While there are many benefits to owning a pet, our humanization of them may have gone too far. There is a spiritual consequence that you may not be aware of.
We had a succession of dogs in my family when I was growing up. The first was a lovable Spaniel, then a well-trained Alsatian and finally, a Border Collie. They were healthy, happy, well-loved family members, but none were ever allowed in the house. Each had a kennel in the garden where they lived, even in winter. The house was only for humans.
How times have changed. Recent surveys in the UK and US reveal that pets not only tend to be kept mostly indoors now, but around 50 percent of dog and cat owners sleep with their pet in their bedroom. Some pets even snuggle up under the covers and share their owner’s pillow.
The benefits of pet ownership
Human love for pets transcends geographic boundaries, with pet ownership increasing around the globe. The benefits are well-documented. Studies have shown that owning a dog or cat relieves loneliness, lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in adults, and provides wonderful companionship for children. In hospitals, therapy dogs are known to improve recovery rates and the well-being of patients.
Women are more prone to sleeping with pets than men, citing warmth and safety from potential intruders as their main reasons for sleeping with a dog. Single people are more likely to use a pet as a relationship substitute.
The reason we love pets so much, especially the furry, strokable kind, is because interacting with them connects us to the etheric part of ourselves, which makes us feel more alive. It also brings relief from the chaotic mental and emotional astrality of modern living and helps to restore what’s known as the etheric-astral balance of our life.
It’s no coincidence that the most widely touted cure for insomnia used to be counting cuddly, etherically-based sheep. With over 100 known sleep disorders, this simple remedy rarely works now in our fast-paced world, which perhaps may explain why people are opting to have real rather than imaginary animals in their sleep space these days.
Reasons not to sleep with a pet
Regardless of the benefits, there’s a long list of health reasons why it’s not a good idea to sleep with a pet. Cats and dogs can give us fleas. They can infect us with salmonella and staph. They can give us parasites such as hookworm and roundworm.
Most people don’t seem to care about this, though. They also put up with fighting for bed space, animal farts, bad breath, hairs on the sheets and night-time restlessness (cats and dogs have different sleep cycles to humans, especially cats because they are nocturnal by nature).
The spiritual cost of sleeping with a pet
What most people are not aware of is that sleeping with a pet has a spiritual cost too. That’s because sleep is not just a time of rest and repair. It is also when our upper complex (our astral body and Higher Self) is supposed to disengage from our lower complex (the physical body and etheric) to connect to higher levels of consciousness.
One of the main ways animals are different to humans is that they do not have access to these higher levels. So if you sleep with a pet in your bedroom, it can limit the level of access you have and affect the spiritual quality of your sleep. You may feel more bonded with your pet, but at a price. Over time, this can cause you to feel disconnected from having a sense of purpose in life.
Your pooch or your purpose?
If you are not engaged in any kind of personal development work, this won’t be an issue for you at all. Just do whatever you want. However, if your spiritual path is important to you, it could mean some major lifestyle changes that may not be easy for you or your pet.
Pet psychologists suggest that the best way to ease a pet off your bed is to first move them to their own bed on the bedroom floor, and then by degrees to a different room. Better still, if you’re reading this before acquiring a pet, make it a firm house rule right from the start that they never go in your bedroom at all.
If you’re interested to know more about this, the topic of the spiritual purpose of sleep is covered in some depth in Samuel Sagan’s book, Awakening The Third Eye. It’s also one of the topics that often comes up in my Creating Conscious Space online course (see the link below).
Copyright © Karen Kingston 2021
Creating Conscious Space online course
How often do you change your bed sheets?
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