Many people and spiritual teachers have a sense that their animals, and especially cats, are Enlightened. They feel that way, because animals don’t seem to have painful memories of the past and fears (or hopes) for the future. In addition, they have what we call an immediate or direct experience of “The Now”. In other words, they seem to be Enlightened. However, this is a classic case of committing what is called the  Pre-Rational/Trans-Rational fallacy. Animals (and human babies) are Pre-Rational and cannot distinguish themselves from their environment. So by definition there is no “self” that can be Enlightened. On the other hand, the “thinking” rational self is also not Enlightened. 

Only humans can reach a transrational state or stage of awareness and thus become Enlightened, even though there is no conditioned ego-self that identifies with that sate/stage.

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