This is profoundly supported by modern psychoanalysis, particularly Carl Gustav Jung’s school, because in the collective unconscious of man there are memories which belong to animalhood.
If man is taken deep into hypnosis, first he enters the unconscious mind, which is just the repressed part of this life. If he is hypnotized even more deeply, then he enters into the collective unconscious, which has memories of being animals.
People start screaming – in that stage they cannot speak a language. They start moaning or crying, but language is impossible; they can shout, but in an animal way. And in the collective unconscious state, if they are allowed to move or they are told to move, they move on all fours – they don’t stand up.
In the collective unconscious there are certainly remnants that suggest that they have been sometime in some animal body. And different people come from different animal bodies. That may be the cause of such a difference in individuals. And sometimes you can see a similarity – somebody behaves like a dog, somebody behaves like a fox, somebody behaves like a lion.
And there is great support in folklore, in ancient parables like Aesop’s Fables, or Panchtantra in India – which is the most ancient – in which all the stories are about animals, but are very significant for human beings and represent certain human types.
Charles Darwin may have failed because he was only looking for a link between bodies, physical bodies; and there may not be any link between physical bodies. But Eastern mysticism may be right that man has evolved spiritually from animalhood.
Man still carries much of the animal’s instinct – his anger, his hatred, his jealousy, his possessiveness, his cunningness. All that has been condemned in man seems to belong to a very deep-rooted unconscious. And the whole work of spiritual alchemy is how to get rid of the animal past.
Without getting rid of the animal past, man will remain divided. The animal past and his humanity cannot exist as one, because humanity has just the opposite qualities. So all that man can do is become a hypocrite.
As far as formal behavior is concerned, he follows the ideals of humanity – of love and of truth, of freedom, of non-possessiveness, compassion. But it remains only a very thin layer, and at any moment the hidden animal can come up; any accident can bring it up. And whether it comes up or not, the inner consciousness is divided.
This divided consciousness has been creating the yearning and the question: How to become a harmonious whole as far as the individual is concerned? And the same is true about the whole society: How can we make the society a harmonious whole – where there is no war, no conflict, no classes; no divisions of color, caste, religion, nation?