Today I saw a wonderful border collie. It was quick, energetic, lively, curious and full of life. It ran away from it’s owners, stopped, looked back at them, ran away again, investigated some piece of ground, looked back, ran over the bridge and down to the water’s edge, bounded back up the bank and back across the bridge, made sure its owners were coming and ran off again. It seemed incapable of being bored.
How is that possible? It sees the same things every day. Either it never gets tired of seeing the same things or it has a very short memory. Probably the different smells of dogs that have gone past since yesterday tell a new episode in the story in the dog’s brain. When it runs off does it have something on its mind that it is running to or is it just running for the sheer pleasure of running?
I’m sure that all dogs inhabits a predominantly sensual world rather than an intellectual world. It doesn’t think much, it just feels.
Of course, dogs aren’t cool. They get excited about things and they can’t help showing it. They don’t even know they are showing it and wouldn’t want to stop even if they did. Only cautious people who are worried by what others think try to suppress the expression of their feelings. Dogs just do what they do. Their desires generate their actions. There is no filter between the emotion and the response, no ‘free won’t’ blocking the impetus to act. There is no thinking stage that inhibits their instinctive actions.
Dogs are interested in the world and not in their own image. In fact they almost certainly never think of themselves. They are probably deaf to their own barking, blind to the mess they make and oblivious to themselves as selves.
I want to be a dog. It would be good to be so unself-conscious. I don’t need to be conscious that I am happy, nor conscious that others see me as being happy. In short, I would rather not be conscious of myself at all.
But is it possible for a human to live like a dog? Probably not, but I’m sure it is possible to be more dog-like. You just need to be more interested in the world than in yourself and your image.