THE SOUL OF THE WOLF by Michael W. Fox


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No longer content to describe animal behavior, as he once did so well, Fox has of late ascended a pulpit to lecture us on how much we have to learn from non-human creatures (see One Earth, One Mind, p. 768). Here our instructor in humanity is the Noble Wolf, whom Fox considers a more fitting archetype of wildness-consciousness than the Noble Savage. According to Fox, the wolf lives in harmony with nature as did the American Indian, whereas civilized humans represent a degenerate state comparable to that of the domesticated dog. At the same time we have much in common with wolves, more than with other primates. We share ""pack"" virtues such as loyalty; our wanderlust ""may well"" have the same base as wolves' range behavior; and so on. Both species have rituals, but we alas are losing ours. In an overpopulated world, we could learn from wolves' comparative celibacy; and with capitalism and communism failing, we could turn to wolves for lessons in true democracy and community. Fox also seems to credit wolves as the true sources of Eastern wisdom. He cites the popularity of yoga, tai-chi, and aikido as evidence that ""many people today are taking [a] lesson from the wolf."" ""I often meditate with my, wolf,"" says Fox, who maintains that wolves have been his teachers and his inspiration. ""The wolf, as the otherness of me, enriches my life."" No doubt his own relationship with wolves has had a profound effect on him, and so he tells us all that we must save wolves in order to save ourselves, our consciousness, our sanity, and our contact with the ground of being. But dog-in-the-manger that he is, he reminds us that wolves are not pets and should not be kept by the rest of us, who must be content to do our bit by joining humane and conservationist organizations. A keener style and a sharper eye for human behavior might have made something original of this prescriptive, new-consciousness sociobiology: but what Fox gives us here of man-the-alienated-earth-raper isn't insight--just platitudes.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1980
Publisher: Little, Brown