach: Thank goodness I’m not communicating with the mind in those other nonhumans. That would just be an absolute circus. And nothing more rudimentary no, the idea is connecting with the nonmind, connecting with the essence. And I’ll speak more about that in a bit. But when we are connecting with any other being, we’re connecting with their essence, completely unrelated to brain size or function. And biologists like to measure intelligence by sort of of brain size to body ratios, these sorts of things that have completely…
Rick Archer: Cerebral cortex and all that.
Anna Breytenbach: Absolutely, and if intelligence were based on brain size, we’d be in a spot of bother because there are several species that have brains larger than us. And you know, neuroscientists still barely understand how our own brain functions actually as humans. And they still don’t know how the melon shaped organ deep in the dolphins and whales brain functions, how that serves them through echolocation. They can’t figure it out. So yes, there might be a, there might be a hierarchy in one measurement system, looking at brain function, but that’s got nothing at all to do with intelligence, or with sentience, or with subjective experience to come back, to come back to the first part of your question. So subjective experience has got nothing to do with brain function, or even the presence of the brain. There’s as much experience available to a rock that has been in place for eons as there is available to a tree who’s been standing perhaps a few decades, or if they’re lucky, a little bit longer. And as there is to a passing ant, or butterfly who’s going to live for just weeks. So subjective experience is just that, it’s subjective, through the filter of that being’s range of experience that’s possible. And I do mean their sensory experience as well. So there may be some limitations or some additions compared to us humans. For example, insects, like bees can see in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum as an ordinary sighted phenomenon, and we can’t, so there bees’ subjective experience is already much more expanded on the visual front than, than us humans. Nonetheless, we are connecting with the essence of that being and intelligence is not something that can be measured. And intelligence is not relative, intelligence is a simple expression and a knowing of perhaps a version of self, or at least the expression of this thing that comes through self. And at the same time, one is connected this to the whole. Let’s go back to bees. I’ve communicated lots with individual bees, in fact, where I, where I live, a particular bee with a certain little kink in his left wing, left front wing, comes in to ask me for when they’re really really angry, and there’s been drought here for a few years, and there aren’t flowering plants for them. And a certain bee appears to have drawn the short straw and being the one who has to go in and call the human out to come and fill up the, the bee feeder. So that bee is very clearly, individually individuated firstly, and individually able to make a beeline for the kitchen or where I’m in the house and come find me. But at the same time, this bee is very present of the bee collective consciousness. And bees can be 50,000 or more bees in any hive. These individuals are very aware that what they’re doing through their roles in the community is for the greater good of the hive. And so if we were to warn one individual bee, that they’re going to be killed or, God forbid, sprayed with the insect repellent, if they stay inside the house, that bee’s probably not going, not going to care too much about that. They don’t have a selfish desire to stay alive as long as possible. Because what they’re doing with their life that day, and in that moment, is doing what they’re doing for the collective good. And they are on purpose. So let’s, let’s ask again, ourselves the question of intelligence. Imagine if we humans were doing what we are doing as individual units going around our days, for the greater good for the collective good, and even humankind, that might be deemed quite a high state of intelligence. And I see that much more in the insects than I do in humans nowadays. One last thing to say about this is that when we are connecting with the essence of, of the other, it’s actually our essence that’s connecting with them as well. So I happen to have to use my brain to get focused and all those sorts of things and watch my breathing and become calm and essentially trying to dehumanize myself in that moment. So that my humaneness can fall away and not interrupt things and not interrupt my ability to be with the other and be with the moment. So my essence, that, that mysterious unnameable and perhaps indescribable aspect of self is what is really doing the connecting and the communication and it is my essence that is receiving the, the experience of the other and receiving that knowing. But I don’t know about it consciously until my unconscious intuitive data that I’ve received has run against my mental database of stored life experiences and vocabulary words and sensory stimuli that I have stored in my brain. And when that incoming intuitive data finds a match in my brain, then a little flag goes up and a word pops into my head or a smell or mental image. And that’s when I know that I’ve received data for the first time. But I’ve already received it at my essence level before that time.
Rick Archer: I think you and I would agree that we all have the same essence. And there are verses in various scriptures, like the Gita says that the yogi sees all beings in the self and the self and all beings. And essentially, the idea is that there’s only one self ultimately, one essence, ultimately, and that we’re all just sort of manifestations of that, or we reflect that to differing degrees and in different ways, right? Are we on the same page so far?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, we are. I agree.
Rick Archer: Okay,so, but let’s take humans, for example. I mean, there’s a difference between someone with an IQ of 80. And Albert Einstein, in terms of their abilities, in terms of their understanding. And there’s a difference between someone who is illiterate and William Shakespeare. There’s a vast range of capabilities or expression, even though all those, those types of people, all those people, and many others we can mention all have the same Self, capital S, same ultimate essence. Obviously, it reflects or expresses very differently through different vehicles.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, it does. And there’s no difference in the value of those different expressions.
Rick Archer: Yeah, we don’t. I mean, obviously, they have different impacts on society. But everything has its place. All as well and wisely put, things, everyone has their dharma, everything exists for a reason. So we wouldn’t be saying here that animals are less valuable than people. Although I mean, you know, is the life of 1000 mosquitoes less valuable than the life of one person who gets malaria?
Anna Breytenbach: No. What’s the problem with us getting malaria? I’ve had it.
Rick Archer: I’m sure you didn’t enjoy it…
Anna Breytenbach: I didn’t enjoy it.
Rick Archer: And it kills a lot of people every year that, and we try to prevent that from happening by killing mosquitoes or keep, you know, using mosquito nets anyway.
Anna Breytenbach: I know. But you see, us humans have, have so far lost our way that we have a problem with physical death as well. Now we’ve become very attached to the staying alive as long as possible, as if physical death isn’t end to everything. And why should we lengthen our number of days on this planet at the expense of the number of days that another being is busy living just because we come and interrupt things? So yeah, you know, I’ve got liters of blood last time I checked, and I can show a spare a few drops for mosquitoes. It’s only female mosquitoes who bite and it’s not food for them. They need the blood to complete the reproductive cycle of their eggs hatching. And it’s not the mosquitoes’ fault, or responsibility if….
Rick Archer: They’re just doing their thing.
Anna Breytenbach: They’re doing their thing. And if they happen to be infected with the malaria parasite, which is again a parasite infecting them, it’s not intrinsic to their own physiology. Well, that’s just, you know, potentially bad luck for me. So, in this great mystery and the continual recycling of energy, you know, the moment we humans are born, we starting to decay and, and become recycled. And one day we’ll be pushing up. Well, isn’t this interesting too. You know, the phrase certainly in the more English orientated world, where I grew up, the phrase is pushing up the daisies. And we use that as a nice colloquial term. And perhaps, we fancy ourselves as artists appreciating lovely pictures of daisies…
Rick Archer: They become mulch.
Anna Breytenbach: They’ll also be feeding, become mulch feeding the earthworms and people go oh don’t want to feed the earthworms, you know. We have ideas about, about things. So there’s no less value in individual mosquito compared to an individual human life at all. There’s no, there’s no value difference. You know, that whole thing of before enlightenment scrub toilets, after enlightenment scrub toilets. We’re just, you know, we are, we are here to simply be, and if we are really in a state of presence that is having us be, we wouldn’t think and here’s the key word as well – think. We wouldn’t think of doing. We wouldn’t think of doing. We would naturally arise into a state of being and whatever is possible for both beings to navigate with in those moments would, would arise. Sometimes, these things that are inconvenient for us or unpleasant or may lead to disease are things we can simply take preventative measures around. And we modern humans have got so disconnected from nature that we find it inconvenient or too troublesome to wear your natural mosquito repellents, for example, to find out about which herbs we could rub on our skin or essential oils. We seem to, somewhere along the line in our disconnection en masse, have come to believe that we are more highly ordained and supposed to be rulers of the planet, or at least with a greater right to life, and somewhere along the line, we began to see all the other beings, vegetable, plant, mineral and animal as resources for ourselves. And instead of as equal brothers and sisters in this wave of life, as from different nations.
Rick Archer: I don’t mean to sound persnickety, but like, for instance, before we started, you mentioned that after being a vegan for many, many years, you now eat some meat. We can explain a little bit, you can talk about that a little bit. But um, so do, you know, so certain animals have to die in order for you and others to have that kind of food. If we’re all exactly equal, would you be cool with like, you know, feeding people to animals in order to make sure that they’re eating properly? This sounds like a weird question. But I’m just trying to get to the heart of this, this issue, because, in my perhaps biased opinion, I do read, I do see a sort of a hierarchy of values. And, you know, like a lot of the worst plagues and diseases that have, that have afflicted mankind have been solved by sacrificing in many cases of microscopic forms of life, but sacrificing other sorts of life so that our life may, may thrive.
Anna Breytenbach: And why should our life thrive? You see, perhaps those plagues and scourges that have come along and affected humankind is part of the wisdom of nature, figuring herself out, and perhaps even redressing an imbalance, when human population or impact in a certain environment has gone way out of balance, and significantly detrimental to the collective good. These scourges, these plagues, these, these times of famine, are all part of a rebalancing act in the greater good. And it’s not only some animals that physically stop living their biological lives so that we humans may eat myself included, it’s also plants. You see, in my experience through direct interspecies communication, I have, I’ve come to learn, really through direct experience, that there’s no difference in consciousness between a member of a plant species or an animal species. And this is where I reached a kind of a crisis of conscience where I had been vegetarian first and then vegan for a number of years. And then I was taking my advance training in interspecies communication, and began having conscious conversations with my lettuce leaves and my tomatoes. I thought, “Oh no, what am I to do now?”. And I’m certainly nowhere, you know, seeking or attaining anything that resembles a level of awakening that allows me to be breatharian. And I’m amazed that those people who can, but I’m definitely not there. And so, you know, as we’re walking every day, we squishing insects under our feet. As we are favoring plant foods, we are ignoring the sentience and the beautiful wisdom and intelligence of those, of those plant species. And I’ve had some chats with some plants who’ve grown in the agricultural fields that are covering the planet and deforesting very lungs of ours. And those plants are having a dastardly, very unpleasant time in their experience of existence. Pesticides, unnatural growing environments, been grown in straight rows that is so unkind to them and their families, they don’t have a sense of community, they’re taking the brunt and the full frontal force of the elements coming at them when they grow in an unnatural configurations. So the world is very full of pretty unhappy plants as well as animals. And I would certainly never support agriculture, as it stands in the commercial sense. And personally, I never support factory farming either because of the quality of life of the plants and the animals while they are embodied. And in the great recycling, that this earth is, all plants, all animals, including ourselves do just feed back into the system.
Rick Archer: Yeah, apropos of this point, one time I was in a lecture with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and he said, if you have to eat somebody, eat lesser evolved life. So he kind of bought into that sort of Hindu paradigm of there being levels of evolution of species. But I guess maybe his implication was that nature has less invested in a lettuce leaf than it does in a cow or something.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, yes. And there, there are different paradigms, too, again, different belief systems that have hierarchical structures. And that just hasn’t been my experience in connecting with, you know, connecting with plants as well. And interspecies communication is quite literally that. It’s happening out there the whole time between different species, not just us, you know, kind of high minded human who comes along and gets to connect with another. Interspecies communication is alive and well out there. I remember once noticing a bunch of bees around a single solitary sunflower that was on the edge of the field and unknowingly at the time I was projecting and the question I asked the sunflower when I connected with the sunflower was I can’t, don’t the bees bothering you? Because to my mind if I had imagined myself that many bees incoming, yeah. Clearly I was feeling a bit like that would bother me and I had inadvertently created that projection even in the asking of my question.
Rick Archer: It probably loved it.
Anna Breytenbach: Probably loved it, did love it. The answer came back from the sunflower. So hard to put words to these things but the energy of it that my brain could best give words to was that the bees kiss me with their awareness. And what a beautiful dance of mutual being they are in that moment.
Rick Archer: They’re probably pollinating the sunflower.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah.
Rick Archer: Or taking its pollen elsewhere or something.
Anna Breytenbach: Exactly. Again, the greater good.
Rick Archer: Yeah. A couple of questions have come in, I want to ask those. And then I have a lot of other things I want to talk to you about. But so we’ll jump around a little bit topic wise here while I interject a couple of questions. One is from Irene here. She says, I’ve always felt a very strong connection to animals. Some people did not seem to have much or any connection. I in turn did not resonate with those people in general. Any clue as to why some people just do not have a connection or feeling for animals?
Anna Breytenbach: I don’t really know why. Yeah, I have animals, and nature is one way in which we can open ourselves to the collective and also to our own animal bodies to become more embodied in our own practices and our own awareness. That I don’t know why some are or some aren’t. There are many different spiritual traditions, there are many different ways for human to become more conscious. So I don’t have an answer for that, sorry.
Rick Archer: Maybe it’s a faculty that some people haven’t developed very well, like some people have a really good ear for music, and we all have ears, we can hear but some people just tune into that. They enlivened that ability.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah.
Rick Archer: And here’s one from Nike or Nick Home from Hartbeespoort, South Africa. He wants to know, I wanted to know if perhaps you have any experience with regards to sacrificial animals. Here in South Africa, in the ancient sangoma, traditional healer tradition, it is stated that the animal divined for sacrifice has given its consent. This is done by appearing in the apprentices dreams or being chosen in other ways. It is very similar. The old ways of Native Americans where a special bond existed between them and the animals whose lives they took.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, in the shamanic cultures here, if some, if a person is going to be called, get the calling sickness, or just be called to, to trust or become a sangoma or shaman, they will receive in their dreams, an animal more than once, and the animal will have certain physical features that are identifiable and it’s the person’s job to then go and find that particular animal, to comb the countryside. And these are long distance travels very often. So, and they will know when they find that one, not only by how it looks, but also because of the resonance with that one. And some, some small backyard farmers or people who keep their own livestock have this very similar experience when they, when they are looking to actually have to eat some animal flesh. So they might be growing some vegetables and raising some animals. And they will, Derrick Jensen, by the way, describes this very well in his book, which title I can’t remember right now, but I’ll think of it. So Derrick Jensen is a fantastic environmental activist and a very eloquent writer on behalf of the earth. And he speaks about having had this major epiphany, where he would walk out into the yard and essentially ask a duck or a chicken, who might be ready, if it was right time for all concerned, to volunteer itself for the chopping block. And if it was the right time, invariably, one duck or one chicken would come forward and follow him into the barn and peacefully lie down, no restraining needed and look him in the eye as he put down the chopping knife. So this kind of conscious relating and this conscious giving of life is something that is well known to the indigenous people. It’s something that’s absolutely available to, to all of us. And if only we could be that conscious with our, our eating of our plant and animal beings and fellows that would be just absolutely fantastic.
Rick Archer: I looked up, I looked him up just now and there’s one book The Myth of Human Supremacy. Is that the one you’re thinking of?
Anna Breytenbach: Nope.
Rick Archer: There’s another one called Endgame, and another one called the language, A Language Older Than something or other.
Anna Breytenbach: That’s A Language Older Than Words.
Rick Archer: I see.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes. Yes, A Language Older Than Words is his rather skeptical and reluctance discovery of interspecies communication, and getting direct impulses from even the forests and ecosystems that he was fighting for. And he began to realize that in his fighting for Earth’s rights, he was actually being violent. And that whole sort of angry activist thing, which, as Andrew Harvey explains, this really isn’t going to work in outcome and law along the way as a process either.
Rick Archer: It’s just sort of infusing a lot of anger into the environment. Yeah.
Anna Breytenbach: And while we’re on the topic of such things, may I also recommend David Abram, A B R A M, who has written beautiful, beautiful books – Spell Of The Sensuous, and Becoming Animal. And he’s really deeply in touch with the relational space that is available all around us, even with seeming inanimate things like the walls of our own home. He said, some interesting encounters with, with traditional shamans from around the world, with mosquitoes and with his own house that he lived in. So all of life around us is very aware and in this constant dynamic, relating with us, we just are so distracted most of the time we don’t notice.
Rick Archer: Interesting. Yeah, I mean, people who are into Advaita, and all would say, oh, yes, it’s all one, you know, nonduality. And so you look at the wall, and you see yourself, and so on. But I guess we’re taking this a step further and saying that not only in its sort of ultimate nature is the one is the wall ourself, but in some little bit more manifest forms, there’s a certain sentience to everything.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, yeah. Yeah, there absolutely is. And that rises and falls like the waves of the tides itself, in terms of the dynamic interchange, the interchange rises and falls. And the simple act of noticing something that you’re walking past is an energetic connection, it’s laying down a gossamer thin thread of connection between the two of you. Noticing something is, is a version of acknowledgment, your awareness has gone there. And if we just add a little more of an intentional greeting from our heart space, or just an inner bow, something along those lines, it’s amazing how nature responds to us, and relaxes in our presence.
Rick Archer: Quantum mechanics would probably have something to say about that in terms of the attention influencing the, the observed, or the observer, influence, influencing the observed. And if you think about it, I mean, a rock, a wall, these apparently inanimate insentient things. If you look at them microscopically, there’s this amazing dance of intelligence going on, you know, just that, that we don’t even fully understand, but this marvel of, of forces or laws of nature, doing their thing, maintaining the structure of the thing, and tremendous dynamism in something that appears inert and non-dynamic.
Anna Breytenbach: There really, really is, and this is also at the root of the whole debate around intelligence and, and my view that there is no difference nor hierarchy is that any expression of anything that appears to be form is, of course, not really solid. It’s, you know, just how densely packed together are the, the energy particles for want of a better term. But any expression of anything, anything, any, and or elephants, any cougar or moth, any human or cats is just a temporary holding pattern of molecules. And so we are all intrinsically made of the same stuff, we really are, which is not stuff. So of course, there’s going to be a common language and the commonality and, and a beautiful coherence as possible. We’re just differently arranged holding patterns. That’s all.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Brother sun, sister moon. So let’s shift gears a bit. How did you, you have training and what was it here? Marketing,…
Anna Breytenbach: Tracking…
Rick Archer: …initially psychology, economics, marketing, kind of mundane stuff. And then you shifted gears and you got into tracking and then this ability dawned. Tell us a little bit about how you made that transition.
Anna Breytenbach: Slowly and painfully. I had a very ordinary mundane, mundane and suburban upbringing. So just to be clear, as well, you know, I didn’t run around the plains of Africa riding lions or you know, we never went camping, went on safari or anything at all. Very ordinary suburban upbringing into university, business degree, straight into the corporate job to pay off the student loan. But all the way along I’ve been fascinated by animals and wished my family could have afforded to send me to Vet School, but they couldn’t. And it’s just as well because that very scientific and narrow approach might not have allowed for these more wide sort of things to come about. So, at school, even I would, during high school, I would make any project I could about the big cat species. And I volunteered at a vet and did things like this. But really only when I was living and working in Silicon Valley at the end of the 90s did, I finally realize something had to give. I was burning the candle at both ends and the middle of 14-hour work days and then volunteering on weekends with cheetah conservation, with a wolf sanctuary when I lived outside Seattle. And I’m very pleased that I chose to do my tracking training in the US because I grew up in South Africa. Looking now outside of Seattle, looking at the dried mud or perfect wet sand and the most beautiful footprints, I didn’t have a clue what animals might have left those, those footprints because I didn’t know my North American species. And that was such a blessing because my normally very active mind couldn’t figure it out, and couldn’t try to analyze the data. And most fortunately, I was under the guidance of the wilderness awareness school, who’s very passionate about helping people see through native eyes as they would put it. And they bring about the cultural mentoring and the nature awareness routines that has been common to original peoples all around the globe. South Pacific Islanders, San Bushmen here in Africa, Aboriginals, First Americans. And so when I couldn’t figure it out, they didn’t just tell me the answer, or give me a book to study. They would say things like, close your eyes and see what happens. Hold your hand over the track and see what happens, which I did. And I began to get sudden spontaneous mental images or flashes of the coyote’s face and then asked: What is this animal that has a face like a jackal, bigger than a fox? And so yeah, well done. That is coyote’s tracks. And I was like what’s a coyote? So I had that empirical proof again and again when I wasn’t looking for it. And I realized either I was completely losing my mind or hallucinating. But when it began to happen so often that I couldn’t discounted by lucky guesses anymore. I researched this field and discovered telepathic interspecies communication. And I used my vacation days from my corporate job to study with the SEC, International Animal Institute, and the most beautiful mentor, Dr. Jerry Ryan, who herself is a psychologist also. And she and her Institute combines the Buddhist teachings and compassion and respect for all life, with the new physics as it was at that time. And also with the fundamentals that Saint Francis of Assisi was all about. I really took this multidisciplinary approach to exploring what is this phenomenon. But still it took me three years between knowing I really wanted to, and in fact, just had to get out of corporate, and actually doing it, all the fear about changing fields completely, particularly when I was qualified for a certain track that I was on. And eventually, eventually, the call of the wild just got so strong that I had to, I just had to answer. And I was on a work based visa in the US. So with leaving my corporate job and my IT career, I left the US as well and came back to South Africa in 2002. I have the animals to thank for this really. It was those times, sitting with the captive cheetahs I was working with, it was those times spent on the sand bank on a Saturday morning on the side of a river mulling over tracks. It was those times sleeping under the stars and being present to the beautiful soundscape. It was those that deeply informed my subconscious and unconscious. And those moved me more than the very stimulating mental days at work. But what really moved me was this call back to nature and little did I know at the time, it could help me come back to my own nature, which is true for all of us, our own innate nature as human animals as deeply connected beings and as intuitive beings.
Rick Archer: Let’s have you tell a couple of stories. I’m going to strongly recommend that people watching this, watch some of your YouTube videos, and I will link to them as I said in the beginning. But there are two that jumped out at me and you can either talk about these or talk about other ones that you’d rather talk about. One was the story of the, Diablo, the Jaguar who was renamed Spirit. And the other was the story of Coco the parrot. If you like telling those just so people have a more vivid sense of what actually takes place during animal communication and what its utility is?
Anna Breytenbach: The keepers at an animal park had a black leopard who have come from a European zoo. And he recently moved to be in their custody and was snarling and angry. And one night, when they were checking on him, he actually propelled himself through two layers of electric fence that were switched on, just punched a hole in the fences, flattened the six foot four keeper and bit through his arm, which put the fellow in ICU for a while. Very clearly, the leopard could have killed him if you’d wanted to. But he went back through the open fence. And they were wondering what to do with this animal. They were caring and kind at that facility. And they would take tours around, no petting or no engagement with the animal at all. But even from a distance, he was obviously just very unhappy and wouldn’t come out of his night shelter at all, which is a small, concrete room the size of a typical small bathroom really. So he was obviously very unhappy, and they didn’t understand what, what was going on. So I went by and connected with this leopard. In the tours that they were doing at that facility, they’d been speaking about how aggressive he was, and the name he had come with, come with was Diablo, and of course, all of the associations with that meaning demolition, satanic and so on and wild. And when I connected with him, he said that he was really, really, really tired of being held in their paradigm. He was not charged with all the associations with his name, and those being projected onto him. And he was just living up to this expectation that was a chicken and egg situation and this vicious cycle. And he really wanted to be identified not with that, and not with the story of having had an abusive past in the zoo and being wild and aggressive and angry. He wanted to be acknowledged for his essence and for the, actually by the large spirit that he has, an extensive spirit without the story.
Rick Archer: Now when he had communicated all that to you, what was your subjective experience of receiving that information? I presume it wasn’t English words coming in your head. How did you actually know that he wanted or was trying to say all that?
Anna Breytenbach: Well, I simply imagined the words in my own mind in English as to what is bothering you. And how I received the information back was in this unconscious, intuitive, before my mind’s aware of its, you know, state, just as a feeling. And then yes, I did get some words in my mind. I got words that he wasn’t sending, because he’s not sending English words. But that internal translation I spoke about earlier is what happens. So I got the words…
Rick Archer: So you’re getting feelings, intuitive flashes, perhaps visual images even, sometimes.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, in this case, I remember the moment where I got a feeling of his expansive self, his real essence. I felt myself as him because when we’re in communication and connection with another, we are borrowing their experience and what they’re speaking about. And so I felt myself expand and just be this calm, expensive spirit spreading out across the land and the area there. And at the same time, the words in my mind is translating his, his upset being identified with the other, with the angry. So the words that came to my mind were I’m not angry and I’m not aggressive. And they weren’t in some booming voice in my ear. They were just simply soundless words in my awareness as my brain’s way to interpret the incoming intuitive information. So at the same moment, I felt what he is and the commentary on what he isn’t. And then he also said he was very worried about two leopard cubs, two ordinarily colored leopard cubs who he had been with before, and they were youngsters and he was worried for their wellbeing because, and the reason he was, asked me: Do I know what’s happened to them? Now, you might ask, why would he ask me when all other species are, you know, connected all the time to everywhere. So what he had been perceiving remotely across distance was their distress, their immense distress, and he wanted to know what kind of human environmental zoo environment they were in because he could sense their distress. And I didn’t know. The keepers didn’t know anything about him having been with cubs before and it took a couple of weeks for the keepers to follow the trail, to follow the paper trail and find out that the cubs who had been in the enclosure alongside him had gone to a zoo as well.
Rick Archer: It just occurred to me there’s more to this story, but do panthers and other such animals use a form of telepathy to hunt? Like they telepathically know that there’s a deer a mile away and if I go in this direction, I will find it? Or do they just use sense of smell and all that?
Anna Breytenbach: They predominantly use their physical senses, but they will also be picking up telepathically, intuitively on the quantum signature, the signature frequency of a deer. Yeah, a deer moving through. And the prey animal will also be picking up telepathically on the fact that it’s being stalked and being hunted, sort of take a group of deer standing in a meadow, they might suddenly all lift their heads. And that’s because there is a large cat, let’s say a mountain lion in the grass that they can’t see nor smell, because you’ll see what the deer are doing is immediately testing all directions with their senses, sniffing at the breeze this way and that, moving their ears around, swiveling their heads to look in all directions. If they had had any sensory proof of their predator, they’d all be looking or smelling in the same direction, but they’re not. They’re looking around and scanning for five sensory information about the location of the threat and the intensity and the intention of their predator that they can pick up on. So a leopard or a mountain lion strolling through even unseen is not sending off that kind of energetic intention and the electromagnetics which can be photographed by Kirlian photography, by the way, would look very different than when it is there. Even more hidden on the sensory level. That was intent. It’s literally broadcasting that intention and that’s what the deer are picking up on telepathically.
Rick Archer: I wonder if predators try to hide their broadcast or dampen it just as they try to hide their physical body so as not to broadcast so loudly?
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah. They don’t because they’re just way too authentic and just being themselves in the moment…
Rick Archer: Can’t help it. Right.
Anna Breytenbach:…yeah, yeah, just being. Yeah, like we can’t really hide it. We can, we can think we’re hiding something. At best we can perhaps distract ourselves. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, so continue with the story of Spirit. How it was, it was a nice outcome. What happened next?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, well, the, the keepers thank goodness, although they thought this was an entirely last resort completely mad moved to call in an animal psychic person. Yeah. They were really desperate and, and they were sort of rolling their eyes, yeah sure he’s upset with his name or whatever, you know, until I said that thing about the two leopard cubs. Oh, wait a minute, because the wife of the keeper remembered vaguely, I think from one of the photo, she remembered that there were two cubs next door to him months, months before this. So we left with the film crew and that afternoon, the keeper where, quietly, where no one was watching and there was no members of the public around, he went outside Spirit’s enclosure and outside the night shelter and black cat in this dark night shelter, you could barely see him. And he just quietly conveyed to him energetically and mentally saying like, I’m very sorry that we’ve been continuing to tell your bad and sad story and call you aggressive just because you’ve been behaving from a place of upset, I’m so sorry. We go, we acknowledge you for the spirit that you are. We need to change your name. We’re going to call you Spirit so that people will project that onto you. And we want you to know we’re never going to ask anything of you here. Like at the zoo, where you came from. There were so many demands on you. You don’t even have to come out of this night shelter ever. We’re sorry that we’ve been asking you to. You can do exactly as you please. We will take care of you unconditionally. And because hehe wasn’t attached to him coming out of the night shelter, Spirit then did. Walked out of his night shelter right there, the first time out in sunlight in six or seven months, and has been a happy cat ever since. And there is more to the story that’s not, that’s not known in the public forum yet. But…
Rick Archer: What’s that?
Anna Breytenbach: Fast forward about five years and Spirit and these other 54 big cat companions have all moved premises to a fantastic, very beautifully lush area where they can all hide out from human, being seen by humans if they want to. And zoo elsewhere in South Africa was closing down and had five year old leopard sisters they needed to get rid of. So they came to the sanctuary and they were put in an enclosure where Spirit could see them. Leopards are solitary cats, don’t ever live together in the wild. And if you try and put two lips together, they will fight to their death until one of those of them is dead. That’s why they had a healthy distance between these two new leopards’ enclosure and Spirit’s enclosure. But they noticed that they showed interest in each other and seemed quite friendly across distance. You can see where this is going. Right?
Rick Archer: Right. Romance.
Anna Breytenbach: So he phoned me and asked me to communicate with all three because they felt, he felt that they should put them together but all the vets and all the conservationists were saying no ways, you’re going to dead leopards strewn about the place. And all those, all three leopards said Hello, we are friends from back then. We are the ones. And so very bravely, the keepers and the managers went against the advice of all the scientists and they did put them in the same enclosure where they’ve been living together happily ever after.
Rick Archer: Good. Have they had babies?
Anna Breytenbach: Oh no, no, not at all. No, it’s highly unethical for any animal sanctuaries to be breeding and creating more captive animals. No, there’s no breeding allowed at all.
Rick Archer: I see. So they must neuter or spay the animals.
Anna Breytenbach: Either oral contraceptives or injectable contraceptives for the females, or yeah, vasectomies, neutering. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I see. And I presume, this is a dumb question, but I presume that having been raised in captivity, there’s no way these animals could be released into the wild. It would just, they wouldn’t be able to manage it, right?
Anna Breytenbach: Generally speaking, what you say is, is correct. There have been some exceptions to this where animals raised in captivity, like one of the white lions I’ve worked with, has, this white lion in particular the age of 11. He was reintroduced into the wild for the first time after living on a stud farm being made to sire lots of other lion cubs. But, you see, it takes an incredible, like, years of work and effort to, to essentially teach the animal how to hunt successfully. All of these large predators will have the chasing instinct and they for sure know how to chase something, but they wouldn’t know what to do with it when they catch up with it. They don’t have to actually kill or hunt and in some cases with reintroductions, there have been involved with the, with the people, the animal carers to help telepathically give some instruction to the animal on how to hunt. And which species to avoid and which ones to chase and, and their concerns about it. So it is, it is possible. But goodness knows there’s so many wild animals in situ, who are wild and the conservation effort should be going there. And rather than them captive animals.
Rick Archer: Sure. Irene sent over another question. She’s sitting right here, but she, it’s easier for me she send me by email here. She’s had some experiences where the animal sounds such as a meow or a bark, will translate into English within herself. In other words, she knows in those rare moments that well, that they are wanting to communicate in English. I’m reading it. This has always happened when I am in between waking and sleep, in the gap. But the experience is clear. There must be many different ways communications can come through depending on the person?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, exactly. It does depend on the person. And interesting what she says too about it’s happening more easily when you’re between waking and sleep. That is absolutely when we are our most diffuse and when our awareness is the most dispersed and the most open before we’ve picked up the thinking mind and gone and closed ourselves down. So this can be lovely for anyone on this call to practice perhaps when you’re falling asleep later or waking up in the morning. Just have a, have an intention or have an invitation to yourself and to, to life, to just put your awareness out there and invite any incoming messages any being that may want to show you something.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Anna Breytenbach: So yeah, it could be that the animal’s making a sound or not, but impressions that come away, for example, in English, you know, in our minds, does depend on us, the, the receiving device if you like. So if there were three people sitting in front of the same dog, and all silently, telepathically, inquiring of the dog, what is your favorite toy? Person one might get the words green tennis ball, just suddenly, in their mind in English. Person two might get the mental image of a green tennis ball hanging in front of them in their mind’s eye. And the third person might get the dreadful smell of a really wet damp full of spit chewed up, you know, old tennis ball smell. And all three ways would be equally valid ways to receive the information. And that does depend on the person. Some people are more cognitive and more wordy and more analytical, they may get words, some people are more kinesthetic and tactile and may get physical sensations or feelings or smells. And some people are more visual. Artists will get mental images much, much more often. And typically, it happens in a range of ways. We as the human receiver should never worry about or try to determine which way we should be receiving information because we’re actually receiving it in its pure quantum form. And the internal translation is what is making it come about as one of those and the internal senses for ourselves. We don’t have any say over that. And if we try to direct that, we’re taking our attention there instead of more our awareness being open to actually receiving.
Rick Archer: In the notes you sent us, you suggested that one of the things we might discuss is what the nonhumans are feeling about the current status of human caused destruction. And a question came in related to this from Parthena in Sebastian, Florida. She asks, I feel that we humans are an invasive species, and are not the best stewards of the planet. It’s kind of understatement. The only thing I feel good about at this point is that nature will survive us and that the earth will recover from our being here. What could nature as a collective possibly think, in quotes, about there being free from our existence?
Anna Breytenbach: Hmm, that’s a very, very good question. I am quite sure they would be delighted to be, to be free of our existence, not as a concept and not as a future projection but, you know, the, all the nature kingdoms are very acutely aware that their experienced difficulties in their daily lives is because of human influence, whether that’s on the large scale, like the climate chaos we’re experiencing, or the plastics that are just infusing the oceans, even at the microplastic level, or whether it’s a very local influence level, like the way you’re spraying pesticides on the vegetables outside your back door. So all of nature’s very aware that the troubles they’re experiencing is because of human influence. And to my absolute astonishment, they haven’t just risen up in some kind of Orwellian, you know, animal farm mass movement against us. There are several species who could really harm us if they wanted to, certainly the larger ones here in Africa, the elephants could just go on a trampling rampage. But the level of forgiveness that is emanating from, from the natural world is quite astounding. You see, they know, they know behind what we’re doing, they know that we’ve really lost our way. And the consequences for them are dire. And but they also know the consequences for ourselves are dire, also. And they appear to have an incredible level of compassion for, for how lost we are. And then again, what I said earlier on, there’s also this quality of acceptance with things the way they are. And there’s different kinds of acceptance, right? There’s, there’s that sort of passive, you know, be a doormat kind of resigned kind of acceptance. And that’s not the kind of talking about. I’m talking about that much more expanded state of surrender as a spiritual quality of acceptance. They, they have that. They have a trust in the process. And for sure, individually, and even collectively, they would really wish and often asking me, you know, in my communications, asking me to try to help things be different, for things to be changed, for the humans to behave differently, for something to be changed about the human actions. And again, and again, my answer to them is just well, you know, humans don’t agree. I often relay messages from, from wildlife to the humans who are influencing those environments, and the humans are shut down or think they don’t have the material resources to make a change, and are not willing to look to their inner resources. And part of the problem is that humans collectively we really work up, you know. It was our, our thinking awareness, if we work up to the scale of what, what the effects are of what we’re doing, I think that wall of grief would be quite overwhelming. In our modern cultures, where we don’t have a way to process their grief. We’ve become so unrelated to other, and even to ourselves, we don’t know how to process that, that grief that we’re just just waiting under the lid of Pandora’s box. And if we acknowledge that’s a message from one particular environment, or from that one shark that was washed up and gaffed, or that, that one pesticide filled insect in the field, if we were to deeply acknowledge and feel and hear and know that that is real, it would call into question our entire paradigm of modern living. And we would be present to, to the effects and most people just can’t go there. It’s just better to keep the blinkers on. And the nonhumans allow us that latitude. They allow us to remain blind and unseeing.
Rick Archer: I don’t know if they have much choice. And, you know, obviously, our paradigm needs shifting. And I don’t know quite what it’s going to take to shift, to shift it. It seems like we don’t change until we’re utterly forced to, you know, I mean, obviously, just taking the whole climate change thing. You know, some people see it coming, and others get money from the oil companies to vote in favor of doing nothing about it. So there’s a sort of a blindness or a stubbornness you know, as we, as the Titanic heads towards the iceberg.
Anna Breytenbach: There is. And the, the, the unraveling is unraveling and the, the falling apart of systems whether those be conceptual, economic or infrastructural is, is what’s happening. And that’s already been happening for the nonhumans. We have unraveled their migration routes. The forests in the Pacific Northwest have dried up of the last Mountain Caribou. We are causing so many extinctions, life as we know it has both in quantity and in location and in quality has been unraveling for a long time. So it’s inevitable, inevitable that we too are going to fall prey to that phenomenon. We’re not above it. And in the unraveling, and your energy is recycled. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. So there’s such opportunity for, for new paradigms to come about. But it’s not going to be through technology, or through our thinking minds, it’s going to be through different aspects of our being that are going to have to come forward and stand in front of our thinking minds and our rational approaches.
Rick Archer: Are you optimistic? Pessimistic? You know, do you feel like we’re doomed? Or do you feel like, some people feel, for instance, that there’s, there’s some sort of spiritual renaissance taking place in the world and all these people are getting interested in spirituality and having spiritual awakenings and so on, and that somehow is going to percolate up in terms of changes in social structures and economic policies and environmental, you know, concerns and all that kind of thing. I tend to think that way myself, but I don’t know for sure. It’s just it’s a comforting thought.
Anna Breytenbach: It is. It is a comforting thought. And change is incremental, you know, which implies it’s still operating within the same construct this change to, which is incremental, and it’s still dealing with adjusting the current known world and the, and working with criteria that are already known. So I’m neither optimistic nor pessimistic, because I don’t tend to take a future view on this, you know, things are just happening as they’re happening. I tend to think of myself as realistic, which I suppose anyone in this objective view would say about themselves. But I think, yeah, we were way beyond the tipping point for sure, we really are a near term extinction is upon us of our own, of our own species as well. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. And I do also deeply know that a co-created solution is more than possible. It’s, it’s, it’s there, it’s already available. But that would take us humans playing our part in the CO part of that just really and co-create with other species, with the river systems, with the wisdom of the mountains, and with any other unseen forces that may be a player that we don’t even know about currently. So I absolutely know that this is possible. And whether or not that happens is just sheer conjecture. I do know about the level of forgiveness and tolerance that the nonhumans display towards us. And I know about critical mass and there are some changes happening but I think it’s, I think it’s too late on the numbers and on the predictions and extrapolations level for there to be a change within the paradigms we currently know. But what absolutely is possible is a whole new paradigm if we can again awaken to the wisdom of our heart and our greater being, our essence. Who knows what amazingly creative solutions can be found. And I am very, yeah, I’m very, very delighted at that prospect whether it comes to pass or that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m sure everyone understands the word paradigm, just kind of the framework of our, of our thinking, the scientific paradigm, for instance, is a, and sometimes you hear the term materialistic paradigm, the notion that, that the world is fundamentally material and that there is no sort of spirit and that when the body dies, that’s the end of you, that kind of things. It’s a way of thinking and in science over and over again, over the several centuries that science has existed, paradigms have been upended by new information or anomalies, as they’re called, that conflict with the existing paradigm and eventually shake it to the point where it has to crumble and the new one takes its place. Anyway, that’s summation of that word. Here’s an interesting question from a fellow in Mumbai, initials KP. So one of my teachers tells us that he has had an experience of dogs and even a bat, telling him that they would like a human body so that they could work for liberation. They also suggest that humans don’t seem to be doing enough with the body. I wonder if that means not doing enough for liberation in their human body. Does this sort of spiritual perception or desire in animals resonate with you? Have you noticed something like this?
Anna Breytenbach: I’m going to make an assumption about what KP says that by liberation, he means your spiritual liberation, enlightenment…
Rick Archer: Enlightenment, that kind of thing. Yeah.
Anna Breytenbach: Enlightenment. Yeah, yeah. It’s been my experience that nonhumans don’t need a human body to, to expand their, their, you know, their sense of self or sentience. So, no, I think, you know, I really don’t think humans are at the pinnacle of pre enlightenment incarnation, or a place to aspire to. I’ve honestly received, you know, as much wisdom and, and transformational information and perception from a horsefly, as I have from a sheep, as I have from elephant. So that has not been my experience that, that they would want a human body. What has been my experience is that, let’s call it a soul for want of a better definition, that a soul can incarnate many times in many different species’ bodies in many different species’ forms. But the way I’ve experienced it is more like the Native Americans way of understanding these things, which is that a soul will show up in a particular species vessel physical vessel for the sake of practicing and integrating those qualities in that given lifetime. And that we’re perhaps all just on the journey of accumulating things into our toolkit and whatever is appropriate not only for self, or the even the idea of individual progression is kind of strange to me, because it can often be overlaid with a somewhat self-motivated agenda. But let’s say that there is a degree of appropriateness if we are all just threads playing our part, then perhaps whatever is appropriate in a given incarnation for self as a macrocosm and including our contribution to the collective, then it can go this way, and that way, sideways, and up or down whatever ideas we have across the species’ boundaries. I’ve communicated with a cat, who in a previous incarnation was the human mother of her present garden. And it wasn’t a demotion or downgrade.
Rick Archer: Yeah, sometimes I’ve used the metaphor, I don’t know if you’ll agree with this or not. And I don’t think I originated this, that animals are, in a sense, like children in the sense that they’re innocent, spontaneous, they don’t have a whole lot of sort of freedom to operate outside of their, their, their instincts and their nature, just as maybe children are innocent and spontaneous and pretty much have to live within the confines of, the constraints of their, of what their parents dictate. But then, humans in general are more like teenagers, you know, who’ve spent gained some independence and freewill, and they begin playing with it and exercising it and very often get themselves into all kinds of trouble, and many don’t survive that phase. Whereas enlightened people, if we want to use that term, are more like sort of adults who have made it through the teenage phase and gained some, you know, some wisdom and they still have their freewill and their independence. But they’ve somehow come back, well, while retaining those qualities, they’ve come back to the innocence and spontaneity of children.
Anna Breytenbach: I love that metaphor. Yes, yes, absolutely. And there is, there is that spontaneity with the openness of children and, and again, the other end of a typical human lifetime scale, when, when the elder is sitting there quietly, just sagely not having to be important, or even give pearls of wisdom anymore, just sitting there and being with all around and all those other stages of humans as they are. Yeah, beautiful.
Rick Archer: Okay. Well, the reason I didn’t, I didn’t know if you’d agree with that metaphor is that it sort of implies a progression that the, the humans are somehow progressing beyond the stage at which the animals are and then eventually arriving in an even further stage, which kind of recapitulates the innocence of animals or children using the metaphor, but incorporates new knowledge.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah, yeah, I think I think for me, the metaphor is about us, about us coming in basically clean. And then we get distracted, we go off track, most of us get educated out of knowingness. And we get educated out of our direct perception of things. And we get taught to evaluate and think of all these things. And hopefully, if we live alive long enough in these bodies, when we can begin to lose the mind again, all the better. As my checking mentor, John Yang, says, lose your mind and come to your senses.
Rick Archer: Is that the fellow that, there was a video of you out with the, this fellow tracking an eland I believe it was?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes.
Rick Archer: That’s an amazing one. I’m gonna link to that one too on your BatGap page. It was really cool.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah.
Rick Archer: In fact, he was, you can talk about this a little bit, he was saying, you’re both talking about how he actually sees a sort of a line on the ground, a line of light, and then just begins to follow that line, and his body can only go in that direction. And maybe he doesn’t see the line the entire time. But when he needs to see it again, it shows up again, and then he keeps following it.
Anna Breytenbach: That’s right. He sees that as the silver lines which is common to some of the oldest trackers but they were, they, they’re tracking in such an intuitive way. They’re not any more looking at footprints and analyzing things and trying to scan with their eyes to see where the next footprint in the trail is. And that comes from John Yang, who’s founder of the wilderness awareness school by the way, and other deep nature connection movements, that comes from him just really feeling opening to, opening to that one, connecting with the track and opening his heart again, opening his being to a feeling for, for that one. And he then is in tune with the, the almost like the energetic trail that the animal would have left when it passed there. And again, him seeing silver lines is somewhere that his brain is interpreting the energy to give to him with a conscious awareness of it. So he’s got something to go on quite literally. And his body, his own animal body is responding in that matrix of connectedness, his own animal body is responding and wants to go that way. It’s like a leaning on impulse that can’t be ignored. You know, we modern humans have this sometimes in everyday life, too. Probably not everyday though. Because usually it only happens when our life is really in danger. And that instinct kicks in. So when we’re sitting at the traffic lights, and they’re red, and then they turn green, and we’re ready to pull away, but something makes us not go. And the cars behind us are on their horns and hooting, we still can’t go, we don’t know why we’re just sitting there completely statuesque, and then suddenly a car comes across the light across the intersection from the other direction, running a red light. And had we pulled forward into the intersection, in that moment we would have been flattened. So there are these things where we just suddenly know something, we suddenly feel to not go in a certain direction, or to go in a certain direction. The parent who suddenly in an afternoon wonders where their child is, will find themselves walking down to the riverbank and around the tree, suddenly sensing where there’s a need or where one of their connected with is. So we have these feelings embodied as our intuition helping guide us. And we can use this every day. It’s a great fun way to actually play with developing our intuitive thoughts. You can play with this walking into the, into the coffee shop, or walking into the office, or get into your car in the mornings. Just notice little things about where your body wants to go, what your body wants to pay attention to. Close your eyes, when you walk into that restaurant or that daily coffee shop, close your eyes as you enter and let yourself notice which way your body wants to go. Having asked for where there’s an empty seat and open your eyes, you might find that you’re heading for the only empty table in the place. It’s meant to be fun. This is childlike, this is us as our innocent unprogrammed best. So play with it.
Rick Archer: Sometimes I like to cross reference interviews and I’ve interviewed a fellow last October named Ishtar, whose name is also Thomas Howell. And he had that very experience that you just said about the traffic light. He, he was maybe 10 or 11 years old or something. And he just had this really, he had all kinds of intuitive experiences all his life, but he had this really strong feeling that his mother shouldn’t go anyplace. And he begged her, don’t go anyplace tomorrow, you absolutely have to stay home and she kind of ignored… And then he broke his arm or something playing football and she had to take him to the doctor. And they were on the way and they went through a green light as they were entitled to do and some car like whizzed through and his mother died. He, he lived but it was like this demanding intuition that he somehow got overridden by circumstances. Here’s a question that came in from Robert McHugh, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has, I have a great Pyrenees dog that belonged to my wife who has now passed. I have used the pendulum to find Jasmin the dog when she got scared and took off one day. I have used emotion code to remove emotional blocks. I am a healer and not as powerful as some but I have seen Qigong used on big animals. Do you use it? I also talked to Jasmine but not telepathically she watches my lips and blinks makes gestures where the mouth or shouts at me if she’s impatient. How can I develop the telepathy part? Thanks for all you do.
Anna Breytenbach: Well, Robert, I’m sure you are communicating telepathically, but only because you don’t believe you are and Jasmine knows that you don’t have that self belief, she’s resorting to, to the blinking and the physical cues. And this often happens with our domesticated animals, where, you know, we are in a constant telepathic exchange with them. But they don’t really make small talk just for the sake of it. But when something meaningful to them is being spoken about, at least something relevant, they, they’re projecting to us telepathically what’s going on for them and only if we don’t get it or they, they know that we don’t think we’re getting them, they then resort to body language or vocalizing or kind of getting very obvious with us. So I’m sure that telepathy is happening in the background. And about the other part of the question around using a pendulum or some coding system or Kinesiology. I personally don’t use it because I’m fortunate enough to be able to just, just sit in the center of myself and be quite clear what I’m getting through. But if I have a very important question, like a real yes, no, literally life or death thing like, is the right time to assist one of my own animals to leave her body, to euthanize her, it’s pretty important that I get that one right in the sense that I hear her choice correctly. And given that it’s one of my own animal companions, I’m not going to be as clear or centered because I’m emotionally involved, then I might, if I’m feeling a doubt about it, yes or no, I might then use a pendulum myself, simply to allow my body to become another, another way to confirm the message. Without the pendulum or without the coding system, it would just be my, my conscious brain, knowing my intuition. So there is a place for that. As long as those things are not becoming an intermediary in themselves, you know, so this isn’t a form of psychometry, where we need a piece of the hair of the dog, we need to use anything, because we’re not channeling from yet another party in the, in the construct as is really directly from the animal. But as a way to help us become clearer, yes, absolutely. Whatever works. Also, when we are asking for information or asking an animal to show us what they want us to know, we might get very frustrated and feel like nothing is coming. And all we are aware of is the random other stuff in our brains, like the grocery list or previous conversations on the phone, or work stuff. We may get exasperated. It might be that several hours later, while you’re washing the dishes or doing something fairly mindless, that a sense comes to, comes to your awareness about that previous question to the animal. And you shouldn’t discard it if it comes through later. It doesn’t mean that they at that future moment are communicating with you then. It means that it’s just taken that long for your own inner awareness to, to clock what you received earlier during the intuitive communication.
Rick Archer: Okay. Good answer. Here’s one that came in. This is a follow up question from someone named Jan in the UK. She said thank you so much for all you’re doing. I’ve been so moved by your work and today by your words. You know, Spirit the leopard, were his new companions that he got to be with, those two females I believe, his, were they former companions of his? I guess she’s alluding to the ones that were with him in that other Zoo. The young cubs, she didn’t quite understand that point, wanted it clear.
Anna Breytenbach: Yes. They were former companions, about five or six years before when they were cubs. And he was already adult. They had been in the adjoining enclosure.
Rick Archer: But, but the ones who came to live with him finally. More recently. Are those the very same two that he had?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes. The very same two, the very same two.
Rick Archer: Oh, awesome. I’m glad she asked. Because I didn’t get that either.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah, the very same two. It took again a few months for the paper trail to be followed. Because at first the keeper said no, these can’t be the same two, we have to make up the check to, you know, ABC. And then when the zoo got closed down and the paperwork was wrapped up, and the trust was closed and all of that, when they came to actually make the payments, by then things had changed, and as they make the payments to the actual owners of the leopards and they were told it’s XYZ, which was the name of the, the original place. So yeah, it’s, and that’s again, we know there’s always in this, there’s always some other greater mystery at play, you know. Something had, something had conspired to make them be, be reunited. This doesn’t mean that we can go around selfishly wishing for things to happen or to see our deceased animals come back to us again reincarnated to come live with us again, because we’d like that. Yeah, that’s that doesn’t really carry a lot of weight and the universal wishes.
Rick Archer: It’d be nice to think that Spirit’s concern about those two cats and his intention, you know, concern for them somehow orchestrated the reunion.
Anna Breytenbach: Certainly, there’s, there’s threads, their bonds of being would have been strengthened by his concern for them and then the tuning in that would have helped strengthen network of connection, which might have just been pulled upon to bring them back.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Another follow up question. Dan Tuttle from Winston Salem, North Carolina, is wondering, would you be able to tell the story of the wisdom you received from the horsefly that you mentioned?
Anna Breytenbach: I can’t remember. Sorry.
Rick Archer: Alright. I had a feeling that would be asking a bit much to remember that.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah, yeah. So many animals, so many conversations. Yeah, can’t remember the details.
Rick Archer: One thing I was wondering is, I’m sure you don’t feel this with all humans, but are there certain humans with whom you, who are on your wavelength with whom you, you have the, with whom the intuitive gifts that you have with animals also applies such that you tune into them and just kind of know things that they are thinking or feeling without having to speak?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, there are, there are a few handful of trusted friends around the world. And it’s certainly not easy for me with humans at all. Generally, when I speak to colleagues as well it’s, it really is more difficult to connect intuitively with, with the essence of a human because we all humans. We all have our, our masks that we wear, our roles that we play, there’s mlots of stuff and that mental noise to get through before you get to the real being right on the inside. I think if you are going to be intentionally doing this with any other human, then it’s important to get their waking conscious consent to this. And it certainly does call for a trust in the relationship. And so yes, I’ve, I’ve played telepathic games with a friend in California, we are like this in years gone by. And, and again, it happens spontaneously between two people who are already emotionally connected. When you have a feeling, you might be having just a fine and peachy day. And suddenly, a mental picture of your brother comes to mind, you just suddenly feel down and then you know that that’s his feeling in that moment. You’re feeling it on his behalf. So there are these things that happened spontaneously and yes, there are a few humans with which we have overtly given our permission to, to have no boundaries.
Rick Archer: How about babies and little children? Do you sense an open… you must have an easy, an easy connection with them?
Anna Breytenbach: Absolutely. It’s easy and seamless and I can’t walk through a shopping mall or through a parking lot without babies kind of craning their necks to stare or look to check it out. I don’t know, the parents must think I’m some kind of stalker or something because the way that kids stare at me. It’s kind of yeah. And that’s because it is about that being on the same wavelength, you know, the more just open we are, the more others who are open recognize that and it’s just, it’s just hanging out on the same wavelength quite literally. you know. The origin of that expression, meaning good communication, is because on the quantum level, we’re literally resonating at congruent frequencies, we’re literally on the same wavelength. And then we can understand and know so much more of each other because we’re fully occupying and sharing the same states of being. We’re not, you know, we’re not in, at different frequencies. It’s very easy.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I remember interviewing somebody years ago, who was like in an airport or something and like 50, 60 feet away, he saw somebody in baggage claim that just stood out, couldn’t hear much or anything or even see much about the person but the guy just stood out. He said, This guy is some kind of master. So he walked, and he wasn’t dressed unusually or anything. But he walked over and introduced himself. It turned out this guy had, was this spiritual teacher, you know, with some, right? Okay, so is there anything that we haven’t covered that you would like to say that I haven’t thought to ask Or the listeners haven’t thought to ask?
Anna Breytenbach: I would just like to encourage everyone to really practice with this and to play with it. It mustn’t become a heady kind of a concentration that you have smoke coming out of your ears. It really is fun. We’ve just been speaking about babies and animals just sort of authentic and in the moment and being themselves. And so it really helps if you are wanting to practice with this form of intuitive communication. It really helps to set up some things that looks, look like games, you know, practicing with other humans, sending and receiving objects. Just tuning in with your own animals who may live with you. Although that can be more difficult because we are so close to them already. It can be tough for new information to stand up on our internal radar screen as being new. And because we’re usually very invested in their responses as well. So it can be a good idea to ask friends or neighbors who have domesticated animals living with them if you could practice with their animals even buy a photograph or something and ask questions of the animals telepathically that a human can corroborate the answers for. That’s the way to build confidence. And there’s also another website of a beautiful elder in this field. She’s regarded as the grandmother of interspecies communication. Her name is Penelope Smith. And she has fantastic downloadable resources and amazing articles and CDs and instructional material on her website, which is animaltalk.net. At animaltalk.net you can get all the resources for your self paced journeys. And she’s a very wise woman. She was the mentor of my mentor. And she really speaks deeply about the sentience and soul nature of animals. So use your intuition to when you’re exploring this field. There’s a whole continuum of, of people in the psychic arts and a whole, whole range of people on the continuum of animal communicators.And some might still have a very dominant worldview, that we’re just here to tell animals what to do, or to train them better for obedience. Use your intuitions to navigate this realm and finding what resonates with you as well.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I remember seeing a show about Temple Grandin. You probably know her story. It was…
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah.
Rick Archer: I guess she was autistic or something or is, but she had this sense of animals. And she was able to make the sort of animal industry more humane by changing the way pens and things were designed. But ultimately, it didn’t, still sounded like a little bit of an unpleasant scene that she was just trying to put a little polish on.
Anna Breytenbach: And sometimes that’s all that we can do practically. You know, all that we can do is make a small amendment in a situation where people have this weird idea of ownership of animals or things are not going to change. And even if we are connecting with animals having a really hard time or being abused, or worse, just as connecting with them, even from afar, and sitting with, sitting witness to that, that does improve their emotional experience of their life, even if their circumstances really awful. They feel seen, they feel your compassion, they feel your empathy. And that is very helpful and, and does, yeah, is very much appreciated by them. So it’s not always about having to change things practically.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I live in Iowa. And we have about 3 million people in the state and about 22 million pigs who are mostly all in these animal confinement things and 1200 in a single building. And I shudder to think what, what the morphic field around here is, with all those animals in there. But there’s, there’s a whole group in my town that is always actively trying to do something about that situation.
Anna Breytenbach: Great. And even for those who aren’t in Iowa, we could all just open our hearts and, and hold, hold those pigs in, in their highest selves, you know, thank them for the beings that they are, for, thank them for their essential nature. And when that aspect of themselves is consciously tuned in with, they can much more easily cope with their personality and physiological experiences of the conditions they live in.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you know, we mentioned it earlier and might as well wrap, might as well tie up this little bit so people don’t have lingering questions. You know, you had been a vegan for many, many years. And then you eventually got to the point where you felt perhaps for health reasons or whatever, that you needed to eat some meat. So how did you make that transition? And you know, for someone who says, Oh, my God, she’s eats meat? How could you do that? How would you, how would you reconcile that with everything else you’ve said today?
Anna Breytenbach: Well, what I say to vegetarians is why do you practice cruelty to vegetables? Yeah, but the transition was slow. And I mean to answer seriously. And I’m very careful and pedantic about, from where my food comes, all my food, vegetable matter and plant matter. So with vegetable matter, I only eat organic from local farmers where I know, they’ve, the vegetables, vegetables have been well treated. They have been grown with kindness, they’ve been regarded with respect, and they’ve been gently harvested. And the same for the little bit of meat that I eat, and make sure that I have been to the places from where they come. And the very cases of free range otherwise, it’s literally wild court. And even then it is about the hunting practices. This is more of a sacred hunt. Or is it just that they’re just very, very unkind. So it’s up to each of us to make our choices within the context, whatever our version of integrity looks like. All we can do is to be the best we can be for wherever we’re at. And, and judge not ourselves or others. Also to listen to our own animal bodies, really listen to our own animal bodies, and what forms of sustenance do we need. So I look for vegetables and animals that have had a kind and loving life and an easy transition away from physical life so they may be recycled into energy role.
Rick Archer: And some would say that that’s not only an ethical and compassionate motivation on your part, but that the way a plant or an animal has been treated throughout its life, the way it’s harvested or killed, even the way it’s cooked and even the consciousness of the cook who cooks it all sort of go into the sort of vibration or subtle influence that it’s going to have when, when it’s in, when it’s eaten or imbibed.
Anna Breytenbach: Exactly. There is that, too. Yeah.
Rick Archer: …which then form our, influence our makeup and our whole our mentality, our consciousness. Yeah.
Anna Breytenbach: I think that just basically summarizes that it’s really much less about the what, the what we’re eating or what we’re doing. It’s about the how, how are we being? When we’re busy with whatever what in our lives? How, how are we being?
Rick Archer: Yeah. All right. Well, it’s been wonderful talking to you. I really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s, I find it very inspiring as I think many people watching and many people who will watch do. And as I said, I’ll, I’ll link to a bunch of things that people can watch if they want. If they just search for your name on YouTube, they’ll find all kinds of things, but I’ll link to some of the ones that I personally found most interesting and inspiring. And, and to your website and do, do you have any kind of, like, let’s say people listening to this, and they think, alright, I want Anna to talk to my dog, or I want Anna to do something about my farm animals or whatever. How do you interact with the public in ways that people listening to this show might relate to or might need as a service from you?
Anna Breytenbach: I don’t do domestic animal consultations at all. And in the last few years, no farm animals other than rat locally. I focus exclusively on wildlife and human wildlife conflict areas and research and conservation projects, which in itself is all pro bono work for free because it’s for sanctuaries or organizations or conservation initiatives that are not well funded. So…
Rick Archer: How do you support yourself?
Anna Breytenbach: …yeah, very good question. I exhaust myself to the point of illness. It’s a struggle as a self-employed single person, it really is. So I ask for donations via my website for the wildlife work that I do. But the bread and the butter is from the workshops that I, that I run, and wanting to take some time this year to develop online teaching materials, I’m not able to travel internationally at the moment. And the workshops, which is just helping other people remember how to do this themselves is the only way that I earn. And it’s also my passion is to have people join in this incredible journey of reconnection. So I’m not available for consultations, I’ve got a long list of wild animals and interventions waiting for my attention when I when I can get to them.
Rick Archer: So if you run, you run in-person workshops, like in South Africa, people could come there for a workshop if they wanted to?
Anna Breytenbach: Yes, I do run in-person workshops in South Africa. And it’s not yet known whether I will ever be able to travel internationally again or not, I’ve just come through a year of immense physical challenges. And I’ve managed to survive physically, which is beautiful.
Rick Archer: I’m glad you did.
Anna Breytenbach: Thank you. And I’m still in the convalescent phase. I don’t know if I’ll be able to travel internationally. But I do run things from time to time within South Africa. There’s nothing currently scheduled. But there may be something towards the end of the year. And there will be webinars and other online events. So people want to subscribe to my newsletter, that would be the best way to be informed of future events when they roll around. And that is simply at my website, which is animalspirit.org. So at animalspirit.org, on the homepage, you can subscribe to the newsletter, to receive any articles that I may write every couple of months and to be notified well in advance of any workshops, including the online workshops that will be developed over the course of the rest of this year.
Rick Archer: Okay. And if someone is driving their car while they’re listening to this, you don’t need to pull over and write that down. I’ll put, I’ll put a link to that on Anna’s page on batgap.com. All right, well, thanks, Anna. And I am glad you pulled through whatever physical challenge you’ve been through. That might be why I wasn’t able to interview you last time I reached out, you might have been going through that. But hang in there and stay with us for a long time. Because, you know, what you’re doing is wonderful. We need you.
Anna Breytenbach: I will. It’s worth just staying alive for the sheer body joy of it really, doesn’t have to be for some big purpose at all. We’re all here for being exactly who we being at any moment. And all we ever really have is just this moment.
Rick Archer: Good. Well put. Alright, thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. Next week, I’ll be in re-interviewing a fella named Lincoln Gergar, who’s a very interesting, young man. You might want to watch his first interview on BatGap before I do the second one just so you kind of get up to speed on what he’s all about. So we’ll see you then. And thanks again, Anna.
Anna Breytenbach: Thank you, Rick. Thanks, everybody. Bye.
Rick Archer: All right, it takes me a minute to disconnect everything but you can hang up if you want to. Because I have to go through some steps and stuff.
Anna Breytenbach: Yeah. Okey Dokes. Thanks so much. Yeah. Thanks for dealing with all the tech issues too.
Rick Archer: Sure. And if there’s anything that, you know, comes up on you, like if you want me to add something to your page at some point, you know, some link or some book you’ve written or something like that, just get in touch and I’ll add that.
Anna Breytenbach: All right, thanks for that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Great. Thanks so much. Appreciate all that you’re doing in the world. Thank you. Thank you.
Rick Archer: It’s fun. Alright, talk to you later.
Anna Breytenbach: Take care.
Rick Archer: Bye bye.
Anna Breytenbach: Thanks to Irene as well. Okay. Thanks.
Rick Archer: Yeah.