I was able to spend some time back in February, an entire day to be exact, with Kevin and my two dogs at his farm in Vermont. We spent the first hour or so talking theory and such. One thing I mentioned to him, given my academic background in psychology and counseling, was the concept derived from Franz Anton Mesmer, called magnétisme animal, or animal magnetism. In graduate school I took a class on clinical hypnosis and we studied Mesmer’s concept. I hope to find some parallels between Kevin’s theory, specifically polarity in animal beings (including humans), and this concept of animal magnetism.
Along those lines, I practice the Japanese martial of Aikido: “the Way of unifying (with) life energy“ or as “the Way of harmonious spirit” (wikipedia). “Ai” essentially correlates with being in harmony, and “ki” referring to the universal energy/spirit or life force we possess. If you dive into the art and even into Zen meditation, you understand the term “hara,” which refers to the center of one’s being, or at the very least the area where ki is harnessed, which is located just below the navel or loin area. As it pertains to NDT, we suppose that the dog has two brains: the one in its head connected to the spinal cord and the brain in its loins which connects through the esophagus. Might there be something here? A direct relationship between ki and prey-drive? Hara and “gut-brain”? I could be totally off on this but I’m looking into it…
I’m interested in some philosophy (no thanks to all those classes from college). In particular, I wonder about the parallels between NDT with its insight into human-canine relationships and Descartes’ human epistemology and ways of knowing.
Also, I adhere to psychodynamic theory, specifically that of Alfred Adler. One of his primary concepts,”Gemeinschaftsgefuhl” or social interest, refers to the innate human capacity to experience a communal FEELING within social living. Its that existential sense of “being-in-the-world.” I’m seeing some connection with what NDT might offer in terms of social/animal consciousness and how everything, including humans, are “simply” an extension of everything else.