Major Shifts in Consciousness Observed throughout the Animal Kingdom

By Christina Sarich on Thursday January 10th, 2019

Image: Carl Safina

The Amazing Intelligence of Animals

Humans have long thought themselves to be the smartest animals on the planet but evidence continues to reveal that even with little shared DNA, animals are catching up, and perhaps even surpassing our own evolutionary intelligence.

Some philosophical perspectives suggest that this anthropomorphic egocentrism is misplaced, since all creatures, not just people, have ‘mind,’ which is capable of evolving toward higher levels of consciousness. We share a quarter of our DNA, after all, with a single grain of rice, but there is something even more intelligent in our design and many believe it permeates everything.

The Buddhists and Taoists regularly call for us to be mindful of all sentient beings, while the suppositions of panpsychism, the view that mind (psyche) is everywhere (pan), reaches back into ancient Greece and the teachings of Miletus and Plato.

The Universal Psyche

Terrence McKenna supposes that the Universal psyche has been given an extra push overtime. He theorizes that animals moved to grasslands as the North African jungles receded after the ice age. These animals grazed on whatever they could find, including psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing in the dung of ungulate herds. McKenna suggests that the psychedelics in the animals’ diets helped to create synesthesia, and then language, followed by additional higher-intelligence skill sets.

McKenna argues that when mushrooms disappeared from their diets another 12,000 years later due to climate change, animals simply regressed back to less intelligent primates.

The evolutionary intelligence of animalsAnimals are catching up, and perhaps even surpassing our own evolutionary intelligence.

Mainstream science says that it is only subtle refinements in our brain’s architecture that allows us to be ‘smarter’ than most other animals. While dogs can’t yet compose music, birds do it every day. Perhaps the expression is not as complex as a violin concerto, but even the most rarefied composer has looked to nature for musical inspiration, if not immaculate intelligence.

No matter what drives our evolution, though, there is clear evidence that it is changing–obviously in people–but perhaps more subtlety in animals from a number of species.

Footage of animals learning to use tools provides evidence of this evolutionary shift happening to all of us on Earth, not just the human race, but there are other indications of intelligence as well. We all seem to be awakening together.

If consciousness is truly primordial and all things are just ‘minds in a world of mind’ it would explain some of the fascinating behaviors of animals in recent times.

Animal Awakening

New Caledonian Crows

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have caught New Caledonian crows carrying two items at once using a stick–a feat normally only seen in the human race. First, one crow slipped a wooden stick into a metal nut and flew away, and just a few days later another crow conducted a similar behavior, carrying a large wooden ball with a stick.

Ravens were found to be just as clever as chimps, despite having mini brains.


Octopuses exhibit amazing abilities, including short and long-term memory. They’ve even been known to sneak aboard fishing vessels and pry open crabs caught be fishermen–no tools needed. They are also such great escape artists, they can squeeze through openings no bigger than their eyeballs.


Scientists also have documented monkeys, called Serra da Capivara capuchins, making stone ‘tools’ that bear a striking resemblance to early human implementations for digging, cutting meat, or opening nuts. The sharp rock ‘tools,’ which they make by banging one rock on top of another, are so similar to ancient tools made by early humans that archeologists are having to rethink giving credit to previous human civilizations.

Capuchins produce sharp-edged stone flakes.


Chimps in Bakoun, Guinea recently stunned scientists when they were found using long twigs like fishing poles, dragging the rods in water to scoop up algae that they could then eat. The footage is an affront to the notion that people are the only intelligent creatures with an ability to consciously evolve.

Chimpanzees fishing for algae with tools in Bakoun, Guinea.


Even bees are exhibiting more complex behaviors. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered that bumblebees can learn how to carry out complex instructions, and then pass that knowledge along to other bees in the hive.

Scientists set up an experiment with three artificial flowers containing sugar-water and attached pieces of string to each flower. They were then placed inside a clear, plexiglas panel with just the strings poking out. Researchers were curious to see if the bees could problem-solve and get the ‘nectar’ from the fake flowers.

Out of a control group of 110 bees, only two figured out how to pull the strings to get to the nectar. They did this with no training. A second group was then ‘trained’ by moving the flowers out of reach gradually. This group did much better. 23 out of 40 learned to pull the strings to get the reward.

Amazingly, when a new group of bees was introduced to the problem, 60 percent were able to pick up the new skill simply by observing the other ‘trained’ bees access the reward.

Bumblebees learning to pull strings for a reward.

All Sentient Beings are Evolving

Researchers learned that the transmission of knowledge (consciousness) does not require sophisticated cognitive abilities, which only humans currently have, and that many animals may have more intelligence than we have given them credit for.

So, where do we draw the line for consciousness evolution? Do we stop at vertebrates or primates? The nervous system of insects may not be as complex as ours, with the capability of transmuting energy through the chakras as ancient martial artists and yogis have done, but even with minds totally unlike ours, it appears that all sentient beings are indeed evolving toward a grander design and expanded intelligence.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.




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16 Responses to Major Shifts in Consciousness Observed throughout the Animal Kingdom

  1. As other readers have noted, the more likely explanation is that humans are now noticing clever things animals have been doing all along. There is no reason to conclude that new behaviors have recently evolved.
    Also, there is some conflation of ideas when we are told that monkeys make stone tools too. The monkeys seem to be smashing rocks simply to lick the dust. One rock is being used as a tool to smash another, but not to create a tool.

  2. Me again. My adult daughter reminded me of the coyote who would bring in her cub to play with her while the mother went hunting. My daughter age 1 1/2 had developed a relationship with the coyote mother and child when the mother discovered the dog food in the garage. The pup was still nursing so mother ate, nursed , snoozed in the sun and later took the cub to the bush until she wanted easy food. The cub never did like dog food. Smart boy.

  3. I live on an acreage where there has been no human threat for 17 years when we banned all aggression towards all creatures. The first five years the wildlife were nervous. As the years have gone by things have changed. A pair of ravens whose nest had been attacked came to the door and knocked to ask for help. The female was about to lay her eggs and could not help in the building of a new one. The male was distraught and was asking for help. I put out items for a nest next to the tree when he wanted to rebuild. He flew back and forth to the tree, building as the day went on. When he needed more lining, he put what was left of the hair outside the materials as if to indicate his need. When I took out more hair (I save my hair for placing outdoors in the spring before the nests are built or repaired.) and he quickly lined the nest. The eggs were laid as he went into foraging for food to feed his partner. I took out birdseed and gave him a ready source for her meals. Two weeks later I found two pebbles outside the door on my table where I often work on crafts. I love the memory. Since that time the rav snow have not bothered the birds in our yard. Not sure if they are evolving or just communicating. I have many such stories. Personally I think our yard is safe and thy communicate with us readily.

    • Wow such an amazing stories.

      I really do think similar things at times that animals do try to communicate with us. When in danger, curious or to make friends.

      I’ve had experienced feeding Dogs, Elephants and sting rays. All at first question why you are feeding them. Are you dangerous etc. Once you’ve built a trust factor Wow you’ve effectively made a friend for life and I can tell you animals too have emotions it’s so lovely to witness this; they do cry, smile and get angry too just like us 😉. +They even recognise you. Animals are super intelligent we just struggle at times to find a way to communicate together but I find if you bring food, warmth, shelter. They notice you are different from the rest and they trust you, communicating in a way with love back. That’s something pretty cool in itself.

  4. Although I am well impressed by the abilities of animals to learn and use tools, I am wondering whether animals are currently embarking on a learning curve, or are humans just learning to observe and ask better questions?

    • Exactly what l was thinking and with more animal studies/research and more documentaries on TV it would be surprising if we hadn`t noticed this !!

  5. You don’t have to be a scientist to notice that animals are taking part in the shift of consciousness. And as they aren’t obstructed by the ego mind they are entering the higher frequency of love much easier than most humans do.

  6. Excelentes observaciones. Después de haber leído textos budistas he llegado a la conclusión de que la conciencia, en diferentes niveles y complejidades, existe en todo ser viviente, incluso en protozoarios, en todo lo que se mueve. Me digo: si se mueve,elige moverse y no quedarse en ese lugar, y si lo hace hacia un lado u otro, está eligiendo también. Eso es conciencia.

  7. Great article. I wonder though, if we humans have finally reached a point in our evolution where we are now able to observe what animals have been capable of all along. Check out the book Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are by Frans De Waal.

    • If you can start your day without caffeine,

      If you can always be cheerful and ignore aches and pains,

      If you can resist the claims and not to bore people with your problems,

      if you can eat the same food every day and be thankful for it,

      if you can understand a loved one, when it is not enough for you. time,

      if you can skip past the ears of the allegations made ​​by a loved one, when everything goes wrong is not your fault,

      if you can safely take criticism,

      if you can relate to my poor friend as well as the rich,

      if you can do without lies and deceit,

      If you can deal with stress without medication,

      If you can relax without liquor,

      If you can sleep without pills,

      If you can honestly say that you have no prejudice against color, religion, sexual orientation or policy

      means that you have reached the level of your dog

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