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Native people believe that all animals are messengers from spirit. That spirit often uses an animal as a form of spiritual symbolism. If an animal comes into our life, it is often thought of as being a message from beyond, from spirit. You must use your own power of intuition to figure out what the message is trying to tell you ...
Our loved one is able to use their energy to go inside an insect or animal—such as a butterfly, ladybug, bird, or dragonfly—for a brief period of time. The animal will do something it usually wouldn't do, such as land on us, peck at our window, look at us, or scream at us. Unfortunately, this is a sign some people ignore. Our loved ones may try to communicate with us in every unimaginable manner. By using these symbols, they're sending us a message without trying to scare us. They're letting us know, "I'm with you. You're not alone!" ...
Andrew Lang, 1909.
The prejudice against ‘wraiths’ and ‘ghosts’ is very strong; but then our innocent phantasms are neither (as we understand their nature) ghosts nor wraiths. Kant broke the edges of his metaphysical tools against not these phantasms but the logically inconceivable entities which were at once material and non-material at once ‘spiritual’ and ‘space-filling.’ There is no such difficulty about hallucinations which whatever else may be said about them are familiar facts of experience.
Andrew Lang on Anthropology and Hallucinations
’March 25, 1860
’Two sawyers, Frank Philps and Jack Mulholland, were engaged cutting timber for the Rev.
R. Maunsell at the mouth of the Awaroa creek—a very lonely place, a vast swamp, no people
within miles of them. As usual, they had a Maori with them to assist in felling trees. He came
from Tihorewam, a village on the other side of the river, about six miles off.
As Frank and the native were cross-cutting a tree, the native stopped suddenly, and said, "What are you
come for?" looking in the direction of Frank. Frank replied, "What do you mean?" He said, "I
am not speaking to you; I am speaking to my brother." Frank said, "Where is he?" The native
replied, "Behind you. What do you want?" (to the other Maori), Frank looked round and saw
nobody. The native no longer saw anyone, but bid down the saw and said, "I shall go across
the river; my brother is dead."
’Frank laughed at him, and reminded him that be had left him quite well on Sunday (five days
before), and there had been no communication since. The Maori spoke no more, but got into
his canoe and pulled across.
When he arrived at the landing-place, he met people coming to
fetch him. His brother had just died. I knew him well.’
The emotional interpretations of such anomalous events grant them significance regardless of their causal account. And if we are to take seriously the scientific credo to keep an open mind and remain agnostic when the evidence is indecisive or the riddle unsolved, we should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.