Thoughts on Whitehead

If I’m somewhat understanding Burl’s very deft translations and commentary on Whitehead, then apprehension is mental and prehension is energy. And therefore animals have no intention, rather they feel the energy that percolates up through their cells and then through their metabolic, mechanical and neurological systems and then go on to formulate a coherent response to their world. Furthermore, prehension fundamentally revolves around a state of resonance with energy, and therefore animals learn in reverse, backwards in time which is another argument against intention since that is forward directed. In other words, animals develop in embryo in complete resonance, they are born with the answer already inculcated in every cell, fibre, tissue and neuron of their being, and then through prehension (sense the essence within the form) they ultimately connect with those things in nature that serve to recapitulate resonance. Whereas the human intellect sees them working things out as if they are mentally apprehending what’s happening over time and relative to other points of view, when they are really “learning: backwards in time, regressing internally to a state of resonance but now, by unconsciously inducing the object of attraction to play its part as a counterbalance in that same wave function, and given all the experiences they’ve metabolized as stress, incorporating all that energy of resistance back to a smooth wave function of resonance has added more energy to the network. So animals are out there as stress magnets bumping into things, generating friction, and then turning this into a wave function which we otherwise recognize as social structures. This resistance is now part of consciousness, and more  importantly as information that expands the network. It seems to me that prehension is a manifestation of a network consciousness.

Want to Learn More about Natural Dog Training?

Join the exclusive and interactive group that will allow you to ask questions and take part in discussions with the founder of the Natural Dog Training method, Kevin Behan.

Join over 65 Natural Dog trainers and owners, discussing hundreds of dog training topics with photos and videos!

We will cover such topics as natural puppy rearing, and how to properly develop your dog's drive and use it to create an emotional bond and achieve obedience as a result.

Create Your Account Today!

Published July 15, 2010 by Kevin Behan

210 responses to “Thoughts on Whitehead”

  1. Hi, again.

    In looking over my recent posts I feel as if I may have come across as too negative and divisive, and perhaps even lacking in respect and gratitude for what Burl has contributed to the discussion.

    I apologize. I’m actually very grateful that Burl has acted as a voice of dissent. Even I don’t totally agree with everything Kevin says, and if there’s no way to come to a consensus on some points of division, engaging in a friendly conversation can’t hurt.

    Burl, I’m also curious about what kinds of dogs you have. I’m wondering if there may be some genetic or breed-specific things that they exhibit that would give your arguments more context, or perhaps even more weight. I’m also curious to know if you live in a house or an apartment. I got the impression that it’s a house (because you’re able to “let the dogs out”), but just wanted to know for sure. (City dogs are often subjected to more “psychic” energy than country or suburban dogs; so this might be an important factor.)

    Thanks again,


  2. Burl says:

    Sorry for any dis-ease I’ve brought to this contented enc;ave.

    I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

  3. kbehan says:

    Burl I love intellectual combat and agree with the points Heather made about arriving at points of distinction and disagreement. But if I’m not mistaken you were quick to slander the titles of my books without provocation and no one responded in kind. I am promulgating an overarching philosophy of a network consciousness because it’s part and parcel of the group-mind consciousness of the dog. How it intersects with Whitehead I don’t know. What I’m pressing you to do is bring Whitehead down to earth and let’s see how a rational thought process would play out in the mind of the dog. We should be able to divine it from triangulating all the things that dogs do, and compared to other animals, and to humans and know more than one might initially suspect. Feel free to keep pushing.

  4. Crystal says:

    LCK here is a link to how she makes her video in her own words. She has started a blog. Love her dogs happy dance vid,s.

    BTW, she can barely talk.

  5. Burl says:

    I like this little clip. “Consciousness is a biological phenomenon – as much a part of human and animal biology as digestion.”

  6. Hi, Burl,

    Welcome back.

    It’s an interesting little clip, in which Searle tries to encapsulate a very difficult and imposing subject.

    However, I would argue that if “all conscious states are caused by neuronal processes in the brain,” then, given the huge differences in the structures of the canine and human brain, the huge gap in the number of neurons each brain possesses, and since most functions of conscious awareness are found in the frontal cortex, which is undeveloped in dogs, then dogs don’t have any capacity to be consciously aware of themselves as selves, no ability to make choices based on some internal thought process, and they’re certainly not capable of being aware that they’re conscious (meta-cognition).

    So either Searle’s definition of what consciousness is in terms of his statement that both humans and animals are conscious is different than what we’ve been discussing here, or the math is off on the biology and evolution of the brain.

    The only out is if not all forms of consciousness are confined to the brain. This would be especially true in the dog/human dynamic, which functions as a shared form of consciousness, along the lines of embodied, embedded cognition. Without being consciously aware that they’re doing it, dogs are able to influence the way we think because they influence the way we feel.


  7. Burl says:

    Our friend, Dr. Grandin, describes the reality of thought w/o speech. Animals can think with images – compare images, index them in memory according to various reasoning algorithms and/or emotional valuations, form contrasts and make judgments using them.

    To negotiate our environment, animals form sense percepts of what we experience, juxtapose and compare them with memories of related past events, and act with intention. Much of this activity is preconscious (instinctive and/or learned routine), while some occasions require formations of intense comparative contrasts, and give rise to animal conscious awareness.

    As for embodied cognition, the proprioception requirements of a mammal running around waving its hands in the air – all the balancing and keeping track of where our appendages are relative to one another and the terrain – calls for a bigger brain than our 4 legged buds. A dog just cannot experience a ball in as many ways as humans can, or have occasion to give paws (sic) to wonder if a picked-up stick might be useful to spear its prey.

    Being upright made for a richer experience of the body, and our ‘withness of the body’ (ANWs expression for propriception) made group interactions more complex, leading to more forms of signaling (communicating via body, signals, vocalizations…semiotics), and this further expanded the brain capacity.

    In paying attention to one another, higher animals will form theories of mind (a sense that there are other subjects to be aware of). Mirror neurons are initially what lures a subject towards this ToM, and it explains a great deal about how animals communicate emotion, even basic activity (technology transfer).

    Animals have sense perceptions that must be received in the present, memories of past experience are often then called upon and evaluated (reasoned upon) in progressing towards the next moment. The memories may be thought images indexed by sense and/or emotional content.


  8. Hi, Burl,

    Thanks for bringing up some important points.

    Temple Grandin is helpful in understanding the differences in how humans and animals process data, but she can also wrong at times. For instance, she still believes that dogs form hierarchies, etc. (or did last time I checked).

    Mental images are not in the same category as thoughts, and they’re particularly not in the same category as thoughts about thoughts. By definition a mental image exists as picture. And while a picture may equal a thousand words, it’s not made of words or thoughts.

    As for whether animals can “index [their mental images] in memory according to various reasoning algorithms and/or emotional valuations, form contrasts and make judgments using them,” you’d have to explain how exactly such reasoning takes place, how dogs form contrasts and make judgments, and what adaptive purpose such abilities would provide them. I would suggest that one can’t make comparisons (form contrasts) and make judgments w/o the use of words.

    As to your statement: “the proprioception [???] requirements of a mammal running around waving its hands in the air – all the balancing and keeping track of where our appendages are relative to one another and the terrain – calls for a bigger brain than our 4 legged buds.”

    You’re right (sort of). And yet the size and design of the cerebellum (the movement center) in the human brain doesn’t show as much variation from the size and design of the cerebellum in the dog’s brain as that found in the cortex (said to be the “thought” center of the brain, or where higher reasoning abilities are processed). The differences in the dog and human cortex are so vast that any focus on the cognitive requirements of human movement as an argument for rational thinking in dogs is tangential at best.

    You still haven’t given any concrete examples of rational thinking in dogs.


  9. kbehan says:

    I look forward to watching the Grandin video but a quick comment on mirror neurons. To my way of thinking they are a stronger argument against a Theory of Mind capability than for it, because the experience of watching another is exactly as if one is performing it with their own body, the vicarious experience the same as direct experience, there is no need to think about it because one is already experiencing it directly. Thus, if dogs were not to think about such experiences as I maintain they do not, then there would be no distinction between a dog’s sense of its “self” and the experiences induced by watching others. Furthermore the mirror neurons are more aptly named than has been imagined, because when a dog projects its p-cog onto another, and that other individual moves for example to its left, the dog will feel imbalanced in that direction and experience an urge to move in counterbalance, to its left, as if it’s looking at itself in a mirror. This is likely underway in the dog it’s looking (if it is going by feel and not thought or reason) and so both dogs will begin to mirror each other, which is also the definition of acting preyful, and thus they recapitulate the principle of emotional conductivity and stress reserves are converted to pleasure opiates through the hunger circuitry and now they have a magnetic orientation towards each other so that the mirroring can continue to elaborate to higher and higher expressions, such as social structure and cooperative team work. This is the source of altruism because they give the other credit for how they feel good. It’s biofeedback, not reasoning, and it’s auto-tuning according to the principles by which emotion is conducted, again, not reasoning. So the mirror neurons do not create social behavior, they implement it according to the laws of gravity and motion (emotion) and then the reconciliation of the Big-Brain with the little-brain (Brain-to-gut connection)according to the laws of electromagnetism (feelings). The basic laws of physics are the template for psychology, that is the only model that can logically be 100% consistent with a theory of evolution.
    Fiona was kind enough to send me the paper on the latest canine experiment purporting to demonstrate a capacity for reasoning with the food in a container with a bell versus one with a muted bell, and it ends up being a statistically meaningful tendency, I think 6 out of 10 dogs chose to be “sneaky,” which in my eyes just doesn’t say anything. When I went to the Harvard Cognition lab several months ago, I noticed that once or twice the subject dog leaned toward a video image of a person pointing toward a container of food, then he righted himself and then he was released to check it out. That particular time he went with the video projection to the food loaded container that the projected image of a man had pointed to. I didn’t see him lean again and he consistently went to the other container that was always empty because in my view, he couldn’t project any more into a projected image because a projected image wasn’t vivid enough to trigger his emotional battery. Statistically this little lean didn’t register as a blip on the data, if it had even been noted, but to me it was tell tale sign of what was really going on, i.e. the projection of p-cog leading to magnetizing and the e-cog and then mirror effect I’m talking about above. So if I could watch each dog go through these tests, I would get a feeling for what’s going on with each particular dog, otherwise it’s hard for me to talk about it on a statistical basis. I understand why science must be conducted this way, but on one level it’s like trying to understand what’s going on inside a car from a satellite tracking traffic patterns high above a metropolis. You would be able to say something meaningful about Monday’s drivers relative to Sunday’s, but you wouldn’t be able to go very deep below the surface.


    This paper shows that mirror neurons function not for action understanding>/i> but for action selection.


  11. Burl says:

    “You still haven’t given any concrete examples of rational thinking in dogs. LCK”

    Not so…you just did not accept the ones I gave.

    I highly recommend you read Dr. Coren’s book with an open mind.

    The certainty of you guys’ positions on dog cognition is incompatible with the nature of the subject-matter. Unless you are a dog, you cannot know what it is like to be one, and unless you are a specific dog, you cannot know what it is like to be him/her.

  12. Burl: “Not so…you just did not accept the ones I gave.”

    I accepted them with open arms, Burl. I just see nothing unusual about those particular behavioral phenomena. They can be easily explained without any need for the dogs to engage in a higher thought process.

    Burl: “I highly recommend you read Dr. Coren’s book with an open mind.”

    You’re very funny, Burl! I like starting the day with a good laugh.


  13. Christine says:

    Te he, Te he‼:)

  14. Burl says:

    Starting your day at 2 PM! 🙂

    In addition to the examples that show dogs reason (not perform calculus, but reasoning all the same), I noted their waking us at night to go out, and from your keyboard, bringing the leash to go for a walk, I will submit another.

    But you gotta read Coren’s Afterword in _How Dogs Think_. He’s got a smart beagle.

  15. sean says:

    when you’re playing tennis, your participation (hitting the ball rather skillfully) isn’t said to be an act of reason or thinking. in fact, you’re not thinking at all during the action.

    you’re going by feel (the moment you start to think is when you fall out of the zone). people can perform such complex behaviors (pretty much any intense bout as a participant in a sporting event… not golf,chess,etc) without thought/reasoning.

    then it is theoretically plausible that one could live a life ‘in the zone’ w/out the aid of reason/thought and still do amazingly complex things. since, in the sporting example, the matter is really about the duration which the player is ‘out of thought’ while the action is in play.

    if you were to imagine such a life, what might it look like where everything is acted on ‘in the immediate moment’?

  16. Russell says:

    Like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of “flow”.

  17. Crystal says:

    Have you been reading “The Inner Game of Tennis” by Timothy Gallwey?

  18. Burl says:

    sean Thoughts on Whitehead
    when you’re playing tennis, your participation (hitting the ball rather skillfully) isn’t said to be an act of reason or thinking. in fact, you’re not thinking at all during the action. you’re going by feel (the moment you start to think is when you fall out of the zone). people can perform such complex behaviors (pretty much any intense bout as a participant in a sporting event… not golf,chess,etc) without thought/reasoning. then it is theoretically plausible that one could live a life ‘in the zone’ w/out the aid of reason/thought and still do amazingly complex things. since, in the sporting example, the matter is really about the duration which the player is ‘out of thought’ while the action is in play. if you were to imagine such a life, what might it look like where everything is acted on ‘in the immediate moment’? …read more or reply

    Is a sheep herding dog doing what a chess player does? This is not flow.

    What is this pathologic need of Kevin’s NDT to deny our companions a similar richness of experience that we enjoy as a sentient subject. This is what DesCartes did – and it was sick.

    Yes, there is the present moment, but it does not come absent the past or anticipated future. This is of necessity a fact for ALL reality. We conscious animals do get in preconscious flow, but we also have moments of conscious lucidity that add to the richness of experience. And remember, whatever you ir Fido experience in the “immediate moment” is already a past event 2/10 sec ago.

    Give your dog some credit and don’t be like DesCartes who arrogantly, blindly anthropocentrically attributed all the luscious moments of conscious lucidity for humans – just because a thought was such a damned sacrosanct occurrence.

  19. Crystal says:

    One of my dogs works sheep. Flow is what we are looking for. Flow keeps the sheep calm. Flow is the sign of a very good working dog.

    She is not thinking out there. She is reading the sheep and me (occasionally 😉 or my instructor and feeling everything out. She is taking the subtlest signals from the sheep and reacting accordingly. I must do the same.

    Bea is young, nine mos. and my instructor uses no words with her. Only pressure. Very gentle pressure as Bea is very responsive. Watching the two of them is like watching ballet.

    BTW, Not everyone rates intellectual intelligence as superior to other forms of intelligence.

  20. Burl says:

    *Not everyone rates intellectual intelligence as superior to other forms of intelligence. *

    I never used the intelligence word. Look at the irrationality it creates in your own words.

    Your shepherders may one day be so practiced w/ their abilities that it is flow, but until then, it is like chess.

  21. Crystal says:

    I see this is no longer a reasonable discussion.

    Bye, bye.

  22. kbehan says:

    Try to imagine a form of knowing in terms of a group mind. The problem you’re having with this notion is that you see intelligence as a function of a mental computer, that churns over data in terms of a logical analysis of options and then contrasting alternative scenarios according to some cost/benefit analysis. In this vein you are presenting us with a false dichotomy that 1) human reason is the basis for a richness of experience, or 2) one must be a mechanist like Descartes who, interestingly, is also saying that reason is the basis for the richness of experience, albeit one that dogs don’t participate in. According to an energy theory, you are projecting Descartes onto NDT because you agree with him that reason is the basis for the richness of experience, and yet you love your dogs. To square this circle your dogs must therefore have reason and NDT must therefore not love dogs. You think NDT is talking about mechanics when we discuss behavior as a function of energy but I would ask what is the reason for loving someone? If you love someone for a reason, then it isn’t love because love has no reason and likewise a dog doesn’t have to do something for a reason in order to be consciously lucid about the richness of its experience. In my view the mechanist is actually the romantic intellectual who when the rubber hits the road always fixates on the material and the nuts and bolts of the brain and genes in order to approach the question of consciousness. In the abstract the philosophy sounds appealing and I think quite right in many ways, but down here on planet earth it nevertheless boils down to a false choice between reason or machine. Meanwhile in a network consciousness view of animal behavior, projecting the past onto the present in order to manipulate the future is not a function of human reason. It is the creative impulse of the network made manifest in each being that as an aggregate composes the network by way of how each individual responds to the physical memory as the emotional charge it carries. If an individual can synchronize with another being according to the principle of emotional conductivity, around which the neurology, physiology and anatomy of every living being is based, then the emotional charge is converted into network information, what the individual experiences as pleasure, the greatest pleasure being the overcoming of the path of highest resistance. Thus the future conforms to the network’s parameters so that it is constantly expanding in defiance of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
    In the tennis example that Sean brings up, Federer and Nadal in their great match had periods wherein they formed one group mind that was fundamentally based on gravity and the laws of motion and the symmetry of their respective body mechanics. At times, each one as the mirror image to the other, achieved a peak state of consciousness wherein they were feeling exactly what their counterpart was feeling. We see them as rivals, which is true from the standpoint of reason, but from the network’s point of view they were manifesting a symmetry unavailable to singular action. The longer a volley went on, the stronger the emotional correspondence and the more vivid the group mind as evidenced by the thrill experienced by the spectators. Thus in the larger frame of reference they don’t end up in the world’s eyes as victor and vanquished but as equal and opposites, each having moments of lucidity wherein weightlessness was attained and they shared this as a common feeling, they were of one mind. We see each of them as successful participants in that group mind. What is confusing to the human intellect is the passage of time between volley and return in the instance of the ping/pong going on between two dogs meeting and greeting and then forming a relationship in whichever way or form it evolves to be, so the human intellect fill this void with thoughts because we don’t believe there can be action-over-time of an intelligent nature without a mental ether. This is where behaviorism is today, akin to the idea that gravity could not affect at a distance without transmission via a physical ether. Lee presents excellent examples of telepathic occurrences of energy as information over distance and faster than the speed of light, and I’m concentrating on the physical memory affects that synchronize individuals into a group mind and which represents action over time, time being just another form of distance since time and space are on the same continuum.
    So I agree with you that Descartes was arrogant, blind and anthropocentric in his view that the luscious moments of conscious lucidity must be a function of reason. And while on first blush it may sound noble and lofty to say dogs reason, on the other hand NDT loves the nature of dogs for absolutely no reason.

  23. Burl: “Your shepherders may one day be so practiced w/ their abilities that it is flow, but until then, it is like chess.”

    Exactly. That’s exactly correct, Burl. It’s exactly like chess. Because chess masters win their matches almost solely through pattern recognition, and not via the much slower logical thought process called reason.

    In fact, IBM has a new computer that should be able to easily beat the pants off any chess master in the world. Does that mean the computer is a “thinking, feeling being?”

    It’s sad that people have to make dogs into something they’re not in order to feel that they’re worthy of our love and admiration. They’re all the more worthy because they operate on love, not intellect.


    PS: Bravo, Kevin. Very well said.

  24. Crystal says:

    Wow Kevin, that was, well, beautiful.

  25. Christine says:

    “…NDT loves the nature of dogs for absolutely no reason.” I do so enjoy a clever wit‼♥

  26. Heather says:

    In the absolute, there is no need to conceptualize the past, it is aLl there, every unresolved emotion is in the immediate moment (the emotional battery). There is no ‘future’, everything arises every moment. The only possible ‘theory’ is immediate moment. Kevin explains it much better…I agree it is an assault on the psyche, and the resistance is proportional to the fear. No other animals seem to contemplate themselves, the reason we have is wondrous but must also be observed, not worshiped.

  27. Burl says:

    OK, folks, this has turned into a kumbya event.

    By being seen as merely a foil of NDT in the mode of No Dogs Think, anything I bring up will only serve to further entrench everyone in thinking dogs are unconscious non-thinking agents, so I really should not comment any further on the matter.

    I will suggest a fantastic book for your next spiritual study group session Read the three reviews which are pretty much how I would review this work of animal theology as well. There aren’t many serious theological works like this.

  28. Christine says:

    Me thinks this book could possibly have some serious value to it. In perusing the contents on Amazon, I found things I could agree with. For example: “The Bible is realistic not romantic in its portrayal of animals…as others who are really different and yet similar enough to merit kindness and to be included in God’s plan (purpose) for the world.” He also pointed out that, at the start of creation, the first human couple were vegetarians and that Adam was alone long enough (sans Eve) to recognize the limitations of animal companionship. Hear, Hear…I can whole-heartedly agree with these concepts!♥ The only point of contention is in Mr. Webb’s assertion that the enmity between the woman and the serpent as indicative of enmity between humans and animals. It is not. In actuality, it represents the disharmony between Jehovah God’s heavenly organization (the woman) and the serpent (Satan). All-in-all, I believe this publication could very well be a worthwhile read.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking with it‼ 🙂 LOL

  29. kbehan says:

    Don’t worry Burl. We are not the world. There are tens of thousands of websites dedicated to the proposition that dogs think, only three exploring the possibility of a richness of mind devoid of thought.
    God would be the ultimate expression of a network consciousness and would encompass all thought, all points of view, while no thought could approach such totality. Therefore, the more dogs are Godlike in their nature as an expression of a networked-intelligence, then the less sense it makes that dogs would think.

  30. Heather says:

    What is interesting to me is that there is so much passion (ie, anger) in opposition to what Kevin is saying. I’ve never once noted where he has gotten all “fire and brimstone,” you and your dogs are doomed, about anyone else’s point of view. I think that is an important fact to keep in mind – what he is saying speaks for itself. What is necessary is the desire to do your own ‘experiments’ with your own dog, nothing more, and then you don’t need to read so much…you don’t need to change your religion or find religion…but you do need to RE-JOIN with your dog to appreciate that he was never separate.

  31. sean says:

    a sheep herding dog, as far as i know, is not employing any thought, end game or strategy, as a chess player does. this is left up to the shepherd (the human kind). the human has crafted the strategy and maintains the boundaries.

    my point w/ the tennis example was to draw out that fleeting moment of experience where one is ‘in the zone’, ironically refereed to as ‘unconscious’ by many basketball players, which could arguably be the peak point of consciousness/richness of experience.

    to equate thought w/ richness of experience, i don’t think is accurate. pondering accomplishments, perhaps, but imo, seems to be a uniquely human characteristic.

  32. Heather says:

    I agree, being a dog would be like being in the zone in a sport like tennis, but having that sort of focus in the immediate moment all the time. They have no other option – we do, but we could take lessons from our dogs and become more aware. That’s why I think it’s sad to think them into being like us, we should instead work on seeing ourselves through them.

  33. Beautifully put, Heather. I couldn’t agree more.


  34. Burl says:

    Glad you’re here, Lee. I have tried to post this comment at your blog, but it isn’t showing up. It relates to this NDT article also.

    As you know but are unwilling to understand, Marc Bekoff has in his blog reported on a recent study suggesting that dogs have a theory of minds as other than their own. These other minds are ours, when they communicate to us with a signal of their need to go outside by waking us with a whine, or bring us their leash. You yourself are guilty of not having a ToM if you do not see this.

    “Initially, Fancy and her owners were in a group mind-set; they all had the same desire: to go home. To Fancy, when her owners got off on the wrong floor, and urged her to come with them anyway, they weren’t acting in accordance with that desire, which is why balked. She wasn’t being disobedient; in fact she was quite faithfully obeying the group’s shared consciousness (desire), despite the fact that her owners had strongly urged her to do otherwise.”

    Ask any normal person what happened, and you will get the obviously simpler and correct analysis; namely, the dog used its most compelling signal to communicate they were going the wrong way by simply refusing to act – deciding not to go. He did not want to go further – not because some psychical emotional force field was collapsing – but because he knew it was the wrong place to go.

    “Dogs are designed to be able to tune in to the way we feel.” This is no different for any higher order creaturely species one-to-another. Ask Darwin.

  35. The comments section at is under my control. I personally deleted your comment because unlike Kevin, I’m less democratic and/or tolerant about what kind of material gets posted there.

    Novel and/or intelligently crafted arguments against any of my positions are always welcome. In fact, they’re welcomed with open arms. But only if they’re offered with an appropriate sense of manners.


  36. Burl says:

    LCK: “arguments against any of my positions are always welcome…only if they’re offered with an appropriate sense of manners.”

    Did you actually read the comment? If there is anything in it that makes it an unacceptable/unuseful blog comment, I seriously suggest you consider filling in your comboxes all by yourself.

  37. Christine says:

    Having an appropriate sense of manners is just another take on being in a group mind, at least that’s my take on the subject!☺

  38. Burl says:

    I’ll see if it will post here (it will not post on the Kevin’s LCK article)

    Heather: I remain confused about how one can see NDT as reducing the dog to a machine, unless there is no real understanding of what NDT is saying.

    I have quipped that the NDT attributes of dogness render them as electronic devices like a cell phone. I see LCK thinks so too: in his blog, he says they are radios!

    As you all know, I have a different take on this LCK blog quite counter to Lee’s ideas, so he removed it from his combox (though its contents are in the Thoughts on Whitehead article here

    Kevin liked LCK’s article a lot. KB: Again, we’re not saying that dog’s aren’t intelligent, we’re exploring the possibility of a group consciousness and if we want to extrapolate to a broader metaphysics, if consciousness is energy, in other words if one believes they have a consciousness that supersedes the form and material matter of their physical makeup, then the principles of consciousness are very likely the same principles as energy and therefore physics would be our entry point. Physics would be the mind of God playing out through the process of evolution. And if we want to know what God is “thinking” we might try divining the principles of physics in one of the most spectacular feats of creation that has evolved, the dog by our side.

    Christine: Humans are a ‘kind’ all to themselves (and yes I do believe that Adam & Eve were real, historical people). Evolution as a process of change I readily embrace as “…the scene of this world is changing.”(1Cor 7:31) And so, might I add, is the Universe. However, I am convinced that we are the product of Creative Thought, Intelligent Design by a Creator, an Individual, a Person.

    Well, I had a flash of insight when Lee referred to the law of (prey drive) attraction and I recalled how Kevin is adamant to bypass biology and chemistry and instead explain dogs with physics. This made no sense to me, and it’’ why I recommended Whitehead’s Organic Philosophy. I had no idea until the insight hit me today.

    LCK and Kevin are basing the energy model of the dog and group consciousness and law of attraction on Ramtha

    You can get a feel for Ramtha and her followers theories here (maybe start with part 11 and 12 first)

    Christine, I think LCK is being a bit modest here, “I’m sure you’re right about there being some kind of design (or designer) involved, but that subject is way above my pay grade,” since according to Ramtha, he is God!

    I would appreciate it if this comment remain undeleted, and let a discussion about this remain on this website alone.

  39. kbehan says:

    I do believe in the law of attraction, but I have no idea of Ramtha. My model is based on my observations and my understanding of basic science. In my reading of animal behavior, where I take exception to the law of attraction as is popularly preached, is that behavior is predicated on the “negative” not on the “positive.” And I’m also saying that the force of attraction is more fundamental than the intention of thought. Finally, while like-is-attracted-to-like, only-opposites-can-connect. And I’m not bypassing biology and chemistry. First there must be energy, and then comes form. Therefore, first there is physics (energy), then physiology (biology/chemistry i.e. how energy works in the forms of things), then psychology (how energy works in the behavior of animals). Psychology and physiology is based on principles of energy, this is the only logical interpretation of nature.
    I would also like to point out that we can only argue about what is logical, not what is too fantastic to be considered reasonable. Sentient life by dint of a Divine Creator, evolution by dint of random mutations, or life on earth by dint of alien insemination, or a network consciousness are all equally fantastic ideas. We have no frame of reference by which we can say which one is more reasonable. The only metric we can apply is what is more logical given our observations of the nature of things. So I’m postulating evolution by way of a whole network, one species isn’t evolving relative to other species, they are all evolving as part of one network. The network evolves and the species in toto lock in these expanding network values. This wholesale path of evolution is evidenced by a universal operating system of behavior observable in all species of animals and that runs according to principles of energy. The reason species can’t interbreed is because the network needs polarities in order to turn energy into information to make new energy. Instincts keep species locked into their network niches as homogenization is death to the network. Evolution demands polarization and human beings and dogs are the two species that most fully embody this evolutionary thrust. No other animal embodies the range of body types, personality and dispositions and service skills as the domestic dog. Dogs are heart energy and heart is what distributes genes and polarizes individuals so that they will complement each other, if that is they can get past their instincts and in many cases (in humans) their thoughts.
    I would also ask Burl if it’s possible to have a lucid and lush emotional experience listening to an evocative passage of music without any thought whatsoever. I know I do.

  40. kbehan says:

    If it is no different for any higher order creature, why can’t we live with Apes? Dogs are able to construct a theory of mind better than the more intelligent primate?

  41. Burl says:

    Thanks Sean – I believe the ndt you grew up with was natural.

    Kevin, not all experiences are of the same type – animal conscious awareness works with a variety of thoughts, emotions, instincts, and such. We are not always figgerin’, and dogs occasionally are. I like rich, poignant music experiences, and shepherd dogs love the intense conscious awareness of figuring a maneuver needed to execute a unique situation it faces moving the herd.

    Lee, I see from the vigorous activity in your latest ToM blog combox today that you are indeed following my advice and producing your own custom comments – kudos! Your comments were disappearing and reappearing like quantum particles. You still have not said what was wrong with my deleted comment.

    On the subject of quanta, Kevin, you have made Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Consciousness (emotional energy wave function collapse), and Quantum Dog all key elements of NDT – just as they are for the Ramtha group as presented in “What the Bleep”, “Dr. Quantum,” and the “Secret Law of Attraction,” the majority of whose ideas and phraseology that you have unmistakably adopted into NDT.

    Not knowing what is behind theory can be very dangerous thing

  42. kbehan says:

    So you are conceding that it’s possible to have a rich emotional experience without thinking. That’s step one. And as for quantum emotion, my ideas come from observing dogs and the understanding that all behavior is a function of attraction, not intention. No one has said that before, it’s certainly antithetical to “What the Bleep.” I subsequently try to correlate these ideas to physics because it is only logical. If my physics is wrong, it doesn’t mean the model is wrong, most likely my understanding of physics. And if I have appropriated ideas from the Rathams, then surely they must have the term “emoton” in their lexicon. or the concept in one form or another since it would be the chief means by which the physical body of an animal interacts with the quantum dimension of nature, i.e the future conforming to the power of desire. An emoton is a quanta of emotion. They must talk about it as I presume they do photons and electrons.

  43. Heather says:

    I think that the discussion keeps rebooting to the beginning with a new third-party philosophy at issue each time because of inadequate reading comprehension/critical thinking skills.

    EG, I advertise a new cache storage device I developed for my computer, I don’t expect to get sued for infringement by the folks who sell concealed storage boxes for homes.

  44. sean says:

    i have to say burl, you don’t really understand the ndt theory, to come up w/ the ramtha -> ndt corollary.

    ndt doesn’t offer eternal life, salvation or any divine revelation or secret truth. perhaps if it did, ndt would be more popular!

  45. Heather: “I think that the discussion keeps rebooting…”

    That’s a polite way of putting it.


  46. Christine says:

    Hear, Hear, Sean‼ RE:”…ndt doesn’t offer eternal life, salvation or any divine revelation or secret truth. perhaps if it did, ndt would be more popular!” That’s probably why I’m a fan of NDT. It is what it is and nothing more. Kinda like common sense (which btw, is seriously lacking in society today! LOL).

  47. Lacey says:

    Kevin, this morning I was watching one of your video clips and I had the volume up loud. Lou was wandering around looking for you 🙂 At one point I think you said OUT to the dog in the video but Lou must have heard DOWN because he hit the deck instantly! That made me laugh.

  48. kbehan says:

    Give Lou a big rub-a-dub for me. Indeed, physical memory is the key to the animal mind. Keep On Pushing!

Leave a Reply

Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.
%d bloggers like this: