Emancipation started with the liberation of black people from their slavery and, passing through human colour and gender, has now arrived at the animal to be liberated. Emancipation is a process by which we ought to transform our human, illusive feeling of superiority into an attitude of equivalence in respect of animals.
It takes a strong person to adopt a vulnerable and modest position. This seems to be a contrast. Dealing purposeful with (seeming) contrasts is called "dialectics".

The idea behind dialectics in the way we deal with it in this article, is that history, mankind, nature, evolution etc. are being pushed along by two (codependent, but not necessarily opposite) "forces". These forces can be seen as values. We label them yin and yang, but also as "thesis" and "antithesis". Compare a thesis to a position and an antithesis to an opposition, and look for a composition that fulfils both positions and you described the upward process.

In this article we intend to place together a number of philosophical and spiritual concepts in one frame, and defend that whoever is involved in "higher causes" should also implicate animals.

This article was written in a compendious style.
It may take reading once again and following the links in order to fully comprehend what we want to make clear. We very much value the result as it puts together a number of notions regarding spirituality and our relationship with animals in a context that is normally spread over many and long articles (or originating from matchless sources).
Readers are gladly invited to react.

A thesis and an antithesis (not joined together) form a conflict or a duality. If opposite strenghts or powers are not exceeded, the conflict remains and they represent a stagnation. From a unity-standpoint (the soul) we can however solve this conflict. This joining together of the thesis and the antithesis for the sake of development, leads to a linear progression, a transformation, a push along, called synthesis. The originally opposite powers have now been mobilized by the synthesis.

yin and yangAs if it were a third power, the two fundamental strenghts have become integrated (brought together in harmony and balance) on a qualitatively higher level. This level is the goal, the synergy, the result, the destination.
When basic needs are satisfied, man can grow mentally. For example: someone who lives in a healthy body and in a steady society, can direct his attention towards his development and towards higher values.

Here below we shall place together in a scheme a number of catchwords, to represent the building-stones of the picture we want to evoke. By placing the catchwords together as thesis, as antithesis and as synthesis, a mosaic of aspects is created that belong to purposeful thinking and analyzing. Just as in real mosaic work, not all the stones are the same: one stone being a bit bigger than an other one, not everything fits in precisely. The concepts, notions, powers, statements, aspects, catchwords, (anti-)theses all are little building-stones. Hopefully the mosaic will create a worthwhile picture of purposeful processes that we want to support on this website, and the insight will tell more than a thousand words. Anyone who would like to have more explanation about the meaning of the concepts, is being advised to Erich Fromm "The Sane Society" as well as our article on living with a clear conscience.
The notions mentioned in the scheme are described in literature in various ways. That may be confusing, but we wish to show the mutual connection. A.o. they are being referred to as theses or as polarities. Two opposite poles form a polarity. They are powers that are linked up with one another, that amplify each other or neutralize. Man distinguishes polarities such as good and evil, man and woman, etc.
Love is the instrument to join together the polarities and opposites. That will not come all by itself. Love renders freedom, fear takes freedom away. Love wants to melt together, but one only temporarily wants to lose one-self.
Man lives out of his ego, that always hungers for power. Man's ego lives within its bounds and is afraid of the surrender, of the love and unification.

The separation makes anxious, makes one feel guilty. Doing nothing does not help, only makes things worse, makes life meaningless. Such impasses force man to go all the way through the opposites, until he has learned and integrated everything it takes to become 'perfect' (intact) again. On that golden, middle road towards higher consciousness he has to make choices, stop doubts, avoid discord, overcome dilemmas and exceed blocking paradoxes. By living in this way, love and freedom can become reality.
A synthesis differs from a paradox, that exists out of a seeming opposition between two matters that are mutually exclusive. A paradox too can be exceeded by introducing a third possibility.

The scheme illustrates the applied expressions and explains their mutual cohesion, so that together they can create the image we want to outline. Joined by the other concepts in the columns they represent cyclical mutually influencing aspects of spirituality and oneness, the higher cause that is being strived for in many development processes (flows). "Go with the flow".

Thesis Antithesis Synthesis Dialectics
Create Receive Enrichment Development
Expansion Contraction Rhythm Growth
To let go To admit Openness Flow
Not-being Being Image Ideal
Yang Yin Dao Non-duality
Physical Non-physical Meta-physical Three-in-one
Liberal Social Confessional Politics
God Holy Spirit Jesus Trinity
Freedom Solidarity Equivalence Justice
Culture Nature Religion Mankind
Body Mind Soul Man
Independence Responsibility Self-discipline Freedom
Acting Non-acting Wisdom Wu-wei
Subconsciousness Consciousness Higher consciousness Learning soul
Id / Es Superego Ego Psyche
Intellect Feeling Intuition Knowledge
(intelligence quotient)

(emotional quotient)

(spiritual quotient)
man and animal
Father / male Mother / femal e Child Family life
Potency / potential Care and attention Development Maturity
Freedom Love Spiritual quality Happiness

In his book Storm before the silence Neale Donald Walsh speaks of Trinity. All things are one thing and everything in that one thing is divided into three parts. We seem to live a life of dualities in a dyad, but in fact it is a triad. The unity of everything is divided into three expressions.

The (anti-)theses summed up in the first two columns are a-moral, meaning neutral strenghts. Ethics apply to the synthesis: you have (earned) responsibility, but not until you have taken (accept) your responsibility, you are (have become) a responsibly living creature. Some syntheses consequently generate a new thesis of a higher order.
When someone does not let two polarities connect, nor has them come into development, this leads to "rigidity or stagnation", "retardation or proliferation" or "selfishness".
Notable regarding the lower part of the schedule is that matters that apply to both man as well as animal, are very real as well as very abstract, but fundamental. For the notions "freedom", "love" and "quality" it goes that, by concrete definition (becoming operational) they miss say, and take away responsibility.

Those who make it operational ("mention"), do not know
Those who know, do not make it operational
(free after Zen, Laotse)

For these notions it is more fruitful to define the opposite (by fastening down in rules the negative), in that way indirectly granting a view on the positive. For example: it is prohibited to lock people up against their will (kidnap). Also due to this prohibition, human freedom of movement is guaranteed.

It should be left up to man and animal in what way they arrange the positive form for themselves. It is man's birth right to experience the three concepts "freedom", "love" and "quality" in harmony within himself, but the same should be part of animal rights as well.
Especially respect is the fundamental attitude by which man ought to meet the animal where these subjects are concerned. On this website, respect is defined as "proper distance". These two words make clear that one can keep the right distance as well as too much or too little distance in respecting freedom, love and quality. Too much distance leads to indifference, too little to "cuddling-to-death and defence". When we keep the right distance towards the other, mutually energy can be liberated in order to raise the contact to a higher level if such is desired.

It is up to mankind to care for leaving intact the scarce space that remains available for animals on earth, in ways that animals can experience these notions (pleasantly) in their own ways.
Man nor animal can live when left alone in too small an accomodation. People as well as animals maintain relationships with themselves and with others. What matters is the correct attitude or direction in that relationship, in order for them and others to be able to benefit from it.

In the schedule here below, we once again show that part of the concepts from the former scheme that relate to the self and the other. It goes for all concepts that they relate to people and in ever increasing proportion to animals as well. Finally we relate everything to emancipation.

the self the other focus result
detachment love spiritual quality happiness
(self)actualization self supporting virtue (self)realization
knowledge responsibility discipline civilization
freedom solidarity equality justice
suffering compassion emancipation evolution
experiencing living together living intuitively wellbeing
thought word deed experience
instinct care offspring existence
emotions feelings perception survival

Many of the mentioned concepts are types of sensations. Emotions are functional to man and animal. Combined with knowledge we call the human perception "awareness", leading to an extended consciousness. The principle and target remain the same: emotions supply the information that an individual needs "to live on". That is a basic condition for living. Life is cyclical, but when it "progresses" it does so in a upward way or spiral.
The continuation of the existence of the species is a secondary target. The sequence of higher targets (called "result" in the scheme) is arbitrary. They indeed aim for unity, but are not assured. A good outcome is man's responsibility. The highest feeling of perfect love is the experience of unity with all-that-is.

It is only a small number of factors that determine the quality of existence for man and animal. As stated here above: a healthy body and a healthy, sane society (statical qualities) render an individual its freedom to flower without being deranged by nasty feelings (dynamical quality).

With a little extra effort: self-discipline (practise), detachment and love, happiness and quality of existence are within anyone's range. But a person who is not 'intact' can do little or nothing for others.

Truth, wisdom and love yield good feelings and a clear conscience. Listen to your feelings and respect your feelings. Your feelings show the way, be it positive or negative. With the assumption that suffering too is a fundamental part of life, but that being focussed on equality (unity) in combination with freedom and solidarity leads to right(eousness), we returned at emancipation.
Why should we not (re-)apply these ideas to animals? By our dominance we enchain others because we think by doing so we will profit and secure our safety, but the other one becomes an obstacle. In the past we did so by means of slavery, nowadays we have strangling labour-contracts and oppressing factory farming.

By sharing authority and space and by showing a mild attitude (respect, self-discipline, detachment) tenderly focussed on emancipation (freedom), creative energy is liberated and by accepting and fulfilling (realizing) our alliance and unity with all living creatures, our civilization reaches higher ground. And that sure feels better.