Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pierced Flight--A Few Cantos On Anger, Madness and the Daimonic


"Pierced Flight"

[The name I've given to the photo is my own poetic response to the image. A sculpture in Princeton, NJ sculpture garden. Click on it to enlarge the image. Photo by Warren Falcon, September 2008. Currently seeking the names of the sculptor and sculpture to give full and due credit]

This image graphically depicts the crucifixion of matter in flight, that flight toward transcendence against suffering and death and the flight of the skewering pole toward it's targeted object in flight; always seeking reversals, the flight of the Imagination pierced and the piercing which halts mid-flight between the opposites where Imagination enables the human spirit to ascend and descend the cruciform pole of the axis mundi, the Center, from which the worlds within worlds are spectrally formed,-- from Wikipedia online :

The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, columna cerului, center of the world) is a ubiquitous symbol that crosses human cultures. The image expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all.[ The spot functions as the omphalos (navel), the world's point of beginning.
The axis mundi image appears in every region of the world and takes many forms. The image is both feminine (an umbilical providing nourishment) and masculine (a phallus providing insemination into a uterus). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire), or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious ( pagoda, temple, mount, church) or secular (obelisk, minaret, lighthouse, rocket, skyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animistic belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced "urban centers." As Mircea Eliade observed: "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all."
-- from

This powerful image emotionally expresses the dhukka--unsatisfactoriness; incompleteness; suffering -- the tragic nobility of the human condition. We must not draw the conclusion that we should not try to fly nor should we attempt to expunge or deny the exquisite, creative cauldron, no escaping it, which is conscious material existence.

Perhaps I might say: I need people to a higher degree than others, and at the same time much less...
...because there was nothing left which would link me to them...-- my rearrangement of quotes from text of C.G. Jung immediately below

The repressed value contains transformative energies and a consciousness of its own; that to achieve consciousness and discover the nature of one's own inferiority it is at times necessary to go against one's own ego-dominated commandments.

-- Charles Ponce, Working the Soul, pgs. 68-69

Prelude -- The Daimon According to C.G. Jung

I have had much trouble getting along with my ideas. There
was a daimon in me, and in the end its presence proved decisive.
It overpowered me, and if I was at times ruthless it was
because I was in the grip of the daimon. I could never stop at
anything once attained. I had to hasten on, to catch up with my
vision. Since my contemporaries, understandably, could not
perceive my vision, they saw only a fool rushing ahead.

I have offended many people, for as soon as I saw that they
did not understand me, that was the end of the matter so far as
I was concerned. I had to move on. I had no patience with people
aside from my patients. I had to obey an inner law which
was imposed on me and left me no freedom of choice. Of course
I did not always obey it. How can anyone live without inconsistency?

For some people I was continually present and close to them
so long as they were related to my inner world; but then it
might happen that I was no longer with them, because there
was nothing left which would link me to them. I had to learn
painfully that people continued to exist even when they had
nothing more to say to me. Many excited in me a feeling of living
humanity, but only when they appeared within the magic circle
of psychology; next moment, when the spotlight cast its beam
elsewhere, there was nothing to be seen. I was able to become
intensely interested in many people; but as soon as I had seen
through them, the magic was gone. In this way I made many
enemies. A creative person has little power over his own life.
He is not free. He is captive and driven by his daimon.

A power wrests away the heart from us
For the Heavenly Ones each demand sacrifice;
But if it should be withheld
Never has that led to good?

says Holderlin.

This lack of freedom has been a great sorrow to me. Often I
felt as if I were on a battlefield, saying, "Now you have fallen,
my good comrade, but I must go on." For "shamefully a power
wrests away the heart from us." I am fond of you, indeed I love
you, but I cannot stay. There is something heart-rending about
that. And I myself am the victim; I cannot stay. But the daimon
manages things so that one comes through, and blessed
inconsistency sees to it that in flagrant contrast to my "
disloyalty" I can keep faith in unsuspected measure.

Perhaps I might say: I need people to a higher degree than
others, and at the same time much less. When the daimon is at
work, one is always too close and too far. Only when it is silent
can one achieve moderation.

The daimon of creativity has ruthlessly had its way with me.
The ordinary undertakings I planned usually had the worst of
-- C.G. Jung, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pg. 355-357, Vintage Books, 1989

Canto One -- Of Madness

What's madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance? -- Theodore Roethke

What I find most astonishing -- aside from that belief of mine, which never ceases to surprise me by the very fact of its surprising lack of pleasantness, the belief that I might very easily -- as they say -- lose my mind one day, not that I suspect I am about to, or am even...nearby...for I'm not that sort; merely that it is not beyond...happening: some gentle loosening of the moorings sending the balloon adrift -- and I think that is the only outweighing thing: adrift; the...becoming a stranger...the world, quite...uninvolved, for I never see it as violent, only a drifting...But I could never do it -- go adrift-- for what would become of you?
-- Edward Albee, opening lines from A Delicate Balance, A Play In Three Acts, Samuel French, 1967

I wish there was something practical I could say about madness.
To change only one word in a line of poetry by the late Anne Sexton for the purpose of my own attempt at a practical essaying on the topic at hand, "I was born doing field work in madness," which I suppose has it's own practicality, some Devil's, nay, Daimon's Primer imprinted, though not in literal print, in every human brain and spine. For all this hissing amiss and gathering at lost crawses and these grizzled grists for Blakean Satanic Mental Mills, in madness the "Daimon's in the details", drivel and dervishes prevailing.
Enough people--Carl Jung, the innovative Swiss psychoanalyst and writer being one, and he speaks much of this, of the daimon, of madness, of mentations foments--have discovered that there are threads in, methods to, madness; indeed, there are myths in madness, "myth-ods" (to be wordly playful with emphasis on the -odds), so the meanings therein need to be attended to, midwived, espied via spurious speculums pushed, pulled and pried through into bridges between worlds, between the "normal" consensus world and that of the unconscious which has its own ever-shifting "norms" in terms consistent internally and infernally to itself.
Practical things to say about madness and its myth-ods are hard to come by, at least for me, therefore I can and will speak only of my own madness and of some of my experiences with the madness in others. We do have recourse to religions of all sorts, to artists from bone carvings to cave walls, to castles to museums, to madhouses to mausoleums and the marbled warbling more-- those poets and writers like Nagarjuna, like Jesus, Shakespeare, like Blake, like Joyce, like Beckett, like Gertrude Stein, like so very very many gone naying neti neti before us here now in rumored, malhumored, millenia-wired primal primers in mind of mind on Mind, of going beyond it by going more deeply into It.
Madness justifiably disturbs us so much that we invent, and not with bad intentions, theories and techniques about mind and mental illness, we concoct noxious potions and potages to reign it in, to explain it, to take the reptile-filled smelly sump of human soul, fortunately not the only place on the human soul map, and drain it, dry it, then return the once-were-mad ones, ourselves, back to consensus reality, two lumps of sugar in the tepid tea and nevermind that a tree swaying just out the window at twilight menacingly or mercifully becomes in cornea-corners and viscous-veined eyewebs an ever-maker soft-soughed shaker of mind.

Canto Two -- "Hell Has Value,"
A Monstrous, Mad Confession

Chthonic --882, from Gk. khthonios "in the earth," from khthon "the earth, solid surface of the earth" (mostly poetic) from PIE root *dhghem- (cf. first element in chameleon also L. humus "earth, soil," humilis "low;" Lith. zeme, O.C.S. zemlja "earth;" Skt. ksam- "earth" (opposed to "sky"); O.Ir. du, gen. don "place," earlier "earth"). Chthonian is from 1850.
autochthonic -- 646, "one sprung from the soil he inhabits" (pl. autochthones), from Gk. autokhthon, from auto- "self" + khthon "land".
What rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? -- William Butler Yeats, from his poem, The Second Coming
Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies, we're going through hell.
-- William Carlos Williams from Introduction to Howl by Allen Ginsberg
Pandaemonium, literally, pan = all or "every", and "daemon, δαιμόνιον", meaning "little spirit" or "little angel", or, as Christians interpreted it, "little daemon", and later, "demon" (thus roughly translated as "All Demons"); or it can be interpreted as Παν-δαιμον-ειον = "all-demon-place". John Milton's name for Hell in Paradise Lost. Also, chaos; tumultuous or lawless violence, plus a loud, riotous uproar, outburst.
The daimon throws us down, makes us traitors to our ideals and cherished convictions -- traitors to the selves we thought we were. -- C.G. Jung
But you know it's almost like using a diamond for a paper weight to use [personal] stories for entertainment. -- Rachel Naomi Remen speaking about "listening generously" on NPR radio show, Speaking of Faith.
[Please note that my dialogues with Daimon are active imagination, a technique modernized and developed by Carl Jung in his work with the contents of the unconscious.]
Four years ago [now 9 years ago] I had my clearest image of and most momentous encounter with my own daimon.
I always intuitively knew it was there within me, that resistant, oppositional force with it's own agenda and power made all the more insistently, compulsively powerful because it was rejected and repressed. So much for all my sincere Michael Jackson-esque Mystical Moon-Walking toward imagined transcendence-of-the-dusty material, instinctual, natural world. According to the self-appointed gurus, avatars, ministers, high priests and priestesses and values of those systems and pseudo-systems I nibbled on at the Best Seller "spirituality" smorgaboard, they expounded punitively, 
"I done them all wrong."
This, my Daimon, when I finally saw him, was a dark, underworld, Grendel-like creature who hulkingly hunched before me while crossing the street at W. 91st and Central Park West one day heading reluctantly and resentfully toward a professional commitment that I had come to loath. I realize now it was the Daimon's loathing and my ego was finally catching up to his dark awareness and wisdom that the dream of transcendence as I had been taught to view it, as that daimon-possessed bard John Lennon once sang, that "dream is over".
I stopped mid-street and said outloud, "I SEE YOU!! What do you have to say to me?!"
A car horn blared as I dodged and scuttled to a park bench with 5 minutes to spare before the dreaded meeting with the "Holy Pokeys" as I had come to call my now very alienated once-were-compadres for as it appeared to me they were convinced that their sanctimonious boundary-disrespecting, persistent "holy hokey pokery" (you know the drill--everybody do the same imitative monkey thing and "then shake it all about") plying at my and each others inner privates and venial vicera was good for me and them when for me, and the Daimon in retrospect, it felt like an elaborate form of psycho-spiritual entertainment of egoic proportions mimicing transformative encounter while actually being a form of Jerry Springer-like pornography, hysterically baring and spilling one's most sacred and secret guts naively, foolishly, luridly and, often enough, self-destructively and humiliatingly before undeserving inflated others, their being in desperate need of real confession, I'll grant, but not necessarily in public, that fickle granter of temporary grace and enduring disgrace. This insistent poking and probing by group others supposedly demonstrated a presentiment of protective community, secure family belonging, good "process" and helpful wholing purpose--in my experience prurience by any other name...
Hastily seated I asked again, "What do you have to say to me?"
Daimon answered, "I fucking HATE spirituality!!!"

Selfie by W.Falcon. Rorschached by Michael G. Reed

I burst into mad laughter for he had named an as yet inexpressible and yet to be expressed difficult-to-own truth that I had been unable to own up to much less confess to another and most certainly not to the "Saintly Sm-others". As he and I spoke he ragefully told me that I had kept him "in the deepest and darkest depths of Hell" and I knew when I heard him that this was true. I wept for I had been very much unconsciously identified with him as him, a persecutable and persecuted monster and yet I had also persecuted him and myself and, of course, given the inexorable law of projection, others of daimonic character. He hated spirituality which would not at all embrace his essential chthonic (underworld) instinctual energy, "SACRED ENERGY!" he screamed, "They--the "spirit identified ones--have essentially rejected the earth, matter, nature." I knew then that I would have to remove myself from all so-called and supposedly spiritual affiliations professionally and inwardly introjected. Excising/integrating these introjections proved, and still does, to be difficult, slow, stubborn and tenacious work as these have served as rigid character defenses propelling me away from the depths, away from the chthonic having been precociously exposed to the chthonic as a child. Granted, when one encounters the archetypal chthonic no matter the childhood, horrific or good enough, one is frightened and repelled and thus our character defenses come to our aid to prevent fragmentation at any cost and by any means necessary.

A Bow To Becker, An Aside And A Vote For Zorba-ness

Regarding this I refer the reader to two books by Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death, especially chapter four, "Human Character As A Vital Lie", and Escape From Evil, the book entire. I also highly recommend Donald Kalsched's excellent and instructional The Inner Word Of Trauma, Archetypal Defenses Of The Human Spirit. All three of these books (there are, of course, more) give an appreciative view of the protective at all cost by any means necessary functions of "character" and its defenses and why it stalwartly, bravely, mechanically serves us yet in so doing prevents our growth into authenticity and "full catastrophe, and messy, living", to paraphrase and add to a quote by Zorba, refering the reader here to the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, and the film, Zorba the Greek--Greece being a primal culture of the split between matter and spirit, experience and ideals, works and grace caught creatively in the split depicted in the sculpture I call "Pierced Flight" at the beginning of this essay--Zorba celebrates the splits and these "gods of messiness" or, posibly, rather, those gods who tolerate and contain messiness (often messes Themselves), of instincts, of earth and the noble tragedy of human impulses toward transcendence. He also assumes there is an order, perhaps like Blake's Heaven, which contains the chaos and disorder, each presuming and subsuming the other. The final dance at the end of the movie--the two main characters dancing together, one, "Boss", Apollonian (god of order and differentiation of consciousness) and the other, wild Zorba, Dionysian (god of disorder and merging with the unconscious)--with its tragi-comic disaster is a dance within the full, feeling, conscious catastrophe danced ecstaticly in the teeth of the opposites in humorous triumph and defiance while consenting to the conditions of existence, the givens, the exigencies, making the best of a bad human situation affirming the mad dreamers and mad dancers they, and we, always already are, utterly human. And that, it appears, thank the gods, is more than enough because it often seems we are all here to endure and to clean up the gods' messes, our reserving the right to kvetch all along the way.
I told Daimon that I did not know how to work with and for him but that we could try to find a way. I also knew, and he confirmed, that our work together would offend myself as I knew myself to be as well as many others I had once been associated with personally and professionally. "Was I prepared to lose all this?" he asked. Already miserable I said, "Yes." I then said I wanted to take him out of Hell. To my surprise he told me that I "should not and could not lose the Hell realm. It has tremendous value to the soul but humankind has not been able yet to assimilate this aspect of soul much less acknowledge any value to it." This got my attention!! Having been born into, bred into, and educated into a Christian Fundamentalist church and culture (this permeates all of America and not just the South where I am from) where Hell has no value to humans unless we're cursing others to go there. 
This news of the value of Hell was tough meat. This would not be easily chewed on but chew I would and I intuitively knew of the correctness of Daimon's view, at least for me. Jung apparently had arrived at a very similar understanding (see his book, Answer To Job).

Installation in Mexico City. Photo by W.Falcon
I also knew what I had already concluded, but had hestitated to admit, that my difficult tumultuous and intellectually self-annihilating tenure in the New Age/New Thought/Sethian "create your own reality" movement was finished. Beyond-done after too many years of staying too long at the New Age fair which had long worn thinner than it always/already is, hanging out too long there in spite of intuitive intellectual misgivings and dissatisfactions regarding the New Age's view of evil, merely a lack or lessening of good. I with Daimon's push allowed myself to think the much dreaded impermissible thought that "Hell has value."
I have yet to assimilate Daimon's wisdom on the above but this is my personal meat and drink, my ongoing life-task to work till the end of my days (Canto Three is in the works). For me there is a requisite conscious return to the cave, the depths, the chthonic, an open-eyed descent into the underworld, the nether places where Daimon has hurled angrily at the sealed gate keeping him in the dark carrying all our disowned and projected darkness in our Icarus-Angel flight into the Sun trying to obliterate our Night-selves.

"Teeth, In This Case, Is The Beginning Of Wisdom"

Several of James Hillman's books, Dreams and the Underworld, and Healing Fiction, especially chapter two, "The Pandaemonium of Images, Jung's Contribution to Know Thyself", deliciously explores the dimmed yet dynamic dimensions of the Nightworld, the mythic unconscious where upon entering there, says Hillman, human Dayworld values must be left behind. In the Nightworld, in Dreamtime, in the Unconscious, the world of daimons and more, one enters often kicking and screaming or-- dangerously to self and others--New-Age naively, to encounter a more accurate and politically-incorrect-to-the-ego-and-dayworld-values-view of what individuals and collectives really are like. Because, according to Carl Jung dreams are ruthless, "impartial facts" from the objective psyche, many people resist them knowing that if taken seriously their whole view of self, other and reality will be profoundly altered and not so readily wrestled into the ever narrowing corrals of (dis)positivity (as in dispose-tivity). Out of site in this case guarantees out-of-their-mind for even apparently "sane" and "cool" dimentias will out, the nightworld, the daimonic will out by any means necessary and cares not a hoot whether one smells of light and sandalwood or is yogically stretched yet still karmically kvetched and shadow-projected for the psyche, the daimonic eventually, finally-had-enough, turns like the proverbial whipped dog and bites. 
Such biting increases the possibility of wholeness, real wholeness, if one does not turn away from teeth. 
Teeth, in this case, is the beginning of wisdom.
In Michael Eigen's immensely wise and helpful book, The Psychoanalytic Mystic, in a section describing the function of faith in psychoanalysis and therapy work he speaks of "the explosive or catastrophic potential in every therapeutic encounter" (page 124). This is certainly so in any encounter with the daimon. Therapeutic work implies the goal of becoming conscious and making consciousness, thus a conscious explosive/catastrophic encounter with the daimon is an inevitable arrival in good, and extremely patient, therapy. 
Eigen describes William Blake's Heaven, a similar description which my daimon depicts of Hell as does Hillman in his book on the underworld, "William Blake describes heaven as all out war between every human capacity in which all have their say without compromise yet incessantly enrich and are enriched by others. Here faith functions as a boundless or infinite container (pages 124/125)."
The Demonic In Groups When The Rejected And Projected Daimonic Raises Its Head
I have without exception personally repeatedly found that "containment" in overtly identified-as-spiritual groups to be the exact opposite of Blake's description. The so-called "spirituality" of the so-called "spiritual group" and it's leader demand an absolute merge with the "spiritual" leader and her agenda always on the leader's and the merged-with-the-leader obedient group's terms. If one begins to e-merge and individuate from that leader and her group then an e-mergency ensues where usually one is identified as a kind of virus, a faction, and is thus scapegoated and run out, excommunicated, or fired. 
The pathological narcissism of the powerful charismatic leader or leaders are unconsciously daimon-identified (meaning mugged by the daimonic and thus are unconsciously acting inflatedly demon-maniacal). Being unconscious of one's daimon and of a group daimon makes everyone vulnerable to powerful, numinous upsurges of the daimonic. There is indeed an archetypal energy afoot but not necessarily all-good and "spiritual". The leader appears to be all-good and to do everything, even process, the received "right way" always so "very appropriately" but without authentic recognition of the leader's shadow which the followers and underlings in the group are assigned the task of carrying the shadow since the leader usually can find no shadow in herself, thus inevitably there begins to be "trouble in her paradise." Her "inability" to find the shadow is willful, extremely toxic and pathological. And, maddeningly, the leader or leader-identified group experiences her/itself as victims of that scapegoated one, carrying, often naming the shadow, emerging from the group trance and individuating away from it.
Heaven or Hell or, rather, Heaven and Hell--for there is not one without the other--divine warfare between human capacities, as well as transpersonal powers, vie for conscious attention and relating-to within the individual and the group. Humans, flawed as we are, have the very slow yet gradually growing capacity for consciousness which is within and partakes of "a boundless or infinite container," the Self, Atman, or any number of words attempting to approach this mysterious yet palpable, experiencable even though unnameble hold. 

Garbage can lid as a map of the world. Photo by W.Falcon

I stress the need for the ego here in this operation, this alchemical operation, this warfare of human capacities "which [can] enrich and are enriched by others." Thus the essential importance of recognizing one's daimon and working with it. And acknowledging that it is and will ongoingly be very messy so let us not sanctify "cleanliness" especially in psychological soul work no matter where one is forced by the daimon and fate or, rather, daimon-as-fate, to do it.
Psychology has an ongoing fantasy (and by fantasy I mean a very real image moving up from the very real psyche into the imagination of an individual and group) of "integration" of part-selves, daimons, shadow, personal history, historical events, personal, collective and transpersonal powers. Some integration is possible but it never ever complete. Our capacity to dream and in dreaming encounter the nightworld reveals an intrinsic faith in the Psyche and, weakly, in ourselves of a boundless, infinite container which holds heaven and hell dimensions in expressions of external and internal existence.
New Age spirituality and pseudo-psychology, most historical religions and some cosmologies oriented toward transcendence reinforce the split in humans between these heaven and hell dimensions. "A boundless or infinite container" holds, endures and cooks (in alchemy the cooking vessel is hermetically sealed and firm) both dimensions (the opposites) and from that intense and searing conflict consciousness grows, or can (if not then madness results or dullness which is narcoticized madness). 
The human being contains and is the vessel of this divine conflict enduring, tolerating, at least trying to, the intolerable stuff of self and Other/other. The fantasy of tolerance, too, though ideal, is inimical to material existence which is born and fabricated of and from conflict. Realistically, humans can barely tolerate themselves much less the other but, and I take the following after W.R Bion and Eigen here as an object of faith, there is "a boundless, infinite container" to, and within, which I can only bow and be grateful for for I am all too often intolerable mess of warring capacities and contradictions a la Hillman since it is the very nature of the soul, says he, to pathologize .
All this one endures or must try to endure. When wide awake to the fact that the soul pathologizes one is humbled and liberated all at once to live more freely one's creaturely instinctual self less addicted to transcendence becoming more embracing of the givens of human existence, more embracing of the noble and tragic creatures we humans really are. 
As Ernest Becker accurately says in his always astounding book, The Denial of Death, we are creatures who cannot get over the fact that we are [conscious, creative] "gods who shit!"
W.R. Bion says that the tragedy (and hope) is that humans ARE creatures--who have indeed evolved up from animal consciousness enough to intuit/know where it appears we may be going but our bodies and nervous systems and psyches--haven't evolved enough yet to handle the tremendous animal drives which still demand and command us all the time. Ken Wilber accurately calls this our "present Centauric condition", our being at the centauric level of consciousness, half animal/instinct/unconscious and half human/rational-creative/conscious. We are awake now to both and must endure as best we can the conflict of these opposites that we are. 

Advertisement poster artfully "scarred" on E 6 St, NYC.  Photo by W.Falcon

I take comfort here in Gabriel Marcel's homo viator to soften Bion's, I believe, accurate assessment of the human species; we are, as Marcel has it, viator, travelers, flyers, humans-on-the-way, still evolving or, as centaurs, still trotting along with dreams of wings attached to fore-haunches.
With Becker's insight in mind, any inflation humans have is confronted by this insult of being "gods who shit". To think we are gods is to be inflated and thus to be gods who shit, says Becker, comes as a shock to our nervous system and its conscious dreaming of itself as humans. However, I find that the dream of the infinite, boundless container is an image of the alchemical container mentioned above in which the prima materia, the primal stuff, the "shit" begins to be cooked and ultimately, so the alchemical fantasy goes, is transformed into gold which signifies greatest value (which is an ever expanding hold which includes and does not exclude shit). 
Jung's discovery of alchemical symbolism in psychotherapeutic containers helps us, gives us faith in transformation into fuller humanity and creaturehood more consciously able to contain, tolerate and incarnate archetypal forces. Perhaps that which is most transforming is the growing awareness of the infinite boundless unbreakable container which holds the heaven/hell of Nature and Consciousness, of warring human nature within and without. 
An intuition of, an experience of, this cosmic hold is transformational indeed and reinforces faith in not only the value implicit in the very struggle to endure much less transform but in very existence as it is itself. Eigen says, "All (warring) capacities find their place within a primary faith."
I call this primary faith animal faith, the kind of faith that the animal has, say, when after the lion has hauled down one of its own; the herd just a few feet away from the mauling munching lion bends their heads back to the grasses to also feed life. That bending to the grass is a statement of faith: 
"Not today, Death. I live and eat. And shit.  And I run when I must." 
Animal faith assumes, contains, that facticity that life/death goes on. Creation and creatures continue. Aware or unaware, all are contained in the boundless, infinite container which is not static but alive Itself, ever forming from universal material givens.

Selfie by W.Falcon. Rorschached by Michael G. Reed