--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Hughes"
[I wrote:]
> >In any case, my point is that it's not so much abstract
> >thought that makes the difference, but rather the
> >capacity for self-awareness, which must exist before any
> >abstract thought can take place.  But the capacity for
> >self-awareness in and of itself may mandate some degree
> >of abstract thought; and since some animals apparently
> >do have self-awareness, it would follow that they also
> >have some capacity for abstract thought.
> >
> Yes, I guess as we share 98% of our DNA with these guys there ought
> to be more similarities than just physical appearance.
> Is it possible to teach one of the other apes to meditate though?

Probably not unless we learn to speak (other) ape!

On the other hand, for all we know, they may meditate
already, having discovered meditation on their own.

Dolphins too, perhaps.

One of my favorite (allegedly true) dolphin stories:

A researcher was training a dolphin to make a sound
on signal, to be rewarded with a fish.  The dolphin
picked it up quickly, but the researcher kept testing
it over and over.

At one point the dolphin suddenly stopped squeaking
in response to the signals, although the researcher
was signalling in exactly the same way.  After several
more tries, the dolphin began squeaking on signal again.

The researcher was puzzled as to why it should have
stopped for a while after it had mastered the trick.

Then he looked at the recording instruments that
were monitoring the sessions.  Apparently the dolphin
had been squeaking on signal all along, but at the
point when it seemed to have stopped, it had actually
lowered the frequency of its squeak well below the
level of human hearing.

Not only that, but when it didn't get a fish after its
first low-pitched squeak, rather than returning to its
normal frequency, it raised its squeaks in small
increments until the researcher began giving it fish

It looked very much as though the dolphin had gotten
bored and had decided to test the range of the
researcher's hearing.

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