By Paul Lenda, Guest Writer for Wake Up World, May 25, 2016 Excerpted from from the full article.

There is a growing awareness and understanding within the human race of the unity that humanity has with the environment within which it exists. This sense of unity with nature is not something new and indeed has been the primary position of awareness for many societies in existence before their industrialization.

A myriad of recent discoveries exemplify humanity’s growing recognition of the sophistication and higher level of be-ing that animals exist at. The latest and most well-known finding is concerning dolphins. Dolphins have been perceived as being very intelligent beings for at least several thousand years. In ancient Greece, it was punishable by death to kill or harm a dolphin.

There is a growing amount of evidence that animals share functional parallels with human conscious metacognition. Metacognition is essentially the ability to reflect upon, monitor or regulate their states of mind and although once considered solely the domain of humans, is now seen as evident in some animals as well.

New research has discovered that several species of animals, such as monkeys, wolves, coyotes, elephants, chimpanzees, rodents, bats, and whales, have a sense of what is called “morality”, in that they are able to subjectively tell “right” from “wrong”. In a series of studies scientists have found that monkeys and apes can make judgments about fairness, offer altruistic help and empathize when a fellow animal is ill or in difficulties. Perhaps the most interesting point in this discovery is that everything else being equal, animals such as chimpanzees prefer to reward a companion together with themselves rather than just themselves alone. The act of giving by the monkeys is self-rewarding and can be said as being a demonstration of the interconnected consciousness of monkeys, just as humans. As the old adage goes, what you do to another, you do to/for yourself.

All these discoveries have occurred within a few years and are demonstrative of the incredibly accelerated rise in awareness that humanity is experiencing with respect to the level of consciousness of various aspects of nature. This is a step towards a new age in which humans will hopefully have a more symbiotic and unifying relationship with the environment, and more respect will be given to it. Baby steps, for sure, but baby steps towards a positive future, nonetheless.

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Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, writer, speaker, workshop facilitator, life coach and celebrator of life wishing to provide an integral role in the personal and collective social transformation of humanity.